Vegans and Vitamin Deficiencies -- Nutrition
Found this article a while ago, it's by Dr Gregor, who's a very well-spoken vegan MD:
Vegan Diets Deficient in Three Nutrients?
Well, Meateaters are Deficient in Seven!
The latest data on the dietary intakes of vegans was just published last month. The diets of about 100 vegans were recorded for a week and were found deficient in calcium, iodine and vitamin B12. Using the same standards, though, the standard American diet are deficient in 7 nutrients! The diet of your average American is not only ALSO deficient in calcium and iodine, it's deficient in vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and magnesium as well.
Not only does the American public have over twice as many nutritional deficiencies in their diets, vegans were shown to have higher intakes of 16 out of the 19 nutrients studied, includeing calcium. The vegans were getting more than enough protein on average and three times more vitamin C, three times more vitamin E, three times more fiber. Vegans got twice the folate, twice the magnesium, twice the copper, twice the manganese.
And of course the vegans had twice the fruit and vegetable intake and half the saturated fat intake, meeting the new 2003 World Health Organization guidelines for fat intake and weight control. Almost 2/3 of Americans are overweight. In contrast, only 11% of the vegans were overweight. Almost one in three Americans are obese. Zero of the 98 vegans in this study were obese.
So when a meateater asks you "Where you get your B12?" You can counter with "Where do YOU get your vitamin C, vitamin E, fiber, folate, and magnesium? And while you're at it, you can ask them how they keep their sodium, saturated fat, total fat and cholesterol intake under control (not to mention their weight).
 Results from the German Vegan Study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 57(August 2003):947.
 USDA. Food and Nutrient Intakes by Individuals in the United States, by Region, 1994-96.
 World Health Organization Technical Report Series 916. Diet, Nutrition and the Prevention of Chronic Diseases. 2003.
 http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/pubs/pubd/hestats/obese/obse99.htm Centers for Disease Control.
 Then you can finally answer their question and proudly say B12 fortified foods or B12 supplements :) Of course the fact that we're seriously deficient in B12 should not be taken lightly. Evidence suggests that our low B12 intakes make be shaving literally years off of the lives of vegetarians and vegans, so make sure you get your B12!--I recommend " http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/ Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?"