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X Fact
July 9, 2020
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Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Common in Vegans, Vegetarians and Ovo-Vegetarians

Diets that rely exclusively or heavily on vegetal foods frequently cause nutritional deficiencies of iron, zinc, vitamin D or omega-3 fatty acids. This is because vegetables either contain inadequate amounts or are in a form that is poorly absorbed. Vitamin B12, on the other hand is virtually absent from plant foods and that which is contained in eggs is poorly absorbed.

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Words You May Not Know
Ovo-vegetarian
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Ovo-vegetarian

Ovo-vegetarians do not eat red or white meat, fish, fowl or dairy products. However, ovo-vegetarians do consume egg products.‍

Vegan
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Vegan

Vegans do not consume any animal products or by-products. So vegans of course do not consume red or white meat, fish or fowl. They also do not consume eggs and dairy. Vegans do not use honey or beeswax, gelatin and any other animal by-product ingredients or products. Vegans typically do not use animal products such as silk, leather and wool, as well.‍

Who Wrote This
Jonathan Bortz MD
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Jonathan’s background as a practicing diabetes specialist for 15 years and 17-year career developing nutritional prescriptive products for the pharmaceutical industry has contributed to his ability to understand nutrients, how they work and why they are important.

Over the years he has acquired broad and in-depth knowledge in minerals, essential fatty acids and other nutrients, but has special expertise in Vitamin B12 and choline metabolism. He is often asked to speak at national and international venues to articulate why B12, folate and choline are so important to gene function, brain development, liver and cardiovascular health. He applies pharmaceutical standards to nutrient science and has developed a unique ability to translate complicated concepts into simple promotional messages that resonate with practitioners and consumers. He has developed dozens of innovative nutritional products, of which many are category leaders in the US. Jonathan obtained his medical degree from the University of the Witwatersrand Medical School in South Africa and did his fellowship in Endocrinology at Washington University in St. Louis, MO.

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