29 March 2010

PSA for Vegetarians

A few months ago, my co-workers and I moved from a crappy office in a decent part of town to a decent office in a crappy part of town. Almost immediately, several co-workers began to regularly complain that the new office was cold. As I passed by them during the day I would see them wearing coats, shawls, even ear muffs.

I felt bad about the whole thing because I felt fine and thought the temperature was just right. In a way I was hoping the thermostat would not get changed because then I would feel too warm (it never did change). But I wondered why several people felt cold. The only thing they had in common was that they were all female. I have never heard of females being more sensitive to the cold so that did not seem to be the answer.

Then I realized that several of the several were vegetarians. Not all the coldies were vegetarian, but all the vegetarians were coldies. If you are reading along and making diagrams, this would be a small circle labeled "V" inside a big circle labeled "C."

Now, the first thing one thinks of when trying to link vegetarianism with coldness is iron. Iron is poorly absorbed no matter what, but non-meat sources are even more poorly absorbed. I know this is true because I saw it on FOX News. So it is not out of the question that a vegetarian could be iron deficient. And women are more at risk than men due to their monthly visit from the iron collector. So iron deficiency is one possibility. But vegetarians are supposed to know about that and eat their green leafy vegetables, aren't they?

Then I read an article in the Polish journal ACTA Scientiarum Polonorum Technologia Alimentaria (link here if you think I am making it up) about a study to investigate the effects of a vegetarian diet on vitamin B12 levels.

The test subjects ate a lacto-ovo-vegetarian (LOV) diet. But one half included B12-fortified foods in their diet while the other half did not. The study only had 16 subjects total (which is small), but they did follow them for five years (which is long).

They found a "significant decrease" in B12 levels in the half that ate the natural foods (i.e. non-fortified) LOV diet. It was not so low as to be considered an official B12 deficiency, just significantly decreased.

The B12 factor can also be an answer to our cold case. B12 is used to make hemoglobin so B12 deficiency can basically mean hemoglobin deficiency. In fact, there is a disease called "pernicious anemia" in which B12 cannot be adequately absorbed by the body. I know someone with this and she has to get B12 shots every few months. When she told me this I asked her if she felt cold and she said she was always cold as a child.

So in conclusion, if you are vegetarian and you feel cold and tire easily and can't breathe in the Rocky Mountains, etc., then you should totally panic because you are going to die of anemia very soon, probably in the next few days.

18 March 2010

Mo' Money

Yes, it's a funny name but in business one must market to a target audience.

What I find interesting is the logo, which shows a fist full of money with wings, perhaps suggesting "we gonna have 'MO MONEY 'cause we gonna fly away wit YO' MONEY!!!"

17 March 2010