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CHOLINE CONFUSION

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Claims that a vegan diet can be bad for brain health, because plant-based foods lack the crucial nutrient choline, have “no justification” according to Tom Sanders, Professor emeritus of Nutrition and Dietetics at King's College London. The claims were made by Dr. Emma Derbyshire, a nutritional consultant who sits on the Meat Advisory Panel, in a piece published in the BMJ Nutrition, Prevention & Health journal. Dr. Derbyshire made the point that the best dietary sources of choline are beef, eggs, dairy products, pork, chicken and salmon. Sanders, however, said: "Choline can be made in the body and it is also abundant in many plant foods including soybeans.” He admitted there are some risks associated with going vegan, but none that can’t be easily addressed: "The main hazard of a vegan diet with regard to neurological development is vitamin B12 deficiency, which can readily be avoided by consuming food fortified with the vitamin derived from microbial sources."

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