Thursday, March 12, 2009

More Pregnant Vegan Controversy

A new article has come out, entitled "Is eating vegan while pregnant as bad ask smoking, drinking?" The title alone is enough to make anyone angry, and many did. It is inaccurate, unproven, and just poor journalism. This should not be allowed to be printed or posted.

The author, Chad Skelton, cited a study linking a deficiency in B12 in pregnant women to birth defects in their babies. Skelton made a noticeable error when he assumed all vegans are B12 deficient, thus are negligent parents like a smoker or alcoholic. Many vegans responded in anger to his inaccuracy.

A search on WikiAnswers revealed that meat and dairy don't contain B12 naturally. "Vitamin B12 is a microbe -- a bacteria -- which is produced by microorganisms." Soy milk with added B12 or a B12 supplement is no different than cultured yogurt, milk, or meat. Therefore, meat and dairy are not necessary to obtain B12. To say a vegan gets less B12 is inaccurate.

I posted an article recently that claimed the opposite. Careful planning is important with any diet when pregnant and being vegan does not change that.


Anonymous said...

Since you wrote this, it seems the author posted a retraction. Admitting you're wrong is not an easy thing to do. - respect. (Though where he got the thing about having to get shots from, I don't know).

Separate from this, I *do* think it's important to keep up awareness of B12 deficiency among vegans. Some comments on the original article implied you don't have to worry due to all the fortified foods. A while ago I calculated I only get about 50% of recommended levels from fortified foods, and decided to take a supplement, to be on the safe side.

Andrew Warner said...

I use the vegan multi-vitamin from It keeps me on the safe side too.

Andrew Warner said...

Also, to be fair, a commenter on one of those posts said that 30% of omnivores are b12 deficient, so to single vegans out seems unfair -- assuming that is true.

I'd like to see a study on b12 deficiency in vegans versus b12 deficiency in meat-eaters. I think us vegans would come out looking better than the media would like to think.

Anonymous said...

Nutritional yeast is where it's at.

Unknown said...

anonymous -- give me some nut. yeast cheese and tofu scramble. I'm set :)