Nutrition

Getting your B12

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As of this writing I have been Vegan for 15 months.  My prior life was exactly opposite – I followed a Paleo diet.  Talk about making a 180 for the animals.  It’s been an adventure and a huge learning experience.

So what about supplements for a Vegan?  You should find out what you need to take as most likely you will not cover your needs in your eating alone.

What is B12 and what does it do?  This is a nutrient that helps make DNA and helps blood cells and nerves stay healthy.  It also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia.

How much is needed?  The general recommendation for an adult is 2.4 mcg, although this does vary from infants, young children, teens and pregnant women.

Where does it come from?  Various animal foods (dairy; meat, eggs; poultry; fish) provide the most B12 along with fortified foods.  So reading this list it becomes very clear not much B12 is available in a vegan diet, unless the foods chosen are fortified with B12.

Do Vegans need to supplement B12?  Well hell yes!  Most experts (which I am not) advise to supplement with this nutrient for vegan/vegetarians and some of the general public.  So for me, a B complex vitamin daily along with my multi-vitamin is a must. So don’t be stubborn and refuse to supplement if you are vegan or vegetarian, the risk does not out way the benefits (1).

(1) NIH. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

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