Children and adults on a vegan diet may need supplements

Adapted from BMJ 12 June 2021

Children on vegan diets were shorter than omnivores by an average of 3 cm, had 4-6% lower bone mineral content, and were more than 3 times more likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, found a study published in the Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Vegetarian children showed a lower risk of nutritional deficiencies than the omnivores but had a less healthy cardiovascular profile.

The authors advised that children on plant based diets may need to take supplements of Vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

Adapted from Tong TYN et al. BMC Med 23 Nov 2020

The EPIC-Oxford study was undertaken between 1993 and 2001. There were over 29 thousand meat eaters, over 8 thousand fish eaters, 15.5 thousand vegetarians and almost 2 thousand vegans. After almost 18 years the number of fractures they sustained was measured.

Compared to meat eaters vegans had a higher risk of hip, leg and vertebral fractures. Vegetarians and fish eaters also had a higher risk of fractures than meat eaters. There were no differences seen in risks for arm, wrist and ankle fractures between the diet groups.

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