For the last many weeks, I have been in an undisclosed location working on an article on oxalates. I think it has been my 3rd biggest project to date, the other two being the epic adventure Vitamin B12: A Love Story followed by Soy: What’s the Harm?
But before I release the article on oxalates, I am writing to let you know that upon getting a bit more information about the oxalate content of foods and re-analyzing the data, I have expanded and moved the table Calcium & Oxalate Content of Foods to a new page and also slightly modified the absorption category for some greens:
– Studies have shown that calcium in fortified soymilk, bok choy, kale, and mustard greens is absorbed well.
– Based on oxalate levels, the calcium in turnip greens, watercress, and broccoli should also be absorbed well.
– Based on oxalate levels, the calcium in collards should be absorbed moderately well.
– Studies have shown that the calcium in spinach and rhubarb is not absorbed well.
– Based on oxalate levels, the calcium in beet greens should not be absorbed well.
I know a lot of people have oxalate stories, but please do not send me any links to oxalate info before I publish my piece! Once it comes out, I’ll be happy to receive any info you think I have missed. Thanks!
About six weeks ago, just for kicks, I bought a bottle of adenosylcobalamin which is one of the co-enzyme forms of vitamin B12 (the other one being methylcobalamin). I have previously bought methylcobalamin and experimented with it (finding no effects). But in my 25 years of being vegan, I had never tried adenosylcobalamin. So for the last six weeks, I’ve been taking 3,000 µg per day on most days. If I have experienced any health changes from them, I haven’t noticed it.
But during this time, I have also been corresponding with someone who has been struggling with fatigue on a vegan diet and he claims that adenosylcobalamin has been helping him. I checked out some of the links he provided of other people who claim the same thing and added this paragraph to Alternatives to Cyanocobalamin: Methylcobalamin & Adenosylcobalamin:
“I am unaware of any clinical trials testing the various forms of vitamin B12 against each other among the general population and most people seem to do well using cyanocobalamin. But some people with chronic fatigue report getting more relief from adenosylcobalamin than either methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin (more info), while other people report feeling better only when taking both co-enzyme forms (adenosyl- and methyl-).”
I am not necessarily convinced that adenosylcobalamin was the reason for any of these people’s improvements as they are typically trying other things as well and there is also the placebo effect to consider, but the claim has become common enough that until more research is done, it is worth considering.
A few months ago a vegan who was going to have ileostomy surgery contacted me to find out if I had any information on how to be vegan. I didn’t have much to help him. Since then, he successfully had the surgery, is feeling a lot better, and started a blog about being vegan with an ileostomy, aptly titled VeganOstomy.
I have added a link to the Digestion page at VeganHealth.org.
These so-called short-chain carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs (Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Monosaccharides And Polyols), are difficult for the gut to absorb. Bacteria make them ferment, which is what gives you the bloated feeling and pain, although not the long-term damage linked to coeliac disease.
There are many kinds of FODMAP in many different foods and they disagree with some people more than others. Fructans are in wheat and rye bread but also in garlic and onions. There is excess fructose in pears and honey and sugar polyols in stone fruits and some artificial sweeteners. Another FODMAP is lactose in milk.
The bad news is that if you are sensitive to the FODMAP in wheat-based bread and pasta rather than the gluten, you still need to avoid the wheat-based bread and pasta to relieve your symptoms.
First, I noticed that Friday’s Feedburner email for my blog didn’t list a table of contents at the top like it used to, so if you didn’t happen to scroll to the bottom, you might have missed the post on Nutrient Intakes of SDA Vegetarians. If anyone was feeling a strange emptiness inside this morning, that could be why.
Second, I haven’t asked for support since July! And I haven’t gotten much, either, which lends credence to the age-old saying, “Do not ask and you shall not receive.”
Interestingly, the posts that took the most research were the least popular – I need to stop researching! I’m kidding – as unexciting as the research is to do and to read about, it is a necessary evil.
Thank you for using my Amazon links – they continue to make a difference!
The biggest difference is made by direct donations. Thank you for anything you can give to support this work!
Today was a good day: As longtime readers of this blog will know, I love getting good news about my “bad” habits.
A study came out that fits in well with past findings, is well-written, and supports my proclivity to eat and recommend soy meats!
It was a report from Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2), conducted among caucasian Seventh-day Adventists living in the USA, comparing the intakes of many different foods and hip fracture risk after 5 years of follow-up (1).
First, there was a bit of bad news in that vegans had the highest rates of hip fracture at 3.0 per 1,000 person-years compared to 2.0 for non-vegan vegetarians (including semi-vegetarians) and 1.6 for non-vegetarians. The paper didn’t report whether this finding was statistically significant, but it was not a great trend, obviously. Read on for how to reduce your chances.
Here are findings from the fully adjusted model (2):
– Meat alternatives once a day or more (compared to less than once per week) were associated with a 66% reduced risk of hip fracture in the vegetarians (.34, .12-.95).
– Eating legumes once a day or more (compared to less than once per week) was associated with an 82% reduced risk in non-vegetarians (.18, .06-.54) and an 55% reduced risk in vegetarians (.45, .22-.94).
– Meat more than 3 times per week was associated with a 45% reduced risk in the non-vegetarians (.55, .36-.83), compared to less than once per week.
– Dairy, nuts, soy milk, and “tofu & soy cheese” were not associated with a lower risk. The average amount of tofu & soy cheese per day was only .1 among the vegetarians. They did drink close to a cup of soymilk per day (or “soya milk” as the authors, who apparently think they live in Europe, call it).
The authors emphasize the need for vegans to eat legumes in order to get enough of the essential amino acid lysine:
“[A]n individual who adheres to a vegan diet, which excludes meat and dairy products, will need at least two cups of cooked beans [per day] to meet the recommended lysine intake requirement…Lysine and hydroxylysine are the main amino acids in the cross-linking process of bone collagen…Lysine can also influence bone health through its end product carnitine. Carnitine supplements have been shown to improve bone density in some animal and human studies.”
Note that the requirement for 2 cups of cooked beans assumes no other lysine sources in the diet, which isn’t the case. You can can read more on lysine needs and how to meet them in Protein.
They go on to say:
“Among our participants, intake of meat analogues of at least one serving daily reduced the risk of hip fracture by up to 49%…The main protein ingredients in meat analogues are soya, wheat, gluten, eggs and milk. A typical serving of meat analogues (1 serving ~73 g in AHS-2) contains at least 10 g of protein, but can vary from 9 to 18 g.”
Or 30 g as Tofurky Italian sausage has!
They point out that their finding for meat being protective is backed up by other research but not all. After a brief analysis of the research they suggest that meat intake is associated with bone health when protein intakes are low. And, finally:
“Protein is recognized for its ability to improve [calcium] balance, suppress parathyroid hormone, increase lean body mass and increase production of the bone growth regulator insulin-like growth factor-1.”
This study had something for everyone – low-fat proponents can relish in the findings for legumes and meat alternative eaters can smugly continue in their bad habits!
I have not yet updated the VeganHealth.org article, Calcium and Vitamin D, with this new study yet, but hope to do so in the next few days.
1. . Lousuebsakul-Matthews V, Thorpe DL, Knutsen R, Beeson WL, Fraser GE, Knutsen SF. Legumes and meat analogues consumption are associated with hip fracture risk independently of meat intake among Caucasian men and women: the Adventist Health Study-2. Public Health Nutr. 2013 Oct 8:1-11. [Epub ahead of print] | link
2. *Adjusted for fruits and vegetables intake, age, height, weight, gender, energy intake, physical activity, smoking, health status and total calcium intake.