Many nutritional trends have come and gone, but vegan nutrition shows strong upward momentum: more and more people are going vegan, and the food industry is responding. Recent years have seen rapid adoption of vegan diets and more meat-free products making their way onto shelves. Veganism was the top consumer trend in 2018, beating out fermented foods as well as CBD-containing foods and beverages. This shift has been driven mostly by millennials, with a quarter of American 25-to-34-yearolds identifying as vegans or vegetarians. Myths that circulate around vegan nutrition claim that nutrient requirements can never be met with a purely plant-based diet. Is this just a prejudice or is there a spark of truth to it?
Vegans are thinner, have healthier hearts, and live longer**
Scientific literature abounds with opinions about the optimal diet. A vegan diet excludes red meat, poultry, fish,
shellfish, eggs, honey, dairy, and all other animal by-products. The most common vegan foods are vegetables, fruits, beans and lentils, nuts and seeds, seitan, tempeh, and tofu. The Adventist Health Study 2 and the EPIC-Oxford Study are the two most important and largest studies ever conducted with vegan people. They show impressive results: vegans tend to be thinner and have lower cholesterol and blood pressure values. Compared to those on mixed diets, vegans also show overall better cardiovascular health, resulting in a significantly higher life expectancy.**
Plant-based diets are overall richer in nutrients**
Due to its higher content of fiber and richness in nutrients, the plant-based diet is associated with many health benefits. Fiber, which consists of non-digestible carbohydrates found exclusively in plants, improves digestion by
stimulating peristalsis. Higher amounts of folic acid; vitamins A, C and E, potassium, magnesium, many phytochemicals,
polyphenols and antioxidants can explain the positive effects of a purely plant-based diet. The vegan diet also tends to
contain less saturated fat and cholesterol and at the same time more health-promoting unsaturated fatty acids.**
Vitamin B12, the most critical nutrient in a vegan diet**
A carefully thought-out vegan diet provides almost every nutrient needed for optimal health. Still, bottlenecks in nutrient supply can occur. Anyone who decides on a strict or purely plant-based diet should pay attention to a very specific vitamin: vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin only found in significant amounts in animal foods; plant foods do not contain vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is important for our physical and mental performance and also contributes to energy and neurotransmitter metabolism, DNA synthesis, and cell division and supports psyche and mood.**
Omega-3 fatty acids for heart health and mental performance**
Next to vitamin B12, the nutrients most likely to be undersupplied in a vegan diet are omega-3 fatty acids. Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) are counted among the health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in the cardiovascular system and improve microcirculation
and eye function. They can positively influence the behavior and cognitive abilities due to their neuroprotective effects. Supplementation is associated with increased attention and learning ability and a generally improved mood profile due to increased vitality.**
The vitamin everyone should pay attention to, no matter what diet**
Vitamin D is truly a power substance in the body. It supports the function of the immune system, is involved in the maintenance of muscles, bones and teeth, and helps to regulate mood. Between 40 and 60% of the American population have lower-than-desirable levels of Vitamin D. This is not really a matter of diet, as the vitamin D requirement cannot be covered by food alone. Self-synthesis through sunlight contributes the largest share (80 to 90%) to the body’s supply.
Since vitamin D plays an extensive role in the body and many people don’t spend enough time outdoors, it should be given special attention, no matter what diet.**
A regular, balanced basic supply of micronutrients closes possible nutrient gaps**
In some cases, the iron and zinc status of vegans may also be of concern. Unless vegans regularly consume foods that are fortified with nutrients, they should consider taking appropriate supplements. The good news is that there are vegan solutions for this daily micronutrient supply. A regular, balanced basic supply of micronutrients helps prevent deficiencies and supports the body’s own regulatory mechanisms and metabolic processes.**
Non-vegan substances can be hiding in supplements
If you are already vegan or vegetarian, there’s a good chance it’s because you care: about animals, the environment, your health. You carefully read ingredients and stay clear of animal products and by-products. However, you might be surprised that you can still find animal ingredients lurking in your supplements! Some of these are animal-derived while others can have mixed animal and plant origin. A lot of food additives are also potentially non-vegan. Additives such as glycerin are often made from animals, and even nutrients like vitamin D, omega-3 fatty acids and enzymes can be of animal origin. It is essential to know where each ingredient of your supplements comes from and to research supplements using the
"Premium Quality Principle." This way, you can be absolutely certain about the ingredients of your product of choice.
Biogena’s Premium Quality Principle
At Biogena, premium substances and clean labeling mean more than the usual “free from.” Our Premium Quality Principle stands for strict avoidance of unnecessary additives such as artificial colorants, flavorings, coating agents, or separating agents.
More than just clean labelling – high bioavailability and good tolerability
The term “clean labeling” has yet to be standardized worldwide. In general, it is used to advertise food products by stating that they do not contain certain ingredients. Eye-catching claims such as “free from” and “with no added,” placed prominently on the labels, refer to either a single ingredient, e.g. sugar, or a group of ingredients, such as preservatives. But cleverly marketed products can still be full of unhealthy and non-vegan additives. At Biogena, they are backed by an
underlying philosophy with the full commitment of the entire company. Biogena’s Premium Quality Principle is much more than just a marketing strategy. It is about the consistent elimination of unnecessary additives as a key quality criterion, resulting in a high degree of bioavailability and at the same time good tolerability, even for people who
are highly sensitive.
Transparency, honesty and responsibility
Using clean labeling as a selling point is easy. But it takes a comprehensive and responsible effort to fully implement the "Premium Quality Principle." We at Biogena value and live transparency, honesty, and responsibility, and all our products are made with your well-being and the health of the planet in mind. We do our best to practice sustainability in everything we do. Good health for the people – while caring for our beautiful blue planet.
**These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.