There is a huge debate around the importance of vitamin B12, especially questioning whether vegan B12 supplements are necessary. Vegans and vegetarians are not doomed to B12 deficiency as many think, but a supplement is helpful in keeping a regular source of the vitamin.
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water based vitamin, and is the most structurally complex of all vitamins in the human diet. It can be found attached to the proteins in food, but it is not able to be absorbed in this way, so our stomach acids have to separate the B12 from foods and allow the body to absorb it.
Why do we need vitamin B12?Vegetarians and vegans run the risk of being deficient in vitamin B12, and long-term vegans are at the highest risk. A study into B12 deficiency suggested that vegans should ‘give strong consideration’ to the use of vegan B12 supplements ‘to ensure adequate vitamin B12 intake’.
Vitamin B12 plays a vital part in the formation of red blood cells, which provide oxygen to the body. This means that a lack of B12 has a negative effect on energy levels. Over time, this deficiency can cause serious issues, including anaemia, neurocognitive changes, and nerve damage. Also, because B12 plays a role in the production of neurotransmitters, a lack of this vitamin can lead to insomnia, depression, or anxiety.
Common symptoms of this deficiency include neurological changes (such as depression, low mood, poor memory or lack of ability to concentrate), dizziness, fatigue, and loss of appetite. If you experience these symptoms, it is worth considering vegan B12 supplements.
How do I get vitamin B12?
Vegan vitamin B12 supplements are the best option for ensuring that you are getting enough vitamin B12 in your diet, and are readily available online. There are also many fortified foods, like cereals, milk and nutritional yeast, that are available to boost your B12 levels.
Healthcare professionals suggest that to benefit from a vegan diet, vegans should either eat fortified foods two or three times a day, take vegan B12 supplements daily providing at least 10mg, or take a weekly vegan B12 supplement providing at least 2000mg. Vegan supplements and fortified foods have proven to be reliable sources of B12, and using them to ensure you are not deficient.
This should have given you an idea of how important vitamin B12 is, and how vegan B12 supplements can benefit your health and wellbeing, especially on a vegan diet. At Vegan Supplement Store, all of our supplements are entirely vegan, and our health and wellbeing range includes a wide selection of healthy vitamins and minerals to support your vegan diet.