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Vegan on the Brain By Mrs Vera West

     The vegan diet, no meats, animal products etc. is promoted as healthy and increasing the life span by its supporters, if you call that living. But, what about the effects of this diet on your brain?
  https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20200127-how-a-vegan-diet-could-affect-your-intelligence

“The idea that avoiding meat is bad for our brains makes some intuitive sense; anthropologists have been arguing about what our ancestors ate for decades, but many scientists think that there was a lot of bone-crunching and brain-slurping on the road to evolving these remarkable 1.4kg (3lb) organs. Some have even gone so far as to say that meat made us human. One reason is that intelligence is expensive – the brain devours about 20% of our daily calories, though it accounts for just 2% of our body weight – and what better way to find the enormous array of fats, amino acids, vitamins and minerals these fastidious organs require, than by feasting on animals which have already painstakingly collected or made them. … On the one hand, recent concern about the nutritional gaps in plant-based diets has led to a number of alarming headlines, including a warning that they can stunt brain development and cause irreversible damage to a person’s nervous system. Back in 2016, the German Society for Nutrition went so far as to categorically state that – for children, pregnant or nursing women, and adolescents – vegan diets are not recommended, which has been backed up by a 2018 review of the research. After the Royal Academy of Medicine in Belgium decided a vegan diet was “unsuitable” for children, parents who force a vegan diet on their offspring in Belgium could even one day find themselves in prison.

In fact, there are several important brain nutrients that simply do not exist in plants or fungi. Creatine, carnosine, taurine, EPA and DHA omega-3 (the third kind can be found in plants), haem iron and vitamins B12 and D3 generally only occur naturally in foods derived from animal products, though they can be synthesised in the lab or extracted from non-animal sources such as algae, bacteria or lichen, and added to supplements. Others are found in vegan foods, but only in meagre amounts; to get the minimum amount of vitamin B6 required each day (1.3 mg) from one of the richest plant sources, potatoes, you’d have to eat about five cups’ worth (equivalent to roughly 750g or 1.6lb). Delicious, but not particularly practical. One of the most well-known challenges for vegans is getting enough vitamin B12, which is only found in animal products like eggs and meat. Other species acquire it from bacteria which live in their digestive tracts or faeces; they either absorb it directly or ingest it by snacking on their own poo, but unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) humans can’t do either.

Later in life, the amount of B12 in a person’s blood has been directly correlated with their IQ
“There are some tragic cases of children whose brains failed to develop because of their parents being ill-informed vegans,” says David Benton, who studies the link between our diets and brain chemistry at Swansea University. In one example, the child was unable to sit or smile. In another, they slipped into a coma. Later in life, the amount of B12 in a person’s blood has been directly correlated with their IQ. In the elderly, one study found that the brains of those with lower B12 were six times more likely to be shrinking. Even so, low B12 is widespread in vegans. One British study found that half of the vegans in their sample were deficient. In some parts of India, the problem is endemic – possibly as a consequence of the popularity of meat-free diets. Another nutrient that’s scarce in the typical vegan diet is iron. Though we often associate it with blood, iron also plays prominent role in brain development, and is essential for keeping the organ healthy throughout our lives. For example, one 2007 study found that giving young women iron supplements led to significant intellectual gains. In those whose blood iron levels increased over the course of the study, their performance on a cognitive test improved between five- and seven-fold, while participants whose haemoglobin levels went up experienced gains in their processing speed.”

     In summary, there are some major nutrients, important for brain development that meat gives us; one can use supplements to make up for the lack of these in purely vegetable matter, but meat is convenient, while it is still legal. I imagine in the future, as part of the climate change dictatorship of the technocrats, meat will be made illegal, and people, choosing not to fight tyranny when it pops up, just like weeds taking over the garden, will need to seek supplements, while they last, or are legal.

 

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Tuesday, 26 May 2020
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