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i'm a vegetarian

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does me being a vegetarian have negative effects on my skin? ( i do eat plenty of protein and take supplements)

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Since vegetarianism isnt a specific diet, we cant really say.

But no, the lack of meat in your diet shouldnt have a negative impact on your skin, if anything, the opposite.

COngrats on an awesome choice!

Ive been vegetarian a year and a half now.

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I doubt it unless you eat junk food. I eat a mostly vegetarian diet except wild salmon and it's suppose to be very healthy.

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Animal sources has the only complete amino acid profile. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Supplement with the amino acids that incomplete vegetarian proteins miss. The benefit of being a complete protein is that certain amino acids complement each other and work well with each other. Of course you can find out which amino acids work well with each other to get certain desired effects(I do this to gain muscle), and then combine different plant sources to make a complete profile. Someone on this board tried to tell me taht amino acids don't do this and if htey show up don't believe them. Thney act just like minerals in that certain combos work better with each other.

Oh ya, i've read vegan site where they claim that you can eat one set of amino acids and then another a few days later and it will be great, as if these acids just sit around for days waiting for some other essential ones to come and then do their thing.

Now you need amino acids to rebuild all cells so I assume that if you are not getting enough amino acids your skin can't heal properly.

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In general, a veggie diet will not affect your skin (I've talked with nutrionalists and doctors).

The quality of your diet, being vegetarian OR a meat-eater, WILL affect your diet.

As long as you base your diet on veggies (not junk food and grains), there shouldnt be any bad side effects.

If you want a list of all the movie stars that are vegetarian and vegan -- who are just as healthy as any meat-eater or average person, here is a list:

Have fun reading :)


Dustin Hoffman

Princess Diana

Natalie Portman

Joaquin Phoenix vegan

Jerry Seinfeld

Clint Eastwood

Shania Twain vegan

Alec Baldwin vegan

Tobey Maguire

Kim Basinger

Bryan Adams vegan

Lenny Kravitz

Julia Stiles

Josh Hartnett

Liv Tyler

Michael J. Fox

Coretta Scott King

Jorja Fox (CSI)

Leonardo diCaprio

Leonard Nimoy

Vanessa Williams

Anne Hathaway (Princess Diaries)

David Duchovny

Pamela Anderson vegan

River Phoenix

James Cromwell (Babe) vegan

Candice Bergen

B.B. King

Hayley Mills

Sir Ian McKellen

Paul McCartney vegan

Julie Christie (Dr. Zhivalgo)

Alyssa Milano

Brigitte Bardot

Darryl Hannah

Gwyneth Paltrow

Jackie Chan

Alicia Silverstone vegan

Anthony Perkins (Psycho)

Woody Harelson

Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)

Siouxsie Sioux

Richard Gere

Reese Witherspoon

Moby Vegan

Christie Brinkley

Ricki Lake

Steve Martin (Commedian)

Billy Idol (singer)

Kate Bush (singer)

Ted Danson

William Shatner (StarTrek)

Lisa Kudrow (Friends)

John Lennon

Yoko Ono

Paul McCartney vegan

Linda McCartney

Heather Mills McCartney vegan

Ringo Starr

Barbara Bach

Chelsea Clinton

Don Mclean ("American Pie")

Keenan Ivory Wayens vegan

Peter Cushing

Dr. Benjamin Spock vegan

Jane Goodall

Fred Rogers (Mr. Rogers)

"Weird" Al Yankovic vegan

Marina Sirtis (Star Trek)

Mary Tyler Moore

Marilu Henner

Meredith Baxter

Bob Barker (The Price is Wrong)

Amy Ray (Indigo Girls)

Grace Slick

Steve Vai

Joan Baez (folk singer)

Paula Cole

George Harrison (Beatles)

Desmond Howard

Edwin Moses

Martina Navratilova

Oleg Casini

Oliver Stone (director)

Joe Jackson

Famous people from history (almost all the greatest minds were vegetarian ;)):


Leonardo da Vinci

Mahatma Ghandi vegan



Martin Luther


Nikola Tesla

Henry Ford

Charles Darwin



Thomas Edison

Henry David Thoreau

Sir Isaac Newton

Vincent Van Gogh

Susan B. Anthony


Louisa May Alcott

George Bernard Shaw

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Leo Tolstoy

Mark Twain


Mary Shelley


Henry Heimlich M.D

Chrissie Hynde

Cathy Dennis


Albert Schweitzer

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Franz Kafka

Charlotte Bronte

And sports atheletes, some of whom have set world records:

Bruce Lee

Killer Kowalski (in brief, an international heavyweight champion x 11)

Anthony Peeler (NBA)

Bill Walton (NBA)

Robert Parish (NBA)

Kathy Johnson (1980 Gymnast of the Year)

Bill Pearl (Bodybuilder)

Thomas Hellriegel (Ironman)

Dr. Ruth Heidrich (Ironwoman) Vegan

Natascha Badman (Ironlady of Hawaii)

Silken Laumann (Olympic rower)

Anthony Peeler (NBA Grizzlies)

Bill Pearl (Bodybuilder, Mr America)

Dave Scott (5x Ironman Triathlon winner) Vegan

Carl Lewis ( ten x Olympic winner) vegan

People can say that a vegetarian diet lacks essential amino acids, vitamins, etc. If someone was lacking essential nutrients, they would probably look VERY unhealthy and not be able to participate in many activities.

All I can say is that I've been vegan for almost two years, and I'm the top person in my 500-level exercise course. Half the class drops out after the first week, and I am always full of energy and feel fine at the end of each class -- which everyone comments about. So obviously the "protein deficiency" and "amino acid deficiency" that blackbirdbeatle is talking about has not caught up with me yet. Its been 2 years, blackbirdbeat. When am I supposed to start noticing the symptoms?

I have 5 friends who have been vegan for more than 30 years and they are the MOST ACTIVE people I know -- running in marathons for Cancer Awareness, ALWAYS buzzing around non-stop.

None of them have skin problems.

Blackbirdbeetle can say vegans and vegetarians are unhealthy, but it certainly goes against what I'm seeing.

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Blackbirdbeetle: I researched "amino-acid deficiency" and "protein deficiency" on medical websites. If vegetarians and vegans were truly deficient of amino-acids, then they would have these symptoms.

Symptoms of protein deficiency in adults:

- Swollen feet (Oedema, build-up of fluids, particullary in the feet and ankles)

- Severe weight loss

- muscle wasting (but we look at those vegetarian and vegan triathlon winners and do not see this)

- weakness and fatigue

- frequent infections (I just have too much sebum. I dont get infections).

- facial swelling

- hair loss

- diarrhea

First thing you notice is "impaired wound healing" and "wounds that just wont heal."

I am vegan and I have a cat who scratches me all the time and the scratches are gone within the week.

Children who are protein deficient (amino-acid deficient) have a 40% mortality rate, due to increased susceptibility to infections.

Yet, there are 2 million vegetarian parents raising their 4 million children on a vegetarian diet and this does not occur.

So, please revise and rethink what you are telling people because none of us have these symptoms.

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Also, blackbirdbeatle, egg white has ALL the essential amino acids that the body needs to make its own amino acids <--- that fact is from the University of Berkley's Nutrition course.

So, vegetarians do have all the essential amino acids.

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Huh? I said ANIMAL sources are complete. Not just meat. Please tell me the plant that produces the egg and I'll shut up.

I also never said vegans or vegetarians are amino acid defecient. They have to combine sources to get a complete profile. I said they would have to eat a variety of plant sources to get all 9 essential acids. Some plant sources are 'complete' but just in theory. In reality these complete plant sources have so little of certain acids that it really isn't complete.

All I said was if you don't take in any animal sources(I'm assuming she is on the no dairy bandwagon so that leves maybe eggs unless she doesn't want to eat any egg other than free range. It's understandable but hard to get true free range in many places. Organic isn't free range in most cases), you have to make that effort to research what the amino acid profiles are of what you are eating, figure out what you are low in and then substitute another plant sources that is high in those acids.

My friend is a vegetarian and he is quite active a big. He has no problem becuase he knows what sources to complement with each other when he isnt eating diary/eggs or sometimes fish.

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LOL, when you said "animal sources," I thought you meant an animal (moose, cow, chicken, pig). :P

Okie day, that makes sense.

I'm glad I misinterpreted what your post said, though. I learned a lot about protein deficiency symptoms :P.

Sorry if I offended you. :)

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Oh no, no offence.

I'm just giving a warning because you have to be active in knowing what you eat, moreso than us omnivores. It's tough to break down the foods you eat into it's basic building blocks and find out what you need more of and how to combine them to complement each other. Meat and whey especially is well suited for people like me that constantly break down muscle tissue because there are combinations of amino acids in it that produce optimal growth.

I've met one vegan bodybuilder that was 245lbs. let me tell you, I don't know how he does it. I don't have near enough pots to soak all the legumes I would need each day to eat.

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I started studying Vegan Body Building to help my boyfriend try to bodybuild (he was all into the "eating for a body builder" --and stopped short when he saw the size of the huge weights he had lift. So there went that idea, LOL)

Anyway, there are lots of sites (and some YouTube movies) on what to eat if you are body building and vegan.

I know Tofu, beans and nuts are a huge part of it because they have so much protein.

They make "tofu-nut shakes" each day.

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Ya I saw a lot about in when I went to Japan but it's probably not feasable to take over here for someone who is active and needs a lot of the essential amino acids. I think I would crap my pants if I actually priced it out at my health food grocery store.

I think we are getting off topic anyway. The OP proabaly eats eggs and some dairy. I would recommend whey isolate from: truprotein.com or trueproteincanada.com. All the subfractions, almsot no denaturing(2% vs. up to 25% for other powders), no lactose, etc... It's simultaneously the cheapest and best source of protein I've found ever. I drink it plain with water and it has very little taste.

Just get enough essential amino acids and get them everyday. You're skin will thank you. I heal great since I started taking the isolate in the above site.

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You can certainly body build with a vegan diet, but you're removing all the best sources of protein for muscle growth (whey/casein, fish, eggs, meat). Avoid soy protein sources, as it is one of the most terrible sources of protein. Studies have shown not only how ineffective it is, but it can also hurt your efforts.

A Protein Is Not A Protein

In this section, I'd like to demonstrate that not all proteins were created equal. Specifically, I'll briefly discuss whey and casein protein, fast and slow protein, animal and vegetable protein, cod/fish protein and soy protein.

The topic of whey vs. casein has been discussed ad nauseum lately so rather than belabor this issue, I'll quickly summarize a few studies.

Demling et al (2000) compared two groups on a 2100 to 2300kcal diet containing 143gP (26%), 286gC (52%), and 49gF (20%). Both groups weight trained for twelve weeks but received 75g of their daily protein intake from either a whey-based drink or a milk-protein isolate drink (80% casein, 20% whey). At the end of the study, the milk-protein isolate group lost more fat (15.4lbs vs. 9.2lbs), gained more lean mass (9lbs vs. 4.4lbs), and gained more upper and lower body strength than the whey group. It appears that milk protein isolate ingestion, when on a training program, may be a better way to enhance fat loss and muscle gain.

Lands et al (1999) showed that when supplementing with 20g of whey or casein for three months, the whey group had up-regulated their antioxidant defense systems and had increased performance in an anaerobic exercise task. The casein group didn't improve on any of the above parameters. Therefore whey may be better for antioxidant protection.

Since the fast vs. slow debate focuses on whey (fast) vs. casein (slow), let's address that research here. In studies by Boirie et al (1997) and Dangin et al (2001), it was shown that whey protein is better for up-regulating protein synthesis while casein protein is better for down-regulating protein breakdown. Not much more has to be said about this since it's been discussed about a thousand other times on this site alone. The take-home message from these studies is that a milk protein blend or a supplement containing whey + casein may be your best bet for body composition improvements.

Next up, what about those kooky vegetarians? Well, in comparing an omnivorous diet (meat containing) with a vegetarian diet, Campbell et al (1995, 1999) demonstrated that strength gains and body composition improvements are impaired when meat is removed from the diet.

In their studies, subjects weight trained for twelve weeks while consuming a 2300kcal diet consisting of 70-90gP (12-15%), 267-317gC (49%), and 82-87gF (7-11%). The only difference between groups was the fact that one group ate a meat-free diet while the other group ate meat. At the end of the twelve weeks, the meat eaters lost 2.8lbs of fat while gaining 3.74lbs of lean tissue. The vegetarians, on the other hand, lost no fat weight and lost 1.76lbs of lean tissue. Bottom line, meat seems to be an essential part of the diet.

Regarding fish in the diet, Lavigne et al (2001) demonstrated that cod protein was better than soy or casein for increasing muscle glucose sensitivity and for preventing insulin resistance in high-fat fed rats. Since codfish has a favorable omega-3 profile, the researchers duplicated their work using only the protein component of cod and the benefits remained the same. This indicates that eating fish may improve your carbohydrate sensitivity and ultimately your body composition and these effects may be independent of the fatty acid profile.

Finally, Lohrke et al (2001) showed that growing pigs fed a diet consisting of soy as the only source of protein had lower body weights, amino acid imbalances, increased cortisol levels, and increased muscle breakdown. The casein-fed pigs grew normally. This study indicates that a diet containing exclusively a low quality protein (soy in this case) may interfere with normal growth and development.

So, how do we use this information to our advantage? Well, since different protein sources confer different benefits, your best bet is to eat some fish protein (cod, salmon, tuna), some lean meat protein, and some milk protein isolates or whey/casein blends each day. Eating from a limited list of protein sources is a big mistake.

Depending on their individual needs, my clients typically eat a different protein source with every meal so that by the end of the day they've gotten complete protein from egg whites, fat free cheese, milk protein isolate shakes, cottage cheese, salmon or tuna and lean beef, not to mention the incomplete sources like mixed beans and mixed nuts.

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Let's remember that protein deficiency is the rarest thing ever

In the western world no one suffer from genuine protein deficiency

The only way to create a protein deficiency in the western world is not getting enough calories

Amino acids deficiency is the rarest thing ever

Even if you consume your daily caloric allotment of just one plant food (let's say 1800 calories of garbanzo) you're still getting way more than the RDA for every single amino acid

Practically all foods have adequate amount of all amino acids and even the limiting amino acid in grain is just "virtual" since it's enough to get 240% of the RDA

There's no food on earth that lack more than one amino acid and just a bunch of food that genuinely lack an amino acid (plums, nectarines, carambola, papaya and few others)

If that wasn't enough all essential amino acids are stored in the body (perpetual ricycling) in the amino acid pool. Some of the amino acids like lysine can last (and be supplied to the body even if they're totally lacking in the diet) for more than 11 days


there's an important difference between "obligatory amount" and "practical amount"

If you look at the medical literature the most important factor influencing the outcome of a kind of dietary regimen is "protein". In fact it accounts for the differences we see on weight loss studies; while low carb vs. high carb when both provide adequate level of protein make absolutely no difference at all. But the people who get "unadequate" protein in those studies still get "enough" protein to remain alive just not "enough" to be as healthy and functional as they can be

But unlike the common myth "underproteinated" people are not those that don't consume meat, dairy or eggs but those that consume foods that are genuinely deficient in protein while being rich in calories: junk food also known as naked calories

There was this story about thise vegerian losing his sight

The press loved to blame it on the vegetarian diet

When they tool blood sample this person was deficient in almost all mineral and vitamins but the most serious deficiency was in VITAMIN C

We all known that the plant word is rich in Vitamin C

When they analyzed his diet it came out he was eating: french fries, pasta, chips, jams, white bread and croissants. He absolutely ate no veggies, no fruits, no nuts, no legumes, no greens ...

This didn't stop the press from making a case against the vegetarian diets

So that's what actually result in too low intake of protein: eating too many refined foods

Many people eat refined food for berakfast, fast foods for lunch, snack all days on junk and sweet, drink more beer, sodas and sugared fruit juices than water

There are the people who don't get an optimum amount of protein

Eating 4-6 regular meals with legumes, nuts, grens, veggies, fruits, starches (even whole grains) [and if vegetarian eggs too] can't cause neither a protein deficiency not a protein unadequacy

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I didn't know the body stores essential amino acids. Please give me a link. I don't doubt you, I've just never read it and I would like to look into it further. I've only and always read that the body can't store them and down the kidneys they go.

Please show me a link where Lysine or any essential acid is produced by the body. I'm doubting you on this one.

Also other than say soy, the body doesn't digest as much plant proteins.

Of course you can get all the amino acids if you eat 1800 calories worth of chickpeas everyday. Who does this? Even 350calories of the stuff is a big bowl. Using your example you would have to eat about 350-400grams of chickpeas to get adequate methionine. Who eats this much? That's quite a bit and chickpeas are very high in methionine for a plant source. This is also assuming 100% digestion, which is not the case. I'm also assuming its eaten raw which is impossible. Knock down a lot of absorption for cooking(I'm even thinking 7 cups of chickpeas).

The digestion rate of legumes is around 49%. It's 80% and up for animal sources but good news is that eggs are the best.

Theres also the issue of people like me that need more of certain amino acids because of weightlifting. I also read that protein absorption is measured when a person is fasting and hasn't eaten in a while, or at least 4 hours. Obviously I eat protein way more frequently than that and so woudl any active vegetarian or vegan. This also limits the absorption.

To make matters worse, if you are eating such large quantities of protein such as bowls full of legumes, the absorption is even worse. Same for meat or anything. In small quanities the absorption is high for most proteins. A 100grams of chickpeas at around 26grams of protein isn't a little amount.

It's because of this that I tell people that takig in 50grams of protein in that shake at once is a waste. They are throwing away at least a quarter of the protein.

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I didn't know the body stores essential amino acids. Please give me a link. I don't doubt you, I've just never read it and I would like to look into it further. I've only and always read that the body can't store them and down the kidneys they go.

Please show me a link where Lysine or any essential acid is produced by the body. I'm doubting you on this one.

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Thanks for the link. My question to you is how does this pool affect anythign I've said other than act as a buffer?.Your body uses certain amounts of nitrogen(In my case I need a positive balance to keep growing), and it's constantly filling that pool with tissue and dietary protein. Ya, if you stopped taking protein it would recycle for a while but that's only useful if your starving and would only buy you a limited time. You are still getting less and less lysine or whatever each time because you are using it up. You have to constantly fill the pool and so for all practical purposes nothing I said changes. You still need a certain amount of Lysine or whatever acid to stay alive for a long time.

I don't understand what you meant by not needing to frequently ingest protein. Yes the pool seems to be there but now it's being drained much faster since I need a greater nitrogen balance becuase my muscles are constantly needing to be repaired. It all goes back to what I said and your link says this as well that there are many factors that affect the bioavailability of a protein. One of these is taking in protein at large intervals. The bioavailability goes way down and I end up wasting money. Smaller portions more frequently makes sure more is absorbed and I guess fills up the pool.

It's not scientific but I've noticied my gains in muscle mass changes depending on when I take in protein, how much I take in each time, and what kinds of amino acids I take in each meal. Stepping away form Lysine, your link says that many have a life in the pool of only hours. I have tried 1 gram per kilo of weight and it did nothing. I never changed anythign else on my diet and I took in 2 grams per kilo. Okay, those were better gains. I changed nothing except I took in 1 gram per pound and now I've found the right combination. I don't understand why everyone says you only need a small amount of protein. I actually lost muscle mass when I took in the avergae amount and gained next to nothign when I took in twice the RDA.

The Bioavailability numbers are correct. Legumes are horrible when compared to animal sources. I've seen reports as high as 91% for beef but I haven't seen anything lower than 79%. If I only needed like 15 grams a day at 100% for an equilibrium, then why was I losing muscle mass taking in 150grams at around 79% for meats, 88% for eggs and 50% for legumes? My nitrogen balance would have to be enourmously positive given that statistic. I don't think I was depleting the pool at that rate yet if the 15 grams is correct I was.

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