(US) Vitamin B12 for vegans
- [Seattle Vegan Examiner]
Vegan diets take a lot of flack in the news media for all kinds of
reasons, but the alleged “B12 problem” is probably one of the biggest.
I talked yesterday about why the B12 issue doesn’t make much of an
argument against vegan diets. We evolved to get by on just a smidgeon
of this vitamin, and it’s very easy to get enough.
But, yes—vegans do need to give a little bit of thought about where
they will get B12.
All of the vitamin B12 in the world is made by bacteria and this has
given rise to a host of myths about sources of this vitamin. Soyfoods
like tempeh and miso should be good sources of B12 since they utilize
microbes for fermentation, but in most cases, they are not. Likewise,
brewer’s yeast, nutritional yeast, sour dough bread, shiitake
mushrooms, and sea vegetables are not reliable sources for vegans
unless they are fortified. And many of these foods contain B12 analogs
which can interfere with vitamin activity, increasing the risk of
Since humans store big stashes of B12 in their liver, new vegans can
stay healthy for a long time—even several years—without B12 in their
So—smart vegans supplement their diets with B12. ...
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