Everyone seems to be talking about Vitamin B12 - especially when it comes to vegan diets.
Turns out, B12 is a pretty tricky vitamin to get naturally, whether you're vegan or not.
That's why we've dug in deep into the mysterious vitamin on everyone's mind to find out what exactly is Vitamin B12? Is it really essential to supplement it? And what are the best ways to get B12 naturally?
To learn which 100% multivitamin companies vegans can trust, skip to the end of this article.
What is Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that helps in the metabolism of your body cells. Scientists and doctors also call it cobalamin. It is one of the eight essential B vitamins that your body needs to function properly. Vitamin B12 is also one of the cofactors in DNA synthesis. It is available both in amino acid metabolism and fatty acids. This nutrient keeps your body's blood cells and nerves healthy. It prevents megaloblastic anemia, a type of anemia that makes you weak and tired quickly.
Food and vegan multivitamin supplements are two of the richest sources of Vitamin B12. Your body absorbs Vitamin B12 in two ways:
- Your stomach separates the protein with which Vitamin B12 attaches the most.
- Vitamin B12 combines with your stomach's intrinsic factor, a protein that develops only in your stomach. Your body then absorbs this protein, thereby also consuming Vitamin B12.
A few people suffer from pernicious anemia. This is a condition where your body can't make intrinsic factors, leading to a severe deficiency of Vitamin B12. It also prevents your body from absorbing this vitamin from various dietary supplements and foods.
Why is B12 an important Vitamin?
A Vitamin B12 deficiency has some nasty effects.
It can cause weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite, megaloblastic anemia, rapid weight loss, and constipation. Additionally, it can also affect your nerves and cause tingling and numbness in your feet and hands.
Some other Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include depression, poor memory, dementia, soreness of tongue or mouth, confusion, and problems with balance. The absence of Vitamin B12 in your body can slowly lead to damage to your nervous system.
It's safe to say, B12 isn't a vitamin to ignore.
Even infants may experience Vitamin B12 deficiency. Their symptoms include movement problems, delays in reaching typical developmental milestones, megaloblastic anemia, and failure to thrive. Although a significant amount of folic acid can overcome Vitamin B12, it doesn't correct the progressive damage caused to the nervous system.
Why do vegans need to supplement B12?
There is a misconception that animals produce B12, thus vegans generally lack this vitamin due to not consuming animals. However, this is false. B12. Vitamin B12 is found naturally in soil and murky water, which is then digested by animals eating dirty roots and drinking dirty water.
As modern humans developed to clean vegetables, B12 has become increasingly difficult to find. Animals are simply the middle-man in this equation, and our four-legged friends, are often supplemented B12 themselves.
Since vegans don't get the recycled B12 from meat, eggs, or dairy products. This means they are at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency. Apart from fortified breakfast cereals, there aren't many foods from which vegans can derive Vitamin B12. But no matter whether you're vegan or not, the best way to ensure you're getting sufficient B12 is to supplement it.
Vegans above 50 often suffer from atrophic gastritis, a condition where stomach lining becomes thin. Your body's small intestine reduces the amount of Vitamin B12 it should normally absorb. Surgeries and other digestive conditions can also interfere with B12 absorption. According to The Harvard Health Letter, older people and vegans should take multivitamin supplements and eat fortified breakfast cereals, or both. Vitamin B12 deficiency after 50 may result in memory loss, frequent mood swings, and balance.
How to get B12 on a vegan diet?
According to many doctors, there are three ways how you a vegan can include B12 in his diet.
• Eat fortified foods, such as whole-grain bread, rice milk, almonds, cereals, and non-GMO soy products at least two to three times every day. This should provide at least three micrograms of B12 that balances your body's B12 percentage.
• Take at least one B12 supplementary pill containing 10 micrograms of B12. Multivitamin supplementary pills are readily available online. You can buy a pack from FutureKind+. It is a powerhouse of Vitamin B12. A multivitamin pill can improve your B12 percentage significantly. This is helpful for those affected with atrophic gastritis. The supplementary pills immediately balance your body's B12 content to make the stomach lining thicker.
• The third way to include Vitamin B12 for vegans is by taking 2000 micrograms of B12 supplement every week. This dosage is suitable for people who are in a relatively better condition than those with atrophic gastritis but still have a B12 deficiency. You may not need to take it daily. Just make sure you fulfill the quota of 2000 micrograms every week.
The different kinds of B12 supplements
Different manufacturers come up with various types of B12 supplements, such as pills, sprays, powders, and tinctures. The most common forms of B12 supplement that you usually see are capsules and sprays. This helps you keep track of your dosages easily. You should always check the dosage instructions with your doctor before taking any form of B12 supplement.
100% vegan multivitamin companies
Although many companies promise that their B12 supplements work efficiently, the reality is quite different. But there's nothing to worry about. A few 100% vegan multivitamin companies ensure that they provide potent B12 supplements that make sure your body doesn't have B12 deficiency anymore. Here are some of the brands you can trust:
1. Future Kind+
Future Kind's Vitamin B12 spray is free from bulking agents and additives. It is one of the most effective supplements available in the market right now. This methyl spray is ideal if you want maximum B12 absorption. Each spray has 60 servings, which means it may last for nearly two months. Every serving contains 500 mcg of B12 with a sweet wild berry flavor. You need to spray one serving or approximately five sprays under your tongue.
Head over to FutureKind+ to see more vegan vitamins and supplements.
2. Hush & Hush
Hush & Hush offers chewable pills. They contain an added sweetener called mannitol.
This brand also offers chewable capsules. It comes in a variety of dosages, such as 1000, 2500, or even 5000 mcg per helping. Chew a lozenge every day according to the dosage that suits you.