B12 - the importance in vegans


The importance of this vitamin cannot be overlooked and it is simply not available by only eating a plant based diet. It is only found in meat and dairy foods.

So why is B12 so important? The main function of B12 is in cell division and production of red blood cells. It plays an important role in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

Deficiency leads to irreversible nerve damage, anemia and many other complications including, loss of energy, tingling and numbness to name just a few.

There are foods that are fortified, so make sure that you find which ones these are and add some to your diet. Breakfast cereals, some plant based milks and nutritional yeast spreads are examples of fortified foods. Check, read the ingredients list.

Research shows a high deficiency in vegans, so, to be on the safe side, it is recommended that a supplement is taken. B12 in supplements comes from bacteria cultures, so this is fine for vegans.

For pregnant or breastfeeding women, the need for supplementing is greater, as the lack of vitamin B12 can be passed on to the infant resulting in failure to thrive and delays in development.

A note on homocysteine: Deficiency of vitamin B12 leads to increase the level of homocysteine, an amino acid, which increases the risk of stroke and cardiac disorders. High homocysteine level also causes depression

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