Dec 6, 2011

Fact Sheet: B12

One of the things that you need to know how to get if you're vegan is B12.  There are not many known good non-animal sources of B12.  However, the B12 from animals is actually due to the bacteria that the animals consume when they eat grass or dirt.  That's right, B12 is made by bacteria.  Personally, I was displaying symptoms of B12 deficiency when I was an omnivore simply because I was not eating healthily, so B12 intake is not just an issue for veg*ns.

eating by davedehetre

B12 is important for cell division and blood formation (1).  It also is important to maintain the proper function of our nervous system (2).  Symptoms of B12 deficiency include heart palpitations, depression, fatigue, weak pulse, mentruation problems and memory problems (3).  If you haven't been taking a B12 supplement or keeping an eye on your intake, regardless of your diet, you should talk to your doctor about getting it checked.

Adults require 2.4mcg each day (4).  While we do store the B12 in our liver (2), you can become deficient over time if you are not replenishing the stock.  It also seems that the more you take, the less is absorbed in one go.  Therefore, a person should take5-10 micrograms per day or 2000 micrograms each week (1).  If you're taking an iron tablet, check out the label (for example this one has 50micrograms of B12 in it).  A lot of them have B12 in them.

nutritional yeast by daniellemakes

If you want to ensure that you are getting enough B12 each day, there are many multivitamins and supplements available.  The Vegan Store has this multivitamin which has 150 micrograms of B12 in it.  B12 is also found in fortified nondairy milks, fortified cereals and there is quite a lot of it in nutritional yeast (nicknamed 'nooch') (1).

Just a note: I am not a doctor, dietitian or anything like that, I am just providing this information for those of you who may not know or who have an interest.  If you want more info, check out my sources or use Google.


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