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Which supplements do I take

It's interesting that when you're vegan, everyone asks you where you get your protein from. If they are a little more knowledgeable, then they ask where you get B12.


Why doesn't anyone ask die-hard meat eaters where they get their fiber from? Or how do they get vitamin C?


Anyways, there is too much mess about the intake of vitamins and minerals in a vegan diet, mostly because EVERY diet is deficient in some areas.


Vitamin D


For example, more than 40% of Europeans are deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D is obtained through exposure to sunlight and food, and is very important for bone health, muscle function, proper functioning of the cardiovascular system, defense against cancer, protection of mental health and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases, such as multiple sclerosis.


The distribution of vitamin D deficiency across Europe is interesting. The share of residents of Scandinavian countries who are in deficit is 10%. The share of residents of Greece and Cyprus exceeds 80%. How is that possible, when it would be logical that it is exactly the opposite, taking into account the number of sunny hours? Well, the Scandinavian countries have been implementing mandatory supplementation with vitamin D for years. The conclusion is that almost all of us should take vitamin D supplements.


Vitamin B12


Next on my list is vitamin B12. In addition to vegans, groups that lack vitamin B12 are people who drink a lot of alcohol, the elderly population, people with gastritis, and people who take certain medications. Vitamin B12 deficiency manifests itself through anemia and neurological problems. This vitamin is created by bacterial synthesis. Animals that eat 'dirty' food from the ground and untreated water ingest B12, so humans ingest it indirectly, through the consumption of animal meat. Considering the not-so-natural cultivation and the real dangers of eating unwashed fruits and vegetables or drinking untreated water, I take B12 in the form of a spray every morning.


Other vitamins & minerals


Along with vitamins D and B12, another important supplement for me is iron. I don't take it every day, only 2-3 times a week. The reason here is not a diet, but my history of anemia since childhood. Back then, even though I ate meat and dairy products, I almost always had very low iron in my blood. In addition to the fact that girls and women are often deficient due to menstruation, I was active and engaged in a lot of sports - which additionally contributed to the whole situation. Right now my iron levels are good - even to the point where I can be a blood donor, which I've never been able to do before when I was still eating meat.


I generally monitor the intake of all macro- and micronutrients, so when I see that my levels of some other vitamins and minerals are slightly lower during the week, I sometimes take them as well. Or when I feel bad or sick - I increase the vitamins. These are most often other vitamins of the B group and the minerals zinc and selenium. My recommendation is to monitor your own intake of all vitamins and minerals (I monitor them through the Cronometer app) and supplement according to this data.


Summa summarum, the supplements I take are:

  • vitamin D

  • vitamin B12

  • iron

  • occasionally: other B vitamins (B complex), zinc, selenium


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