Health Science

The vegan diet lacks choline which is essential for overall health

Becoming vegan has been a trend for past few months keeping in mind health benefits it offers. Choline is found in a variety of meat but not much in plants. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps in brain as well as nervous system in regulating memory, muscle function etc, as per national institute of health (NIH). Many people have switched to plant-based vegan diet. Many researches have proved that a vegan diet has many benefits such as improvement in recovery time or boosting heart health. According to a recent study published in BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, having plant based diet may have some drawbacks as well.

In the study, team looked at previous dietary surveys from Europe, North America as well as Australia. The study revealed that people living here had choline deficiency. Author of the study stated that consuming enough choline could actually benefit especially for runners. Consuming adequate choline daily leads to reduced levels of amino acid which is associated with better cardiovascular health. the author found that only about 11% people in US get enough choline. Similar is the scenario in Europe. In Canada approximately 23% of pregnant women and 10% of breastfeeding women had enough choline intake. Choline is crucial for development of fetus and hence critical of pregnant women.
Adult men should consume 550mg choline per day and adult women 425mg per day. Pregnant women should consume 450mg per day and breastfeeding women 550mg per day.

Choline is present in egg, milk, and beef, etc. that is why people who are on plant-based diet have a deficiency of choline. As per NIH, boiled egg has about 147mg, three ounces of beef liver has 356 mg. vegans could get enough choline by consuming soya, cruciferous veggies, mushrooms, quinoa, peanuts, etc. incorporating these foods and monitoring choline intake is especially important for vegans. Consuming adequate quantities will ensure good health.

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