Nutrient Deficiencies on a Vegetarian Diet
by Chris Masterjohn
Audio recording available from Wolf River Naturals, www.wolfrivernaturals.com
Those who have been with us for any length of time will recognize the name Chris Masterjohn. You will remember from his articles in previous journals that he digs into the nuts and bolts of nutrition. This MP3 audio (1 hour 54 minutes) contains plenty of nuts and bolts. Some people like that, some don’t. I’m an engineer, so I like it. Having read several of his articles and listening to him speak at conferences and on recordings, it is clear he has a razor sharp intellect. He starts off the lecture by relating his personal history with vegetarianism and near veganism, which illustrates that even the brightest people were young and stupid like everybody else at some point. His experiment with vegetarianism came to a crashing halt when he was confronted with twelve cavities, two root canals and regular panic attacks (that’s just the short list). Interestingly, red meat stopped the panic attacks in a matter of weeks.
After a quick review of Weston Price’s work, it’s time for details, from vitamin A to zinc. Vitamin A is important for a long list of functions and one of the early signs of a deficiency is poor night vision. Vitamin A and D need to be properly balanced to be effective and by themselves are toxic. Proper mineralization requires not only proper minerals, but fat soluble vitamins A, D, K and protein. B vitamins need to be balanced and in the right form. Most vegetarians know that they don’t get B12 from vegetables and need to supplement. What they don’t know is vitamin B12 supplements are usually in the form of cyanocobalamin. Mr. Masterjohn suspects that form is ineffective because it contains cyanide. The human body detoxifies cyanide by combining it with cobalamin. He explains why all these critical vitamins are hard to get in a vegetarian diet and what the best sources are. Powerpoint slides were obviously used in the lecture but are quite invisible in the audio, so those who may be frustrated by that should beware. Still, the lecture is easy to follow and most educational. A big thumbs up for this one.
This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly journal of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Winter 2008.