Is this a NEW early symptom of vegan protein deficiency?

One of the key worries most new vegans have is suffering a protein deficiency.

And every quote on quote expert online claims that protein deficiency is abound. According to the internet, every small symptom such as white spots on your finger nails or brittle hair is a reason to rush to the doctor immediately.

Now.. let’s take a step back and focus on the data.

In this video you’ll learn everything about vegan protein deficiency and if there’s an early symptom to actually see if you’re protein deficient.

I am a vegan myself for 6 years and I took the last few days to read through the data of protein deficiency.

So are you ready? Let’s just dive right into it.

Regardless of what you might have heard in the past, protein deficiency is something that actually exists.

The disease is called kwashiorkor. One gets it if one consumes enough calories but insufficient protein. It was originally discovered 90 years ago in 1935.

The symptoms are clear: Swelling of the hands and feet, as well as fatty liver disease.

Websites such as then go on to claim that fad diets in the United States could be a cause of Kwashiorkor.

And that a common sign of Kwashiorkor is:

  1. Change in skin and hair color
  2. Fatigue
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Loss of muscle mass

So, we better all be worried if we’re tired now as a new vegan and experience diarrhea. We should all just rush to the doctor and get our liver values checked. Am I right?

Hold on. Things are not that black and white.

Let’s go a little bit back in time before the ‘experts’ on healthline and look at what a follow up study in 1987 found, called ‘free radicals in the pathogenesis of kwashiorkor’.

There’s some key observations in the protein deficiency disease that we need to keep in mind:

  1. One key observation is that the disease is most often found in the newly weaned child. Meaning, we’re literally talking about newborns here that are in the first year of life. Not adults.
  2. 2nd observation, now it gets really interesting, is that only a small portion of children, 1 in 50 to 1 in 200, consuming an extremely low protein diet actually produce such symptoms.
  3. Not only that, the disease that seems to be protein deficiency, is actually common in kids that do get enough protein. Kids, again newborn kids, that are still breastfed. The nutritional composition of breast milk does not change in times of hunger, to have less protein in it, so that’s a valid point.
  4. And if this would not be enough, the protein deficiency disease is extremely different to reproduce in a hygienic controlled setting. So it’s not a case of eating less protein and you get the disease.

So conclusion: It seems, that the disease is actually not linked to protein at all.

Turns out that the protein deficiency disease is more of a free radical disease or an immune system malfunctioning. Here’s the proposed mechanism:

  1. First, the newborn child, is exposed to toxic stress. Usually mold poisoning or an infection such as measles.
  2. This creates free radicals with not sufficient defense mechanisms. Because well, we’re talking about a disease that happens in newborns with a largely undeveloped immune system.
  3. Which then turns into water retention, liver damage, skin lesions and hair discoloration.

This also lines up 1:1 with the treatment options of quote on quote protein deficiency. As stated by the WHO:

  1. First you give the infant with protein deficiency enough carbs.
  2. Then you warm the infant up.
  3. Then you give the infant enough water.
  4. Then you give the infant some cool electrolytes.
  5. Then you tret the infection.
  6. Then you give the INFANT some micronutrients.
  7. And blah blah blah

The more you do your own research on this the more you realize that this is not related to protein at all.

Now is protein important? Sure it is. We should not eliminate this one essential nutrient out of our diet. But we also should not excessively worry about it and blame every little symptom a normally functioning human has – such as fatigue which literally could have 1,000 different causes – on protein deficiency.

Because if we take the time to read the data, we’re seeing that THE best way to avoid protein deficiency is not stuffing your face with protein shakes, it’s avoiding toxic environmental exposure as an infant.