Evidence-Based Nutrient Recommendations

Stroke in Taiwanese Vegetarians

Last year we posted about a study that found a higher risk of stroke among vegetarians in the EPIC-Oxford cohort. This higher risk was specifically related to hemorrhagic stroke, and authors of the study noted that vegetarians had lower vitamin B12 levels than nonvegetarians.

We recently updated the stroke section of our vegetarian cohorts page with information about a 2020 study that found a lower risk of stroke in Taiwanese vegetarians, including hemorrhagic. Researchers found that the lower overall stroke risk only applied to vegetarians with inadequate vitamin B12 intake (<2.4 μg per day). Because vitamin B12 is a marker of animal product intake, the most likely explanation is that a higher animal product intake attenuated the benefits of a vegetarian diet. 

Please follow our vitamin B12 recommendations to help ensure a healthy vitamin B12 status!


Chiu THT, Chang HR, Wang LY, Chang CC, Lin MN, Lin CL. Vegetarian diet and incidence of total, ischemic, and hemorrhagic stroke in 2 cohorts in Taiwan.Neurology. 2020 Mar 17;94(11):e1112-e1121.

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  • If you have a question about whether it's okay to cut supplements in half or combine supplements to achieve the dose we recommend, the answer is “Yes.” Be aware that nutrient recommendations are only estimates—it's not necessary to consume the exact amount we recommend every single day.
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