The B-12 Debate

In my many internet searches of veganism, I have come across quite a few pro-vegan sites that allege vegans can get a sufficient amount of B12 from plant sources such as algae.

I find such claims slightly disturbing as there is no significant evidence that vegans can obtain the levels of B12 necessary outside of eating fortified foods or taking supplements.

As always, it is important to be wary of information gathered off of the internet. Know your sources! Most legitimate vegan sites strongly advise vegans to carefully monitor their B12 intake by taking supplements.

The myth concerning plant-based B12 revolves around “fake” B12, or analogues. Jack Norris, Registered Dietitian and President of Vegan Outreach, states on his website Vegan Health that Analogues can “imitate true B12 in blood tests while actually interfering with B12 metabolism” which can cause harm.

Vegan Health has an entire section dedicated to providing legitimate information on proper B12 consumption for every type of vegan imaginable.

Norris states on Vegan Health that, “There are no reliable, unfortified plant sources of vitamin B12; therefore fortified foods and/or supplements are necessary for the optimal health of vegans and even vegetarians in many cases.”

It is incredibly important to maintain healthy levels of B12 as a B12 deficiency can lead to heart disease, blindness, deafness, dementia and even death.

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