What is Vegan B-12 Deficiency
Guest blogger – Michelle P
Every human being needs to have enough vitamin B-12 to stay healthy. Most say it’s because vegans do not eat animal products that bring essential vitamin B-12 into their diet, this is called Vegan B-12 deficiency.
What is Vegan B-12 deficiency all about?
Very low amounts of B-12 can result in anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable sources for vegan B-12 are foods which are fortified with vitamin B-12. These include some plant milks, soy products, some breakfast cereals and B-12 supplements.
Vitamin B-12, whether taken from supplements, fortified foods or animal products, are produced by micro-organisms such as algae and bacteria. They are naturally found in animal products like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and milk products. Animals cannot create their own B-12. The animal products provide vitamin B-12 do so because animals ingest the microorganisms that produce this nutrient.
Vitamin B-12 is found in the highest absorption in our liver, and to a lesser extent in our kidneys. Vitamin B-12 can help support healthy homocysteine levels when taken with folic acid. An excessive intake of alcohol can impede with your body’s ability to take in vitamin B-12, which is why we need to be reminded to drink alcohol only moderately.
B-12 is essential for building and maintaining healthy cells in our body, which are used to synthesize DNA and red blood cells. It also plays a role in protein and fat metabolism.
Vitamin B-12 also helps to boost healthy energy levels. It is involved in the production of the myelin sheath that protects the nerves and the conduction of nerve impulses. Just imagine the brain and the nervous system as a big coil of wires. Myelin acts as the insulation that guards those wires and helps them to manage and send messages.
Intense deficiency of vitamin B-12 brings on conditions like pernicious anemia, an autoimmune condition where the body is destroyed with intrinsic factor which is a protein that is essential for the absorption of B-12. This pernicious anemia used to be considered fatal until the scientists found out that death could be avoided by treating the patients with high amounts of B-12.
However, anemia is the final stage of B-12 deficiency. Before anemia sets in, B-12 deficiency brings other problems including lethargy, fatigue, memory loss, weakness and neurological and psychiatric dilemmas.
B-12 deficiency happens in four stages. It begins with the decline of blood levels of vitamin, proceeding to low cellular concentrations of the vitamin, expanding blood levels of homocysteine and a weak rate of DNA synthesis, and finally to macrocytic anemia.
Typical deficiency symptoms are loss of energy, numbness, tingling, sore tongue, and personality changes. These symptoms evolve dramatically over several months to a year before realizing it’s the B-12 deficiency that is causing all the troubles. However, there are inconsistent and unreliable set of symptoms and these cases usually happen to adults who have permanent damage from B-12 deficiency.
Most vegans take enough B-12 just to prevent having clinical deficiency. Two subgroups of vegans are at particular risk of B-12 deficiency. These are the raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans and breastfed infants of vegan mothers who have weak levels of B-12.
Most vegans consume enough B-12 to prevent anemia and nervous system damage. However, many vegans do not get enough vitamin B-12 to curtail the potential risks of heart disease or pregnancy complications.
There are a number of ways in which vegans can get the full benefit of a vegan diet with vitamin B-12. Vegans should eat fortified foods at least two to three times a day to get three essential microorganisms of B-12 each day. They may also take B-12 supplement a day to provide their system with at least 10 microorganisms. A weekly supplement of vitamin B12 provides at least 2000 microorganisms.
If a vegan must rely on fortified foods, they must check the label to carefully make sure that they are getting enough B-12. The less frequently they obtain B-12, the more B-12 they will need to take. B-12 is recommended to best taken in small amounts. It does no harm to exceed the recommended amounts or combining more than one option.
The best vitamin B12 supplement for vegans in our opinion is the Garden of Life mykind Organics Organic B-12 Spray. One spray of Garden of Life mykind B-12 spray daily have given both vegans and non-vegans the energy they need. Many have also recommended this to their friends and family who do not even have B-12 deficiency.
Just one spray in the mouth you will feel refreshed. You no longer need to take caffeine such as coffee or tea in the afternoon. The taste is also friendly to the palates.
Here’s more on mykind Organics B-12 Spray:
- B-12 vitamin that is Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Verified and from real, nutritious foods.
- Delicious, Mouth-watering ORGANIC Raspberry Spray
- Promotes Concentration & Energy
- Supports Metabolism & Heart Health
- 500 mcg of B-12 (Methylcobalamin)