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.
- Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet
- What Every Vegan Should Know About Vitamin B12
- Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health
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.