Common Nutritional Deficiencies of a Vegan Diet

Common Nutritional Deficiencies of a Vegan Diet

Common vegan deficiencies and symptoms do deter some to follow a vegan diet. Doctors suggest vitamin supplements for adequate energy. Vegetarian deficiency symptoms are worth looking into.

Vegan vitamin deficiencies cannot be overlooked. From iron deficiency to B12 deficiency, most vegan diets do not contain all the nutrients that an omnivorous diet provides.

Common vegans, as well as vegetarian nutrient deficiencies, do happen to be iron, vitamin B12, vitamin D, etc. Also, protein deficiency in vegans is another issue to reckon with. But this has been thoroughly debunked.

Vegan Diet Deficiencies- common vegan deficiencies and symptoms cum diagnosis

People do complain of tiredness after a small amount of activity. Some who contracted mono, feel exhausted in the winter months and it is understood that mono does last several months. A consultation with the doctor helps who try to see if there are any deficiencies.

At times the blood test reveals a deficiency in vitamin B12 and vitamin D. These happen to be both common vegetarians as well as vegan deficiencies. Supplements are prescribed such as B12 supplement and D3 supplement. These energize a person again. Naturally, being aware of vegetarian deficiency symptoms helps those on a vegan diet to maintain good health.

Of course, it does mean spending money in a testing laboratory to get a nutritional deficiency test done. Tests for nutritional deficiencies prove to be useful to those on a vegan diet.

They help identify which supplements need to be taken.

3 most common deficiencies in vegans combined with symptoms:

Vitamin B12 Deficiency in Vegans

Vitamin B12 is derived from animal-derived products such as eggs, dairy, turkey, chicken, beef, as well as pork. Most vegetarians, as well as vegans, are asked by doctors to take supplement B12 to get enough of it.

Common Nutritional Deficiencies of a Vegan Diet

Symptoms of Vitamin B12 deficiency: 

  • Weakness, lethargy, lightheadedness, fatigue
  • Pale or yellowish skin
  • Anemia
  • Feelings of pins cum needles
  • Trouble with balance or coordination, dizziness
  • Swollen and smooth tongue
  • Shortness of breath
  • Mood changes (depression, dementia)

Vegan supplemental options: 

  • Fortified plant milk
  • over-the-counter supplements

Vitamin D Deficiency in Vegans

Sunlight as well as from fish and dairy products

Symptoms of Vitamin D deficiency:

  • Poor immune system, getting sick a lot
  • Depression, lethargy
  • Fatigue, tiredness
  • Depression, lethargy
  • Bone, back, muscle pain, aches
  • Bone loss, hair loss

Vegan supplemental options: 

  • Sunbathing
  • fortified foods
  • over-the-counter supplements

Iron Deficiency in Vegans

  • Chicken
  • red meat
  • Seafood
  • Lentils
  • Beans
  • Tofu
  • fortified cereals
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Seed
  • Spinach
  • Kale
  • broccoli

Symptoms of iron deficiency:

  • Tiredness, fatigue, anxiety
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pale skin
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Headaches, dizziness, disorientation
  • Dry skin, damaged hair
  • Sore/swelling tongue and mouth
  • Cold extremities
  • Dry skin, damaged hair
  • Strange cravings

Vegan supplemental options:

  •  Vitamin C (helps absorb iron)
  • beans
  • leafy dark greens,
  • cast iron cookware.

Supplements happen to be the last resort with iron since they can sometimes come to have uncomfortable side effects.

No doubt there happen to be other possible deficiencies that vegans and vegetarians might face but they are more often rare. Possibilities do include zinc, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, and some other nutrients. Protein deficiency in vegans is rather uncommon. Of course, the focus is on common vegan deficiencies and symptoms.

Also Read, Having diabetes? Include vitamins in diet.


Diet is important for fulfilling the nutrient needs o the body system. A vegan diet does require vitamin supplements. Many are taking to a vegan diet these days as they feel it is healthier to have.

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