May 7, 2010

Vegan Diet for Augmented Fertility – Part II

As vegan diet does not involve consumption of seafood or milk produce which could result in lesser intake of numerous essential nutrients. Hence, several dieticians’ advice that women planning to conceive should ensure then they take prenatal vitamins alongside vitamin B12, folate. This advice also holds true for vegans. Females adhering to a vegan diet must ensure eating an array of high-protein food items such as soy (soy milk, tofu, tempeh); legume like lentil, black bean as well as whole and multi-grains such as oat, quinoa.

As all kinds of animal-based source of protein, inclusive of egg, cheeses are out of the menu hence vegan diet followers have a propensity of eating greater amounts of soy (in varied types) as compared to vegetarian eaters. Although a number of researches have found links in-between high-soy dietetic intake and fertility impairment, there are several other studies with contradicting outcomes. Hence, the decree is yet out. For being on the safer side, vegan diet followers must ideally be aiming to not go over the top with any particular food type and instead lay emphasis on adding greater assortment in their dietetic intake.

Surprisingly, a study conducted in Long Island Jewish Medical Center, New York for examining fertility difference in non-vegetarians, vegetarians and vegan diet followers showed that vegan diet followers had 1/5th lesser likelihood of having multiple births (twin conceptions) as compared to the vegetarian diet followers or meat eaters. The study investigators indicated that the finding does not essentially translate to vegan diet followers being lesser fertile as compared to others. Since milk products are excluded from a vegan diet hence they do not have exposure to insulin-like growth factor (IGF) which is a protein present in milk that could have an effect on ovaries and encourage ovulation. This corroborates study finding from Nurses’ Health Study finding that noted women consuming full cream milk as against less or no-fat milk had lesser ovulatory infertility.

Those intent on going vegan, the following nutrient intake are to be taken into consideration irrespective of whether one is attempting conception or not.


A key worry is whether the body is attaining adequate iodine and researches have shown that vegetarian diet tends to be less in sodium and several of vegan diet followers additionally embracing sea salt which is non-iodized. Less iodine could raise chances of thyroid issues developing that could hinder fertility and the infant’s future I.Q., hence ensuring usage of iodized salt when one cooks and seasons. It is important to aim for 150 microgms a day which is present in approximately half teaspoonful iodized salt.

Vitamin B12

Vegan diet followers often face vitamin B12 deficiency which is present in meats, dairy products. Vitamin B12 deficit could make a person anemic and raise an infant’s chances of developing spina bifida and other birth flaws. One could increase B12 intake by consuming fortified food items such as cereal, milk (almonds, rice and soy derived) or use of supplements.


A number of vegans consume raw foods dietetic intake that could have an effect on levels of iron in their bodies. Raw veggies have elevated levels of phytate that inhibits zinc and iron being absorbed. Phytate levels reduce when raw veggies are cooked hence either cooking some of the veggie intake or taking iron supplements while one consumes raw foods.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Due to fishes and egg being off the vegan diet hence its followers have a tendency of consuming lesser amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. This deficit could be resolved by consuming ample amounts of walnut, flax seeds and soy. Algae-derived omega-3 supplement could also be opted instead of fish oil.

Vitamin D

Since vegan diet followers do not consume dairy hence they could have chances of developing vitamin D deficit. However, this deficit could be tackled by innate way of soaking up the sun’s rays.


In spite of no-dairy produce intake in vegan diet, one could still receive the needed calcium from leafy green veggies (collard, broccoli, kale, brussel sprout) and milk having rice or soy fortifications and aiming for a thousand milligrams of calcium each day.

Read more at: Vegan Diet for Augmented Fertility – Part I

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