The 10 Worst Health Risks of a Vegetarian Diet.

8. Vitamin Deficiencies

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People who follow strict vegetarian diets are at greater risk of deficiencies for certain vitamins that are primarily found in animal products. For example, vegans who don’t consume eggs or milk are putting themselves at a disadvantage when it comes to vitamin B-12. Lack of B-12 has been linked to certain autoimmune diseases and nerve deterioration. Vegetarians are also likely to be more deficient in Vitamin D, which is beneficial in absorbing calcium.

7. Iron-Deficiency Anemia

People who follow vegetarian diets are at greater risk for developing pernicious anemia, a gastric disorder in which parietal cells that are responsible for breaking down proteins are demolished. Prior to the advent of modern medicine, it was typically fatal. Symptoms include depression, weight loss, jaundice, and diarrhea. Vegetarians are also at greater risk for iron-deficiency anemia because the foods that typically replace meat (such as soy protein) are high in fibers that complicate the absorption of iron.