Veganism is both a diet and a lifestyle choice that has, in specific medical studies, been proven to help reduce the risk of high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and even certain types of cancer. Like many other diets, it has drawbacks, meaning that it’s important to educate oneself about the vitamin deficiencies that may result from the avoidance of meat and dairy products.
For the main part, a vegan diet excludes all animal-derived foods (meat, fish, dairy, eggs, and honey) as well as animal by-products such as rennet (used in the making of cheese) and gelatin (used in desserts). Although over-the-counter vegan vitamin supplements are a popular choice, at Vitamin Injections London, we believe these have limited efficacy due to their minimal rate of active ingredient absorption into the bloodstream. This makes IV and IM therapy for vegans a more potent and economical solution to the more commonly utilised over-the-counter vegan vitamin supplements.
Vegan-friendly IV & IM therapy
At Vitamin Injections London, we help vegans of all ages by recommending the right vitamins, nutrients and microelements needed in order to safeguard optimal health. To this end, we can help formulate a treatment plan for adequate vegan vitamin supplementation in the form of IV and IV vitamin therapy for vegans, which aims to provide their key and missing nutritional elements.
Vitamin D deficiency in vegans
Vitamin D is found in milk and dairy products. Additionally, if the skin is exposed to sunlight for at least thirty minutes every two days, it will prompt the body to produce enough vitamin D – but only if it is already receiving a minimum amount through the consumption of food. For vegans, therefore, the need for extra vegan vitamin supplementation is imperative, particularly during the winter months where little to no vitamin D will otherwise be consumed nor produced by the body.
Symptoms of vitamin D deficiency include:
- Muscle weakness;
- Bone and back pain;
- Impaired wound healing;
- Hair loss.
Low levels of vitamin D have been associated with the following conditions:
- Cardiovascular disease;
- Cognitive impairment;
- Asthma in children.
How to prevent vitamin D deficiency in vegans:
- Regular consumption of vegan-friendly foodstuffs and products fortified with vitamin D, including cereals and soymilk.
Iron deficiency in vegans
Iron is at the core of our red blood cells, acting as an essential micronutrient that facilitates the transportation of oxygen throughout the body. Whilst iron is prevalent in plant-based foods as well as meat, the type of iron in each differs greatly. Iron from meat (heme iron) is easily absorbed by the body, whereas vegetable iron (non-heme iron) has a lower bioavailability and thus a lower absorption rate due to the phytates contained in plants.
Therefore, vegans must consume larger quantities of iron-rich plants than non-vegans do. They also require twice the amount of daily iron as omnivores. This increased need often leads to iron deficiency and anemia, with vegan women being at particular risk.
Although vegan vitamin supplements containing iron are commonly used to preclude the development of iron deficiencies, they aren’t always enough to assist anemic individuals or effective enough for vegans who are at the highest risk of developing anemia.
Symptoms of iron deficiency anemia:
- Weakness and fatigue;
- Brittle nails;
- Pale skin;
- Dizziness, headaches and fainting;
- Irregular heartbeat;
- Shortness of breath;
- Cold hands and feet.
If left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can lead to:
- An irregular heartbeat;
- Heart failure;
- Repeated infections (especially in the elderly and children);
- Premature childbirth;
- Delayed growth in children.
How to prevent iron deficiency in vegans:
- Iron IM Shots – an intramuscular injection for those who are high risk, anaemic, cannot take oral iron supplements and desire more effective results than those that are often gleaned from taking vegan vitamin supplements;
- Consume high quantities of vegan-friendly iron-rich foods, including bulgur, dried fruits, dried beans and spinach.
Vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans
Vitamin B12 is essential for cell division. The optimal source of B12 is meat, whereas the vegan-friendly options are nutritional yeast, fortified cereals and bread. These last three sources need to be consumed by vegans in exceptionally high quantities to cover the body’s daily need for B12. Vegans have a higher nutritional need for B12, especially elderly, breastfeeding and pregnant vegans, due to the lack of B12 in plant-based foods.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency:
- Diarrhea or constipation;
- Loss of appetite;
- Irregular heartbeats;
- Muscle numbness and/or weakness;
- Memory loss;
- Behavioral changes;
- Neurological disturbances in unborn infants due to the mother’s B12 deficiency.
How to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans:
- Vitamin B Complex Forte injections containing vitamins C, B1, B2, B5, B, B6, B9 and cyanocobalamin B12, available at Vitamin Injections London;
- Non-animal derived cyanocobalamin Vitamin B12 Shots, available at Vitamin Injections London;
- The consumption of specific vegan-friendly foods fortified with vitamin B12, including nuts and nut milk.
Calcium deficiency in vegans
Our main source of calcium comes from milk and dairy products. People adhering to a vegan diet are at risk of developing hypocalcaemia (calcium deficiency) due to the fact that they consume foods that contain little to no calcium, making it important to take vegan vitamin supplements.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency include:
- Muscle spasms;
- Numbness and tingling in the face, hands and feet;
- Depression and memory loss.
If left untreated, calcium deficiency can lead to:
- Eye damage;
- Brittle bones;
- Cardiovascular problems.
How to prevent calcium deficiency (hypocalcaemia) in vegans:
- Myers Cocktail Injections offered by Vitamin Injections London, which contain added calcium;
- Consume calcium fortified vegan products and foods on a daily basis, including collard greens, figs, sesame seeds, kale and broccoli.
Zinc deficiency in vegans
Zinc is a trace element that is essential for cell division, protein synthesis, immunity and fertility. The body cannot produce zinc, meaning that our daily zinc requirements must be met through diet. Foods containing high quantities of zinc include meats, seafood, and dairy products. Whilst legumes and grains contain zinc, absorption is often inhibited by the phytates contained in these two foods. As a result, vegans - especially women taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or birth control pills - are highly susceptible to developing a zinc deficiency.
Symptoms of zinc deficiency include:
- Scaly and dry skin;
- Sores at the corners of the mouth, stomatitis and oral ulcerations;
- Hair loss;
- Impaired wound healing;
- Reduced libido.
If left untreated, zinc deficiency can lead to:
- Impaired cognitive function;
- Depression, lethargy and irritability;
- Reduced testosterone levels;
- Reduced fertility.
How to prevent zinc deficiency in vegans:
- Multi-Mix IV Injections at Vitamin Injections London, which provide a healthy boost of all the required minerals for vegans;
- Adopt cooking methods that aid the absorption of zinc (e.g. when cooking beans, soak them in water before cooking them);
- Consume high quantities of zinc-rich, vegan-friendly foods (for e.g. nuts, tofu, wheat germ, yeast bread and cereals).
Omega 3 deficiency in vegans
The highest quantities of omega-3 are found in non-vegan foods such as fish and eggs. Omega-3 fatty acids protect the cardiovascular system, lower inflammation, and prevent the onset of chronic diseases such as diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and systemic lupus. As vegan diets are lacking this all-important nutrient, vegan vitamin supplementation for omega 3 is vital.
Symptoms of omega-3 fatty acid deficiency:
- Dry skin;
- Cardiovascular problems;
- Mood swings and depression;
- Fatigue and decreased focus.
How to prevent omega-3 deficiency in vegans:
- Although no real substitute for Omega 3 exists, there are alternative sources to consider, such as cooking with flaxseed oil where possible, in addition to consuming high quantities of soybean oil, tofu, walnuts and chia seeds.
- Alternatively, if you are a vegan with high cholesterol levels and wish to keep your triglyceride levels in check, we offer Vitality IV Multi-Vitamin Shots at Vitamin Injections London.
What to expect
In order to fully benefit from IV & IM vegan vitamin therapy, it is recommended that a combination course of injections is undertaken. Please visit our prices page to find out more.
If you feel that more concentrated forms of vegan vitamin supplements may be of benefit to you, contact our experienced practitioners today on +44 (0) 203 823 6551 or use our online form to book a consultation with our specialist IV/IM practitioners.
Vitamin Injections London is headed by skilled IV/IM Medical Aesthetician and Skin Specialist Bianca Estelle. Our experienced IV/IM practitioners will conduct a full review of your medical history and advise you regarding your suitability for vegan vegan vitamin supplements in the form of IV & IM shots in London's Marylebone and Beckenham, Kent.