Why Does Vitamin B12 Deficiency Occur With Long
Its thought that metformin possibly interferes with absorption of the vitamin in the digestive tract. Of note, the body stores between 1,000 and 2,000 times as much vitamin B12 as one would typically eat in a day for this reason, symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can take several years to appear.
The American Diabetes Association recommends that people taking metformin periodically have their B12 status assessed, as a deficiency may contribute to anemia or peripheral neuropathy. Vitamin B12 status is assessed by a blood test.
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Symptoms Of B12 Deficiency
Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods and breastfed infants of vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.
In adults typical deficiency symptoms include loss of energy, tingling, numbness, reduced sensitivity to pain or pressure, blurred vision, abnormal gait, sore tongue, poor memory, confusion, hallucinations and personality changes. Often these symptoms develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency and they are usually reversible on administration of B12. There is however no entirely consistent and reliable set of symptoms and there are cases of permanent damage in adults from B12 deficiency. If you suspect a problem then get a skilled diagnosis from a medical practitioner as each of these symptoms can also be caused by problems other than B12 deficiency.
Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite and failure to thrive. If not promptly corrected this can progress to coma or death. Again there is no entirely consistent pattern of symptoms. Infants are more vulnerable to permanent damage than adults. Some make a full recovery, but others show retarded development.
Best Vegan Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops
If you have a hard time taking vitamins, try this liquid B12. The serving size is 25 drops, which is approximately 1 milliliter. Each serving contains 5,000 mcg cyanocobalamin. With such a high potency, you may only need to take these B12 drops bi-weekly instead of weekly. Or simply cut the dose in half to do weekly doses.
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How Much B12 Should A Vegan Take
Well-informed individuals know that meat is not the only source of quality protein and that milk is not the only source of calcium. The falling of those myths has convinced many that a plant-based diet meets all the protein and calcium requirements a human has. But there is still the vitamin B12 argument that people bring up as an example of the deficiencies of a plant-based diet. Meat is the main dietary source of vitamin B12 for omnivores, so vegans have a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. There is some truth in that statement. So how much B12 should a vegan take? What are the risks of developing vitamin B12 deficiency?
Highly unique and efficient mechanisms have been developed by the human body for absorbing, utilizing, and conserving vitamin B12. The daily requirements of B12 are less than 3 micrograms . Although B12 is essential, we only need a very small amount of this vitamin.
2-5 milligrams or 2,000-5,000 micrograms of B12 are stored in the liver, which is a 3-year reserve. The body has the ability to reabsorb it in the small intestine and recirculate it for future use. This means that for a vegan to become deficient in vitamin B12 could take up to 20-20 years. Assuming that you dont take in any vitamin B12 as a vegan, which is practically impossible because your body will absorb some B12 from the environment, bacterial sources on food, and in your gut, even if you are not aware of it.
How Much B12 Should I Take If I Dont Eat Meat
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 of B12 a day. OR Take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms. OR Take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.
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Should Vegans Take A B12 Supplement
Due to the fact that plant-based foods dont contain much Vitamin B12 , vegans and vegetarians might need to rely on supplementation in order to meet the RDA of 2.4 mcg of Vitamin B12 per day. It is recommended that vegans supplement with 250 mcg Vitamin B12 every day, while vegetarians may only have to supplement with 250mcg a few times per week. Vegetarians and vegans can determine whether they are Vitamin B12 deficient by taking a blood test.
Vegan Dietary Supplements Faq
Can you be vegan without supplements?
You can be vegan without supplements for most nutrients as long as your diet is balanced and nutritionally dense, but you should always supplement vitamin B12, vitamin D, and DHA/EPA omega-3 as you cannot obtain thee nutrients from a plant-based diet alone.
How long after becoming vegan do I need to take supplements?
You need to take supplements for vitamin D and DHA/EPA omega-3 soon after you become vegan, while vitamin B12 can be stored in your liver for up to five years after going vegan though we wouldn’t recommend waiting that long!
What vitamins and supplements should I take when starting vegan?
You should take between 500 and 1000mcg vitamin B12, 50mcg vitamin D, and 650mcg omega-3 when going vegan.
What supplements are not vegan?
There are vegan-friendly versions for all major nutrients but supplements containing gelatin, carmine, or dairy byproducts are not vegan.
What supplements does a pregnant vegan woman need to take?
A pregnant vegan woman needs to take Folate, iodine supplements , vitamin B12 , vitamin D , omega-3 , and possibly iron and magnesium .
Best vitamins for women who are vegan?
The best vitamins for women who are vegan are iron, vitamin B12, iodine, vitamin D, and EPA/DHA omega-3 fatty acids.
How do toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet?
Toddlers get vitamins on a vegan diet by supplementing lower amounts of vitamin B12 , vitamin D , and non-ALA omega-3 or taking a vegan kids multivitamin.
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What Is Vitamin B12 Food Source
Vitamin B12 is found most abundantly in animal foods, but neither plants nor animals synthesize it. Vitamin B12 is made by bacteria. These bacteria that made this vitamin are present in the intestines of animals, such as cows, goats, and sheep. Animals store B12 in their tissues and when one animal eats another, it gets passed up the food chain. The human body also contains bacteria that synthesize vitamin B12, which is why deficiencies of this vitamin are so rare. The only problem is that since B12 is absorbed in the ileum and upstream of the colon, this rich source of vitamin B12 is not easily absorbed right away.
Large amounts of active B12 are found in the feces of chickens, cows, pigs, sheep, and also humans. In the near past when people lived in close contact with farm animals, they were easily able to get in plenty of vitamin B12 from the bacterial residue, as well as get additional B12 from unsanitized vegetables.
What Type Of B12 Supplement Can I Take
When it comes to dietary supplements, you will typically find vitamin B12 available within a multivitamin or as a stand alone supplement. Vitamin B12 supplements usually come in pill form or sublingual, meaning droplets that are placed under the tongue. If you have a severe deficiency, sublingual supplements may be best because they are absorbed into the bloodstream quickly. For maintenance of B12 levels, a daily pill works well.
However, only take a B12 supplement if you are at risk for or currently have a B12 deficiency. While you cant reach toxic B12 levels, supplements arent necessary if you are achieving the RDA of 2.4mcg per day. If you would like to find out if a B12 supplement is a good idea for you, talk to your health practitioner. Vitamin B12 supplements can interfere with some medications, like Metformin and certain antibiotics, so its always a good idea to get the green light from your doctor first.
Getting An Adequate Amount Of B12
National recommendations for B12 intakes vary significantly from country to country. The US recommended intake is 2.4 micrograms a day for ordinary adults rising to 2.8 micrograms for nursing mothers. The German recommendation is 3 micrograms a day. Recommended intakes are usually based on 50% absorption, as this is typical for small amounts from foods. To meet the US and German recommendations you need to obtain sufficient B12 to absorb 1.5 micrograms per day on average. This amount should be sufficient to avoid even the initial signs of inadequate B12 intake, such as slightly elevated homocysteine and methylmalonic acid levels, in most people. Even slightly elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of many health problems including heart disease in adults, preeclampsia during pregnancy and neural tube defects in babies.
Achieving an adequate B12 intake is easy and there are several methods to suit individual preferences. Absorption of B12 varies from about 50%, if about 1 microgram or less is consumed, to about 0.5% for doses of 1000 micrograms or above. So the less frequently you consume B12, the higher the total amount needs to be to give the desired absorbed amount.
Vegan Supplement Recommendations: Based On Your Goals & Lifestyle
Your specific nutrient requirements will vary according to your age, gender, activity levels, and overall lifestyle, so it’s always best to choose supplements that will cater to your unique needs!
Here is what we recommend for specific target demographics that may need supplementation the most.
Vegan kids vitamins
If your children don’t eat meat, dairy, and eggs, they will have the same nutrient requirements as vegan adults, with the only difference that they’ll need much lower amounts.
What are the benefits of vegan kids vitamins?
Choosing vitamins designed for vegan kids will ensure that they are getting adequate amounts of vitamin B12, vitamin D, iron, and non-ALA omega-3, as their requirements as vegans are higher than kids who eat meat, dairy, and eggs.
How many vitamins should a vegan kid take?
A good multivitamin will take care of the majority of your children’s nutritional needs. Just make sure it contains enough vitamin B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids if not, have them supplement these nutrients separately.
The Best Vegan Kids Vitamins Brands
Based on the latest Amazon reviews, these are the top vegan kids vitamins in 2020.
Vegan collagen vitamins
Real vegan collagen has yet to be available on the market, but vegan collagen boosters are all the rage.
What are the benefits of vegan collagen?
How much collagen should a vegan take?
Taking a serving once or twice per week will give you visible results.
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Vitamin B12 Recommendations On A Plant
A plant-based diet has been shown time and time again to be the most health-promoting, disease-fighting, and nutrient-dense way of eating possible. Emphasizing a wide range of vegetables , fruits, whole grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, herbs, and spices makes it simple to achieve nutrient needs while avoiding chronic overnutrition.
One nutrient that likely will fall short on a plant-based diet is cobalamin, commonly referred to as vitamin B12. B12 is produced by microorganisms, bacteria, fungi, and algae, but not by animals or plants. B12 is found in animal products because they concentrate the nutrient after ingesting these microorganisms along with their food in their flesh, organs, and byproducts . Also, ruminant animals have bacteria in their rumen that produce vitamin B12.
Interestingly, the body is able to store B12 for upwards of even ten years. To further complicate this, signs and symptoms for deficiency are either not noticeable or simply very subtle. So, if B12 is not being taken in at adequate levels or if there are absorption problems, deficiency will eventually ensue. Because blood tests for B12 levels can be skewed by other variables, irreversible damage may occur before a deficiency is detected.
- 50 µg twice a day OR
- 150 µg once a day OR
- 2,500 µg once a week
Meeting Your B12 Needs
Vegans can easily meet their B12 needs through supplements or by regularly eating B12 fortified foods. Some supplements contain non-vegan ingredients. But plenty of vegan B12 supplements are available, including my top pick.
When swallowed as a pill, B12 is absorbed poorly. Youll get better absorption from B12 lozenges or sublingual tablets, which are different words for the same thing. You let these tablets dissolve under your tongue, thereby absorbing B12 through the capillaries in your mouth. A sensible dosage is a 1000 to 2000 microgram tablet taken a few times a week. Note that many brands of B12 contain methylcobalamin, but research indicates cyanocobalamin can satisfy your bodys needs with much smaller doses.
Foods commonly fortified with B12 include non-dairy milks, cereals, meat substitutes, energy bars, and nutritional yeast. Check the foods nutrition label to see its level of B12. Note that B12 fortified foods are dosed with the very same B12 that is put into supplements. This means that obtaining your B12 through fortified vegan foods is in no way more natural than purchasing supplements. Additionally, you can have difficulty meeting your B12 needs through fortified foods. Thats because comparatively few products are B12 fortified, and any fortification is usually at low levels.
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What Are The Health Benefits Of A Vegetarian Diet
A vegetarian diet can be very healthy, but your diet won’t automatically be healthier if you cut out meat. Like everyone, vegetarians need to make sure they:
- eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day.
- base meals on potatoes, bread, rice, pasta or other starchy carbohydrates
- include some dairy or dairy alternatives, such as soya drinks and yoghurts
- eat some beans, pulses, eggs and other proteins
- choose unsaturated oils and spreads, and eat them in small amounts
- drink plenty of fluids the government recommends 6 to 8 cups/glasses a day
If you choose foods and drinks that are high in fat, salt or sugar, have them less often and in small amounts.
Do I Need A Special Diet If I Exercise
You don’t need a special diet for exercising if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. The advice about exercising is the same for vegetarians and vegans as it is for non-vegetarians who exercise regularly.
Most vegetarians have enough protein in their diet for the body to grow and repair itself. If you exercise regularly, make sure you eat plenty of complex carbohydrates, such as rice and pasta for energy, and drink enough fluids when exercising harder.
Read about food for sport and exercise.
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Vegan Sources Of Iron
Plant-based diets are rich in non-heme iron, which is typically more difficult for the body to absorb than the heme-iron found in animal foods .
For this reason, vegans are often told that their daily requirements are 1.8 times higher the normal recommendations. However, more studies are needed to establish whether such high intakes are really needed .
Plant-foods rich in iron include cruciferous vegetables, beans, peas, dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
You can boost the absorption of the non-heme iron by combining iron-rich foods with those rich in vitamin C. Another way is to use a cast-iron pan for cooking .
For more ways to boost your iron absorption from plant foods, make sure to check out the24 Iron-Rich Plant Foods for Vegetarian and Vegan Mamas.
How Much Vitamin B12 Should You Take Per Week
We only need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Nowadays, you can find vitamin B12 supplements containing 500 mcg, 1000 mcg, or even 5000 mcg. You can take vitamin B12 supplements daily or weekly. If you prefer taking vitamin B12 daily, better consume supplements with the lowest dosage.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. The body can easily excrete the extra vitamin B12.
The best time to take vitamin B12 supplements is at breakfast.
On the other hand, if you prefer taking supplements weekly, a tablet of 5000 mcg, once a week is enough.
Above all, you should consult your physician. Especially, if youre taking medication, as it might affect vitamin B12 levels.
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Meat Substitutes Beyond Meat Beef Free Beastly Sliders 8 Ounce 7 Per Case
Since meat is one of the natural sources of B12, many faux-meat products have added B12 into their products to substitute the real thing. And more and more faux meat products, like replacements for burgers, sausage, chicken fingers, ribs, are hitting the market regularly.
Check either the ingredients list or nutrition facts panel to make sure that the product you are purchasing has been fortified with B12. And eat these foods sparingly, since they are rather processed and not always as healthy as you may think.
Best Sources Of Vitamin B12 For Plant
Given how important vitamin B12 is for growth and development, its essential to make sure your child gets enough of it.
At one time, plant foods were a better source of vitamin B12. However, due to agricultural antibiotic and pesticide use, as well as hygienic food practices today, vitamin B12 is not found reliably in plant-based sources and also has low absorption rates.
So, this makes it important for plant-based kids and adults to receive it elsewhere.
And, its worth noting that many plant-based dairy alternatives like certain soy, oat, hemp, and pea milks are fortified with vitamin B12 and can be beneficial to incorporate into your familys routine.
B12-fortified nutritional yeast is another source that we enjoy using in our homes, in recipes like our 10 Minute Vegan Mac and Cheese.
Be sure to check the product label to verify whether something has vitamin B12 in it, and how much can be found in one serving.
Even though its a good idea to incorporate B12-rich foods in your childs regular diet, the most reliable source for kids is a B12 supplement.
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