Hello, I'm back from a month in sunny Arizona where I couldn't get to this site.
If I remember correctly, these articles are a mix of different things. Some of the people were vegan and some were vegetarian. If vegetarian, they were eating dairy (and some vegetarians eat fish) so they must have been getting B12. If they were vegan they were ignorant of the need to consume B12 in supplement form or with fortified food.
Babies should be completely breastfed for six months and then when they have the pincher movement down pat, should be started on solids. Probably cereals, while continuing to breast feed.
I am certain there are vegans/vegetarians who eat a really unhealthful diet. Dr. McDougall talks about them. After all, you can call yourself a vegan while eating beer and potato chips. However, look at the rising level of obesity and diabetes in younger and younger children which is due in great part to the diets their parents are feeding them. I guarantee you these are not vegan diets.
So feeding children a poor diet is due to parental ignorance or misinformation.
I had a friend who was bottle feeding her child with a formula which I assume contained B12. Yet the baby failed to thrive. So the doctor prescribed bacteria to be given along with the formula and the baby improved after that. This was no doubt the same bacteria that is plentiful in breast milk. A breast fed baby's stool is practically a pure culture of this bacteria.
I believe more bottle fed babies die from SIDS than breast fed babies so do we condemn moms who bottle feed? I don't think so, but we know it isn't the best way to nourish an infant.
You can find lots of examples of extremely healthy vegan babies whose parents know what they are doing and supply them with adequate B12 via ingesting it themselves when nursing and supplying it through fortified food when adding solids. I am also assuming that a knowledgeable vegan woman would supplement with B12 while pregnant, thereby nourishing the fetus who would no doubt retain a supply of B12 for quite a while after birth.
One of the biggest problems with research studies is that they don't compare a healthy vegan diets like the McDougall diet with high fat or SAD.We often see a vegan diet compared with another diet and often there is no difference or the vegan diet comes off worse than the comparison diet.Chips,sugar and beer all qualify as part of the vegan diet.
We may begin to get a better idea of just how effective the McDougall/Fuhrman diets are in another 10-15 yrs when the vegan doctors(and many of their followers) age into their 90s.........and are WE going to be active and healthy in another 15 years.
A great many of my friends are very active and athletic in their mid 80s...still competing in the senior olympics....and on the SAD....so I would expect myself to be in even better shape than they are when I reach that age.
Re: ...compare a healthy vegan diets like the McDougall diet ...
You are making an assumption here. There are plenty of unhealthy vegans on McDougall's diet. Look at his forum under Health Issues. Can you say that McDougall's diet is generally "healthy" for everyone? I don't think so.
BTW - did you notice how nasty is the attitude of most people on McDougall's forum towards Jimmy Moore? Especially in comparison with the courtious behavior of Moore towards Dr. McD shown in the interview. I just looked briefly and was put off by their negativity! These people should meditate more, practice spirituality and try relaxing their pentup aggression. JC, do you feel like that yourself?
I was disappointed with the reaction of those on the McDougall board to Jimmy Moore and I was very disappointed in Dr McDougalls reaction in the interview.But you did not address the fact that he was called chicken and other names by Mr Moore and was provoked.Even though he was provoked that did not excuse a prominent figure and head of a dietary movement for acting the way he did.But what does the name calling say about Mr Moore?
It bothers me that the most of the members of the McDougall board did not see McDopugalls comments as immature behavior.It has become too much like a fundamentalist religious site and is one of the reasons why I will no longer post there.Its too bad that once someone has a degree of success they can't retain the open minded humility they once had.Its too easy to get locked into a hard line defense of onces position over time and totally forget the advice of people like Popper and Einstein.The need to push back against ones own belief and to try to disprove ones own theories is vital to truth.Most on the Mcdougall board just do not see that and insist on a near religious like devotion to Dr McDougall.
OK,That said I still think he is right about his dietary approach.Its helped me take care of some problems.Will my success be long term?....I don't know...time will tell......but I will always keep trying to prove to myself I am wrong and will keep pushing back against my own current beliefs.
I am very glad you did not adopt their mindset. I was worried for a while and even had an impression that you have moved towards a "belief". I am more and more convinced that people like us are much more useful and are able to do more good when we ask questions and poke fun than when we "play team" so to speak. I also admire your position since it is much more difficult for you and Jimmy Moore to practice it, because of the local culture in your places that has been profoundly hostile to diversity and insisted on fundamentalism, reminding me of Russia.
I am beginning to appreciate the place and people where I live so much more.
I just read the link in the initial post of this thread, about babies that were suffering a B12 deficiency, when breast fed by long term vegans. You are very correct to point out that vegans who do not take B12 supplements, are horribly wrong. How tragic the damage to this baby. B12 deficiency creates terrible neurologic damage, among many problems.
If someone is a vegan, I congratulate them for their efforts to control their health destiny. However, they must take a B12 supplement. Symptoms may take even more than 10 years to appear, but sometimes there is permanent damage before symptoms appear.
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