Momentum of veganism threatens UK brain health, expert warns

Trendy vegan diets can LAG IQ due to a lack of nutrients that are crucial for brain health, warn leading nutritionists

  • Dr. Emma Derbyshire, who runs a health consultancy in London, made the claim
  • She said the trend for & # 39; vegetable & # 39; Diets run the risk of choline deficiencies
  • The nutrient found in meat, fish and eggs is especially important during pregnancy

Trendy vegan diets can jeopardize next-generation IQ, a leading nutritionist has warned.

Dr. Emma Derbyshire said the growing enthusiasm for & # 39; plant & # 39; Diets run the risk of developing a choline deficiency – a nutrient that is crucial for brain development.

Choline, found in meat, fish, eggs, and dairy products, is especially important during pregnancy when it contributes to the healthy growth of a baby's brain.

Dr. Derbyshire, who wrote in the magazine BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health, warned about the & # 39; unintended consequences & # 39; of the loss of diets based on meat and dairy products.


Dr. Emma Derbyshire said the growing enthusiasm for & # 39; plant-based & # 39; Diets run the risk of developing a choline deficiency - a nutrient that is crucial for brain development

Dr. Emma Derbyshire said the growing enthusiasm for & # 39; plant & # 39; Diets run the risk of developing a choline deficiency – a nutrient that is crucial for brain development

& # 39; The increasing evidence of the importance of choline makes it essential that it is not overlooked in the UK, & # 39; she said.

& # 39; This is now more important than ever, given that accelerated food trends for vegetable diet / veganism may have further implications for choline intake. & # 39;

She added: “We run the risk of reducing the brain power of the next generation. Vegetable diets are great and brilliant for the environment.

& # 39; But when it comes to reducing choline intake – which is vital to the development of the fetal brain – nobody had thought much about it.

& # 39; The train runs so fast and more people dump meat and eggs. But it can do many women of childbearing deficiency with this important nutrient. & # 39;


Choline is also produced by the liver – but the quantities are not sufficient to meet the requirements of the human body and therefore it must be obtained from nutritional and supplement sources, said Dr. Derbyshire, a public health nutritionist who has Nutritional Insight Limited health adviser leads in London.

& # 39; Given the important physiological role of choline and the authorization of certain health claims, the question is why choline has been overlooked for so long in the UK, & # 39; she wrote.

& # 39; Choline is currently excluded from UK food composition databases, important nutrition studies and nutrition guidelines.

& # 39; If choline is not obtained in the amounts required per se from dietary sources, supplementation strategies are required, especially with regard to important stages of the life cycle, such as pregnancy, when choline intakes are crucial for the development of baby & # 39 ; s. & # 39;

Market research suggests that we eat less meat than ever before.


Consumer research agency Kantar Worldpanel reported earlier this year that 21 percent of UK households have reduced their meat intake in the last two years.

Ten percent of households include a flexitarian – or & # 39; part-time & # 39; vegetarian – five percent a full vegetarian and one percent a vegan.

More than nine in ten vegetable meals were eaten by non-vegans in the UK in 2018.


About 3.5 million people who live in the UK are vegan – about seven percent of the population, according to estimates.

And because the diet has increased in popularity, more mothers are choosing to make their baby vegan.


The NHS says that babies & young children with a vegetarian or vegan diet can get the energy and most nutrients they need to grow and develop.

However, it is known that the plant-based diet contains few important nutrients for babies, such as vitamin B12 – milk and eggs, iron, calcium and zinc.

A vitamin B12 deficiency is a rare and treatable cause of failure and delayed development in infants, wrote researchers in the journal Pediatrics.

It can also lead to malnutrition and "irreversible damage" to their nervous system, experts at University College London once concluded.

An iron deficiency can prevent a child from arriving, affect their appetite and energy, and can lead to anemia, which can be life threatening in severe cases.


Consuming too little protein can lead to growth retardation, nutritionists have warned over the years. But beans, lentils and chickpeas contain a lot of nutrients.

And eating too much fiber can help children feel full faster and stop getting enough food, child dietician Lucy Upton told the Mail in March.

Two senior nutrition teachers at Cardiff Metropolitan University, Shirley Hinde and Ruth Fairchild, said the diet & # 39; less than ideal & # 39; wash for babies & # 39; s.

Register, however The conversation she added that it & # 39; not excluded & # 39; is that the diet can be healthy for a baby.

And they claimed that there was & # 39; no reason & # 39; is why a baby could not survive with a vegan diet that was varied in many nutrients if his parents were sensible.

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