Following a vegan diet has many health benefits, however, due to the lack of animal-based foods, plant-based diets can leave the body lacking in key nutrients. Vegans are most at risk of being deficient in vitamin B12 and iron as these nutrients are absorbed by the body mostly through meat and diary products.
Our home finger prick vegan blood test will analyse the levels of these nutrients as well as vitamin D and folate, so you can make the necessary adjustments to boost your health.
Even though a vegan diet is considered healthier than others, there are certain nutrients which animal products provide which are vital for our health. There may be plant sources of these nutrients but in some cases, these are not absorbed as well as those found in meat.
One of the most common deficiencies in the vegan diet is vitamin B12. That’s because vitamin B12 is only found in animal-based foods and so, vegans must supplement their diet, especially as vitamin B12 has important roles in red blood cell production and normal brain function.
Vegans are also at risk of iron deficiency. There are two types of iron available, haem and non-haem iron. Non-haem iron is found in plant-based sources but is poorly absorbed by the human body, but haem iron is found in meat products, particularly red meat. So, vegans are at an increased risk of anaemia. Our vegan blood test measures the level of ferritin in your blood which will indicate if you are deficient in iron.
Vitamin D deficiency can also be an issue for vegans. Despite most of our vitamin D coming from sunlight exposure, there are also some food sources of this nutrient. However, D3 the type which is efficiently absorbed by the body is found in animal sources, such as egg yolks and fatty fish.
Alongside vitamin D, calcium is another nutrient which vegans are at risk of being deficient in as diary products are a major source. Both vitamin D and calcium are essential for strong teeth and bones as well as muscle function.
Our vegan blood test will give you clear, scientific insight into what your body may be lacking so you can take action to improve.
As many vegetarians include diary products within their diet, they are less likely to be deficient in some nutrients, such as vitamin D. However, excluding meat from your diet can reduce the levels of the following nutrients:
“Many more of us are turning to a vegan diet for health and environmental reasons. So, if you are new to this type of diet, it’s essential that you are getting the right nutrients, particularly B12 and iron. Deficiencies in iron, B12 or folate can lead to anaemia. Some of the symptoms of anaemia include fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, pale skin, and loss of appetite. If you’ve been on a vegan diet for a while, it’s also worth checking these key nutrients to ensure you don’t need to make any modifications to supplements you will need to be taking. Checking your vegan diet is giving you all the nutrients your body needs will help keep you physically and mentally healthy.”
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Calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones but because most non-vegans get most of their calcium from dairy products, vegans can be at risk of deficiency. Instead, vegans can get their calcium from foods like broccoli, okra, cabbage, fortified plant milk, tofu, and soybeans.
Vegetarians should be able to get their calcium by consuming dairy products.
Active vitamin B12 is the amount of the nutrient available in the body and is a reliable indicator of vitamin B12 deficiency. B12 has important roles in the production of red blood cells, DNA and maintaining healthy nerve cells. However, it is almost exclusively found in animal products making it difficult for vegans to obtain.
If a vegan diet is well planned, followers should be able to get all of the nutrients they need without supplementation. Vegans need to make sure they get enough iron, calcium and vitamin B12 into their diet. If results reveal a deficiency, supplements may be appropriate to get levels back on track.
All our tests are designed by our expert team of scientists who have taken the latest research to bring you the most relevant biomarkers to improve your health. Here are some alternative tests that cover essential biomarkers.
Want to add more biomarkers to your test? That’s no problem. All of our tests can be personalised. Just use our ‘customise this test’ button below to see the list of biomarkers which you can add to your test and get analysed at the same time.