Vegan diets have gained immense popularity for the health benefits they offer. But transitioning to one and sticking to it is not that easy for everyone. Some perform well as vegans while it is not the same with everyone. Why is it so? Let us find out in this article.
The gut microbiome refers to the organisms that live inside your colon and perform a wide range of duties, starting from toxin neutralization to nutrient synthesis. Enough scientific evidence suggests that the gut microbiome is flexible and the bacterial populations shift based on various factors like age, environment, diet, and more. A significant portion of your resident microbe population is inherited at birth.
Disturbance to the microbiome due to chemotherapy and the consumption of antibiotics can cause permanent changes to it. The gut microbiome plays a significant role in determining how you respond to certain foods and nutrients. For example, people that lack enough vitamin K2 producing bacteria will lack enough K2 if they are following an exclusively plant-based diet. Animal foods are rich in vitamin K2 while plant foods do not contain much K2.
The production levels of salivary amylase are different among people. Exclusive plant-based diets are often high in carbs. Amylase plays a significant role in the metabolism of starch. If people with low amylase consume starchy foods, their sugar levels are more likely to rise. That means, the amylase levels in one’s body influences how well he/she performs when following a high-starch vegan diet.
Choline is an important nutrient that plays a significant role in regulating metabolism, lipid transport, brain health, and methylation.
Most foods that are rich in choline are sourced from animals. Plant foods also contain choline but the levels are often low.
Choline is internally produced in our body with PEMT, an enzyme. Choline requirements are high during pregnancy, and PEMT activity is significantly influenced by estrogen levels in women. Post-menopausal women have less estrogen in their bodies and they have to get more choline when compared to women in their reproductive years.
A vegan diet may not be able to meet the choline requirements of some people while for some, choline obtained from plant foods would be enough to meet their dietary requirements.
Vegan diets do not work the same way for all people. If you are new to one, keep track of the changes that it is making to your body to decide if you have to make any changes or quit it.