Since vitamin B12 is primarily present in animal byproducts, one of the toughest challenges of veganism is ensuring that you’re getting enough of it. In fact, many media outlets suggest that veganism is unsustainable for this reason. However, vegans have been aware of this issue for decades and have developed ways to resolve it.
Why is Vitamin B12 Important?
To be deficient in B12 is to put yourself at risk of fatigue, numbness, tingling, poor coordination, anemia, and other problems. Seniors, pregnant women, and people with digestive disorders are already prone to vitamin B12 deficiency, so those who are vegans as well must be especially vigilant. While your compassionate service toward animals and the environment is important, you must take care of yourself as well. Make it a priority to get at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 in your diet every day.
Why Should Vegans Take Supplements?
While there are some natural and fortified foods that can provide vitamin B12, it’s difficult and inconvenient to consume enough with food alone. For example, food products like cereal and plant-based milk can be fortified with vitamin B12, but it’s typically a synthetic version that your body may not absorb well. Other natural and vegan-friendly sources of vitamin B12, including some types of mushrooms and seaweed, are simply expensive, time-consuming, or unpleasant to eat in sufficiently large quantities. And even with consuming these plant products, you may be only getting inactive B12.
You may also want to take supplements to make up for what food can’t provide and to ensure you get active B12. The only question is what type of supplement is best.
What Kinds of Supplements are Available?
Like other vitamins, B12 can be made into multiple types of supplements. Perhaps the most common are B12 tablets and powders, all of which are easily taken with water. However, you can also consume them as B12 gummies or sublingual pills. In any case, oral supplements are convenient.
If you prefer to avoid swallowing oral supplements, consider a topical cream, patch, or even nasal spray to get your B12 fix. You can decide what works best for your body.
How Do You Choose?
Not every supplement is completely vegan-friendly, thanks to the inclusion of gelatin in its formula. Review the ingredients of any supplement before taking it. Many vitamin B12 supplements come with labels that state whether it’s vegan.
Even if you’re certain that you’re lacking vitamin B12, start out with small doses so that your body can get accustomed to it again. Supplements with a content of 500 mcg are great for starting out. After that, you can consult with a trusted physician on the best recommended amounts for your needs.
Also, remember that there are many types of vitamin B12, and not all of them are equally easy for your body to absorb. Methylcobalamin, one of the most common types, can be digested most efficiently. Cyanocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin are great choices, too.
Vegans who must treat unrelated medical issues by taking other medications, such as Prilosec, Prevacid, or Metformin, may find that their bodies may have difficulty absorbing the B12 supplements. If this describes you, discuss options and possible solutions with your doctor.
Regardless of medications, people with higher risk need to be extra careful about getting the right supplements. For example, seniors slowly lose their ability to absorb vitamin B12 as they age. Pregnant or nursing women are prone to many deficiencies because they are sharing their nutrients with their babies, and a lack of vitamin B12 can be damaging to them both.
As one of the only plant sources of Active B12, superfood chlorella makes a great option to obtain bioavailable, non-synthetic Vitamin B12 in your vegan diet. Containing not only the most digestive type of B12, Methylcobalamin, but also Hydroxocobalamin, and Adenosylcobalamin, Sun Chlorella provides more nutrients from chlorella in the form of tablets and powder. With Sun Chlorella’s options, you can add extra B12 into your smoothies, pasta sauce, or just take with water at your convenience.
In trying to live a healthier and more compassionate lifestyle, vegans must be aware of the limitations of their diet and use supplements accordingly. Vitamin B12 is one of many nutrients that are indispensable for the health and wellness of your mind and body.
Vegans who are already showing signs of vitamin B12 deficiency will find that their symptoms can improve soon after taking supplements. Fatigue, numbness, and poor coordination can disappear in favor of renewed energy and alacrity. Any trouble with focus or memory due to a lack of B12 will be resolved with a newfound mental clarity when B12 is properly taken. In other words, taking adequate supplements allows you to fully enjoy the vegan lifestyle the way it’s meant to be enjoyed.