Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Eur J Nutr. 2017 Feb;56(1):283-293. doi: 10.1007/s00394-015-1079-7. Epub 2015 Oct 26.

Micronutrient status and intake in omnivores, vegetarians and vegans in Switzerland.

Author information

1
Human Nutrition Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 7, LFV D22, 8092, Zurich, Switzerland.
2
International Group, MRC Keneba, Keneba, The Gambia.
3
Swiss Vitamin Institute, Epalinges, Switzerland.
4
Human Nutrition Laboratory, ETH Zurich, Schmelzbergstrasse 7, LFV D22, 8092, Zurich, Switzerland. isabelle.herter@hest.ethz.ch.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Vegetarian and vegan diets have gained popularity in Switzerland. The nutritional status of individuals who have adopted such diets, however, has not been investigated. The aim of this study was to assess the intake and status of selected vitamins and minerals among vegetarian and vegan adults living in Switzerland.

METHODS:

Healthy adults [omnivores (OVs), n OV = 100; vegetarians (VGs), n VG = 53; vegans (VNs), n VN = 53] aged 18-50 years were recruited, and their weight and height were measured. Plasma concentrations of the vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, folic acid, pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin and β-carotene and of the minerals Fe, Mg and Zn and urinary iodine concentration were determined. Dietary intake was assessed using a three-day weighed food record, and questionnaires were issued in order to assess the physical activity and lifestyle of the subjects.

RESULTS:

Omnivores had the lowest intake of Mg, vitamin C, vitamin E, niacin and folic acid. Vegans reported low intakes of Ca and a marginal consumption of the vitamins D and B12. The highest prevalence for vitamin and mineral deficiencies in each group was as follows: in the omnivorous group, for folic acid (58 %); in the vegetarian group, for vitamin B6 and niacin (58 and 34 %, respectively); and in the vegan group, for Zn (47 %). Despite negligible dietary vitamin B12 intake in the vegan group, deficiency of this particular vitamin was low in all groups thanks to widespread use of supplements. Prevalence of Fe deficiency was comparable across all diet groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

Despite substantial differences in intake and deficiency between groups, our results indicate that by consuming a well-balanced diet including supplements or fortified products, all three types of diet can potentially fulfill requirements for vitamin and mineral consumption.

KEYWORDS:

Dietary intake; Micronutrient status; Minerals; Vegan; Vegetarian; Vitamins

PMID:
26502280
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-015-1079-7
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Springer
Loading ...
Support Center