What about Vitamin
What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin
Very low B12 intakes can cause anaemia and nervous system
The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods
fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12
supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from
Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anaemia and
nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy
To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do
one of the following:
- eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get
at least three micrograms (μg or mcg) of B12 a day or
- take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10
- take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000
If relying on fortified foods check the labels carefully
to make sure you are getting enough B12. For example, if a fortified plant milk contains 1 microgram of B12 per
serving then consuming three servings a day will provide adequate vitamin B12. Others may find the use of B12
supplements more convenient and economical.
The less frequently you obtain B12 the more B12 you need
to take, as B12 is best absorbed in small amounts. The recommendations above take full account of this. There
is no harm in exceeding the recommended amounts or combining more than one option.
Good information supports vegan health, pass it
If you don't read another word about B12 you already know
all you need to know. If you want to know more, read on.
This information was prepared by Stephen Walsh, a UK
Vegan Society trustee, and other members of the International Vegetarian Union science group (IVU-SCI), in
October 2001. This information may be freely reproduced but only in its entirety.