B12 Supplements For Vegans

by | January 22, 2018

What are they and why do I need them?

Are you often finding yourself feeling sluggish, tired, or constantly lazy? Instead of having that extra cup of coffee, your body is most likely telling you to take some Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 comes from a crucial bacteria that is found in the soil, as well as inside animals and humans. However, there are such miniscule amounts of B12 found in the plants we eat, and due to the harsh agriculture industry, the nutrition in soil gets extremely depleted over time. Sadly, farmers are only required to replenish the soil with a few minerals, so it is not as nutrient dense as it once was. Therefore, the plants we eat are not a sufficient source of B12. As far as B12 in the flesh of animals, again there are not large amounts of the bacteria and in fact, animals are injected with B12 so the farmers are able to say that their meat contains the vital nutrient. However, the B12 is almost entirely killed off due to the antibiotics that are pumped into the animals, as well as the high cooking temperatures.

Humans were created with B12 in our small intestines, but with the way we eat, the healthy bacteria is easily killed off due to consuming certain foods and beverages such as diuretics and irritants (coffee, soda, onion, garlic, vinegar etc). Not to mention, B12 is quickly destroyed by antibiotics, alcohol and other harmful substances that are readily available and chronically consumed these days. It is clear why we would need to consume B12 on a daily basis, as every day most people are consuming at least one or more food, beverage or drug that will kill the much needed bacteria that their body created.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning it can dissolve in water and travel through the bloodstream. It is vital for proper brain and nervous system function, as well as the formation of red blood cells. Therefore, it can be extremely dangerous if you are B12 deficient. You may experience anything from depression, to anemia, even strokes and cardiovascular disease. In the elderly, B12 deficiency has been known to lead to cognitive impairment and dementia, as well as neurodegenerative disorders such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should pay close attention to their infants, as babies may experience face tremors, feeding difficulties and reflex problems, all eventually leading to growth issues, if the mother isn’t obtaining enough B12 for herself and her child.

Clearly, B12 is not a vitamin that you want to mess around with. It is so simple to take once per day in either liquid or capsule form, and not to mention there are many B12 fortified foods out there. Most nut milks and cereals are fortified with vitamin B12, making it extremely accessible. It is recommended that an adult take 2.4mcg per day, with pregnant and breastfeeding women taking slightly more, 2.8mcg. The good news is, there is no harm if you go over on your B12 intake, whatever amount of the vitamin that is not absorbed into your bloodstream and used will come out in your urine.

Almost 40% of Americans have a Vitamin B12 deficiency, and only 6% of Americans do not consume animal products. Clearly this means that at least 33% of Americans who are lacking in B12 are in fact meat eaters (the number is most likely higher, since from the 6% of vegans in the U.S, we didn’t subtract the ones who are supplementing with B12 already). So, this is not a vegan problem at all, this is a human problem.


Emily Payan My name is Emily and I live with my amazing husband and beautiful one year old daughter in Northern California. I have been vegan since 2015 and our daughter has been vegan since conception. When I’m not writing for Raise Vegan you can find me on my Website, or Instagram.


One Response to “B12 Supplements For Vegans”

  1. the
    January 23rd, 2018 @ 1:11 am

    Amazing article!

Leave a Comment