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153: What to eat for a 35-year-old vegan woman with hypothyroidism and low zinc levels?

Masterjohn Q&A Files Episode 153


Question: What to eat for a 35-year-old vegan woman with hypothyroidism and low zinc levels?

I think a vegan with poor zinc levels should supplement with zinc. You know, it's one thing if you have a vegan whose diet just happens to provide good zinc status, despite the fact that their diet is dramatically lower in total zinc than an omnivore who eats a lot of red meat or seafood, particularly oysters, and that the bioavailability of zinc from those foods is dramatically less.

So a vegan probably needs twice as much zinc as an omnivore needs because of the inhibitory effect of phytate and the beneficial effect on zinc absorption by the amino acid composition of most animal proteins.


This Q&A can also be found as part of a much longer episode, here:

078: Ask Me Anything About Nutrition, August 19, 2020

For the remainder of 2020, I will be working full-time on finishing my Vitamins and Minerals 101 book, while reserving a portion of my time for consulting clients. You can pre-order my book at You can sign up for a consultation at 

DISCLAIMER: I have a PhD in Nutritional Sciences and my expertise is in performing and evaluating nutritional research. I am not a medical doctor and nothing herein is medical advice.

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The Masterjohn Q&A Files
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Chris Masterjohn, PhD