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Vegetarianism And Veganism: Where To Look For Vitamin B12

Vegetarianism And Veganism: Where To Look For Vitamin B12

Before switching to a strict plant-based diet, it is worth asking your dietitian how to make it safe for your health. You should know exactly how to supply vitamin B12 for a properly balanced diet effectively.

What should be remembered for people who decide to give up animal products and go vegan? Some essential nutrients are mostly found in animal products – for example, vitamin B12. You should pay more attention to this vitamin in the B vitamins category if you want to switch only to plant foods. Vitamin B12 is not synthesized in the body and must come from food. Therefore, its deficiency can have serious health consequences.

Effects Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

B12 deficiency begins with changes in cells that are actively dividing – in the cells of the bone marrow and the gastrointestinal tract. Hematopoiesis problems arise – the division and maturation of erythrocytes are disrupted. And from the side of digestion, malabsorption develops – the absorption of nutrients in the intestine worsens, and glossitis and stomatitis also appear. You can take Sterling Bio Culture Complex to avoid intestine and bowel diseases.

Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to insomnia and stress. For proper sleep and treating stress, you should take Sterling Sleep Easy. It provides you vitamin B12 and helps you to fight against stress, fatigue, and depression.

This vitamin is necessary for the formation of the myelin sheath of neurons; therefore, neurological problems appear in the case of its deficiency. It also prevents fatty hepatosis.

Daily Requirement Of B12 Vitamin

The daily B12 requirement is age-dependent and is measured in micrograms (mcg). Adults should receive an average of 2.4-2.6 mcg of the vitamin. The need for it increases in women during pregnancy and lactation – up to 2.8 μg.

Main Sources Of B12 Vitamin

The main food sources are animal products. A great number of vitamin B12 can be found in meat, liver, eggs (especially yolk), dairy products, fish, and seafood. These sources are well digestible for humans.

Most of the vitamin B12 is found in organ meats and some seafood. For example, in 100 g of chicken liver – 17 mcg, in beef – 60 mcg, in shellfish – up to 12 mcg. Fatty marine fish such as herring and mackerel also contain quite a lot of vitamin B12, about 10 micrograms per 100 g of product.

Plant foods may also contain some vitamin B12, but there it is in a biologically inactive form. Mushrooms, algae, or fermented soy are not adequate sources. Therefore, the rejection of animal products deprives the human body of vitamin B12 almost completely. In this case, you cannot do without specially enriched products or additional intake of it in the form of drugs.

In most cases, the traditional human diet contains a sufficient amount of vitamin B12. And, unlike other B vitamins, it can accumulate in the liver. Due to this, its apparent deficiency will arise only in the case of a prolonged absence of vitamin B12 in the diet or when it is poorly absorbed.

Who Is At Risk For Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

  1. Those who follow an unbalanced vegetarian or vegan diet completely eliminate animal products from their diet.
  2. Older people. The risk of vitamin B12 deficiency increases with age due to the natural decrease in hydrochloric acid level in the stomach. And it is necessary for the assimilation of the vitamin from food.
  3. Who suffers from diseases of the digestive system. Bowel surgery, pancreatic insufficiency, inflammatory bowel disease, parasitic infections (helminths) and some autoimmune diseases are considered risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiency.
  4. Those who take certain medications, including metformin or drugs that suppress the secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach – proton pump inhibitors and antacids. They can reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from the diet.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as it can negatively affect the child’s health, increasing the risk of developing malformations. Therefore, pregnant women should avoid any radical diets and refuse veganism. Otherwise, the consequences can be dire. A deficiency of this vitamin is also dangerous for the development of children.

And More Important!!!

Before switching to a strict plant-based diet, it is worth asking your dietitian how to make it safe for your health so that you know exactly how to supply vitamin B12 for a properly balanced diet effectively.

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