There are many reasons people go vegan, from wanting to be healthier, to reducing their environmental footprint, to concerns about animal welfare.
No matter what the reason, many people find it difficult to meet the nutrient intaketargets for specific vitamins and minerals while on a vegan diet. These include vitamin B12, iron, calcium, and iodine.
Vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is essential for making red blood cells, DNA (your genetic code), fatty acids located in myelin (which insulate nerves), and some neurotransmitters needed for brain function.
Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver, so a deficiency probably won't happen in adults in the short term.
Calcium is needed to develop and maintain the skeleton bones, and is stored in the teeth and bones. It is also essential for heart, muscle and nerve function.
Iodine is needed to make thyroxine, a thyroid hormone used in normal growth, regulation of metabolic rate, and development of the central nervous system. Iodine is concentrated in the thyroid gland.
Iron is needed to make haemoglobin in red blood cells, which carries oxygen around your body.
Iron is also needed for the production of energy in your muscles, and for concentration and a healthy immune system.