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Mental health and a vegan diet

Veganism is a lifestyle choice where individuals avoid consuming any animal-derived products including meat, dairy, eggs, and honey. Some people choose this lifestyle for ethical, environmental, and health reasons which will be addressed in another article. However, research has shown that a vegan diet may be associated with a higher rate of mental disorders.



A study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders found that vegans had a higher prevalence of depression and anxiety compared to non-vegans. Another study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science, found that vegans had a higher rate of mood disorders such as depression and anxiety compared to non-vegans.


It should be noted that a vegan diet can lead to a lack of essential nutrients that are vital for brain function such as omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. A diet lacking these essential nutrients can lead to deficiencies that can negatively impact mental health. Also many plants have naturally occurring plant toxins which include oxalates and isothiocyanates that can disrupt physiology, deposit in organs, joints and create autoimmune symptoms.


Additionally, some research suggests that a vegan diet may also be associated with lower levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that is important for regulating mood. A study published in the Journal of Headache and Pain found that vegans had lower levels of serotonin compared to non-vegans.


It is important to note that these studies are observational and cannot prove causality, and that mental disorders can be influenced by multiple factors, not just dietary choices. Metal toxicity, mold toxicity, chronic bacterial or viral infections, unresolved emotional trauma to name a few other factors.


In conclusion, research has shown that a vegan diet may be associated with a higher rate of mental disorders such as depression and anxiety. A vegan diet can lead to a lack of essential nutrients that are vital for brain function such as omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D. Therefore, it is important for individuals who choose to follow a vegan diet to ensure they are getting adequate amounts of these essential nutrients to support their mental health.

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