Thyroid UK
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B12 and vegetarian-not directly thyroid related

Hi Guys,

this isn't related directly to thyroid health but... my 15 year old daughter is wanting to follow a vegetarian diet and given that thyroid disease runs in our family and B12 deficiency is common in patients with thyroid disease, I want to make sure that she has the best diet possible. It's highly likely she will develop thyroid disease at some point in her life but I don't want her diet to in any way contribute to that if you see what I mean. Are there any other nutrients I should be aware of that may be lacking in a veggie diet that could be an issue?

Thanks in advance

Nat x

27 Replies
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I think you already know the benefits of having a balanced diet

I have Graves’ disease biwc2 years in remission ..

I have never eaten meat in my life .. not through choice .. as a very small child I could not bear the smell of meat and would not eat it at all ..

I DO however eat fish .. I love it

And that’s where I get many of my vitamins and minerals

Nuts of course are a wonderful source of vitals too

Google something called Carnitine ............

Many Graves patients take L Carnitine for associated muscle pain , as an attack if Graves can give the sufferer tremendous muscle and joint pain

It’s something that is present in meat

... she should aim to up her levels of ..

Magnesium

Zinc

maybe copper

B12

B Complex

Selenium for thyroid health

VITAMIN D3

High dose ACIDOPHILUS

If she takes care of her immune system by feeding it these vitamins and minerals ... it should stay calm and not cause her Thyroid any trouble or hopefully and other organ either

My grandmother, Mother, Susters, , nieces , cousins have all had Thyroid disease if one kind or another ...... I am the ONLY one so far who has managed to control it ..

You are very wise indeeed to be aware that your daughter could get Thyroid disease and your vigilance I hope , will prevent that from happening .

But ...... she must empower herself to learn all she can to make sure she stays well with her healthy eating .

Best of luck to her ... and you

Luv mx🌹

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Oh .... B12 must be taken sublingually ie .. under the tongue as it is absorbed into the blood stream there and works much faster than going through the gut !

It might be a good idea to have her vitamin / minerals checked by having a simple blood test ...

Before her change in diet to see if she is low in anything at the moment .., then you would have a marker for any future blood tests if they were necessary .

Mx🌹

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Speed of action deson't seem in the least relevant.

If no absorption issues, simply taking enough (in diet, or as supplements) should suffice.

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So are there any vits/minerals you think she should supplement that she won't get from a veggie diet. We aren't aware of any absorption issues at the moment. If she took a maintenance dose of b12 what dose should that be? X

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I meant up her levels ... in her diet and if and when she ever has thyroid issues ..

M🌹

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I was referring to this bit: B12 must be taken sublingually ie .. under the tongue as it is absorbed into the blood stream there and works much faster than going through the gut !

I don't think that there is any need to take B12 sublingually and I don't see any need to be concerned about how fast it acts. At least, not if this is simply taking B12 supplements due to insufficient in the diet.

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Whatever you think .... it works very well for me and for many others who take it this way ... it’s entirely up to the individual .... and as we all know on here ... we’re all different .

Taking it by this method had my B12 levels exactly where I needed them in a very short time.

M🌹

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B12 does not need to be taken sublingually and neither does it need to be taken in huge doses unless you have an absorption problem (and even then that doesn't work for everyone).

If you have an absorption problem then a vegetarian diet isn't going to make any difference.

What your daughter needs to do is to make sure that she doesn't entirely exclude B12 from her diet by going vegan - or if she does then she supplements with doses appropriate to daily doses - which could include the use of fortified cereals if necessary.

All she can do in relation to the possibility of thyroid and absorption problems is to monitor these with time and react if levels start to deviate from what is normal for her.

This site, run by the vegetarian society, should provide sensible dietary advice.

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May I suggest your daughter watches Dr. Natasha Campbell McBrides video on You Tube with advise for anyone considering becoming vegetarian. By the way B12 is only found in red meats, organ meats and shell fish and it is extremely important. Some people have absorption problems and the ideal solution is injections.

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I think you will find it is also in eggs, milk, cheese, and milk products in goodly amounts

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I am sorry to say that methacoblycn is not found in anything other than red meats, organ meats and shell fish.

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I thought vitamin b12 was Cobalamin which is found in dairy products. I can’t find any references at all for methacoblycn, what is it?

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Looks like a mistake for methylcobalamin - one form of B12.

I'd have to point out that it, and the other three forms of cobalamin, are available in the form of numerous supplements.

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Also essential that she gets enough iron in her diet.

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If she eats lots of eggs and dairy, she might not need to supplement B12, but since it is not stored, I'd err on the side of safely and supplement methylcobalamin. If she doesn't eat eggs or soy, then probably choline - but not everyone needs extra.

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She does eat dairy, plenty of milk, cheese and eggs. how much B12 would you supplement as a maintenence dose?

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Probably just 500iu.

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diet is important and she is still growing.you need to oversee her daily diet.

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I was just reading up on B12 in foods this morning! Apparently there are not really any fruits and vegetables with significant amounts of B12. Meats tend to be the best sources, but there are also some good seafood and fish sources. Dairy has a little bit. Grains only have it if fortified (it doesn’t occur naturally in them, so if they contain it, it tends to be a synthetic or processed kind like you would take in a supplement — not quite the same as naturally-occurring, but better than nothing).

I recently bought a B-Complex supplement that is made from “food only” sources, but I can’t remember the brand (I’m in the US, and the bottle is at home in the UK), but I will try to remember to come back and post it after I get home (or PM to remind me if you’re interested).

Here are two articles which might be helpful:

draxe.com/top-10-vitamin-b1...

vegansociety.com/resources/...

The latter article mentioned that vegans need to try to get at least 3mcg B12 daily.

With regard to vegetarianism and thyroid generally, I personally am wary of grains (especially gluten-containing) and dairy, as I’ve been told and have read multiple times that they can often trigger Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, but if your daughter is aware and chooses grains carefully, and course-corrects if she starts feeling unwell, then she will be fine. And since you are talking about prevention, it might be worth thinking of checking for food intolerances. It seems that much inflammation and autoimmune illness can be down to eating foods that aren’t right for the individual (even if they are generally considered to be healthy).

She’s lucky to have you helping to research her nutritional choices. Best of luck to you both!

Also, to the others: No one mentions iodine (which can be consumed by eating small doses of kelp) as a means of trying to prevent thyroid disease. What’s the consensus on that? Good idea or risky?

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Sorry— actually the article said vegans should:

(1) eat enough fortified food to get 3 mcg B12/day, OR

(2) take a daily supplement of 10 mcg B12/ day, OR

(3) take a weekly supplement of 2000 mcg B12 (higher dose if you take it less frequently, the author says, because it is best absorbed in small doses and the less frequently you take it, the more you need....).

I am aware you said vegetarian, not vegan, so if she is getting some through eggs or dairy, that would count toward her daily intake. One of the articles I read (which came from a source called something like Wellness Canada?) said there wasn’t an upper limit for B12, but please do your own research to confirm!

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Thank you, that's really helpful 😀

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Cytoplan? This one says it's good for vegetarians.

cytoplan.co.uk/foundation-f...

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The brand of mine is Source of Life Garden. It is completely food-derived and certified organic.

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She will make her desition but this is my advise .

She doesn’t nesesary will suffer thyroid desease ..she will eat eggs and dairy and that’s good enough .My son is vegan that’s really a totally animal free lifestyle new generation know where to find b12 and he eats lentils ,beens,chia ,hump seed .nuts , flax seed and many more proteins . my son has never had low b12 test result and he is fine ...years ago vegetarians didn’t know many sources of protein things have changed .Also a good b12 suplement will be great .Nowadays we have to be more concern about cheese and meats ..Eggplant and potato skin are great to prevent thyroid desease . .and by the way animals get their protein by eating plants .

Most important think is to believe and comfirm firmly that she will never suffer with tyroide !

I’m Sending you the best energy .👍

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Eggplant (aubergine) and potatoes are nightshades (together with peppers and tomatoes), which are commonly believed to cause the inflammation that leads to autoimmune illnesses, like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (& all the others). Why are they good at preventing thyroid disease? Are you saying that because of iodine content? I’ve read that soils are now so iodine depleted that even potatoes are no longer a very strong source of it. Please clarify in what way they’re good at preventing thyroid disease: I really want to learn! Many thanks!

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I mend to say eggs no eggplant sorry ..just letting her know vegetarian is not to bad for tyroide ..

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Thank you everyone for your replies, they are really helpful 😀 I will keep researching but feel a bit more confident in what I'm doing now!

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