19 vegans in Lebanon (Al Jassem et al. 2024)

Al Jassem et al. 2024 reported results of an online survey, stating that in "a sample of 483 Lebanese adults, "11.4% were in the vegan/vegetarian group, and about 43.1% had vitamin B12 deficiency." It seems that the 43.1% refers to all participants - but this is not correct.

First, there were no actual blood tests. This was only an online survey.

Second, ~57% of all participants reported to have never have B12 levels tested, while ~19% reported that they had been tested with B12 deficiency found and ~25% reported to have been tested with no B12 deficiency found.

In the entire article, they do not differentiate between vegans and other vegetarians, but in the Supplementary material (Excel file: XLSX), the number of vegans can be seen to be 19.

From this supplementary material, I extracted the following information:
  • 12 out of 19 vegans (63%) indicated that they take a vitamin B12 supplement - the remainder said that they did not.
For the other dietary groups, B12 supplementation rates were lower:
  • 6 of the 22 lacto-ovo-vegetarians (27%)
  • 6 out of 11 lacto-vegetarians (55%)
  • 0 out of 3 ovo-vegetarians
  • 117 out of 428 omnivores (27%)

There was no clear difference by diet type regarding the question: "How SATISFIED/DISSATISFIED are you with your CURRENT sleep pattern?"

There was no clear difference by diet type regarding the question: "Do you suffer from paresthesia, numbness, or abnormal tingling sensations?" 11% of vegans and 24% of omnivores answered "yes".

There were no clear differences by diet type regarding most of the other variables contained in the supplementary material file.

Out of 19 vegans, 1 was married, 16 had a Bachelor degree, 15 were employed, 10 had a full-time job, and 2 were employed in a health care-related field.

Of the 19 vegans, 12 were from Mount Lebanon, 4 from Beirut, 2 from North Lebanon, and 1 from Bekaa.

Mean age of the vegans was 26 years (range: 19-45 years). Age was similar in the other diet groups.

You can find vegan nutrition recommendations in Arabic here.