How to prevent vitamin b12 deficiency among vegans and vegetarians?

Discussion in 'Health' started by Jinendra Singh, Jul 11, 2018.

  1. Jinendra Singh

    Jinendra Singh Member

    May 22, 2018
    united Kingdom
    +15 / 0 / -1
    Vegan Newbie
    vegetarians, and especially vegans, have a tough time getting enough Vitamin B12, an essential nutrient that pretty much only comes from animal sources, such as eggs, chicken, beef, and dairy products. Even Vegan advocates in documentaries like concede that Vegans will do best if they take supplemental B12. As an aside, if you’re planning on getting your B12 from eggs, think again, the bioavailability of the B12 in eggs is low, and it’s especially low if you eat your eggs scrambled.

    If you’re not getting enough B12, you likely won’t feel your best. B12 deficiency can responsible for things like anxiety, problems with sleep, low energy and even memory loss, but a true deficiency is tough to identify.

    SO what is the alternate for Vitamin B12 and how to avoid the problem caused by Vitamins?
  2. Lou

    Lou Well-Known Member

    Jun 8, 2018
    San Mateo, Ca
    +1,084 / 4 / -7
    First of all, I'm not saying that Vitamin B12 is not important.

    However, among vegans and nonvegans, it tends to get way more attention than it deserves.

    The mRDA is microscopically small. and I mean that literally. Six micrograms is the current RDA. That is 0.000006 grams. Not only that - our bodies recycle it. And it is easily stored in the liver. I can't remember the exact statistic anymore, but the liver can hold several months of B12.

    Then there is this:
    Its commonly added to foods. All the plant milks have it added to it. Some of our breakfast cereals and breads have it added to it. Nutritional yeast sometimes has it added to it.

    But your best bet is to take a multivitamin daily. Not just for the B12 but as cheap insurance for the days where you don't eat all the good foods you are supposed to. As far as I know, all mulits contain 100% of the RDA. Since there has been a rumor that the mRDA might be increased many vitamin companies now incorporate 200% or more.

    The multi I take is called DEVA Tiny Tablets. It is definitely the minimalist approach to vitamins. It's vegan and its inexpensive. About 6¢ a day. A month's supply cost less than a cup of Starbucks coffee.

    With all that said, recent studies have revealed that there are a lot more B12 deficient people walking around than expected. most of them are not vegans. So take your multi or B12 supplement and then stop worrying about it. if you want to worry about something worry about some other hard to get Vitamin like D.
  3. Kellyr

    Kellyr Active Member

    Jun 5, 2018
    +142 / 0 / -0
    Unless you're willing to drink untreated water or maybe roll your food in some dirt, there's really no fully natural way to get B-12 unless it's through supplementation or fortified foods (read: they've been supplemented, too.)

    Here are some samples of fortified foods:
    • fortified non-dairy milk
    • fortified meat substitutes
    • fortified breakfast cereals
    • fortified nutritional yeast
    • fortified vegan spreads, such as Marmite
    Note that you need to read the nutrition labels of any foods you think may have B-12 in them. Not every manufacturer fortifies their foods with B-12.

    I find it's easiest for me to just take a daily supplement.

    Can you explain what problems B-12 vitamins cause that you're trying to avoid?

    Here's a great read on B-12:
    What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12

    And here's an exerpt pulled from that article:

    Is there a vegan alternative to B12-fortified foods and supplements?
    If for any reason you choose not to use fortified foods or supplements you should recognise that you are carrying out a dangerous experiment - one that many have tried before with consistently low levels of success. If you are an adult who is neither breast-feeding an infant, pregnant nor seeking to become pregnant, and wish to test a potential B12 source that has not already been shown to be inadequate, then this can be a reasonable course of action with appropriate precautions. For your own protection, you should arrange to have your B12 status checked annually. If homocysteine or MMA is even modestly elevated then you are endangering your health if you persist.

    If you are breast feeding an infant, pregnant or seeking to become pregnant or are an adult contemplating carrying out such an experiment on a child, then don't take the risk. It is simply unjustifiable.

    Claimed sources of B12 that have been shown through direct studies of vegans to be inadequate include human gut bacteria, spirulina, dried nori, barley grass and most other seaweeds. Several studies of raw food vegans have shown that raw food offers no special protection.

    Reports that B12 has been measured in a food are not enough to qualify that food as a reliable B12 source. It is difficult to distinguish true B12 from analogues that can disrupt B12 metabolism. Even if true B12 is present in a food, it may be rendered ineffective if analogues are present in comparable amounts to the true B12. There is only one reliable test for a B12 source - does it consistently prevent and correct deficiency? Anyone proposing a particular food as a B12 source should be challenged to present such evidence.
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