American Vegans Placing Babies at Risk

American Vegans Placing Babies at Risk
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Vitamin B12 is an imperative for those eating vegetarian and vegan diets, especially during pregnancy and infancy.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Surely, this kind of tragic neglect couldn’t happen here in the United States. Journal of Pediatrics last year, based on a CDC survey across a dozen states, vegan mother-induced B12 deficiency occurs in about one in every half-million live births in the United States. About four million babies are born annually, so American vegans put the health of eight infants at risk every year.

A follow-up study this year, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, testing 364,000 babies, suggests the number of infants placed at risk by vegan moms in the United States may instead be as high as 20 every year.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to CarbonNYC via flickr

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Surely, this kind of tragic neglect couldn’t happen here in the United States. Journal of Pediatrics last year, based on a CDC survey across a dozen states, vegan mother-induced B12 deficiency occurs in about one in every half-million live births in the United States. About four million babies are born annually, so American vegans put the health of eight infants at risk every year.

A follow-up study this year, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, testing 364,000 babies, suggests the number of infants placed at risk by vegan moms in the United States may instead be as high as 20 every year.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to CarbonNYC via flickr

Doctor's Note

For more on vitamin B12, check out these videos:
Vitamin B12 Necessary for Arterial Health
Daily Source of Vitamin B12
Safest Source of B12
New Vitamin B12 Test

To put these terrible tragedies into context, check out my blog posts: Vegan B12 Deficiency: putting It into perspective and Head Shrinking from Grilling Meat.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

30 responses to “American Vegans Placing Babies at Risk

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  1. I just love this site,got informed by jack norris RD mailing list and I can’t stop checking out all the videos you published.
    You are very easy to understand and funny :)
    I wish more vegans would learn from this site and won’t neglect their health.
    Thank you




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    1. You are absolutely welcome–thank you for your kind words. I too want vegans to learn to eat healthier, but it’s the health of the other 99.5% of the population I’m primarily concerned about!




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      1. As a vegan I do my best to keep myself healthy and it serve the cause-some of my friends try to minimize their meat consumption and 4 of my friend converted to vegan after seeing the health benefits of a vegan diet.
        It is a shame that some vegan don’t take B12 and keep the myth of the necessity of meat alive.




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    1. I wouldn’t mind at all–in fact I already did! See the “Sources Cited” link beneath the video? I always have the links to all my source citations for each video there. I link to full-text sources whenever possible (meaning whenever doesn’t violate copyright laws).




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      1. B12 is in most unprocessed sources of water (rivers, lakes, etc)

        From http://www.tagnet.org/adventist.fm/health/heallup.htm

        ‘Adventist health scientist Matt Steele wondered about this for a long time. Vitamin B12 is almost the universal product of bacterial action. So it dawned on him that it might have come from natural drinking water — which would have had many bacteria in its catchment area. He tested the water in the Yarra River near Warburton Adventist Hospital in Australia. The river water there is good drinking quality. When he tested it, he found one litre (two pints) of the water contained the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin B12.




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        1. And there goes all the hallelujah out in the sky ….
          No, actually the cave men got it from ANIMALS. That is how we survived and developed. Eating grass is for cows, and idiotic little girls who wanna save the planet by sticking the head in the sand.




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          1. This idiotic girl (who happens to be a well-educated and credentialed registered dietitian nutritionist) definitely wants to save the planet. I’ll gently remind you that without the planet there would be no where to stick your head, which I’d have to say appears to be way further down into that sand than mine. Keep eating those cows though.. your descendants will surely thank you for your gluttonous and non-existent contribution to their welfare (in the unfortunate event that you actually procreate).




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  2. I feel our family has a healthy and complete diet (in no small part thanks to you!) but do you have any specific recommendations or guidelines for those who would like to follow a vegan diet through pregnancy, infancy and childhood? Is the most important thing (apart from healthy, whole foods) kid-friendly B12 and DHA, and probably D?




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  3. Dr Greer thank you for your wonderful posts.. I have a 1 year old baby girl.. After breadtfeeding for 8 months and starting solids at 6, I wanted to raise my child macrobiotically and I am except for the milk because her dr insisted on this at least till she s 2 years old.. But I m giving her only once a day 8oz cow s milk and once organic Eden soy milk.. My question is does she still need B12 supplementation if she s having fish (because in the macro diet fish are allowed)?
    Thank you




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  4. Dr Greger thank you for your wonderful posts.. I have a 1 year old baby girl.. After breadtfeeding for 8 months and starting solids at 6, I wanted to raise my child macrobiotically and I am except for the milk because her dr insisted on this at least till she s 2 years old.. But I m giving her only once a day 8oz cow s milk and once organic Eden soy milk.. My question is does she still need B12 supplementation if she s having fish (because in the macro diet fish are allowed)?
    Thank you




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  5. We live vegan and any child living in our house would also live vegan. We supplement vitamin b12 in methyl form daily, and I take a large dose every week.

    It’s important to stay informed and stay healthy on every diet.




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  6. should I be supplementing my 8 month breastfed + vegan solids baby with B12 or does she get enough from breast milk? I take 500 mcg of methyl a few days a week. also, how much does my 3.5 year old need. she eats plant-based (fruits, veggies, beans, whole grains, nuts, fortified soy milk, and eggs a few times a month and turkey/fish a few meals/year)?




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    1. I don’t think that’s the point of the video. The point is to illustrate the dangers of Veganism and what Vegan mothers should and could do to prevent the problem.




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  7. Hi Dr Greger and team. I am a healthy vegan, trying to fall pregnant. Ive had a recent blood test testing my important levels for pregnancy -folic acid, iron etc and all came up great (yay!) except I had high levels of B12. Ive been taking 3000 micrograms of B12 a week using your suggestion as a guide (at least 2500 weekly). My obstetrician recommended I take less B12 and also take a folic acid supplement for first 12 weeks. My question is, will too much B12 and folic acid have negative effects? A recent study -dont know how legit it is- has found a possible link between high levels of both vitamins may increase chances of autism in babies. Feeling confused and slightly concerned and would be grateful for your wisdom/recommendation. Thanks, Nadia




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  8. people actually can get vit B12 from mushrooms, honey, some algae, and bacterial tabs (from Saccharomyces cerevisiae for example).
    It’s not only medications you can eat.




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    1. Hi Helga, I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. While foods grown in soil and not washed off may have trace amounts of vitamin b12, this amount is likely not enough for people to remain vitamin b12 sufficient. Dr. Greger strongly recommends that anybody not consuming animals products take a vitamin b12 supplement, ideally about 2,500 mcg of cyanocobalamin form vitamin 12 once per week. Check out Dr. Greger’s vitamin B12 information by searching for “vitamin B12” on his website. Here is one of the videos that discusses the current science-based recommendations: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/vitamin-b12-recommendation-change/




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  9. What happened to the “Next Video” / “Previous Video” buttons? I am in a FB group debate on B12 (with those who think dirty carrots will do it) and am having difficulty navigating. I have followed this site for years but the previous video that the woman did kill her baby is not a complete message if a person doesn’t know who you are already and I only found the link to this in the comments.




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    1. thaicoffee: I still see Next and Previous Video sections. The title inside those sections is a link that takes you to those videos. Are you not seeing the sections at all? Or was it not clear about clicking the title? Or something else?




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