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Medical myths: Vegetarian and vegan diets

Translational Psychiatry
BMJ Open Diabetes Research and Care
the American Cancer Society
The American Dietetic Association
Medical News Today



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The New York Times
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Because of this unnatural diet, their gut bacteria are starved of cobalt and cannot produce B12.But the cow still needs B12 to thrive, so farmers must provide them with either cobalt or B12 supplements.So even a staunch, dyed-in-the-wool red meat fanatic is likely to derive their B12 from supplements — but in their case, it’s via a cow.As it stands, there is no convincing evidence that eating soy-based foods increases the risk of breast cancer in humans.This misunderstanding might stem from earlier studies in rodents. One large study investigated whether these supplements might be associated with breast cancer risk.The researchers found “no association between past use of soy supplements and breast cancer.” But, they also found that taking soy supplements, for some women, might increase the risk of breast cancer, particularly for those with a family history.Overall, as the American Cancer Society explain:“The evidence does not point to any dangers from eating soy in people, and the health benefits appear to outweigh any potential risk. The American Dietetic Association recommend vitamin B12 supplementation throughout pregnancy and breastfeeding for people with vegan or vegetarian diets.As the authors of a review of research about plant-based diets during pregnancy explain, “The available evidence shows that well-planned vegetarian and vegan diets may be considered safe during pregnancy and lactation, but they require a strong awareness for a balanced intake of key nutrients.”For people considering plant-based diets, Medical News Today have published useful guides to vegetarian and vegan eating. Here, we ask why the decision to follow a plant-based diet makes some people…As part of our Medical Myths series, this article covers 11 myths about dementia, including the role of vitamins and supplements and ways to reduce…In this edition of Medical Myths, we tackle some persistent myths about supplements, including multivitamins, probiotics, and antioxidants.In this edition of Medical Myths, we tackle 11 myths associated with mental health and address the stigma that is wrongly linked with mental disorders.

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