“You’re vegan? So you have a B12 deficiency?”
This is one of the most stated question; next to protein deficiency. But you don’t even need to be vegan to be lacking in B12, did you know that? No? Well this post is to give detail on what exactly the vitamin B12 is, what sources of B12 you have at hand, supplements that vegans (or anyone) take and what exactly the vitamin does for your body. I hope it is informative and just to state it- I am not a doctor this information is based on what I have researched and it is only from personal experience that I have had, do seek doctor advice if you think you have a deficiency.
What is B12?
B12 is a vitamin, produced by bacteria found in the small intestine of animals (including humans) however it can also be found in plant products in very small amounts, it is responsible for the healthy functioning of the brain and the nervous system and ALSO the creation of the red blood cells in your body- it is therefore extremely vital in everyone’s diet either vegan or not! A B12 deficiency can cause nasty side effects such as anaemia, nerve damage, heart disease or pregnancy complications.
What are good sources of B12?
The vitamin is found in many if not all fortified foods such as nutritional yeast, plant based milks, cereals & some meat alternatives. Brands that have fortified foods are Alpro, Mari-Gold and Oat Dream etc.
However I don’t just rely on the fortified food to get my nutrients, so to boost the intake there are many supplements out there in a variety of forms such as liquids, tablets, chewables and injections. I personally use Holland and Barrett’s own Vegan supplements which has B12 added in it.
The recommended allowance for adults is 2.4 micrograms per day (with increased requirements to 2.8 micrograms for pregnant or breastfeeding women)
I take 1 supplement every day to boost my intake. However if you are unsure if you’re getting enough it would be best to seek doctor advice on the subject as blood work can be arranged to determine your vitamin levels.
Do you take any supplements? Would you consider adding a B12 supplement to your diet? Do some research on the benefits of this, it is worthwhile. Again I am not a doctor or nutritionist, just providing useful information. I was not sponsored to include any brands mentioned in this post.
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