Why Vegans Should Take Calcium and Iodine

Foods and DrinksCalcium

A five-year study, released in February 2007, by Oxford University, showed that vegans have increased risk of bone breaks, as compared to both meat eaters and regular vegetarians.

The study deduced that this was in no small part due to a lack of proper calcium intake, as a result of the dairy-free aspect of the diet.

Indeed, it is recommended that vegans eat three servings per day of a high-calcium food, such as fortified soy milk and take a calcium supplement as necessary.

Fortified soy milk can also act a substitute for milk’s common role as a source of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is another nutrient that is important for bone formation, commonly added to commercial milk.

Although adequate amounts of Vitamin D can also be obtained by spending 15-to-30 minutes a day exposed to direct sunlight, this can be a difficult thing to achieve in geographic areas with low light levels during the long winter months.


Iodine

Iodine is, most abundantly, available through marine foodstuffs. However, adequate amounts of marine foods are not always available to be consumed by persons from all parts of the globe.

Many developed nations, with significant land-locked areas often have state sponsored programs of iodized salt placement in food. China, India and the United States of America are just a few of these countries.

In Great Britain and Ireland, the major source of iodine is the milk produced by cattle, which, themselves, are given iodine-enriched feed.

A lack of proper iodine intake can present great risks. Iodine deficiency can cause hyperthyroidism, which leads to chronic tiredness, skin problems, tingling sensations in the extremities and elevated cholesterol levels.

Due to these serious issues, the British Vegan Society recommends iodine supplementation. The substance can be readily obtained from kelp. Kelp tablets are a popular example of vegan-friendly vitamins, and just one or two week can be sufficient.