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Everything posted by veggymeggy

  1. It is VERY important to get a vitamin that is USP certified or independent lab certified, as explained by the article linked above. Sadly, the ones that aren't certified aren't always what they say they are, and sometimes are dangerous - something I think is a travesty. About vitamin A, the vitamin label will tell you the percentage of 'preformed' vit A and beta carotene. Most are about 50% beta carotene. As long as you are not doubling up on vitamins, and definitely as a vegan since you don't get it from the diet, vit A toxicity shouldn't be an issue. Even in meat eaters it's not common. The population where it appears most often actually is your native Alaskans, that eat only meat pretty much year round, and eat the whole animal - including the liver, where A is stored.
  2. Re: Guys and Iron - Be careful if you're a guy and you supplement iron at all. The body doesn't have a mechanism to get rid of excess iron the way it does other nutrients. Women lose iron through menstruation, but in guys it can accumulate and be harmful. Just FYI.
  3. I'm going to add my general supplement response - for most people (eg, those not deficient in carnitine to begin with) are not going to see any genuine improvement from this, as your body takes care of providing what you need. That being said, vegans are more likely to be deficient than the general populace. I did look at the page, & it did specify L-carnitine, which is important, as it's isomer can be toxic.
  4. I hate to be the bearer of bad news....(Honestly, I don't like defending fast food!) but in the interest of nutritional truth, no, you're body will not have a harder time getting the nutrients from a burger than from a salad, fruit, etc. In truth, because of the oxalic acid factor in plants, it's probably somewhat easier. (NOT that oxalic acid makes plant foods less nutritious overall, it's just a factor) The human digestive system is pretty amazing, and adaptable. It has to be with all the crap most people put in it! It'll handle pretty much anything, and if you're a regular meat/dairy eater you will certainly have no problem getting the micronutrients out of a burger (To be clear, fresh plant foods are certainly more nutrient dense, but that doesn't mean a burger has none.) If you are not a meat/dairy eater and you suddenly have a quadruple whopper or whatever they make, you may have more issue. As I said, enzymes are induceable. If you don't normally eat those foods, you will have less of the enzymes necessary to digest them. If you continue to eat them, your body will adapt and produce the enzymes necessary to get the full nutrtitional value out of your food, (This all assumes healthy, normal digestion BTW, no GI disorders.) Oh, and lastly, whenever I go off on nutrition issues like this, I feel the need to explain why I know what I'm talking about....so if you don't already know, I'm one term away from haveing my B.S in nutrition (which means I have finished all my human nutrition science classes). Give me another year or two and I'll be the honorary VBB&F registered dietitian.
  5. Very nice!- Dave is looking far less puny than the last time I saw him!
  6. Sorry, I know this is over a month old, but I hate seeing misinformation. 1) No matter how evil and unhealthy overall a whopper with cheese is, it does still contain micronutrients. Even gross BK burgers contain iron, B-vitamins, and other essential micronutrients, some of which are not found or are more difficult to get from fruits/veg. Cheese - contains calcium, com'on, you know that. And 2) Maltose is a disaccharide formed during the hydrolysis of starch, not found in milk/dairy. (Lactose is a disaccharide composed of glucose+galactose, maltose is glucose+glucose). Also, in general: enzymes are induceable, your body will produce more of the enzymes needed to digest the types of foods you normally eat (with the exception of some of those with lactose intolerance...some can induce lactase by eating small amounts of dairy, progressively).
  7. From my (human nutrition science) class notes: beta glucans are glucopyranose units in beta 1,4 bonds highly soluble in water (soluble fiber) highly fermented by gut bacteria food sources: cereal brans (eg barley, oats) & extracted and added to foods as functional fiber Soluble fiber in general is associated with health benefits, most significantly reducing blood cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds bile (produced from cholesterol) and prevents reabsorption, thereby lowering cholesterol. Also, gut bacteria can metabolize beta glucans to short chain fatty acids which affects endogenous cholesterol synthesis. There's also a bunch of buzz about their ability to control glycemic response, and various other links to diseases. As with most things in the nutrition field, research is ongoing. This pretty much sums up what I know offhand.
  8. Not the kidneys, that's not where nutrients are absorbed. It binds nutrients, calcium and others, and they're then not absorbed into the enterocytes of the small intestine. But, as previously noted, it generally wouldn't be to the extent that it's going to cause nutrient deficiency assuming you eat an overall balanced diet.
  9. Yeah, sorry folks, but fearing splenda = not rational. It's been through extensive studies and not been shown to have any negative side effects.
  10. Oxalic acid binds nutrients, it doesn't matter if it's kale or any other vegetable - it's present in plants, period. It can reduce your nutrient absorption, but in general, isn't an issue. You should still be getting enough if you're eating enough.
  11. Change is a process....it involves multiple steps, and for most, periods of relapse and starting over. I think it's very condescending to just assume everyone can make a humongous life and dietary change overnight and never look back - ESPECIALLY when children are involved. She sounds like she's hovering between action and preparation, and I say good for her, and good to you rawj for supporting her. I can't think specifically of any brand/farms that fit what you're looking for, but I'll bet a quick google search could come up with some. I know they exist, locally too, I just don't know what they are, sorry. P.S. - I'm referencing the transtheoretical model of change when I say 'preparation' and 'action'. We use it a lot to describe people when doing nutrition counseling.
  12. I had blood work done this week to test my thyroid function and to test for iron-deficiency anemia. I am quite pleased to say (not only does my thyroid work, but) I am not anemic! I didn't expect that I would be, but so often when someone hears that I don't eat meat, they tell me I'm going to be anemic. It was nice to get the proof for what I already know! Take that all you self-proclaimed experts who think female vegetarians/vegans are doomed to anemia! (My EKG was also normal, woot)
  13. Thanks for asking In a word, I am excellent. This Thursday, my best friend in the whole world flies into PDX from North Dakota. Thursday night, we, and all my other girl friends, will be hitting the town for my bachelorette party....pretty much guarangeed to be the biggest party of my life, and theirs. Friday night, I'll be picking up my wedding dress, doing the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner, and having a slumber party with my girls And Saturday, I'll be getting married. I'm happy as a clam, but incredibly busy.....and that's about it! Oh, and meanwhile, still going to school so I can graduate this summer....between school and the wedding, and trying to still get out every now and then, that pretty much sums up why I'm never around anymore.
  14. Oh, ha, synthetic never occurs to me, I was thinking naturally. Ok, I retract my previous statement, I don't know then.
  15. No. Beta-carotene is the vegan pre-cursor of vitamin A, preformed vitamin A comes from animals.
  16. Elevated homocysteine levels are indicative of a health problem, and there is a correlation to B12, but it is not a causation, it's correlated with several other things as well. High homocysteine is a good reason to re-evaluate one's diet and lifestyle though, as it is an indicator of heart problems.
  17. I wouldn't assume that one has sufficient stores. From what I've read, it's estimated that one can have 2-5 years worth of B12 stored, but it also varies from individual to individual. Since B12 deficiency can be a very serious thing, it's best that all vegans take some sort of B12 (either a supplement or foods that are supplemented with it, like some nutritional yeasts, soy or rice milk, or meat analogs. You're right, I should say *should* have sufficient stores. Supplementation is certainly not a bad idea by any means.
  18. Any recommendations for a good one (or more)? Raw foodists talk about the phytates and other enzyme and nutrient blockers in nuts and grains. These can be reduced/deactivated by soaking and rinsing the raw nuts (or cooking or soaking and spouting the grains). The one I've got in front of me right now is Advanced Nutrition and Human Metabolism, 4th ed, by Sareen Gropper, Jack Smith, James Groff from Thomson Wadsworth publishing. It's the text from my human nutrition science courses, which are senior level classes. I think it's a pretty good book, it is definitly written for someone with a background in organic chemistry and biochemistry though. Even if it's gibberish to you though, the main concepts can be stripped out by just ignoring all the acronyms. I personally enjoy reading it, and it's dense with all sorts of nutrient interaction information. I've got a whole pile of other texts stacked away somewhere, this is the only one I can reach right now But, like I said, it definitely has all the requested info.
  19. If you have a reasonable science (especially chemistry) background, get yourself a nutrition textbook. Much more factual than most books marketed to the general public, and you'll find precise explanations of what you're looking for. Examples: as Richard mentioned, phytate = organic form of phosphorous, found in many plants, binds many minerals (calcium, magnesium, etc) and prevents absoption. Many minerals compete for the same divalent mineral transporters. Excessive zinc can induce copper deficiency through mucosal block. Some foods contain goitrogens - block iodine absorption (ex: cassava root, staple food in Africa/many tropical nations). Etc........ Like I said, if you're looking just facts, I'd go with a college level textbook.
  20. Hey buddy...I haven't smoked pot since I was thirteen...and yes I did inhale but not all the way Not all the way? ...confused...
  21. I love, love, love the silk nog. And yes....even better with rum.
  22. For those of you who know who Nettie is At the very least, Robert and Topher do. Anyway, so she shops where I work, and apparently Robert at some point told her enough about me for her to figure out who I am, and she came up and introduced herself. That's not the bad ass part. That part is when she was standing in line waiting at the customer service desk (where I spend oh so many hours) and she called out the woman in front of her who had real fur trim on her coat. The woman didn't speak much english (and personally, I think she was playing that up) but Nettie didn't give up, she explained thoroughly (but politely!) about the cruelty of fur. I couldn't chime in at the time...pretty sure I'd get in a fair bit of trouble for that...but kudos to Nettie!
  23. Thanks Life is nuts...but I'm still around here and there.
  24. The only possible explanation I can think of for this is dairy can reduce stomach acid, and stomach acid aids in reducing non-heme iron for absorption. That's a stretch though, I'd say that statemet is mostly baseless.
  25. Good guess, but no The human body actually lacks physiological pathways for eliminating iron, regardless of the form in which it was consumed. Iron balance is affected by intake, body stores, and loss. Women lose significant amounts of iron through menstruation, however this leads to anemia more often than men experience toxicity. Because we lack specific excretion pathways, we have tightly regulated cellular mechanisms to control iron absorption and use. Stored iron is not a concern as far as disease state. Also, we have the ability to up and down regulate how much iron is absorbed. As I said before, unless you have hemochromatatosis, which is about 1 in 200 people, you should be a-ok on iron. (FYI hemochromatatosis is caused by a gene mutation, results in an inability to sense iron stores and therefore down regulate absorption, and is treated through phlebotomy.)
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