Should I Take Vitamin B12?

should vegans take b12 Should I Take Vitamin B12

Should I Take Vitamin B12?

 

I’ve written about the importance of B12 before, but it really is shocking to see some of the consequences of a lack of this essential nutrient.

Having someone go vegan for the sake of their health and end up worse off because of a B12 deficiency is tragic. Unfortunately, it does happen.

In this video, for example, Dr. Greger warns of vegan paralysis: “Look at what non-B12-supplemented veganism did to this guy: rotted his spinal cord from the inside out.”

The medical name for this devastating condition is vegetarian’s myelopathy. How common is the B12 problem?

A major review, Dr. Greger cautions, found that “…60% of vegans are B12 deficient, because they’re not regularly eating B12-fortified foods or taking B12 supplements… So that means yet another year of horror story, after horror story.”

Pictures of these medical conditions scroll past to emphasize the “horrors”:

• anemia

• neuropsychiatric disorders

• brain shrinkage

• stroke

• depression

• bone damage

• artery wall thickening

• irreversible nerve damage

Mothers-to-be must also beware“Not taking vitamin B12 during pregnancy is inexcusable. It can cause infantile seizures.”

Although vegans are also susceptible to calcium and iodine deficiencies, they still do better nutritionally than omnivores. On average, omnivore diets are low in:

• calcium

• fiber

• folate

• iodine

• magnesium

• Vitamin C

• Vitamin E

I recommend that omnivores adopt a completely plant-based diet, including what Dr. Greger calls a “cholesterol-free course of B12.” 

Look for B12-fortified foods; my favorites are fortified soy milk and nutritional yeast. My kids like B12-fortified breakfast cereals. A daily B12 supplement or weekly B12 sublingual tablet can also meet your requirement.

As to the calcium and iodine? Minimize your risks of deficiency by upping your intakes of kale, broccoli and using iodized salt!

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