DAY 19 – We all need Vitamin B12!

 

DAY 19 – We all need Vitamin B12!

3 key things to remember about B12:

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1) B12 is only found in foods of animal origin and since the vegan diet excludes all animal products and there are no plant sources of B12, you will not be getting any B12 from your diet.

 

 

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2) Dietary deficiencies occur in strict vegans but deficiencies can also occur due to lack of absorption often in elderly people or people with autoimmune diseases that impair gut absorption.

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3) Vitamin B12 deficiency – affects the body’s ability to produce fully functioning red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body so – Deficiency leads to enlarged RBC, structurally abnormal and immature cells a condition known medically as megaloblastic anaemia.

A second condition that is a result of reduced absorption of B12 is pernicious anaemia – an autoimmune condition that affects your stomach. An autoimmune condition means your immune system (the body’s natural defence system that protects against illness and infection) attacks your body’s healthy cells. Possible complications of pernicious anaemia include heart problems, chronic anaemia, stomach cancer, and brain and nerve damage.

So in summary we hope we have explained the implication of Vitamin B12 deficiency and that you will consider supplements when on a vegan diet!

See you tomorrow when Caroline addresses the recent claims made on the DAILY EXPRESS about sat fat.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Sophie Mose says:

    I just wanted to pick up on your point stating that there are no plant based sources of B12, however according the vegan society you can get sources from yeast extract and fortified soya products are both vegan friendly sources of the nutrient.

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    1. fightthefads says:

      Thank you Sophie. The vegan society highlights that ‘The only reliable sources of vitamin B12 on a plant-based diet are fortified foods and supplements.’ So the products you mentioned, the B12 has been artificially added. Unless you monitor the exact amounts of B12 from the yeast and fortified soya products you are consuming, you will be at risk of not consuming enough. Taking a daily supplement will ensure you get enough. The vegan society recommends you either ‘eat fortified foods with every meal, to obtain 3 micrograms of vitamin B12 each day OR take one supplement containing at least 10 micrograms of vitamin B12 every day OR take one supplement containing at least 2000 micrograms of vitamin B12 every week.’ Please also note that the Daily Recommended Requirement from the Department of Health (UK Government) is 1.5 micrograms per day for adults (18- 65 years old). We hope this post helped.

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