MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered that going veggie could be bad for your brain-with those on a meat-free diet six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.

Vegans and vegetarians are the most likely to be deficient because the best sources of the vitamin are meat, particularly liver, milk and fish. Vitamin B12 deficiency can also cause anaemia and inflammation of the nervous system. Yeast extracts are one of the few vegetarian foods which provide good levels of the vitamin.

The link was discovered by Oxford University scientists who used memory tests, physical checks and brain scans to examine 107 people between the ages of 61 and 87. When the volunteers were retested five years later the medics found those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 were also the most likely to have brain shrinkage. It confirms earlier research showing a link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12.

Makes perfect sense to me.

  1. BillM says:

    Every vegan I have ever met was a left wing nut case. I’m just say’in……

  2. dude984 says:

    That’s why you eat intelligently and educate yourself before you stop eating meat. Many vegetarians simply cut out meat and don’t replace the proteins and other nutrients, thinking they’re fine. A vegetarian diet is quite healthy, but one must go about doing it the right way instead of half-assing it and making the rest of us look like douchebags (if you can’t tell, I’m a vegetarian).

  3. dude984 says:

    and to #1, not all of us are…

  4. FRAGaLOT says:

    Well it does explain a lot here. If you’re losing brain cells when you don’t eat meat (or all the proteins you need) and you end up stupid, you won’t realize this because you have become a fucking moron. It’s a cyclic logic here. Morons don’t know they are morons.

  5. @#2:”A vegetarian diet is quite healthy, but one must go about doing it the right way” – by its very definition vegetarian diet can’t be healthy. As long as you need supplements of any kind, that means that your diet is wrong. This includes “enriched” and “fortified” vegetarian foods, which are just veggies’ with added industrially produced nutrients that are not naturally there. B12 is just the most glaring example…
    Nature have had its own say… Vegetarian humanoids existed. They got extinct. We didn’t.

  6. dude984 says:


    Well, i honestly really don’t want to argue any point. I know we don’t want this to turn into some stupid flame war, so I’ll just say that there are many ways to lead a healthy lifestyle, they sometimes can include a supplement. Doctors recommend just about EVERYONE in modern society to take their daily vitamin (with our modern diet of fast food and processed foods, we need supplements anyway; look a the rate people get sick these days). In the end, eating meat isn’t evil, it’s just the way nature works. For reasons I don’t want to get into, some choose a different path.

  7. noname says:

    George: They’re worse! They’re much worse than us, they talk about everything! Couldn’t you at least tell her about the shrinkage factor?

    Jerry: No, I’m not gonna tell her about your shrinkage. Besides, I think women know about shrinkage.

    George: How do women know about shrinkage? (They see Elaine walking down the hall) Elaine! Get! (She enters) Do women know about shrinkage?

  8. GetSmart says:

    Gorillas can be considered humanoid, and the reason they face extinction has more to do with the fact that they didn’t invent firearms (To kill people with) than with their vegetarian diet.

  9. Bigbear says:

    Wow – That explains a lot!

    Girls, eat more meat or your brain will shrink!

    I’m going to have to get a copy of that study for my GF…

  10. Glenn E. says:

    I can’t help butt think that this “report” is just a load of propaganda. Probably sponsored by the Meat Board, or whatever commercial entity needs a boost in sales. Apparently the fast food industry is hurting, because of high fuel cost and economic down turn. So just like the Atkins diet, a few years back. This too was timed to counteract a meat sales slump. Ya know a lot of people in India don’t eat meat. And yet they’ve got most of our outsourced technical jobs. So it doesn’t seem to have effected their brains all that much, has it?

  11. Buzz says:

    Does “shrinkage” = impairment of any kind, or is it just more compact? They don’t come out with the magic word “fewer.”

    Has cell count gone down? I mean, other than the native reduction in cell count over the same period, that we all suffer.

    Does shrinkage/compaction mean more efficient thought processes (free of superfluous fat, perhaps)?

    Is the content of a human’s character equal to the volume of their brain?

  12. Peanut Butter and Jam says:

    Ya know a lot of people in India don’t eat meat. And yet they’ve got most of our outsourced technical jobs. So it doesn’t seem to have effected their brains all that much, has it?

    It has effected their brains, the reason why they have our jobs is because they brains have shrunk too small to realise they could get more pay….

  13. Cursor_ says:

    The reason why homids evolved larger braisn was due to them beginning to consume flesh.

    Mostly cariion at first, but over time when their brains begand to get larger and they developed tools they would hunt.

    Meat is the evolutionary key to bigger brains and thereby smarter and more adaptable humans.

    We evolved to become omnivores for a reason.


  14. Mark Derail says:

    Geez, so many ‘wrong’ people commenting.

    Flesh rots in your stomach, less than 1% is actually used by your body.

    I’m not in favor of Vegans – but vegetarian that eats chicken eggs – nearly always from free range chickens.

    This ‘study’ is commissioned and paid for by the meat producers of America to ‘convince’ gullible America.

    A much better study showed that one to two eggs a week provide 100% of B12 and other amino acids adult humans require.

    Without any of the annoying red meat side effects, not including torturing animals.

    Humans haven’t evolved into omnivores from something else, we’re hominids. Flexibility is what ensures survival.

    Eating a chicken is counter-productive, when for very little food, letting it loose (not caged) eating ants and grubs (in a pen), produces many eggs per week.
    A dozen chickens keeps a small primitive village healthy.

    Sure – your meat tastes good. Most of you don’t fully understand what goes on behind the scenes for you to enjoy that steak or hamburger.

  15. bahram says:

    So finally, beer worse than wine or better?
    First it says that beer does less damage, and then says that hippocampus was 10% smaller in beer drinkers compared to wine drinkers.

  16. Floyd says:

    Most vegetarians, and especially vegans, that I’ve known aren’t healthy at all. They are abnormally thin (as in little muscle), and vegans seem to be perpetually ill and have a strange smell to them.
    #14: Humans are omnivores by evolution.
    Meat digests just fine in the stomach because we’ve evolved the enzymes needed to eat meat. It’s an evolutionary advantage.

    I also know perfectly well how cattle are grown, having lived in the Southwest for some time, and having been on working ranches. Cattle are free range for most of their lives, and only go to feedlots for a short time before slaughter.

  17. MikeN says:

    Indian vegetarians are healthy because they get some meat anyways from poor food processing.

  18. MikeN says:

    And I thought the Sex and the City pictures were ugly.

  19. jbellies says:

    #5 George Bernard Shaw, a vegetarian, famously ate liver. Shocked vegetarians asked the obvious question. He said that, yes, he was a vegetarian, but that liver was a medicine, not a food.

    Vitamin B12 is a concern to vegetarians. I’ve been a “mostly” vegetarian (never eat beef, eat a bit of chicken maybe 5x a year) for 37 years. About 10 years ago I went to the GP complaining about lassitude; it turned out that my B12 levels were depleted. And that’s with 2+ eggs a week. The stomach doesn’t absorb B12 efficiently. I gradually felt better after a few months of supplements, and continue to take them.

    So, Vegetarians, put nutritional yeast on your popcorn. So good … and so good for you!

  20. Angel H. Wong says:


    “Gorillas can be considered humanoid, [blablabla]than with their vegetarian diet.”

    And don’t forget that gorillas have one to two inch (erect) penises.

  21. Mark Derail says:

    Of course only Angel H. Wong would notice such a feature. 🙂

    FWIW I do eat the occasional chicken, as well seafood / fish. No need to eat beef / pork to keep my B12 up.

    However I will look into it.

    Gorillas eat insects, and the blood of small animals -or their favorite sport- chimps.

    Most likely they get their B12 in the blood. I also never saw a healthy truly vegan hominid.

  22. hhopper says:

    Angel you horny bastard!

  23. Stephanie says:

    #16, I call bullshit!

    I am not a vegetarian by any stretch of the imagination but I do not eat as much meat as the “average” American.

    American meat that is of quality (raised without hormones, not in horrible conditions and slaughtered humanely) is expensive and hard to come by. If those of you who call vegetarians or vegans stupid want to eat flesh that is harvested in some of the most despicable ways, more power to you. Vegetarians fall under different categories as well with some eating dairy, fish or eggs. All of those things still have protein and vitamins.

    Indeed there is also research that links over-consumption of red meat to various kinds of cancer. And what about all those nitrites that they put in the processed meats? If you want to put that garbage in your body, go for it!

    I am all for reformation of “ranching” and slaughtering practices in this country. But even if it did happen, meat will be my side dish, not the main course. You have heard it time and time again, moderation is key.

    What the hell is with that picture anyways? No meat for dinner tonight after that visual.

  24. Robynnnn says:

    If we’re all so stupid, how come Albert Einstein was a vegetarian?


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