If you’re vegan or plant based, you need ensure you’re getting adequate Vitamin B12, which usually requires supplementation or injections. However even if you eat meat, you still need make sure you’re getting enough B12. Here is a quick run down on Vitamin B12!
Why do we need Vitamin B12?
- Vitamin B12 is required for the synthesis of your DNA & fatty acids. It is also essential for normal blood & neurological function.
What if we don’t get enough Vitamin B12?
- Deficiency of Vitamin B12 can cause gut, neurological and haematological issues, with side effects including fatigue, numbness & tingling in hands & feet, memory loss, mood changes, balance issues & paralysis.
What foods contain Vitamin B12?
- Vitamin B12 is made by bacteria. Whilst there are some plant-based sources of Vitamin B12 like certain algae & plants exposed to bacterial action, humans obtain most of their Vitamin B12 from animal foods like red meat & dairy.
- The only reliable plant-based B12 sources are supplements/injections & fortified plant foods including some cereals, non-dairy milks & nutritional yeasts; but you must check your labels!
How much Vitamin B12 do we need?
- The Recommended Dietary Intake for Vitamin B12 is 2.4 µg/day. It’s a good idea to get your B12 levels tested regularly, particularly if you’re vegan/plant-based or over the age of 50.