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HOW DO VEGANS COMBAT VITAMIN B-12 DEFICIENCY?

 

For many, one of the arguments against a vegan diet is that it lacks Vitamin B12- a nutrient which supports proper cell health. This is probably the most common misconception about vegan diets not being healthy. In addition many are misinformed on the origin of Vitamin B12 and why it is not easily accessible to plant-based foods.

Most people believe that Vitamin B12 comes only from flesh and animal secretions-cow’s milk, chicken, eggs etc, when as a matter of fact is solely bacteria based. Animals, plants and fungi lacks the ability to produce B12 on their own and must procure it from other sources. B12 is synthesized by bacteria and is therefore found in areas of bacterial growth, namely dirt and soil. In the past, humans used to get their B12 by eating plants that had bits of soil on them. In the contemporary world however, we wash our fruits and veggies so well, and some even go through the process of boiling their plants before eating, that we no longer consume dirt or proper levels of B12.

Both omnivores and herbivores (vegans) are at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency and should be aware of their intake to ensure they are getting the necessary proper nutrients. However, B12 is only needed in small amounts, 1.5 micrograms,  and the daily recommended intake is 3 micrograms with a 50% absorption rate. Vegans can get their Vitamin B12 through supplements or other fortified foods- grain products, salt, nut milks, some varieties of mushrooms, fortified orange juice with calcium etc.

A vegan or plant-based lifestyle alone does not equate to healthy living but when integrated with conscious eating and nutritionally dense foods you can achieve positive results


(research by: Peaceful Dumpling)