For the past 4 weeks I have been eating a vegan diet, and have taken a blood test both before and after.
The diet was fairly balanced, but did include some occasional vegan junk food, it included fresh fruit, some vegetables, kidney beans, chickpeas, seaweed (nori), hemp seeds, but it did also include some processed food (frozen vegan pizza, vegan curries) and vegan fortified almond milk and vegan protein powder.
Direct link to results: https://rickyhewitt.dev/blog/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/thriva-after-vegan.png
16.3nmol/L to 14.63nmol/L (NORMAL)
(slight DECREASE, but still within normal range)
25.99umol/L to 20.3 (NORMAL)
(DECREASE, still within normal range, however a drop of almost 6 points a month would lead to low levels within 3 more months)
Vitamin B12 (active)
85.4pmol/L to 111pmol/L (NORMAL)
(INCREASE, likely increased due to supplementation of B12 as advised)
20.9nmol/L to 11.5nmol/L (NORMAL before, borderline insuffcient now)
(DECREASE by almost half, concerning as it would be insuffcient within 1 more month)
LDL (bad) Cholesterol
2.66mmol/L to 2.3mmol/L (NORMAL)
3.34mmol/L to 2.89mmol/L (NORMAL)
HDL (good) Cholesterol
0.75mmol/L to 0.61mmol/L (LOW)
(DECREASE, which is bad as it is GOOD Cholesterol and is currently within a low/insufficient range)
4.09mmol/L to 3.5mmol/L (OPTIMAL)
1.49mmol/L to 1.27mmol (NORMAL)
Liver (total protein)
80g/L to 67g/L (NORMAL, however borderline LOW now)
(DECREASE, which is slightly concerning as I was supplementing 50-75g of vegan protein powder most days, despite this I would be classed as ‘Low’ within another month)
72.4nmol/L to 54nmol/L (NORMAL before, borderline INSUFFICIENT now)
(DECREASE, despite 1000IU supplementation most days, which is concerning because if I continued it would have been insufficient)
There’s a whole bunch of others that I won’t include because they’re not as relevant or have smaller changes.
Some of the results are somewhat strange, for instance Vitamin B 12 has increased, despite the fact for most people going vegan it would usually decrease!
The drop in Vitamin D and Iron are both slightly concerning and if they continued to drop at the same rate then in my case it would have eventually lead to a deficiency. Even worse — I was supplementing 1000IU of Vitamin D most days, yet still had a significant drop.
Based on my results, if I were going to advise the vegan diet (or try it again) I would recommend being careful about your Iron & Vitamin D intake, and not eat any vegan junk foods, and keep it 100% wholefood.
In my case I will be trying a low carb/keto diet next and will also have a comparison for that. For now I think a vegan diet is not for me, however I wouldn’t rule out trying again someday with a 100% wholefood diet.