I am a vegetarian, and I know that one of the things I need to supplement with is vitamin B12. This has always been something I’ve known but I haven’t done it regularly. As with all things that don’t present an immediate danger, I’ve put it on the back-burner.
We do have vegan-friendly supplements in our house. But, now I’m starting to wonder if I need a supplement with the animal version or with the vegan-friendly version. Why? Because B12 is important to our overall health and a deficiency can cause a lot of problems – problems that we seem to be dealing with right now.
I feel very strongly that it is something I need to add to our diets right now.
Moreover, I want to ensure that the supplement I add is actually doing something beneficial and not just making promises that it can’t keep.
What Does Vitamin B12 Do?
Vitamin B12 keeps blood and nerve cells healthy. It plays a part in producing the protective sheath of nerve fibers. And, it is pretty damn important to overall good health.
Are Vegans Getting Enough B12?
From what I’ve read, around 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 is the recommended dosage for teens over 14 and adults. If you are pregnant, you will need 2.6 mcg and if you are breastfeeding you will need 2.8 mcg.
Plants do not have a need for vitamin B12 so they don’t have it. This is why vegans cannot find B12 from their diets.
The supplement I’m taking is sourced from bacteria cultures, and I thought it was just as good as animal sourced B12, but now I’m really wondering about that. As far as I knew, it wasn’t the animal that produces B12, it was the bacteria in the the gut of the animal that makes B12. Animal sources of B12 include red meat, seafood and dairy.
When we head to our holistic doctor, we will ask about this and I will definitely update this page.
What Does A Deficiency In Vitamin B12 Look Like?
People who are deficient in B12 have symptoms like tingling in their hands and feet (neurological damage). Nerve tissues and blood vessels can be damaged which can raise the likelihood of stroke and heart disease.
If you are going vegan or can’t eat meat and meat products, it is important to take a supplement of B12. It should be in a form that dissolves underneath your tongue because when you swallow the pill, it doesn’t absorb well.
But, the following video suggests that you may need B12 shots if you are B12 deficient because that is the only way you will get the recommended amount.
I watched the following video and I found it fascinating.
If you are even slightly concerned about vitamin B12 or in your diet, or even your health, I recommend you watch it! This is a long video at 51:45, but it is time well spent for your health now and in the future.
It has really got me thinking about what we need to do with our diet and supplementation, and when my husband goes to see the neurologist and the holistic doctor, we will be asking about being tested for B12 deficiency.
It is amazing that people are misdiagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and other things simply because they are deficient in B12. That is pretty eye-opening about how important B12 is for our health.
I’m not saying that I believe my husband is simply deficient in B12, but I definitely want to look into it.
Update: My husband got tested for vitamin B12 and it turns out his levels are fine. However, his iron levels were way below normal. So, I’m glad we checked it all out! My results are still to come.