Vitamin B12 is one of the most essential B vitamins that the human body requires to work properly. It’s also a vitamin that many believe is only acquired through the consumption of meat and dairy products, and while there is some truth to that statement, there are many other sources of B12 that can prove enough to keep most vegans healthy.
What is B12?
All vitamins are essential to maintaining good personal health, but they can be extremely difficult to keep track of. There are also some important distinctions between water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. In essence, any vitamins that are water-soluble need to be taken almost daily, as they are dissolved in water and are therefore expelled by the body on a fairly frequent basis, most often in urine. Fat-soluble vitamins, on the other hand, are able to be stored in fat for longer periods of time, meaning that the body can keep them in reserve until needed.
In terms of overall vitamins and minerals that the body needs, following a vegan diet can more than adequately provide all of them in good amounts, meaning that the old adage that vegans can’t get all they need from plants quite untrue, with one exception: B12.
Where B12 was once found in the natural soils and water that we came into contact with often – provided by bacteria in both sources – these are no longer available. This means that vegans that want to be as healthy as possible will need to source their B12 in other ways.
B12 and Meat
While most vegans that follow a healthy diet will not need to keep track of their vitamin intake, B12 remains the exception, often because the most abundant source of B12 in today’s world is through meat and dairy products.
Most B12 is found in meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and organs, and currently there are no known sources of B12 that can be found in plant-based foods. It would potentially be possible to source B12 from working with healthy soil every day, but this is obviously not an option for the vast majority of people that live in cities.
B12 is incredibly important for the body, and helps it perform a number of vital tasks, such as nerve and blood health.
Sources of B12
The first and most obvious is supplementation. It’s possible to purchase B12 supplements that not only provide the daily-recommended amount, but many times extra, allowing the body to store unneeded B12 until a later stage.
It’s also important that vegans make sure that the supplement they make use of is created without the use of any animal products. Supplements are usually taken once a day, and should be taken after eating a meal, possibly when enjoying the best Aussie pokies games. It’s imperative to check the labels of a potential supplement, and to ensure that it does not contain any animal products or other harmful chemicals.
Another popular choice is B12-fortified foods, often in the form of plant-based milks and cereals. These are foods that have been artificially fortified with B12, and provide an excellent source of the vitamin in the absence of meat or dairy.