Get The Dirt on Veganism and Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is important for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood. It is the only vitamin synthesized exclusively by microorganisms (bacteria). Vitamin B12 is produced by soil microbes that live in symbiotic relationships with plant roots. It is a water soluble vitamin, meaning the human body can not store it because it dissolves in water, so it should be consumed on a daily basis. B12 is the most chemically complex of all vitamins. It is essential for our health.
Anyone can be B12 deficient, regardless of diet. A whopping 15% of the population suffers from a B12 deficiency. A deficiency in B12 can cause a number of symptoms from dandruff to dementia. It can cause Anemia, which can be fatal if left untreated.
The B12 in animal products comes from the soil that the animal consumed, making it part of their bodies, which is then consumed by people who eat their flesh. However, pesticides prevent essential bacteria from producing B12. In fact, 90% of B12 supplements produced in the world are fed to livestock on factory farms. Vegans can find a reliable source of B12 in fortified nutritional yeast, fortified plant-based milks, and dietary supplements. Some claim that B12 is available in organic fruits and vegetables grown in rich soils. However, this is such a tiny amount of B12, you’re honestly better off just eating the dirt from the ground.
Most people only require 2.5 micrograms of B12 per day. The less frequently you consume B12, the higher the total amount needs to be to give the desired absorbed amount. Studies show there are no negative side effects of taking too much B12. HOWEVER, absorption decreases drastically when the capacity of Intrinsic Factor is exceeded at 1–2 mcg of vitamin B12. Studies also show there is no difference in efficacy between oral and sublingual (under the tongue) form.
The argument over veganism not being “natural” is particularly ironic now that animals have to take B12 supplements. Not only is it harder to absorb B12 in farmed animal flesh, but they heighten risk of developing cancer and heart disease. It’s safer to skip animals products and get our B12 from Methylcobalamin supplements. Veganism really is the future and no dementia for you! #VegansofIG