Vitamin B12

I’ve done a lot of searching online for the truth about vitamin B12. Here are some links I consider to be trustworthy sources based on my own experiences.

  1. Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet
  2. What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12
  3. Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
Interestingly enough, B12 actually comes from bacteria in the soil in which plants grow.

We all have different nutritional requirements, so it’s difficult to speculate what the average vegan might need. I can tell you this, however, I am a 42 year old in good health and I decided I would try to derive all of my B12 from ‘natural’ sources, in other words, without vitamin supplements. I had fortified almond milk, nutritional yeast and fish in my diet. What could go wrong?

As it turns out, I wasn’t getting enough B12, despite a blood test indicating that I was within the normal range. In fact, about a month into my new diet I was experiencing many of the symptoms caused by vitamin B12 deficiency without even knowing it. Two doctors and several blood tests later and the truth was finally revealed.

In retrospect, I should have started a B12 supplement the same day I started my new diet. I’m not a doctor nor even a trained nutritionist and I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to monitor their own health and to discover what works best for themselves. Having said that, I would advise any new vegan to immediately start a B12 vitamin supplement. There are no known side effects to ingesting too much B12, so why not? It’s a cheap and worthwhile insurance policy.

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