Page 1 of 3

Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 7:25 pm
by DiscreteElite_
I had one member of another forum say that veganism is not sustainable without supplements and that supplements are bad because (and I'm paraphrasing) "we don't know how supplements absorb compared to natural foods in the body" and that "some supplements are linked to health problems." The only supplemented product (that I know of) that I use is Silk Cashewmilk. ... 200752.htm

This is the same person who would say "do we know what that is anymore?" when you say that we should eat healthy.

How do I respond to these two points? I do want to do research but I'm unfortunately burdened by school to have time to really dive into the argument (which is why I have been inactive). How can I respond with reason and research?

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Oct 14, 2015 8:37 pm
by brimstoneSalad
We know better how supplements are absorbed into the body compared to food. Food creates more variables in terms of amounts (which vary greatly from place to place, and even plant to plant), and decomposition (through cooking and other processing), as well as solubility (being bound to oxalates, for example).

If a supplement is soluble in water or lipids, it will pass through the walls of the digestive system and into the blood. Simple.

Extensive studies are done on the bioavailability of supplements. But if you don't trust those, just take the amount that's already proven to prevent deficiency.
If you still don't trust digestion, just get a shot. B-12 can be injected, and it's the only supplement you absolutely need. You can do it yourself (although that's not recommended: seriously, just take a pill).

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Fri Oct 16, 2015 1:57 pm
by garrethdsouza
DiscreteElite_ wrote:I had one member of another forum say that veganism is not sustainable without supplements and that supplements are bad because (and I'm paraphrasing) "we don't know how supplements absorb compared to natural foods in the body" and that "some supplements are linked to health problems." The only supplemented product (that I know of) that I use is Silk Cashewmilk. ... 200752.htm.
We do have data about supplements and their absorption/risks etc. It's true some supplements may have risk but one can't really generalize, others are fairly safe.
DiscreteElite_ wrote: This is the same person who would say "do we know what that is anymore?" when you say that we should eat healthy.
Yes we do know what food is healthy through the advances made in nutrition science from which we have a lot of data to base conclusions. For instance that diets high in saturated fat are not good for CV health etc is well known and the data on which sort of diet is better is also available.

With that said veganism is a social justice movement rather than a diet. Technically you probably can even be healthy in an omnivorous diet, for instance if you are a reducetarian like bill Maher or others who seldom eat meat. If you eat meat only very rarely and in small proportions its unlikely IMO that it would be very much different from eating a plant based diet. Of course very few people actually do this, it is merely intuitive as I doubt there are studies on reducetarian, but basically you could probably be just as healthy on a mostly plant based, sometimes omnivorous reducetarian diet in comparison to if you were always vegan.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:59 pm
by DiscreteElite_
I have found an article regarding the B12 vitamin (fortification).

However, I can't get the full text. What do can I do legally in order to get something like this?

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 10:39 pm
by Heinechan
You don't need to supplement on a vegan diet except for b12. You really don't "need" to supplement anything else, and the only reason we should sup b12 is because we live in such sanitary environments. Remember, b12 doesn't come from animals, it comes from bacteria.

Also, there's a pretty large consensus about what a healthy diet is. It's always lots of plants and then smaller amounts of everything else.

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:36 am
by GardenFood
Natural is not necessarily ALWAYS good. There is current research on the high arsenic levels in rice, meaning we should limit consumption. Arsenic is certainly natural, but definitely NOT good for you. In the same way, one can argue that some supplements are not natural, but they are most certainly better for you than the 'natural' counterpart. For example, folic acid which is the supplement for of folate is actually more readily absorbed by the body than folate. We know this, which is why we use the folic acid form as a supplement rather than folate.

The natural argument for veganism just doesn't make sense. We don't know if a vegan diet is natural, or if we historically have always ate meat (like the paleo people claim), but frankly, none of that is relevant. What we know is that meat causes cancer and heart disease, we know that meat production is expensive and bad for the environment, and we know that we are killing billions of sentient beings for this cause. None of which is natural or rational.

We DO need b12 supplements as vegans, as do about half of all omnivores who are also deficient (but to a lesser extent), and if we live in the far north or south, we probably need vitamin D supplements. If we are to go from the current research, we may also need DHA supplementation, but there is limited studies both to prove and disprove this (studies have been made but not in vegan populations). To be sure, we can take a vegan DHA supplement. Other supplements (as with the D) should only be take if we are actually deficient, because no supplements do any good if taken when we are already getting adequate amounts, and exceeding the upper limit is when they may become harmful. Not to mention that they are expensive, and its wasteful to take them if we don't need them.

I'm a food scientist and dietitian, please feel free to give me a shout with diet questions, I like to talk about diet ;)

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 8:26 am
by cornivore
GardenFood wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2015 6:36 am
Natural is not necessarily ALWAYS good. There is current research on the high arsenic levels in rice, meaning we should limit consumption. Arsenic is certainly natural, but definitely NOT good for you.
I think about this when I eat rice on occasion, and have also looked up what the FDA has to say about it, FYI:
Can the consumer do anything to offset or reduce the arsenic in rice?
Published studies, including research by the FDA, indicate that cooking rice in excess water (from six to 10 parts water to one part rice), and draining the excess water, can reduce 40 to 60 percent of the inorganic arsenic content, depending on the type of rice. The FDA recognizes that consumers do not typically prepare rice in this manner, similar to preparing pasta, and some may not wish to do so. Such preparation has been shown to lower the nutritional value of enriched polished and parboiled rice (reducing the levels of folate, iron, niacin and thiamin by 50 to 70 percent; these nutrients are added to polished and parboiled rice as part of the enrichment process).

The new FDA research also shows that rinsing rice before cooking has a minimal effect on the arsenic content of the cooked grain. Rinsing does, however, wash off iron, folate, thiamin and niacin from polished and parboiled rice.
What else might be presumed from these kinds of observations is that where arsenic is not a concern (with other foods, like enriched pasta), you might not want to drain the water it was boiled in, because there went half of the nutrients with it... well, lately I've tried putting pasta into a blender with the water it was cooked in, along with oil and carrot juice, it makes a good soup (I'd call that cream of carrot).

Anyway, another article mentions that mixing rice with other grains can reduce the arsenic present, for whatever the benefits of rice in there would be (or it was that rice had been an established ingredient, but shouldn't remain the only grain):
The prevalence of pure rice products had decreased in the UK, and there appears to be careful sourcing of the rice used in these products to ensure conformity with regulations. There has been an increased presence of mixed cereal products, with rice and maize as the main ingredient, appearing on the UK market, with varying rice contents for infant porridges, cakes and mueslis, with the latter being a relatively innovative product for infant foods... Dilution of rice with other gluten free grains to lower inorganic arsenic in foods for young children in response to European Union regulations provides impetus to setting stricter standards

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Wed Jul 25, 2018 9:41 am
by cornivore
DiscreteElite_ wrote:
Wed Oct 21, 2015 8:59 pm
I have found an article regarding the B12 vitamin (fortification).

However, I can't get the full text. What do can I do legally in order to get something like this?
With those abstracts, sometimes if you simply search for the title in a search engine, the full text will come up on another site, like so: ... 080292S121

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:47 am
by cornivore
Looking up more about arsenic, there can be similar levels to that in rice found in apple juice, for example.
Surveys of various drinks yield surprising results: many rice milk drinks and fruit juices have arsenic concentrations that are up to six times higher than what is deemed safe in water (from 6 to 59 with a mean of 23 μg As l-1 in rice drinks [2,3]). Given that some children drink up to half a litre of fruit juice per day [3] and that lactose-intolerant people may consume significant amounts of rice milk drinks, the resulting dose of arsenic would be higher than the level considered safe. If a threshold for As in water is deemed relatively safe at 10 μg l-1 for people drinking up two 2 litres of water per day, how can up to 60 μg As l-1 be safe for people drinking nearly equivalent amounts of juice or rice drinks? Time to revisit arsenic regulations: comparing drinking water and rice
The table in a book on arsenic shows that apple peels would be the part to avoid eating as far as arsenic goes: Appendix A:Arsenic Content of Plants and Plant Products Other articles have mentioned grape juice too, although this table lists none detected for arsenic in that (while an FDA report would be a clue that apple juice isn't necessarily high in arsenic either, unless you eat the apple juice concentrate). The big discrepancy though, as stated, is that arsenic is regulated in water and not in food, including juice, so in addition to the amount considered safe to drink from water, we are potentially going to be ingesting more of that found in foods which are not regulated yet.

Well, foods are regulated, but not as far as being required to contain no more arsenic than what is considered safe to drink (and whether the amount that is set for water also factors in that people would be eating more of it in food too). Something else I read was that the water used for agriculture was not regulated for its level of arsenic along with drinking water (e.g., "Results from this study show that irrigation with As rich water represents a significant risk to the population consuming contaminated crops" and Transfer of Arsenic into Food Materials through Groundwater Irrigation: "Even if supply of an arsenic-free drinking-water is ensured, arsenic-contaminated groundwater will continue to be used for irrigation purposes, posing a significant risk of this toxic element accumulating in the soil and, consequently, entering into the food-chain through plant uptake and consumption by animals and humans").

Another article says that chronic inorganic arsenic exposure occurs mainly through drinking water.
From a global perspective, inorganic arsenic exposure is one of the most dangerous environmental health hazards for cancer and non-cancer outcomes... In endemic regions with high arsenic exposure, drinking water is the greatest source of arsenic exposure, followed by diet. In areas without arsenic exposure through drinking water and no occupational exposure, daily diet is the main source of arsenic intake. Rice consumption would be a considerable pathway for arsenic exposure, and the risk of arsenic exposure from rice should not be underestimated. Human exposure to arsenic
The makers of Minute Rice basically say that only inorganic arsenic is harmful and the majority of the arsenic in rice is the organic type, yet a peer reviewed article says the opposite: "In contrast, rice contains predominantly inorganic arsenic". Further, "the authors estimated that diet contributed 54–85% of total inorganic arsenic intake for individuals whose tap water contained < 10 μg/L arsenic". Another study's results showed that "drinking water and food substantially contribute to As intake and increased exposure risk for adults in contaminated areas": Estimation of Arsenic Intake from Drinking Water and Food (Raw and Cooked)... so it seems that foods containing it are known to result in elevated arsenic excretion, indicating an intake beyond the recommended amounts (by nine times from that estimate); therefore, regulating only drinking water would not prevent such excessive intake.

Here's a study done closer to home: Arsenic in Rice and Rice Products Risk Assessment Report
In summary, the available evidence indicates that most of the arsenic in rice is released and absorbed. Based on in vivo experiments, the bioavailability of inorganic arsenic in rice is assumed to be between 70% and 90% in this risk assessment.

Consumption frequency and amount consumed per eating occasion of rice and rice products influences the total arsenic intake.

Decreasing the amount consumed per eating occasion and frequency of consumption could reduce cancer risk proportionally. Decreasing frequency from 1 serving of long grain white rice per day to 1/2 serving per day would result in a predicted reduction of the lifetime risk from 136 to 68 cases per million.

Reducing exposure to inorganic arsenic from rice grain and rice products reduces lifetime risk of cancer. Eliminating rice grain and rice products from the diet during infancy (< 1 year) and childhood (0 – 6 years) would potentially reduce the lifetime risk of cancer for the U.S. population from exposure to inorganic arsenic in rice and rice products by approximately 6% and 23%, respectively. This dietary change would also potentially reduce the risk of non-cancer adverse health effects.

Which foods or food products contribute the most to arsenic exposure from the diet?
There are two forms of arsenic in food, inorganic and organic. Most studies conducted over the last several decades have analyzed foods for total arsenic alone, and few studies or surveys have focused on exposure to speciated arsenic. FDA’s Total Diet Study (TDS) measures only total arsenic. Among the top 25 foods from TDS: (1) the highest levels of total arsenic were in seafood (mean 5.5 mg/kg from 1991 to 2011, haddock); (2) eight of the top 25 foods were rice grain or rice products; and (3) other foods included raw mushrooms, fried chicken products, and peanut butter (Appendix 9.1). However, because organic forms of arsenic are far less toxic and comprise the major form of arsenic in seafood, total arsenic determinations are not useful for comparing the risk from various food sources.

This risk assessment addresses a major contributor to the dietary burden of inorganic arsenic: rice grain and rice products. FDA’s sampling indicated that rice has the highest levels of inorganic arsenic, compared with other sampled food commodities, and rice is an ingredient of many products that consumers routinely eat. To estimate the total dietary burden from exposure from all foods consumed, additional data are needed, including information on the levels of inorganic arsenic in other foods.

FDA acknowledges that, in addition to cancer, inorganic arsenic has been associated with many non-cancer effects, including ischemic heart disease, diabetes, skin lesions, renal disease, hypertension, and stroke. Assessing all the risks associated with inorganic arsenic would take considerable time and resources and would delay taking any needed action to protect public health.

Assuming a U.S. population of 317 million and an average life expectancy of 78.6 years, we estimate for the U.S. population 154 annual lung and bladder cancers associated with dietary inorganic arsenic.

Mitigations that reduce the levels of inorganic arsenic in the product, reduce the frequency of consumption, or reduce the amount consumed per eating occasion will proportionally reduce the risk.
I've also found a Supporting Document for Action Level for Arsenic in Apple Juice:
Apple juice is one source of exposure to inorganic arsenic from food. Apple juice is a greater potential source of dietary inorganic arsenic exposure to children than to adults, because children’s dietary patterns are often less varied than those of adults, and they consume more apple juice relative to their body weight than do adults.

FDA has concluded that it is appropriate to set an action level for inorganic arsenic because FDA sampling data show that inorganic arsenic is the main form of arsenic in apple juice and because inorganic arsenic is considered more toxic than organic arsenic.

FDA has concluded that a level of 10 µg/kg or 10 ppb inorganic arsenic is achievable under good manufacturing practices based on evaluation of recent FDA data on arsenic levels in apple juice samples purchased at retail. FDA also has concluded that an action level of 10 µg/kg or 10 ppb is adequate to protect the public health based on its risk assessment.
Anyway, what was this topic about... veganism refuted? Well, I think issues like this speak to some of the health benefits of intermittent fasting myself. In conjunction with veganism, this should reduce one's chances of something or other, beyond veganism being considered the healthiest diet, foodstuff wise (it has to be balanced for this to be true, and that's an unknown, as far as exposure to toxins like arsenic, for which there hasn't been a risk assessment done with all foods, exept that eating less frequently would be known to reduce exposure in general).

Re: Veganism Refuted

Posted: Sat Jul 28, 2018 4:57 am
by cornivore
cornivore wrote:
Fri Jul 27, 2018 4:47 am
Well, foods are regulated, but not as far as being required to contain no more arsenic than what is considered safe to drink...
Correction, it looks like the action levels are essentially regulations, and the FDA has applied these to foods most likely to expose children to inorganic arsenic, including Rice Cereals for Infants and apple juice (linked above). So maybe if you want to eat rice often, then baby food is the way to go (as the risk of disease doesn't seem to go down with age, it's considered a lifetime risk in their assessment).

So I was wondering about apple sauce too, and it looks like a study by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency found that canned fruit and purees tend to have lower levels of arsenic than other fruit stuff, besides the beverages on average: Arsenic Speciation in Selected Foods
§ Fruits
Canned fruit products contained the lowest levels of both total and inorganic arsenic, while fruit snacks contained the highest levels of both total and inorganic arsenic.

§ Beverages
Thirty-two percent of beverage samples analyzed did not contain a detectable level of any arsenic species.
Cranberry juice (which may have included cranberry cocktails) had the highest maximum concentrations of both total arsenic and inorganic arsenic species observed, whereas grape juices had the highest average concentrations of both total and inorganic arsenic.

Overall, beverages had the lowest maximum and average concentrations of total arsenic detected, while seaweed products had the highest maximum and average total arsenic concentrations.

When considering only the inorganic arsenic species, rice and rice products had the highest average inorganic arsenic concentrations, while beverages [bottled waters and juices] had the lowest average concentrations of inorganic arsenic.
I also looked up whether the skin was discarded during applesauce manufacture, and it is said to be, so I think that would lessen the amount of arsenic or whatever else is included.

Grape juice is something I was having too, and it looks like another study echoes that arsenic is found in wine as well: Arsenic found in many U.S. red wines...
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Raisins would also tend to contain more inorganic arsenic than fresh grapes, according to a recent Japanese study, which included grape juice because their total consumption of grape products imported from the USA exceeds that of apples: Determination of Inorganic Arsenic in Grape Products

Relative to what I was thinking about intermittent fasting, as a vegan, there's an article related to Increased Heavy Metal Consumption by Vegans, Vegetarians, and Flexitarians:
Additionally, the vegan sub-group within the vegetarians had even higher blood levels of cadmium.
Another document adds that inorganic arsenic can be more prevalent in animal foods: Exposure and Health Effects
Arsenic in foods occurs as a mixture of inorganic species and the less toxic organic arsenicals, including trimethyl species such as arsenobetaine. Preliminary findings suggest that inorganic arsenic accounts for 75% of the total arsenic burden in meats, 65% in poultry, 75% in dairy products and 65% in cereals (US EPA, 1988; Yost et al., 1998). In contrast, in fruits and vegetables, and fish/seafood, the organic species tend to predominate with inorganic arsenic contributing only 10%, 5%, and 0-10%, respectively.
Alrighty then, I refute fruit! Well I thought it might be healthier to sweeten some things with raisins and grape juice, but now that's more questionable to me. Based on this info I'll probably refine my diet to include fewer of these foods known to contain inorganic arsenic in significant amounts (the total diet study indicates what other foods were tested in general—I was looking at sugar, which appears to be free of arsenic at least).