Posts tagged homocysteine

The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegans by Dr. J.E. Williams

This was sent to my email by Frederic Patenaude and it is important information to know what blood tests are crucial for those who are vegans.

The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegans by Dr. J.E. Williams

I started my own personal experiment with vegetarianism and vegan lifestyle in 1972, and I also conceived and raised children as vegetarians (until they were pre-teen). I have 30 years of clinical experience in natural medicine, and for 25 years, I was a busy clinician in Southern California. Thus, I have earned my credentials and have seen it all.

I know through all of this that if you want to get your cholesterol and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) down to bare bones levels, go vegan. If you want to boost your folic acid and antioxidant levels to new heights, eat more plants. It is the same with reducing your risk for a heart attack to zero, and preventing many types of cancer. But, if you want to have strong vitamin B12 levels, and enough iron and albumin, vegetarians and vegans are vulnerable.

Today I want to discuss the basic laboratory tests most important for plant-based diets. Let’s look at the 10 most helpful ones for evaluating deficiencies and the consequences of not having adequate levels of certain nutrients.

1. CBC – Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets: This group of tests tells if you are anemic, immune deficient, or have an infection or allergies. Low RBC (red blood count), hemoglobin, and hematocrit are signs of anemia. The CBC helps determine your general health status. If have fatigue or weakness, or suspect an infection, this test can help determine what is the cause.

2. CMP – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: The CMP is a group of 14 tests that provides information about the status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance, as well as of your blood sugar (glucose) and blood proteins (total protein, albumin, and globulin).

Abnormal results, especially combinations of abnormal results, indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Total protein below 6.5 and albumin below 3.9 are signs of protein deficiency. Glucose (blood sugar) is also tested in this panel. It is uncommon for plant-based eaters to be diabetic. Some times, however, glucose can be too low, suggesting hypoglycemia.

3. Ferritin: This test helps assess iron stores in the body. It is useful in combination with an iron and TIBC to evaluate the severity of iron deficiency or overload.

4. Folic Acid: This test gives an idea of your level of folate. It is rarely low in plant-based diets. However, higher than normal levels, common in vegetarians and vegans, combined with low vitamin B12 levels, magnifies vitamin B deficiency in the body. The amount of folate inside the red blood cell (folate, RBC) may also be measured and is normally higher inside the cell than in the serum.

5. Homocysteine: An elevated homocysteine level helps determine B12 or folate deficiency. Elevated levels of homocysteine (above 10 micromoles/liter) are associated with atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and suggest an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and Alzheimer’s disease. I want my patients to be lower than 9 micromoles/liter and optimally less than 6 micromoles/liter.

6. Iron – total and TIBC (total iron binding capacity): Vegetarians can have adequate iron levels if they eat quantities of iron-containing vegetables and fruits, like spinach and raisins. However, raw vegans often show low levels of red blood cells and iron deficiency in their tests. Early iron deficiency causes no physical effects, so you may not know you levels are going down; but, as hemoglobin levels drop below 10 g per deciliter, things can get challenging. As the iron-deficiency progresses, symptoms begin to develop, including fatigue and tiredness, weakness, dizziness, and headaches. As iron reserves continue to be depleted, you can experience shortness of breath, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), drowsiness, and irritability.

7. Lipid Profile: This group of tests measures your blood fats (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) to determine risk for coronary heart disease. Vegetarians typical have normal lipid profiles, but vegans may have cholesterol levels that are too low (less than 135 mg/dL). Cholesterol is essential for life. A waxy substance manufactured from raw materials supplied in the diet, it is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood. Cholesterol is the primary building block for steroid hormones like estrogen and testosterone, and adequate levels are required for health.

8. MMA – Methylmalonic Acid, serum: MMA, along with homocysteine, help diagnose an early or mild B12 deficiency. If MMA and homocysteine levels are increased, then vitamin B12 deficiency may be present, indicating less available B12 at the tissue level. If only homocysteine is elevated, then folic acid may be low or not being metabolism properly. If MMA and homocysteine levels are normal, it is unlikely that there is a B12 deficiency.

9. Vitamin B12: Both B12 and folate are necessary for normal red blood cell formation, tissue and cellular repair, DNA synthesis, and for nerve health. A deficiency in either B12 or folate causes macrocytic anemia. Also called megaloblastic anemia, this type of anemia is characterized by the production of fewer – but larger – red blood cells called macrocytes, leading to fatigue, weakness, and all the other symptoms of anemia. If your levels are below 400 pg/mL, suspect B12 deficiency. I like my patients to be at least 600-900 pg/mL.

10. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: This test determines vitamin D3 status. It tells if you are susceptible to bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and absorbed from the intestine like dietary fat, low-fat diets are prone to vitamin D deficiency. Also, people with conditions that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Celiac disease are not able to absorb enough Vitamin D.

Dr. Williams’ Suggested Panels for Vegetarians/Vegans

Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
Comprehensive Chemistry/Metabolic Panel
Ferritin
Folic Acid
Homocysteine
Iron, total and IBC
Lipid Panel
Methylmalonic Acid, Serum
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D3, 25 Hydroxy

What’s Next?

You need to be able to understand your tests. For that we highly recommend the Complete Blood Test Blueprint, by Dr. Williams.
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This program is at a deep discount of $37 or $47 depending on the options you choose and normally  $100 dollars and up.  This offer can change at any time, so order as soon as possible.

The program features 35 beautiful graphics that show you clinical, desirable and optimal ranges for blood tests and what to do if your levels are high or low.

Blood testing, if done correctly, can be your best ally in determining the right diet, the right supplements and the perfect health for you.

He also covers what to do when you get your tests back to bring your levels into optimal ranges.

To get the Complete Blood Test Blueprint, along with “How to Read Your Own Blood Tests”, go to:

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This is our most up-to-date program on blood tests… so if you were thinking about getting it, now’s a good time!

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All Rights Reserved. Advice and recommendations given in this website or in personal consultation by phone, email, in-person, online coaching, or otherwise, is at the reader’s sole discretion and risk. You should see a qualified, licensed doctor before starting any skin care, nutritional, diet, stretching, and/or exercise program. Information presented on this website is not to be interpreted as kind of attempt to prescribe or practice medicine. These statements and information have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. No product offerings are intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult with a competent, fully-informed medical professional or health practitioner when making decisions having to do with your health. You are advised to investigate and educate yourself about any health related actions and choices you make.

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The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegetarians (and Vegans) By Dr. J.E. Williams

Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegetarians by Dr. J. E. Williams

How do you make sure that your vegetarian (or vegan) diet is keeping you healthy?

First, you look at how you feel. That’s your subjective analysis.

Then, you should take a few blood tests every year to track some important health markers, and if necessary, make changes in your diet.

Today I want to share with you a resource that will answer a common question I get: “what blood tests should I get done?” But specifically for people eating a plant-based diet. This also applies to high-raw eaters who are not completely but mostly vegan, and that’s a lot of us!

But first, I want to highly endorse the program “The Complete Bloodtest Blueprint” by Kevin Gianni and Dr. J.E. Williams.

This program shows you exactly how to analyze your own blood tests. You’ll discover also what is a truly healthy result for a particular blood test, versus the “official” guidelines which often take into account the general poor health of the population, and are therefore flawed.

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The Top 10 Blood Tests for Vegetarians By Dr. J.E. Williams

Personally, I started my own personal experiment with vegetarianism and vegan lifestyle in 1972, and I also conceived and raised children as vegetarians (until they were pre-teen). I have 30 years of clinical experience in natural medicine, and for 25 years, I was a busy clinician in Southern California. Thus, I have earned my credentials and have seen it all.

I know through all of this that if you want to get your cholesterol and LDL (“bad” cholesterol) down to bare bones levels, go vegan. If you want to boost your folic acid and antioxidant levels to new heights, eat more plants. It is the same with reducing your risk for a heart attack to zero, and preventing many types of cancer. But, if you want to have strong vitamin B12 levels, and enough iron and albumin, vegetarians and vegans are vulnerable.

Today I want to discuss the basic laboratory tests most important for plant-based diets. Let’s look at the 10 most helpful ones for evaluating deficiencies and the consequences of not having adequate levels of certain nutrients.

1. CBC – Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets: This group of tests tells if you are anemic, immune deficient, or have an infection or allergies. Low RBC (red blood count), hemoglobin, and hematocrit are signs of anemia. The CBC helps determine your general health status. If have fatigue or weakness, or suspect an infection, this test can help determine what is the cause.

2. CMP – Comprehensive Metabolic Panel: The CMP is a group of 14 tests that provides information about the status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance, as well as of your blood sugar (glucose) and blood proteins (total protein, albumin, and globulin).

Abnormal results, especially combinations of abnormal results, indicate a problem that needs to be addressed. Total protein below 6.5 and albumin below 3.9 are signs of protein deficiency. Glucose (blood sugar) is also tested in this panel. It is uncommon for plant-based eaters to be diabetic. Some times, however, glucose can be too low, suggesting hypoglycemia.

3. Ferritin: This test helps assess iron stores in the body. It is useful in combination with an iron and TIBC to evaluate the severity of iron deficiency or overload.

4. Folic Acid: This test gives an idea of your level of folate. It is rarely low in plant-based diets. However, higher than normal levels, common in vegetarians and vegans, combined with low vitamin B12 levels, magnifies vitamin B deficiency in the body. The amount of folate inside the red blood cell (folate, RBC) may also be measured and is normally higher inside the cell than in the serum.

5. Homocysteine: An elevated homocysteine level helps determine B12 or folate deficiency. Elevated levels of homocysteine (above 10 micromoles/liter) are associated with atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries) and suggest an increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, blood clot formation, and Alzheimer’s disease. I want my patients to be lower than 9 micromoles/liter and optimally less than 6 micromoles/liter.

6. Iron – total and TIBC (total iron binding capacity): Vegetarians can have adequate iron levels if they eat quantities of iron-containing vegetables and fruits, like spinach and raisins. However, raw vegans often show low levels of red blood cells and iron deficiency in their tests. Early iron deficiency causes no physical effects, so you may not know you levels are going down; but, as hemoglobin levels drop below 10 g per deciliter, things can get challenging. As the iron-deficiency progresses, symptoms begin to develop, including fatigue and tiredness, weakness, dizziness, and headaches. As iron reserves continue to be depleted, you can experience shortness of breath, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), drowsiness, and irritability.

7. Lipid Profile: This group of tests measures your blood fats (total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglycerides) to determine risk for coronary heart disease. Vegetarians typical have normal lipid profiles, but vegans may have cholesterol levels that are too low (less than 135 mg/dL). Cholesterol is essential for life. A waxy substance manufactured from raw materials supplied in the diet, it is used to produce hormones and cell membranes and is transported in the blood. Cholesterol is the primary building block for steroid hormones like estrogen and testosterone, and adequate levels are required for health.

8. MMA – Methylmalonic Acid, serum: MMA, along with homocysteine, help diagnose an early or mild B12 deficiency. If MMA and homocysteine levels are increased, then vitamin B12 deficiency may be present, indicating less available B12 at the tissue level. If only homocysteine is elevated, then folic acid may be low or not being metabolism properly. If MMA and homocysteine levels are normal, it is unlikely that there is a B12 deficiency.

9. Vitamin B12: Both B12 and folate are necessary for normal red blood cell formation, tissue and cellular repair, DNA synthesis, and for nerve health. A deficiency in either B12 or folate causes macrocytic anemia. Also called megaloblastic anemia, this type of anemia is characterized by the production of fewer – but larger – red blood cells called macrocytes, leading to fatigue, weakness, and all the other symptoms of anemia. If your levels are below 400 pg/mL, suspect B12 deficiency. I like my patients to be at least 600-900 pg/mL.

10. Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy: This test determines vitamin D3 status. It tells if you are susceptible to bone weakness, bone malformation, or abnormal metabolism of calcium. Since vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin and absorbed from the intestine like dietary fat, low-fat diets are prone to vitamin D deficiency. Also, people with conditions that interfere with fat absorption, such as cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and Celiac disease are not able to absorb enough Vitamin D.

Dr. Williams’ Suggested Panels for Vegetarians/Vegans

Complete Blood Count with Differential and Platelets
Comprehensive Chemistry/Metabolic Panel
Ferritin
Folic Acid
Homocysteine
Iron, total and IBC
Lipid Panel
Methylmalonic Acid, Serum
Vitamin B12
Vitamin D3, 25 Hydroxy

To get the Complete Blood Test Blueprint, at a deep discount, along with “How to Read Your Own Blood Tests”, go to:

http://www.mcssl.com/app/?Clk=5509926

Also, check out all the other healthy living products being offered:

http://www.mcssl.com/app/?af=1652160

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The B12 Controversy Explained by Frederic Patenaude

Check out the great deals below on products from Frederic and to order B12 patches.
The special offers are subject to change at any time.

The B12 Controversy Explained by Frederic Patenaude

B12 is a tricky topic.

On the one hand, people attacking a plant-based diet use it as an argument for why eating vegan is “unnatural.”

If this diet were so natural, then why the need for a vitamin that is only found in animal products?

Fair question.

In reality, B12 is neither made by plants or animals. It’s made by bacteria.

In ancestral times, we got plenty of B12 because our environment wasn’t so sanitized. And yes, that included residues of feces that found their way into our food. Yikes! Yes, but that’s how many vegetarian-eating apes get their B12. They even get B12 from spring water.

Nowadays, we live in a more sanitized environment, and that has led to significant benefits: we don’t die of bacterial infections like we used to, or like wild monkeys do.

There are some downsides, and one of them is that anyone following a largely vegan diet has to supplement with B12.

Another interesting fact:

Many people have quoted studies that vegetarians do NOT live longer than the general populations. Those studies happen to be done on British vegetarians and vegans.

On the other hands, studies that were done in America (with the 7th Day Adventists, who happen to recommend a vegetarian diet with different degrees of compliance) show that vegetarians and vegans do indeed live longer. In fact, American Adventist (vegetarian) men live on average ten years longer than American men! That is a striking difference.

So why did the British vegetarians do badly in all the studies?

It could be because of B12.

I recently attended a talk by Dr. Michael Greger, author of the new book How Not to Die, and he talked about this very issue. By law, many organic products in Britain can’t have supplemental B12. In the USA, we find added B12 in soy milk, breakfast cereals, etc. Because most British vegetarians don’t supplement, they become deficient. In fact, 75% of them are severely deficient.

The same thing happens to raw vegan, and I’ve known many examples.

It’s also easy for raw vegans to become B12 deficient because they consume only natural foods and don’t drink supplemented soy milk or eat breakfast cereal. If they don’t take a supplement, their exposure to B12 can be nil.

B12 deficiency raises homocysteine levels, which can lead to heart disease and other symptoms.

Gabriel Cousens, MD. writes:

There are at least fifteen vegan studies on adults that have shown identical results. Cooked food and live food vegans show the same results. Approximately 80% of those who do not use B12 supplements or B12 fortified foods sooner or later develop symptoms of B12 deficiency. These may include physical symptoms such as the inability to walk, tremors, weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, upper respiratory infections, impotence, infertility, anemia as well as neurological symptoms such as depression, anxiety, panic attacks, hyperactive reflexes, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, impaired memory, and paranoid delusions. Consistent research over the last decade has shown that vegans and live food people of all ages and sexes have a much higher risk of becoming B-12 deficient.

A published report cites a man in his eighties who had been in excellent health as a vegan for 38 years, when suddenly he began to suffer from mental disturbances, developed confusion, and sadness, lost bowel control, and lost motor control skill to the point where he could marginally stand up. After one shot of B12 his physical and mental health began to return rapidly and by one week many of his symptoms had disappeared.


So there you have it. Make sure to supplement with B12.

It’s not about what’s “natural” or “unnatural.” It’s about being smart and understanding in what kind of environment we live.

Keep in mind that people who promote high-meat diets are also the ones pushing the most supplements. They even have the audacity to push protein powder, on an already high-protein diet!

On a healthy plant based diet, your intake of most essential nutrients will be through the roof. And the nutrients you want to minimize will be naturally low. You’ll get plant-based iron, instead of the carcinogenic heme-based iron (found in animal blood).

All good stuff… as long as you supplement with B12.

So what’s the best option? There are some decent supplements available on the market.

B12 shots work best to raise levels quickly. That’s why I switched to B12 patches. They work very well to increase B12 levels quickly without the cost and pain of shots.

Initially, I used the B12 patches weekly to raise my levels, and now I only need to use them once a month to stay at a healthy level.
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Check out the review of B12 patches on my YouTube channel, TheRawsomeVeganGal:
The Importance of Vitamin B12 – B12 Energy Patches: Why Use & My Review

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