A recent study on brain shrinkage was completed showing vegans and vegetarians had significantly smaller brains than those who ate red meat.  Research showed a, “Link between brain atrophy and low levels of B12,” Nora Gedgaudas board certified nutritional consultant and board certified clinical neurofeedback specialist said. She stated that, “The biggest brain in the vegan was already smaller than the smallest brain of someone on a normal diet. Surprisingly, “All the participants actually had B12 levels to be considered within so-called normal range,” yet still suffered from brain shrinkage, brain atrophy and bouts of aggression and anger. Click here and here and here for further study. See other sources below for other studies.

“They actually measured the size of the participants’ brains. And then they took these volunteers and retested them all five years later. The scientists found that those with the lowest levels of vitamin B12 intake were the most likely to have brain shrinkage. Now of course vegetarians and vegans who avoid these foods of animal origin where B12 is most abundant, in fact it’s almost exclusive to, suffered the most brain shrinkage,” says Nora Gedgaudas, author of Primal Body, Primal Mind. Healing this takes place through methyl B12 and eating more red meat. 



The University of Oxford released a study from their scientists in The Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics showing people on a meat free diet, vegan and vegetarian, “Were six times more likely to suffer brain shrinkage.”

Gedgaudas  says, “Far and away the most intractable and damaged brains and nervous systems I have ever encountered have all been vegetarians and especially vegans. This isn’t any kind of judgement this is just the experience I’ve had. These are some of the hardest people to reach. It’s just not a recipe for optimal brain health.” She goes on further to say, “I’ve had many neurologists also back channel me and agree with that particular observation.” Meaning, they pulled her aside to tell her their similar findings, off record.

The Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics at the University of Oxford in the UK, The Oxford Project



who study memory and aging released a study saying elderly suffered from drastic deficiencies of B12 as they noticed B12 deficiencies were directly linked to cognitive deficits.  The Proceedings Of the National Academy of Science published an article in January 2009 saying, “Caloric Restriction Improves Memory in Elderly Humans” where researches reduced caloric intake of elderly patients by 30% finding results that memory function compared to those without eating restrictions had better memory while memory remarkably increased in those with reduced calories. They said, “In animal models of ageing and neurodegenerative diseases Caloric restriction protected hippocampal striatal and cortical neurons and imeleurated functional decline.”

Dr. Ron Rosedale says, “Fat generates a free fuel.”

Nora Gedgaudas says, “A fat based ketogenic diet has an extremely broad range of benefits for both your body and your brain. In fact not only can the brain run on nothing but fat, in other words ketones, it actually runs better!” 



The Journal of Pediatric Neurology published an article entitled “Neuropharmacology of the Ketogenic Diet” saying, “The evidence suggests that the ketogenic diet has neuroprotective properties in diverse models of neurodegenerative disease.” Translated they are saying a diet high in fat protects and preserves the neurons of the brain. This is shown in elderly people eating high doses of good quality coconut oil reversing Alzheimer’s. This is also remarkably shown in ADHD and autistic patients showing no evidence of illness on high doses of good quality fats.

Signs of fat deficiency in your diet are sugar cravings, irritability, feeling faint, fatigue, brain-dead, caffeine cravings, carbohydrate cravings all of which are most evident before it’s time to eat. Another sign is craving something sweet or exhaustion after a meal. You should feel hungry before you eat and feel satiated after you eat. If there are other feelings involved it’s a clear and evident sign that your body needs much more good quality fat. Gedgaudas says, “I have way better things to do than sit around and manage my



blood sugar all day. Blood sugar just simply doesn’t play any part of role in my mood, my cognitive or my energy equation.”

She went on to paraphrase researcher of low carbohydrate science, Dr. Richard Fineman, Professor of Biochemistry of Dallas State Medical Center and Nutrition and Metabolism Society saying, “Keep in mind you can’t have your cake and your fat too if you want to be optimally healthy. Dietary fat in the presence of sugars and starches behaves very differently in your body and brain than dietary fat consumed in the absence of sugars and starches.”

Hypoglycemics are generally in a state of irritability and adrenal overdrive giving them little capacity for reason. Blood sugar issues like these cause degeneration much quicker. A high fat diet solves these issues. Gedgaudas added, “For those really interested in optimizing their brains it’s all about radically minimizing the carbs, in other words sugars and starches to no more than maybe 50 or 60 grams a day. A blood ketone meter is a great way to gauge your progress (precision extra ketone meter) then you’re looking to keeping your ketone level between 1 and 3 mmols. Then you’re moderating your protein intake to no more than 25 grams per meal and then eating as much fat as you want or need from a variety of natural sources. That tends to be self-regulating. ”

Good food choices are nuts, duck fat, grass-fed butter, grass-fed animal fats, free ranging pork, free ranging and bug eating eggs and high quality coconut oil.  

“Gluten can generate brain damage and inflammation in a person that isn’t immunologically reactive to it! You don’t have to have a gluten sensitivity to it to have a problem with it,” Gedgaudas says. She further adds, “All gluten stimulates the production of the enzyme called zonulin which controls intestinal permeability and it compromises your gut integrity regardless of whether you happen to be sensitive to it or not.”

“If you’re immunologically reactive to gluten and any of its cross reactive compounds than your avoidance of it needs to be total. If you’re 99% gluten free, then you’re not gluten free. Even a tiny bit can set up a neuro-inflammatory state in your brain that can take days, weeks, months or even years, possibly even decades. It just isn’t worth it,” she says.



“The primary effective gluten reactivity in the brain is what’s called cerebral hyperpoprofusion, a loss of blood flow to the brain, especially to the frontal cortex. It really dampens neuroconductives. That’s the part of your brain that you need in order to focus, have a positive mood, short-term memory, planning, mental organization. It’s the part of your brain that makes you most human,” she said.

Eating nutrient dense foods is recommended. Do eat animal fats from grass-fed animals, blueberries, fermented cod liver oil, turmeric, eggs, cruciferus vegetables, sprouted Brazil nuts, home-made yogurt, kefir, bone broth and hydrate with filtered water. To learn more from Nora Gedgaudas, and change your dietary existence to one that is nourishing and beneficial to your brain listen here:  https://at105.infusionsoft.com/go/rfco/eegnora/. To read her book where she goes further in-depth on the topic, including the studies mentioned above click here.

*If you learned something from this post share it so others can do the same. To support the efforts of this blog shop the links above like this one. You pay the same shopping through Amazon while the author receives a small referral fee from Amazon. This offsets the costs of this site.

*Nourishing Plot is written by a mom whose son has been delivered from the effects of autism (Asperger’s syndrome), ADHD, bipolar disorder/manic depression, hypoglycemia and dyslexia through food. This is not a newsarticle published by a paper trying to make money. This blog is put out by a mom who sees first hand the effects of nourishing food vs food-ish items. No company pays her for writing these blogs, she considers this a form of missionary work. It is her desire to scream it from the rooftops so that others don’t suffer from the damaging affect of today’s “food”.


Other sources:






38 Responses to Good Fats and Vitamin B12, Imperative Brain Fuel

  1. Could we have a link to this study please?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      the studies are listed in her book, along with many other back up studies that she couldn’t mention due to time. i’m just documenting her talk which is also listed in article. both the talk and book are linked in the article.

  2. cocoknows says:

    Why is a nutrition consultant (whose name is spelled two different ways in this article) telling what the researchers found? Was she involved in the study?

    • Becky Plotner says:

      thank you for letting me know there is a typo! oops. i appreciate the heads-up. from what i understand, as a nutrition consultant, she specializes in the brain gathering studies and feedback that assist in her work.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Lana that does look like the study nora was referencing! thank you for linking this.

      • Katie says:

        is that vegetarian bran damage reversible? I have been a vegetarian my whole life.. im buying the book.

        • Becky Plotner says:

          from what i understand her book covers this in depth, including how to go about proceeding. would love to hear back from your perspective!!!

        • jorma says:

          of course you can regenerate your brain trough right diet and physical and mental excersise. I started to eat fats and red meat 6 years ago in my early 30s, beeing over 10 years vegan, and I noticed the effects on my intelligence and memory very rapidly, head cleared of fog and I saw right trough my own religious bullshit and lies. I had talked myself into living in some insane religious utopia, with people who were just as unable to think and question the consensus, that we knew everything, as was I. a comfortable, boring and positive hell. these days have feet on the groud real family, real toughts, feeling good, learning new skills and mind and body improving steadily.

        • John K. says:

          Vegetarianism doesn’t cause brain damage!
          If your worried about B12 then buy some B12 supplements.
          B12 is also in comfrey, ashitaba, seaweed, and anything fermented.
          So saurkraut, water kefir, beet kvass, rejuvilac etc.

  3. Sara says:

    The study linked is about the elderly not vegans. I would like to know the source and study of the brain tests done on vegans verse meat eaters.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      There a few studies linked. The study I believe you are referring to is linked through Nora’s site and book. I link what i can find but since i’m not a doctor or registered dietitian i dont have access to them all – but i can link where you can access them.

  4. Appreciate it With regard to Share.. Got to learn comprehensive with regards to handful of facets of Vit B12 and also human brain do the job.

  5. B12 Patch says:

    Very good research- B12 deficiency is a serious problem. There seem to be so many factors that contribute to B12 malabsorption, some of which were unknown 50 years ago. I write for a site that sells a vitamin B12 patch -Linda, B12 Patch

  6. BECKY PLOTNER, Your article is a satire of itself. Next time, try getting your information from credible sources. Start with Harvard University’s nutritional scientists, The National Academy of Sciences, and The American Dietetic Association. You probably aren’t even aware that two pints of river water has the entire daily allowance of Vitamin B12. Any field biologist could have told you that. How could you not know that B12 comes from a bacteria that lives in the soil, and in natural bodies of water?? This is very basic information. The reason more meat eaters have deficiencies in vitamin B12 is because the heat of cooking kills most bacteria, good and bad. We lost our most natural source of B12 to water purification, when irrigation, plumbing, etc., emancipated us from having to dwell near natural bodies of water. Our hunter gatherer ancestors were lucky if they could eat meat once a month—Search anthropological studies for proof of that. It is very clear that you either haven’t bothered to/or simply do not know how to do research. Or, there is that no so remote possibility that you just have a major hangup for those who know that killing for palate pleasure does not exist anywhere in the natural food web. Please do some research now, and stop making yourself look so desperate.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      i didn’t know it was safe to drink water from rivers. is this a vegan recommendation?

      • Anabelle says:

        No it’s not – we supplement. Also what helps normal brain function is supplementing EPA and DHA fatty acids from algae (vegan certified), even dr. Ozz, who is not vegan himself or vegetarian, recommends to choose these supplements because they are better than fish oils. These fats you cannot get in red meat, only in seafood, and they appear to be essential for brain health, and to certain extent our body produces them as well. Fats found in red meat are not good for cardiovascular system and for overall health, and neither is pork. It’s not just about brain health, it’s how to nourish with proper food your “entire” body. Diverse and balanced plant-based diet with lots of greens, other veggies, fruits, grains nuts, olive/coconut oil, seeds, and along with that supplementing B12 and epa and dha from algae is actually good for overall human health, and there is no danger from “any” brain damage, shrinkage, or whatever. Western culture is already consuming too much animal fats, yet, we have numerous health problems that are a direct cause of that. Not to mention that recently I came across a study that shows that along with our increased intake of all these animal fats and other processed foods human intelligence declined in the last 100 years, so I guess a diet rich in fats and animal proteins may not be so good for brain after all. And by the way in her comment above she was just trying to explain to you that we are not initially meant to get B12 from (enslaved and tortured) animals, and that the reason we have a problem getting it is because we distanced away from natural habitats and became overly hygienic, treating everything with all sorts of chemicals, including the water we drink. Most of the meat in super-markets comes not from “grass-fed” but from factory farmed animals who don’t even have enough B12 themselves because they are fed with garbage, stuffed with antibiotics, and spent their entire lives in overly hygienic closed spaces, never seeing sun or grass. This is the reason why lots of people who aren’t even vegetarians or vegans still get B12 deficiency. And you can’t feed entire population with “grass-fed” meat – there is not enough space for that since western population is large and very demanding in meat, dairy and eggs, and is growing rapidly. There is a reason why factory farms evolved – because of the lack of natural space to raise animals in, and to efficiently produce as many animal products as possible to meet the demands while at the same time using minimum space. It’s impossible to meet the demands of everyone solely on grass-fed meat, while factory farmed meat is even more detrimental to human health. Diverse and balanced plant-based diet with a little bit of supplementing is overall the most healthful, ecologically efficient and ethical choice for nowadays humans. Enslaving animals for food will become a thing of past because it is no longer sustainable at all. You have to take all of the factors into consideration. And when it comes to plant-based nutrition, the site one green planet is a good source of all the information and how to be healthy (both physically and mentally) and thrive on a vegan/plant-based diet.

  7. Beth says:

    Dear Becky,
    Please disregard Carol’s post, you have not done anything wrong here. I believe she is merely mis-informed, although I am interested and curious about the solid facts of drinking river water. I can relate to what she is feeling, having use to have been a vegan myself for 9 years, and a vegetarian for 15- it was a very emotional and growth-provoking experience to make the transition back to eating meat. The information that you have posted here is accurate and important. I thank my lucky stars that I was able to learn what I did, despite this countries adamant opinion that “fat is bad for you”.
    My mother is also vegetarian now (became vegan after I persuaded her 11 years ago), and is very mindful about eating plenty of almonds and flax in order to fulfill her omega requirements. I have tried to explain to her that this is not sufficient, as the omegas in these sources are not bio-available in the same way that they are in (organic) animal sources. She suffered an “unexplainable” episode of sudden severe memory loss 4 months ago, and has not been quite the same since. She is also battling severe anxiety. I am hoping that I can inform her of the presence of faulty, mis-leading, and agenda driven information, and educate her with some independent studies, and various sources of information.
    On another note, Dr. James Williams is an expert on indigenous diet and life style, and has dedicated his life to the study and evaluation of the health and diet of various indigenous tribes and lived with them for many years. He found that the Inuit, who’s diet is comprised MOSTLY of animal fat and blubber with a very minuscule amount of sea vegetation, have equal health to a tribe in the andes who’s daily diet consists of mostly starch (50 different kinds of potatoes) with a few other vegetables, and some occasional fish. This begs the question~ what is it that really keeps us healthy and keeps the earth in balance? At any rate- I personally feel that one of the BEST medicines, is to avoid extremes and rigidity of any kind, and go with the flow of mother nature. His studies also continue to point out that there are no indigenes cultures ever recorded who were purely vegetarian (with the exception of one who some people reference~ he stated that he was actually unable to find tangible evidence that they every existed. He is absolutely non-biased- purely a research scientist- he is supportive of vegetarians and paleo alike.
    Big Love to everyone, and many blessings.

    • Becky Plotner says:

      thank you for your kind words, the experience and the info! appreciate you took the time beth.

  8. Gary says:

    A link would be helpful, so we can judge the study first-hand. In the meantime, here’s a link to a study showing the harmful effects of fish consumption: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22275730

    Key points:

    “Methylmercury (MeHg) is a known neuro-toxicant. Emerging evidence indicates it may have adverse effects on the neuro-logic and other body systems at common low levels of exposure.” All fish today contains methylmercury.

    “…when pregnant women consumed seafood highly contaminated with MeHg. This resulted in extreme fetal abnormalities and neuro-toxicity (i.e., microcephaly, blindness, severe mental and physical develop-mental retardation)…”

    This link looks at the relationship between neonatal mercury exposure and brain size: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21195558

    Key point:

    “Our results lead to a conclusion that prenatal exposure to, what we consider to be, low-levels of methylmercury does influence fetal brain development detected as decreased size of newborn’s cerebellum. ”

    This is one of many studies showing a link between fish consumption and brain damage.

  9. Gary says:

    The healthiest, longest-loved populations on the planet – the Okinawa elders, the Huzzas, the Vilicabambas – get almost all their calories from pants and eat a very low-fat diet.

    The inuit have lower life expectancies than the average Canadian, and have the same or higher rtes of heart disease. Previous claims to the contrary were based on incomplete records. It’s easy to find sources that explain the new vs old methodologies.

    • jorma says:

      for you too: if some diet is good for some people from certain conditions, it doesen’t mean it is good for your system, it might be indigestible for you and most other people, since your genetics are not from those same conditions, to witch their bodies have possibly had thousands of years to adapt to.

  10. Vicky says:

    I’m Vegan and I don’t suffer with bouts of aggression and my mind is filled with knowledge. I suffered with Vertigo, which I ought to tell you was a lot worse as a meat eater and average as a vegetarian and now I have gone Vegan my medical issue has virtually disappeared and I no longer suffer with everyday migraines or dizziness. Even medicine did not cure this condition, but Veganism has: I’d love to see you do a scientific study on that. Also scientific studies are usually minority studies organised in laboratory environments containing a limited percentage if participants and therefore cannot be generalised to all Vegans and Vegetarians. Furthermore as already asked why is other people’s research being used rather than her own?

    • Vicky says:

      I might also point out that I am training in psychological therapies so know a significant amount about mental health and I’ve seen high levels of mental disorders in meat eaters so you can’t just state that there are mental health disorders in vegetarians and vegans and that somehow meat magically cures mental health issues. Most mental health issues occur as signs of depression, child neglect, old age etc. and I personally do not see a significant and evident causal link between diet and mental health issues. You seem to be diagnosing your mums condition to veganism but the likelyhood is there are probably many other contributing factors that could be age related. I also hold a qualification in nutrition and health and had a scan of my brain last year after accidentally hitting my head at work. I was vegetarian then and well myself and my specialist Foxtor saw no issue with my brain and it looked perfectly normal in size and healthy.

    • jorma says:

      youre brobably just come out of your teens and your migranes stoppen on it’s own, or just turned 30 something and your hormones have changed. just wait when you have been vegan for 10-15 years and your bones start to dissolve and you get retarted children and become insane and too stupid to notice.

    • jorma says:

      or did you stop eating chokolate, that causes migranes to some people.

  11. John K. says:


    B12 is deficient in lots of people, who eat animal products or not.
    If meat was so high in B12 then it wouldn’t be added to dog food made from meat.

  12. Laura says:

    Is the writer of this article completely insane, or what? Nowhere in the Oxford study were vegans or even vegetarians mentioned in any way, and the studies you linked referred only to people with brain atrophy (shrinkage) following right cerebral infarctions (clot induced strokes)…again, no mention of vegans or vegetarians anywhere. Just how insanely dishonest can meat proponents get in trying to scare people away from being vegan? Well, the answer is right here in the above article, and in the resulting comments. That people believe you and are actually scared shows just how awfully ignorant people are. Wow. See my video on this topic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ASirDtN7ZN4

    • Becky Plotner says:

      Laura I read all your comments moments after you posted them but did not approve them for publishing as I wanted to pray about your comments before putting them public- in an effort to save you embarrassment. I do not see the professionalism in you calling me completely insane, dishonest, ignorant, someone with no shame, no scruples and a liar. This is the reason for the “waiting moderation” as well as the fact that I was out of town training with practitioners sharing studies and effects of what foods are doing to people. I would like to encourage you to reach out to Nora if you have an issue with her instead of ranting on me for posting what she says. One thing I did not post in this article was the consensus of the common response from vegetarians and vegans when this type of post, study or information showing the health of food arises. The response is consistently attacking and angry – much like you have done here. I am curious if you have any studies on this.

  13. Laura says:

    I’ll post this again without video link in case that’s why it’s “awaiting moderation”:
    Is the writer of this article completely insane, or what? Nowhere in the Oxford study were vegans or even vegetarians mentioned in any way, and the studies you linked referred only to people with brain atrophy (shrinkage) following right cerebral infarctions (clot induced strokes)…again, no mention of vegans or vegetarians anywhere. Just how insanely dishonest can meat proponents get in trying to scare people away from being vegan? Well, the answer is right here in the above article, and in the resulting comments. That people believe you and are actually scared shows just how awfully ignorant people are. Wow. See my video on this topic by googling: Brain Shrinkage in Vegans on quicksilver3x3’s youtube.

  14. Laura says:

    PS: And how dare you, Becky, to post those brain pics implying that those are examples of a meat eater brain vs. a vegan brain. Have you absolutely no shame, no scruples? Ugh. It’s so ridiculous it’s almost amusing. Almost. Until one sees commenters you duped with such outright lies. Show a bit of honesty and courage and allow my comments.

  15. Laura says:

    And FYI, here’s the other side of the story on your great hero mentioned in the above article, Nora Gedgaudas: http://carbsanity.blogspot.com/2013/01/know-experts-nora-gedgaudas-page-151.html …She is no one to be trusted by anyone.

  16. Gediminas says:

    Bullshit. Why it’s not mentioned that B12 deficiency can happen also to meat eaters and deficiency came from steril lifestyle because bacteria produce it? Omega fats are actually even more abundant in linseeds than fish. There are vegans who live fine without meat and even milk or eggs. Meat addiction is evil and damaging environment, and it’s horrible that corporations promote it’s use.

  17. Jonathan says:

    I’m a meat eater and I think you’re very misinformed at what this article you shared meant. They weren’t comparing vegans to meat eaters, it was an article about the elderly and what happens with b-12 deficiencies. The fact that you stated you have a child with autism makes you sound like one of those anti-vaccine busy bodied moms that think there’s a plethora of things that made your kid develop autism or if they even had autism in the first place. I doubt your child’s spectrum changed from autism to neurotypical simply through diet. Shame on you, and your misinformation.

  18. […] vegans take heed. Some meat is necessary. Researchers speculate that the increased shrinkage seen in vegetarians and vegans may be due to lack of vitamin B-12, which occurs naturally only in animal products. A Finnish study […]

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