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Ideal Diet and Supplements
engineerguy posted:
Hi folks,

Several people have posted the idea that an ideal diet would need no supplements, and if a diet needs supplements, it is not an ideal diet. Sounds reasonable, and I believe it does have some validity. But I would like to offer some observations, to help us consider this idea.

Do we need iron supplements? Years ago, most multi-vitamins contained 18 mg of iron, the RDA. But today, most multi-vitamins contain no iron. A few years ago scientists realized that most people got enough iron from diet, and an excess of iron was very toxic, for some people in the population, contributing significantly to heart disease and many other diseases. Only women of child bearing age, should have iron supplements.

But some people suffer from anemia, which can be very serious. These people need an iron supplement. Most of these people are wolfing down lots of red meat, on the SAD, yet they are still anemic, and need iron supplements. So should we take iron supplements or not? The answer is that we are all individuals. The people who have anemia are not WRONG. They simply don't absorb iron very well, and need a supplement. Thank heavens that modern science can identify these people with a simple blood test for iron, and it can be fixed with a simple iron supplement. But this same iron supplement would be unhealthful for most people.

How about iodine? Most people's iodine source is iodized salt. The Wiki discussion is quite interesting - a lot of stuff I had never known. Iodized salt is the easiest fix for preventable mental retardation, for example, and one third of people in the world are iodine deficient.

So, it looks like no diet is adequate, except for people living near the ocean who choose to eat kelp.

How about B12? Certainly vegans need to take a B12 supplement. But a lot of people wolfing down lots of meat also need B12 supplements or even injections.

So, between people who don't absorb specific nutrients very well, or need more nutrients, really only some portion of people can be fully healthy on any diet, in the absence of supplements.

So is it true that a vegan diet is not optimal, because it requires B12 supplements? I don't think so. On the other hand, maybe a few ounces of meat, fish or poultry, per week or per month, is closer to optimal. It looks like all diets require iodine supplements, except those adding kelp.

There are many other nutrients with large individual variation in requirements.

Just some thoughts.

Best regards, EngineerGuy
heretk responded:
Re: iodine

Even if you eat fish?
heretk responded:
I do not consider the supplementation to be the only issue with the vegan diet. My main criticism is that it seems to me unhealthy, leaving many people who practice it in the long term, especially men, too thin, undernourished and failing to thrive. It is bad for teeth, skin, muscles and bone health. It causes some neurological problems manifesting themselves often by depression and bad temper, and it alters body's response to stress (stress hormones).

I think humans are just not adapted to live off plant derived food exclusively!

jc3737 replied to heretk's response:
BAD TEMPER!....What the ******* do you mean?

heretk replied to jc3737's response:

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