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Vegans don't usually get enough lysine

I have been doing research on vegan nutrition recently.  I've found it nearly impossible to get enough lysine in a vegan's diet, by either US standards (51 mg/g of protein) or World Health Organizations standards (45 mg/g of protein).  The only way I have found to get enough lysine in a vegan diet is to consume half your protein content via isolated soy protein.  Do all you vegans do that?  There are also deficiencies in Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, and Calcium in a vegan diet, but those can be supplemented for.  My question is how do you vegans get enough lysine, an essential amino acid, in your diet?

It appears that many beans (soy, split peas, lentils, red/kidney, mung, black-eyed peas) plus pistachios and pumpkin seeds have over 51mg lysine per gram over protein. The idea behind getting an adequate amount of any amino acid is by combining legumes and grains, so... yeah. I guess you could do the math and figure out exactly how much of which bean vs grain you should get, but then again a non-vegan could do that, as they're not necessarily going to get any more of a precise ratio as a vegan. I've not known anyone to have an issue with lysine in particular (except people with herpes), but apparently (wikipedia here), such a deficiency is associated with anxiety and, in animals, immunodeficiency. I don't know if someone with anxiety would necessarily connect it with their diet, and those who have issues with their immune system may suspect diet but probably not lysine in particular. So it's not like there's going to be much good clinical evidence for it...

If one were really concerned (serious athlete, healing from injury, or I guess herpes infection), there's vegan lysine supplements, so... yeah.

Also, for vitamin D and calcium, it depends on the content of the diet. It's possible to get enough calcium without supplementation through greens, but there are also vegan products already supplemented (like soymilk, soy yogurt). Also, there's some question over the actual requirement for calcium, since there's epidemiologic data of groups of people who eat well under the DV (400-500mg/day, versus 1000-1200mg/day) without signs of deficiency, as well as the regulation of absorption of calcium in the GI tract (high intake of calcium results in 40% absorption, versus low intake where 100% is absorbed) that may mean the "1000mg" does not actually end up being 1000mg absorbed anyway. And the consideration of calcium loss from buffering blood pH, etc...

For vitamin D, mushrooms will produce a lot of D2 if exposed to UV light (or just sunlight). A lot of foods are already supplemented (soymilk, cereal), but even so... there's sunlight exposure...

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http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/protein.htm

i think i eat plenty of corn, potatoes, tofu, and rice to be legit...

i take chia oil (for omegas) and b12 vitamins (both deva brand) everyday

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Yet according to this http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4389/2 isolated soy protein has 66.0mg lysine/g protein, which would put other pulses higher.

I looked up the lysine requirement thing, and what I can find is the daily requirement based on the person's weight, not based on the protein amount itself. It makes sense because you're only going to need so much lysine in a day; if you eat more than the necessary amount of protein, that excess protein will be used for energy. What I gathered from an article from 2007 is that the daily requirement is 30-64mg lysine per kg bodyweight. For a 70kg (154lb) person, this is 2.1-4.48g of lysine per day. 1 oz of (dry) TVP has about 1.5g of lysine, so 2 oz a day of that (with no other source of lysine) appears to be sufficient. ? I'm not sure how much TVP that yields when rehydrated (it looks like it's about 1 cup rehydrated, based on Bob's Red Mill packaging), but let's say it's lentils, and then it's 2 cups cooked per day, with no other protein source in the diet. Or a block of extra-firm tofu. Not impossible, for sure.

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That is data for 1-3 year olds, who often require more of the essential aas than adults, and it is based on their net protein requirement. It is not a suggestion of a ratio that adults should achieve, or that the amount of lysine required varies with the amount of protein eaten. One of the articles I linked to covered that last point, which is that aa requirements do not vary with the total amount of protein.

also, there is the WHO recommendations for the amount of each essential aa:
http://whqlibdoc.who.int/trs/WHO_TRS_935_eng.pdf
(starting page 149; lysine is on page 150-152; a table for all of them is on 162, which has per g protein (45mg/g) and per kg body weight (30mg/kg))
This and the first link in my previous post are also more recent, 2007.

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Please note that the first article cites  40 sources, and WHO does not take an average of the nutrition of people in "developing countries" to find the recommendations. There's variation in the recommendations of various countries and WHO, but they are all (hopefully) based in research. The fact that most of the world does not consume as much meat as people in Canada or the US do does not mean that WHO's recommendations would be lower. If anything, one should suspect the US to be biased towards the SAD than anything, much like the calcium recommendations and milk.

Also, the reference you found is still based on 1-3 year olds, who have different dietary needs than adults. The WHO recommendations and the 2007 research review is the most I've found for recommendations for adults. I haven't found anything contradicting this; I didn't omit anything I found.

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How about using either government data or educational institution data for your requirements, like I did.  Here's a summary of the amino acid requirements: 

http://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/DRI//DRI_Energy/1-20.pdf

i wouldn't trust government data lol, especially the USDA... that shit is rigged, seriously... the gov is controlled by rich corporations... especially when it comes to food stuffs... have you ever watched Food Inc and The World According to Monsanto (or something like that)? Both can be seen on youtube... the Monsanto one was insane!

i take b12... i think that's all vegan's really need to stay legit :) i had some brain fog after a year, started taking b12, and now feel just fine and i am def not the healthiest person

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https://fbcdn-sphotos-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-snc6/282126_550393879426_33501355_31310868_8309139_n.jpg
^ that line there. it says 1-3 year olds. granted that means people with vegan children would be interested in this, but these specific values do not apply to adults, especially because there is more recent and specific research showing otherwise for adults.
The WHO recommendations for the amount of lysine per kg body weight, per day. I mentioned earlier are feasible on a vegan diet, as I mentioned that it would require something like eating a pack of tofu per day (no TVP required!) or 2 cups lentils. If using TVP, it's about 1 cup. That is not including any other source of lysine in the diet, which there for certain would be. If you meet the daily requirement for an amino acid based on body weight, then the protein you get over that amount does not really matter in composition, as it is used for energy, not as a protein building block.
It sure sounds feasible to get enough lysine, even if a vegan person has issues with soy (-->lentils). Personally, I do not take that much care to ensure I am getting adequate daily amount of every essential amino acid, I just keep it vaguely in mind to combine legumes and grains. I don't expect many other people do either.
Lysine deficiency isn't like a mineral or vitamin deficiency, where there are clear signs that are readily recognized by conventional laboratory tests (like microcytic anemia for iron, or macrocytic anemia for B12, or clotting problems and vitamin K, etc etc; you'd have to specifically measure that nutrient to find out). If there were such signs, I'm sure people would be more invested in getting enough. But from what I could find, it was anxiety and immunodeficiency. Again, I don't think people with either of these problems would suspect a specific amino acid. Also, for people who are more health-minded, I imagine they might go the more herbal route for such problems. In other words, no one much cares about their lysine intake, because it is not a well-known must-have vegan nutrient like B12, neither is it a new, sexy superfood-associated nutrient like omegas, nor does it have specific signs of deficiency.
What would be interesting is vegan vs non-vegan people with herpes infections. Do vegans w/ herpes tend to have more and more severe outbreaks? If they don't, and do not take extra care to consume lysine supplements (which are quite easy to come by vegan. i buy powdered lysine for my cats, who all have feline herpes), then I do not think that it is a problem for vegans. People can come up with precise nutritional requirements for whatever they want, but if there is no empirical evidence, there is no empirical evidence. That is what many nutritional recommendations are based on - the minimum amount of X to not have signs of deficiency.

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FB...I don't see how you can continue this conversation.  Obviously no one's opinion (or research) is better than his own.  ::)  ::)
All I keep thinking while seeing this conversation if that our favorite smiley person has created a "male" account.

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i know mirrya, but i'm endlessly stubborn.
i guess we all better start drinking soy protein shakes and loading up on TVP. this feels like 1997.

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(I'm not sure if that was directed at me or everyone or what, but) I know it's hard to determine tone just from writing, but your previous posts came off as a tad pompous. Perhaps that wasn't your intent, but the stuff like "Please note," comes off that way, at least when not written in a textbook. Any mocking tone of mine (and others) was a response to that.
Also, a veg*n diet full of supplemented soy protein does seem pretty 90s, or back when people thought one had to get a complete protein for every meal.
Anyway, as far as your questions:
Am I trying to sabotage vegan health?
No. I think that the amount of lysine you cited was more than the actual recommendations, and that it is possible to get enough without loads of TVP. Lysine is important, but you have to wonder what the requirement really is if there are few signs of deficiency in an apparently lysine-deprived crowd.
What data do you trust?
Peer-reviewed research, especially in the form of research reviews. We both cited such sources, however, the source you cited did not actually provide an amount per kg body weight. This is an important measure, since the amount of protein that a person will eat in a day varies, whereas the lysine requirement does not. I found a resource, and a more recent on, that did have this measurement. They are both grounded in scientific institutions, but one was less clear and pre-dated the current research review on the topic.
What would religious data on lysine look like anyway? I'm fairly certain amino acids are not mentioned in the Bible, but I'm no religious scholar.

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FB...I don't see how you can continue this conversation.  Obviously no one's opinion (or research) is better than his own.   ::)  ::)
All I keep thinking while seeing this conversation if that our favorite smiley person has created a "male" account.

i know mirrya, but i'm endlessly stubborn.
i guess we all better start drinking soy protein shakes and loading up on TVP. this feels like 1997.

Seriously.

It's a wonder all of us vegans aren't dead yet.

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i think all this obsessing over a perfect diet seems a little bizarre... i mean why is it that just cause you're vegan everyone needs to sit there and analyze the thing to death?... i think any vegan on here eats much better the the typical person... i haven't heard of anyone dropping dead from not getting enough lysine... eat a varied diet and pop a b12 and your fine... i don't have all day to calculate how much of what i am getting it doesn't seem very practical

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Yeah, ideally everyone should do that. An omnivorous diet does not guarantee adequate intake of anything, as a vegan diet doesn't either.

FWIW, I had to track my diet for a few weeks for a nutrition class using one of those internet analyzer deals. What I wasn't getting enough of was actually niacin and vitamin E. Not calcium, B12 (well, I took supplements), and certainly not protein. Anyway, that type of thing is interesting, but is more tedious than the average person would put up with doing every day of their life (I'm pretty detail-oriented, and I gave it up after 3 weeks).

Also, nsfdri, the language you use comes off as recommendations. Unless you have the credentials (like a degree) to back that up, it might be unwise to dispense of nutritional advice. Demonstrating facts and figures is cool, as is relaying personal experience, but the "vegans should" etc might come off as medical advice. Just saying; even people with such credentials often avoid such language on the internet due to liability and such.

Re: phosphate - if the supplemental calcium in a vegan diet is calcium triphosphate, doesn't that kind of solve it? (i admit i don't take that type, but hey, it's a thought)

Re: peer review... using other vegans as subjects and for feedback does not make it peer reviewed. This is peer-review: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review particularly in reference for adequacy of publication/presentation.

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As far as ending up dead from a vegan diet, I guess we are all headed that way in the long run.  The question is, do you want to have bone problems when you get old or do you want your children to be physically smaller than other children because you feed them a nutritionally incomplete diet?

I think vegan parents put much more thought and care into making sure their children eat a well rounded and balanced diet... Whereas my mom, for example, feeds my young half brothers hot dogs and pop tarts "cause that's all they like to eat" LOL and yep, they're growing quickly alright, but i don't think that's a good thing...

Just cause the kid isn't huge and going through puberty at the same time as everyone else doesn't mean that's a bad thing, it's actually a good thing :) kids grow so fast and go through puberty so much earlier now because all of the animal crap and hormones they eat... not such a good thing... i'll stick with the smaller kid :)

pretty legit credentials... what do you plan on doing with your knowledge? like career wise?

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I meant - are you a nutritionist? a dietician? a biologist? something? what is your degree in?
I have to assume you don't work in a scientific field due to the "peer review" thing (sorry if that's wrong, but a masters student in a science field would probably be pretty involved with research of some sort).

I am not threatening to sue you, that much should have been clear. I'm saying that medical professionals are especially wary of dispensing advice (or anything that sounds like it) on the internet, because someone could misunderstand, misuse it, self-diagnose, avoid treatment, etc. If you go on Yahoo Answers, it's easy to find people who will say "do this!" "you should do that!", but if it's someone writing in to a health professional, there's often no advice offered or something vaguer, like "this resource says blah" or "such and such organization recommends this" rather than an actual opinion or push in one direction.

And... I wasn't asking about niacin, or sources. It was just an anecdote. I looked up what you said, though, and it appears that niacin is more of an issue for people who already have diabetes, versus before. As far as sources, I found that mushrooms had were the best package deal for niacin/vitE. I don't really worry about those things now, though.

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i think all this obsessing over a perfect diet seems a little bizarre... i mean why is it that just cause you're vegan everyone needs to sit there and analyze the thing to death?... i think any vegan on here eats much better the the typical person... i haven't heard of anyone dropping dead from not getting enough lysine... eat a varied diet and pop a b12 and your fine... i don't have all day to calculate how much of what i am getting it doesn't seem very practical

agreed.  There are many vegans out there who have lived decades as vegans and have not had catastrophic health problems as a result of not obsessively researching their diet and eating the perfect balance.  Just as there are omnivores who HAVE had catastrophic health problems from living on fast food every day and not making an effort to eat healthier. You dont have to have a masters degree or even be all that intelligent to eat a varied diet that covers your basic needs.  The human body is remarkably resiliant.  no one has a perfect diet, no one.

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Credential-wise, I have a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University. and even graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

I'm amused that when someone asks you for your credentials you include in your answer,"I even graduated with a 4.0 GPA." This leads me to believe that you're a phony. Anyone who graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a 4.0 GPA wouldn't bother arguing with people on an internet forum and attempting to brag about their GPA. They would have the confidence and intelligence to be speaking about this subject with peers in their field. Not to mention that you don't seem to understand what peer-review is and anyone studying a subject that deals with research learns about peer-reviewed research in 101 classes.

You're being pompous, defensive and attempting to brag on an internet forum. It's hard to take anything you say seriously when you act like a fool. 

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Not really sure how you want people to argue your findings with you when you continually take things personally, become defensive and act as if everyone is below you and couldn't possibly have the same understandings and intelligence as you. You have been nothing but hostile and snobby to everyone who has tried to converse with you in this thread.

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Credential-wise, I have a masters degree from Johns Hopkins University. and even graduated with a 4.0 GPA.

I'm amused that when someone asks you for your credentials you include in your answer,"I even graduated with a 4.0 GPA." This leads me to believe that you're a phony. Anyone who graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a 4.0 GPA wouldn't bother arguing with people on an internet forum and attempting to brag about their GPA. They would have the confidence and intelligence to be speaking about this subject with peers in their field. Not to mention that you don't seem to understand what peer-review is and anyone studying a subject that deals with research learns about peer-reviewed research in 101 classes.

You're being pompous, defensive and attempting to brag on an internet forum. It's hard to take anything you say seriously when you act like a fool. 

You are awesome, Minke.

I don't think this guy could be for real either. First

- the peer-review thing. Seriously, an undergraduate student should have a vague idea about this. A graduate student would know from experience, as would a professional.

then

- "degree in science, not medical" don't even know where to start there. most of the time, a person gets a bachelors in a science (often biology or some variation), and then pursues a health degree as a part of a graduate program. They are not exclusive entities, and even a "pre-med" student is majoring in something.

and as you mentioned the GPA. "credentials" usually mean "what degree/training do you have," not a GPA. this isn't a transcript, and tbh no one cares.

the reason why i asked... it's easy to take someone (and the knowledge they share) seriously on the internet when they demonstrate comprehension of that field, and can explain it to others, and after investigation, seems to be in line with the great tome of wikipedia. But when someone does not demonstrate but claims to be an authority, you have to ask.

Enthusiasm about nutrition is great. Not many people care about their diet. And there are plenty of things regularly overlooked, and things that are quite easily fixed. But refusal to look at multiple sources and consider alternatives is not conducive to learning, and is pretty much the antithesis of how one goes about research to begin with.

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