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Vegans, Vitamin B12 & Depression, Top 10 Controversial Posts

SONY DSCC.R. writes: As someone who used to be vegetarian and even vegan for many years in my past, I remember being leery of people telling me my diet might be lacking certain nutrients. I’d point to studies which showed how healthy a balanced and well-thought out vegetarian diet was.

Was my diet balanced and well-thought out? Only occasionally.

This week we got a comment on a post (Could Vitamin B12 Help Your Anxiety, Depression?) that reminded me of this whole discussion. And just last week I got a call from a strictly-vegan friend of mine who was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder a couple of years ago, and depression last year.

At the time, I suggested she supplement with B12, as well as fish oil, Vitamin D3, and get tested for vitamin deficiencies and anemia. She told me her husband persuaded her to eat liver twice a week when she was diagnosed with mild anemia, and she told me in our recent conversation that since she’s been eating meat (she added lamb, turkey and free-range beef to her diet last July) her depression has all but disappeared.

Is this a prescription for everyone? No, of course not. But if you’ve been diagnosed with depression, take a good hard look at your diet. Many dietary issues, from abuse of alcohol to excessive sugary desserts to food allergies which trigger digestive complaints to yes, lack of B12 and other nutrients (such as Essential Fatty Acids, Proteins, Saturated Fats, and so on) may contribute to depression.

Here are some posts that are sure to provoke conversation, our top 10 most controversial choices (okay, there are others, but we went with these):

Top 10 Controversial Posts on Vegans and Mental and Physical Health

The Paleo Diet Guru Loren Cordain calls vegan diets a nutritional disaster in this post.

Advice for having a healthy vegan diet.

A former vegan tells about her struggles with physical health issues and depression in this much derided and much acclaimed post!

An MD speaks to the difficulties of maintaining a healthy vegan diet, but says they can indeed by healthy.

You’re a vegetarian. This doc asks: Have you lost your mind?

The Atlantic says Go for it!

A careful person can be healthy on a vegan diet, but it does take work?

Stuff you need to know to stay vegan, combat depression.

Vegetarians are LESS healthy and MORE likely to have anxiety and depression and some (not all) other health conditions. Really? (See the table–scroll down).

Ex-vegan discussion.

Vegans, Vitamin B12 & Depression, Top 10 Controversial Posts

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC & C.R. Zwolinski

Richard Zwolinski, LMHC, CASAC is the author of Therapy Revolution: Find Help, Get Better, and Move On Without Wasting Time or Money and is licensed in addiction and psychotherapy with over 25 years experience as well as a consultant to organizations and companies in the fields of mental health and addiction. He is the executive director of an outpatient behavioral health program. Learn more about Richard here.

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APA Reference
& C.R. Zwolinski, R. (2014). Vegans, Vitamin B12 & Depression, Top 10 Controversial Posts. Psych Central. Retrieved on June 6, 2020, from


Last updated: 23 Nov 2014
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