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Vegan / Vegetarian Discussion - All Things Veg*n Forum

I would really appreciate your thoughts on this dilemma i am having. I have been vegan for about a year and because of ongoing health issues i have routine blood tests. My recent blood tests showed that i have borderline B12 levels but more importantly a very low Omega 3 specifically DHA/EPA rating.

I have tried to supplement both B12 and DHA/EPA but i react VERY badly to supplements, i have tried at least three variants of each and they leave me feeling wired with heart palpitations and insomnia. On the advice of a nutritionist three months ago i cut right back on cooking with oils and started to consume AT LEAST two heaped spoonfuls of flax seed EVERY day, but i just got my Omega test back again and my ratio is still a crazy 25:1.

NB My Omega 6 score is PERFECT so it does not make sense to try and cut that back even more in a futile attempt to balance the ratio, even if i were to reduce the ratio slightly that way i would still be deficient in DHA/EPA because on my vegan diet i am not consuming any foods that contain DHA/EPA. I had hoped my body would convert ALA into the necessary DHA/EPA but in both my case and my wife's case who has the same 25:1 ratio, our bodies are not converting ALA appropriately. FYI my wife and i even bothered to get genetic tests done to see if we had a genetic mutation that was causing the low conversion rate from ALA to DHA/EPA but there was no such mutation. I have also since read a lot of research that confirms the conversion rate from ALA to DHA/EPA is indeed minimal, which is why many leading vegan doctors and nutritionists including Dr Greger do say that vegans need to supplement with DHA/EPA.

Given that i am genuinely unable to supplement i see no choice but to look for a cruelty free source of DHA/EPA. The best option i can come up with would be rescuing some chickens and keeping them in my garden as pets. Eggs are a good source of B12, DHA/EPA, Vitamin D, Selenium, Iodine etc. which should deal with any of my deficiencies.

I am really gutted to have to do this, as i am proud to consider myself a vegan, but at the same time i am not prepared to live with known deficiencies when i am already suffering with ill health.

Sorry if this sounds a bit dramatic, but it is a real dilemma for me.

Appreciate your thoughts...

Responses (5)

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    Posted by happycowgirl at 05/02/16 04:30:57

    Im really not educated enough in nutrition to speak to the merits of your Omega 3 issue, but I can tell you that Farm Sanctuary often has rescued chickens that they are in dire need to find homes for. If you were to adopt/rescue a former factory farm chicken and give her a loving home, in my opinion, you would be doing a wonderful thing and the i truly believe in my heart the eggs she lays she would be so happy to know they were going to help her rescuer. Kind of like your good deed coming back around.

    This is just my opinion. Im sure many strict vegans will disagree with me as they should. We all want to do whats best for the animals, sometimes we have different opinions of what that is and educating each other is what makes our community so great.

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 05/02/16 04:33:43

    Sign up for the Farm Animal Adoption Network here: http://www.farmsanctuary.org/the-sanctuaries/home-adoption-and-placement/

  • Report Abuse

    Posted by happycowgirl at 05/02/16 04:36:34

    Oh crud, I just saw that you are in the UK not the US. Nonetheless, check with farm animal sanctuaries near you as Im sure they also have animals in dire need of homes!

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    Posted by jhothehornet at 05/02/16 05:36:45

    I really appreciate your reply, i was quite scared to post my dilemma, because as a vegan i know how judgemental vegans can be sometimes, just because we're so passionate about animals. I'm going to sleep on it, but unless anyone else has any other suggestions for a DHA/EPA food source, i think this is probably the route i'm going to have to go down.

    For the record, i really have tried SO many supplements, but just can't tolerate them.

    B12
    - I have tried methyl (sublingual and spray), cyano (sublingual) and hydroxy (sublingual)

    DHA/EPA
    - I have tried Opti3, Cytoplan and Ovega

    But to be completely honest even if i could tolerate them this has got me thinking about the idea of having to potentially supplement daily with not just one but two supplements now, especially when it comes to giving them to my young vegan children. We as a family fully bought into the reasoning and need to supplement B12 (soil too clean etc.) but making my children potentially have to supplement with B12 and DHA/EPA every day for the rest of their life feels a bit unnatural to me? Where as if we as a family were to start eating eggs from our own chickens, we would no longer need to supplement with either B12 or DHA/EPA. If i was only thinking about myself i think i would definitely supplement, but i don't feel as comfortable making my kids supplement given the limited research on long term supplementation.

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    Posted by DippyDruid at 07/02/16 05:03:06

    Hi would it make a difference perhaps if you had flax seed OIL from Holland and Barratt? The seeds themselves do not digest well. I add a tablespoon a day to my morning smoothie. Personally not against chickens in gardens which are well loved - chickens that is, not gardens!

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