Doctor's Note

The arachidonic acid story I refer to in the video can be viewed here: Chickens, Eggs, and Inflammation. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient not made by plants or animals, and is critical for those eating plant-based diets. See Safest Source of B12 for an introduction, and also check out my blog post Vegan B12 Deficiency: Putting It Into Perspective.

Note that both of the sources listed in Sources Cited (above) are open access, so you can download them by clicking on the links.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    The “arachidonic acid story” I refer to in the video can be viewed here: Chickens, Eggs, and Inflamation. Vitamin B12 is a nutrient not made by plants or animals and is critical for those eating plant-based diets. See Safest Source of B12 for an introduction, and my blog post Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Putting It Into Perspective. And there are hundreds of other videos on more than a thousand subjects. Note that all of the sources listed above in “Sources Cited” are open access, so you can download them by clicking on the links.

    • Oil

      Dear dr. Greger.
      I am a vegan with MVP and regurgitation.

      Is it essential for me to take taurine?

  • Could this be the reason why a number of people, regardless of truth or not, fanatically claim to need meat in their diet?

  • Jon Fisher

    Thanks for sharing this fascinating story! This is a great example of what I love about Dr. Gregor: he reports the facts rather than only giving examples that bolster veganism. Granted, 99%+ of the data do show good results for veganism, but some other groups promote the idea that it is impossible for any vegan diet (no matter how badly planned) can have any deficiencies for any people. It’s great having someone I can trust for nutrition advice!

    • LordMaury

      The boy was given carnitine supplements and stayed vegetarian. I wonder how carnitine supplements are made.

  • Teresaannpitman

    What is also interesting to me is that the boy chose not to eat meat, but simply to take the supplements. 

  • Jeremy

    I suffer from Gilberts Syndrome and find that my body is unable to synthesize Taurine well, I substitute with supplement tablets when required but find my bodies health breaks down without red meat consumption. I don’t feel that the understanding medically around the affect of Gilberts allows for a true meat-free diet yet as most doctors still believe GS is asymptomatic. Instead I seek to obtain grass fed/free range animal products which have healthier fat and nutrition profiles.

    I am very interested in some of the statistics you show when comparing diets as having seen the vast difference in nutrient profiles put forth from farms like Polyface when comparing their eggs to others. I can’t help but see the need for another classification. One which would represent the consumption of locally, freshly and sustainably harvested animal product grown in a way that respects the historical living conditions and diets of the animals without pesticides, hormones, chemicals and production based breeding specialisation. The comparison between these animal products and the mass-produced animal products is a question that I’ve not found answered clearly yet. Thanks for your videos, very informative.

    • FruitandStrength

      I have Gilbert’s, too and I have been eating a vegan diet for over 10 years and I’m doing quite well. What do you mean your body “breaks down” without red meat? I tried taurine and I didn’t feel anything different with it.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Very interesting.

  • cyndishisara

    Carnitine supplements from what source? How can you say he stayed vegetarian if the source was from meat?

    • Joe

      It’s biosynthesised using bacteria (just as B12 is). Google is your friend :)

  • Here is an interesting study:


  • Bruce Cropley

    “Oops! The embed code for this page is not valid”

    • KWD

      Thanks for pointing this out so we can figure out what the problem is.

      • Bruce Cropley

        Well I just watched the whole video with no problems, so I guess you must have fixed it :)

  • Jordan

    So should vegans supplement with Carnitine, Taurine or Carnosine? How would you know if you have this genetic deficiency?

  • Mic.theVegan

    Correction: “When carnitine supplements can be a lifesaver” :P

  • Marcey Lee

    I recently read Dr. Michael Lam’s article on “Adrenal Fatigue and Estrogen Dominance.” He states “Women who are on estrogen replacement, birth control pill, or those suffering from excessive estrogen (this is a widespread condition commonly called estrogen dominance) may need more taurine. ” I was on birth control for 20 years due to PCOS, and just came to the realization that it was not good for me. I know better late than never. Dr. Lam does emphasize dangers of commercially grown, hormone ridden, pesticide filled animal protein and plants though. What is your opinion on this study/opinion? BTW BIG FAN!!!!!

  • I just stumpled over a word taurine – it was one of the ingredients of a food supplement. This lead me to a article in the internet and I read that taurine is important for the human brain (keyword mitochondria function). The writer siggested, that vegans are pure in taurin and this could lead to a strong reduction in brain function in the age, like dementia and alzheimer.
    I could’t find any information about taurin in plants.
    Just in case a patient will speak about taurin with me – can anybody give me safe information about this topic? Is there any study available Mr. Greger and Team?

  • Andrew Hughes

    I’m over 65 and have read that production of taurine decreases with age. Any truth in this? Any down side of supplementing with taurine? Just looking to keep brain function protected but I don’t “buy in” until Dr. Greger and Team look in to this and provide more info. Most studies I could find were on rats. I eat vegan, follow Dr. G’s Daily Dozen, supplement with B12 and algae based DHA.