Vegemite in Australia
-not applicable to those who know they don’t tolerate vegemite, you guys can scroll on!
Vegemite lovers grab a coffee and some vegemite toast and have a seat!
I don’t eat or like vegemite- I think there are better tasting yeast spreads out there.
But I chose vegemite for this post cause it’s so Australian!
Yeah I’m doing it, a post on Vegemite, you have probably never seen vegemite through the eyes of a skeptic. Its food for thought. You don’t have to take all your favourite foods out to be healthy. Especially since they may make no meaningful difference.
I’m not going to go as far as saying it’s a health food.
Do you ever feel like you read posts on health/natural Facebook pages and websites and feel like they are not quite telling you the whole truth? Although you may take what is being said at face value. People tell you what they think you want to hear, people tell you because they read it somewhere, kind of like Australian vegemite whispers- or perhaps they didn’t really research it properly as they should have to bring you the whole truth?
-Bottom line is-
If it causes you no ill effect and you like it, eat it. That’s it. A 5g serve of vegemite is not going to be something I am going to lose sleep over. What you should focus on is what you should be eating more of, like lots of vegetables!
Do you avoid a food just because someone said how “bad” it is??
Always try to think of any foods you eat if they will have a REAL LIFE effect, meaning if you are already eating vegemite and you are ok then it is likely this food is ok for you. (Vegemite is not gluten free) You only have a very small amount regardless.
If you react to it, don’t eat it. If you like it and don’t want to stop eating it then don’t. I think there are way more important things to worry about in your diet than a small component of it, like vegemite.
When people report some of the ingredients they are only reporting the effects at high doses, which you would never be consuming in a 5 g serve, so why bother pointing it out? To scare you of course, if there is something in your food that has been proven safe at the dose in which it is meant, for that specific product, then it is deemed safe (more the majority of the population).
Yeast Extract (from Yeast Grown on Barley), Salt, Mineral Salt (508), Malt Extract (From Barley), Colour (150c), Flavours, Niacin, Thiamine, Riboflavin, Folate.
In vegemite there is 1431 mg/100g- (72mg per 5g serve) – this is 0.072 of a gram of free glutamates- this is a small amount of glutamates.
Let’s be clear, yeast extract is NOT MSG, just because someone said it is, it doesn’t make it true. Many people have claimed that certain food ingredients, such as autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed protein, are MSG in disguise. They are not. Autolyzed yeast and hydrolyzed proteins, among other ingredients, are completely natural ingredients that happen to be have substantial amounts of glutamates, but nowhere near the concentration found in MSG. Autolyzed yeast (containing the cell walls) or autolyzed yeast extract consists of concentrations of yeast cells that are allowed to die and break up, so that the yeasts’ endogenous digestive enzymes break their proteins down into simpler compounds (amino acids and peptides). You find this in products like vegemite.
Nori (seaweed) =1378mg/100g
A 2006 consensus statement of a group of German experts drawing from animal studies was that a daily intake of glutamic acid of 6 grams per kilogram of body weight (6 g/kg/day) is safe. From human studies, the experts noted that doses as high as 147 g/day produced no adverse effects in males when given for 30 days; in a 70 kg male that corresponds to 2.1 g per kg of body weight. Total intake of glutamate from food in European countries is generally stable and ranged from 5 to 12 g/day.
Someone who may have trouble metabolising glutamates may have GAD deficiency. Glutamate decarboxylase or glutamic acid decarboxylase (GAD) is an enzyme that catalyzes the decarboxylation of glutamate to GABA, so instead of forming calming GABA the glutamates hang around and excite the cells instead, party time!
E508- Potassium chloride
This will be reported as; “Associated with gastric ulcers, circulatory collapse, nausea, liver toxicity” E508 is used as a gelling agent, a stabiliser, thickener, flavour enhancer.
Yes, in high doses that you will not be consuming!
Potassium chloride is extensively used as a potassium supplement, both by physicians as a therapeutic modality and by the general public, mostly in the form of salt substitute.
Remember that salt is SODIUM CHLORIDE and most people are having that.
There is 173 mg sodium per serve (5g) in vegemite.
It is high in sodium so I will caution with this one. But remember the serving size is small so keep it in context. The upper limit for sodium for a 1-3 year old is 1,000 mg/day going right up to 2300 mg/day for adults. The upper limit is based on population studies showing low levels of hypertension (less than 2%) and no other observed adverse effects in communities with intakes below this level. The UL was also based on experimental studies. The AI (Adequate Intake) is a value based on observed or experimentally determined approximations of nutrient intake by a group (or groups) of healthy people—used when an RDA cannot be determined.
THE AI FOR SODIUM IS 200–400 MG/DAY FOR A 1-3 YEAR OLD AND UP TO 460-920 MG/DAY FOR AN ADULT.
LD50 = 3020 mg/Kg for potassium chloride- table salt is 3000 mg/kg
-The "LD50" is the dose of a substance that will kill a selected species of experimental animal 50% of the time.
Caffeine (coffee, tea, cocoa) LD50 of 200mg/kg
Nicotine (smokes) LD of 50mg/kg
Sodium Chloride (table salt)- LD of 3000mg/kg
Ethanol (alcohol) LD of 7000mg/kg
Caffeine is more “toxic” than E508! And just as “toxic” as sodium chloride (salt)
The colour (150c)
This is what is reported;
“Is thought to be genetically modified is prepared from ammonia compounds is linked to gastrointestinal and liver problems”
Does VEGEMITE contain genetically modified ingredients?
A. VEGEMITE, as well as all our products, does not contain genetically modified material. We only use food ingredients that meet our strict criteria of safety and quality conform to all relevant legal requirements and importantly, respond to the preferences of our customers and consumers.
What this caramel 150c is as confirmed by vegemite;
Caramel colour is typically produced from the heat treatment of carbohydrates or sugars. The colour (150c) used in Vegemite is a natural caramel food colour and is derived from maize. Vegemite state “ no artificial colors or flavors”
Usually people say the flavors are made up of 48 chemicals including solvents and diactyls but this is not confirmed for this product, and since vegemite do not disclose this info you don’t know- you are only guessing. Vegemite say “no artificial flavors”, so what is the opposite of artificial?
I rang vegemite to discuss what the flavours were and they were not allowed to disclose it due to its secret recipe! Lol They also could not disclose the % of flavors nor the company in which they source their added vitamins from, and the form the vitamins came in. So that’s a bit of a bummer. I did find on vegemite history pages that celery and onion extracts were used, but I cannot confirm that this is the “flavor” used now. Vegemite claim “no artificial flavors” so it may well be still be onion and celery extracts. I don’t know and neither does anyone else except maybe the boss!
Added Vitamins-To add; Conversion efficiency in some people may differ due to genetic variances.
One of my questions I had for vegemite when I spoke to them was are the vitamins naturally occurring or are they added? I can confirm they are added. There is Thiamine (B1) Riboflavin (B2) Niacin (B3) and Folate (B9) So people thereby say;
“Oh they are synthetic vitamins and your body doesn’t use them in the same way, they are bad!”
I always think bananas in pyjamas when I see B1 and B2, hehe
Data on the bioavailability of thiamin from food are very limited.
About 80% of thiamin in the adult human body is in the form of thiamin diphosphate (TDP; also known as thiamin pyrophosphate), the main metabolically active form of thiamin.
Most dietary thiamin is in phosphorylated forms, and intestinal phosphatases hydrolyze them to free thiamin before the vitamin is absorbed. The remaining dietary thiamin is in free (absorbable) form. The most commonly used forms of thiamin in supplements are thiamin mononitrate and thiamin hydrochloride.
One study concluded that “high blood levels of thiamine can be achieved rapidly with oral thiamine hydrochloride. Thiamine is absorbed by both an active and unsaturable passive transport mechanism up to 1500 mg.”
Riboflavin must be converted to its active form – riboflavin 5'-phospate or Flavin mononucleotide (FMN) – in order for it to be utilized by the body. Supplemental riboflavin is found in the free form or riboflavin 5'-phosphate (FMN)
Most of the riboflavin in our foods occurs as the nucleotides FAD/FADH2 and FMN/FMNH2 in a complex of food protein. This is released as free riboflavin by digestive enzymes in the small intestine and absorbed into the bloodstream. The bioavailability of riboflavin is high, probably about 95%
“Niacin in mature cereal grains is largely bound and thus is only about 30 percent available; alkali treatment of the grain increases the percentage absorbed (Carpenter and Lewin, 1985; Carter and Carpenter, 1982). Niacin in the coenzyme nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide/nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NAD/NADP) form in meats appears to be much more available. NIACIN ADDED DURING ENRICHMENT OR FORTIFICATION IS IN THE FREE FORM AND THUS HIGHLY AVAILABLE”
“The bioavailability of folate ranges from about 100 percent for folic acid supplements taken on an empty stomach to about 50 percent for food folate”
“When consumed under fasting conditions, supplements of folic acid are nearly 100 percent bioavailable (Gregory, 1997). Daly and coworkers (1997) reported incremental increases in erythrocyte folate in response to graded doses of folic acid, which provides evidence for the high bioavailability of supplemental folate.”
So even IF synthetic vitamins were less absorbable it doesn’t mean they are bad for you. Of course it doesn’t mean relying on supplements in lieu of a good dietJ I am pretty sure no one is going to be relying on vegemite for their vitamin intake. Although in saying that certain groups of people (alcoholics) and people with very poor diets this may be a valuable source of vitamins for them.
Malt extract-from barley
Malt is germinated cereal grains that have been dried in a process known as "malting". The grains are made to germinate by soaking in water, and are then halted from germinating further by drying with hot air. Not much to report here. Does contain gluten.