This Vitamin Deficiency is Rare Unless You’re a Vegan

Photo credit: bigstock

Photo credit: bigstock

How do vegan animals get B12? They sometimes eat roots along with dirt, which has some B12, and some animals eat feces. An experiment done in the 1950’s has vegans with deficiencies in this vitamin eat B12 that had been extracted from their own feces. This worked as it solved their B12 deficiency. It also showed that B12 made by our bodies is eliminated through the large intestine and not absorbed.

OK, we are not suggesting that vegans eat poop to get B12. This vitamin is water soluble. Our bodies do not store it in fat. B12 is the only vitamin that is stored in the liver. We don’t need much, but it is necessary for the body to function. Many vegans go years without taking supplements due to storage in the liver, but once this is depleted, a deficiency will result and various symptoms will follow.

There are people who state that they can get sufficient amounts of this important vitamin when they eat the vegetables they are growing in their own gardens that have good soil. They also say that they often pick some veggies right out of the soil and eat them without washing, so they ingest some of that healthy dirt. Although this sounds good, eating very much like the animals do, this puts them at a very high risk of parasite infection. Read more how to fight with B12 deficiency.

Many processed foods, such as cereal and bread, have been fortified with B12 but eating processed foods are not a good idea and are the exact opposite of the healthy lifestyle you are trying to live as a vegan.  Miso, Tempeh, and sea vegetables have been reported to sometimes contain B12 but this is not a reliable source you could rely on. In the past 60 years’ worth of studies or vegan experimentation, it’s been shown time and time again that eating processed foods with B12 added, or taking supplements, has been proven to be a reliable source of B12.

It’s much, much easier for vegans to just take a B12 supplement. There are plenty of nutritional yeasts and other supplements, but no matter how you look at it, just choose a good quality B complex supplement. Ideally, take a daily supplement with about 10 micrograms, or a weekly supplement that gives you at last 2,000 micrograms of B12. This is one vitamin that your body absorbs best in small amounts and there is no harm in exceeding the above amounts, your body just eliminates any excess.


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