Vegan Diet Health Problems

Case studies and larger studies show that vegan diets can lead to health problems. These problems can happen in addition to mental health problems, which are discussed in the post Veganism and Mental Illness. Other medical issues associated with vegan diets can include:


brain damage

cardiovascular disease risk factors (increased mean platelet volume, higher homocysteine levels)

cognitive impairment




metabolic syndrome




pervasive developmental disorders

respiratory failure

tooth demineralization

vitamin and mineral deficiencies (calcium, carnitine, iodine, selenium, taurine, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, vitamin D, vitamin K, zinc)


An anthropometric and dietary assessment of the nutritional status of vegan preschool children. (Link)

Anemia and limping in a vegetarian adolescent. (Link)

Brain damage in infancy and dietary vitamin B12 deficiency. (Link)

Breastfeeding and vegan diet. (Link)

Coma and respiratory failure in a child with severe vitamin B(12) deficiency. (Link)

Comparative fracture risk in vegetarians and nonvegetarians in EPIC-Oxford. (Link)

Consequences of exclusive breast-feeding in vegan mother newborn–case report. (Link)

Dietary intake and nutritional status of young vegans and omnivores in Sweden. (Link)

Dietary intake of vitamin B6 and concentration of vitamin B6 in blood samples of German vegans. (Link)

Dietary intake of vitamin D in premenopausal, healthy vegans was insufficient to maintain concentrations of serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and intact parathyroid hormone within normal ranges during the winter in Finland. (Link)

EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non meat-eaters in the UK. (Link)

Floppy baby with macrocytic anemia and vegan mother. (Link)

Iodine deficiency in vegetarians and vegans. (Link)

Iodine intake and iodine deficiency in vegans as assessed by the duplicate-portion technique and urinary iodine excretion. (Link)

Iodine status and thyroid function of Boston-area vegetarians and vegans. (Link)

Long-term vegetarian diet and bone mineral density in postmenopausal Taiwanese women. (Link)

Macrocytic anemia and neurological signs due to vitamin B-12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a strict vegetarian mother. (Link)

Masked deficit of vitamin B12 in the patient with heterozygous beta-thalassemia and spastic paraparesis. (Link)

Maternal vegan diet causing a serious infantile neurological disorder due to vitamin B12 deficiency. (Link)

Maternal vitamin B12 deficiency: cause for neurological symptoms in infancy. (Link)

Mineral and trace element content of vegetarian diets. (Link)

Multiple nutritional deficiencies in infants from a strict vegetarian community. (Link)

Mutagens in human urine: effects of cigarette smoking and diet. (Link)

Nutrient intake and health status of vegans. Chemical analyses of diets using the duplicate portion sampling technique. (Link)

Nutritional optic and peripheral neuropathy: a case report. (Link)

Nutritional status of vegetarian children. (Link)

Nutritional vitamin B12 deficiency in a breast-fed infant of a vegan-diet mother. (Link)

Oral implications of the vegan diet: observational study. (Link)

Plasma and urine taurine levels in vegans. (Link)

Plasma concentrations of 25-hydroxyvitamin D in meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans: results from the EPIC-Oxford study. (Link)

Prolonged exclusive breast-feeding from vegan mother causing an acute onset of isolated methylmalonic aciduria due to a mild mutase deficiency. (Link)

Reduced bone mass in Dutch adolescents fed a macrobiotic diet in early life. (Link)

Relationship between platelet phospholipid FA and mean platelet volume in healthy men. (Link)

Risks of alternative nutrition in infancy: a case report of severe iodine and carnitine deficiency. (Link)

Serum homocysteine, folate, vitamin B12 and total antioxidant status in vegetarian children. (Link)

Severe vitamin B12 deficiency in infants breastfed by vegans. (Link)

Signs of impaired cognitive function in adolescents with marginal cobalamin status. (Link)

Strict vegan, low-calorie diet administered by caregiving daughter to elderly mother–is this elder abuse? (Link)

Taurine concentrations in the diet, plasma, urine and breast milk of vegans compared with omnivores. (Link)

The influence of vegan diet on bone mineral density and biochemical bone turnover markers. (Link)

Totally vegetarian diets and infant nutrition. (Link)

Transient neonatal hypothyroidism due to a maternal vegan diet. (Link)

Veganism does not reduce the risk of the metabolic syndrome in a Taiwanese cohort. (Link)

Vegetarians and cardiovascular risk factors: hemostasis, inflammatory markers and plasma homocysteine. (Link)

Zinc status of vegetarians. (Link)