Vegan Diet and Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 has been associated with animal foods such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and dairy products thus creating the myth that it can only be found in these foods and that a vegan diet provides an amount that is substandard.

There are concerns that vegans are at great risk of B12 deficiency even though there is evidence which suggests that the meat-eating people are the ones who are likely to be vitamin B12 deficient. Research also suggests that vitamin B12 present in animal products is not absorbed easily as that in the vegetarian foods.

These complex B vitamins are a group of compounds which are water-soluble and act as cofactors or helpers in various enzyme systems in the human body. They are involved in many biochemical reactions in the body. These reactions include DNA and fatty acids synthesis. Vitamin B12 is also useful in the production of the red blood cells and assists in the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. It assists in the release of energy from food. It assists greatly to limit the buildup of the homocysteine molecule, which has damaging effects to the body cells.

Vitamin B12 is mainly manufactured by bacteria in the water and soil. Animals get B12 from the water and food which has these microorganisms. Humans need to obtain vitamin B12 from their diet either from the animal products or the fortified foods which are plant based. Therefore vegans can obtain vitamin B12 from the fortified foods such as plant based meat and if you wonder where to buy plant based meat, your best bet is the internet. These foods include sausage mixes, yeast extracts, margarines, breakfast cereals, veggie burgers as well as soya milks.

You need to check the nutritional information on the fortified foods labels so as to ensure that you get sufficient amounts of vitamin B12. It is easy to achieve the target of 3 micrograms of B12 per day from the fortified foods. Regular consumption of fortified foods will ensure that you get an adequate intake for your body health. Absorption of the vitamin B12 is fast in the fortified vegan food diets as compared to absorption from the animal diets.

Vegans are therefore less likely to suffer from the vitamin B12 deficiencies which come with the gastrointestinal conditions that are a result of old age. The vegan diet consists of high intakes of fibers, vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, folate, vitamin B1 and iron. It has the lowest intake of vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, zinc and retinol. This however, does not mean that vegans are deficient in these nutrients.

Deficiencies in any vegan diet are only as a result of poor planning. This has been proven by researchers and it is important for any individual who if following the vegan diet to carry out extensive research so as to have the best vegan diet plans that will ensure they are not deficient in this important nutrient and others.

It is very possible for you to follow a vegan diet and benefit health wise from it while maintaining the sufficient levels of vitamin B12 in your body.