How Much Do You Need Daily?
several important functions, including helping the body use and store energy from protein, carbohydrates and fat.
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Was determined in 132 healthy vegetarians, age range 25-57 years who have been practising vegetarianism for 1-22 years. Sixty-eight healthy non-vegetarians were chosen as controls.
The conventional methods to measure the activation coefficient alpha ETK, alpha EGR and alpha EAST were applied to assess the vitamin status of B1, B2 and B6 respectively. B-vitamins status should be checked and efforts should be made to improve through dietary counselling and nutritional education should be included and stress in the health education program in order to improve nutritional deficiencie.
Vitamin B12 is found abundantly in clams, liver, oily fish, meat and dairy.
While this sounds promising, it would take approximately over 100g to achieve the RDA – which is unrealistic for individuals to consume on a daily basis (2). Furthermore, these wild mushrooms aren’t available worldwide and it isn’t clear how well humans absorb this type of B12.
Spirulina is another source of vitamin B12, but researchers have found that much of the B12 is pseudo-B12, which is inactive for humans (3). As a result, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommend regularly consuming vitamin B12 fortified foods or a supplement (4).
Fortified foods could include plant milks, fruit drinks, cereals, mock meats (i.e. Plant-based meat alternatives), nutritional yeast, and more. In terms of nutritional yeast, small human trials have found this to be effective with increasing B12 levels.
It’s important to note though, that the B12 in nutritional yeast is due to fortification and does not actually occur naturally in the yeast. There is an abundance of research published that links vegan and vegetarian diets to low levels of vitamin B12. However, there is data demonstrating that in unsupplemented vegans, holotranscobalamin, the active form of vitamin B12 that can enter into cells, decreased in only 4 weeks after the vitamin B12 supplement was stopped (7).
As a vegan, if one chooses not to supplement vitamin B12, this would be considered a true nutrient of concern. However, the vast majority of vegans are aware of vitamin B12’s importance and supplement accordingly. In short, the most reliable way to meet vitamin B12 needs on a vegan diet, is to supplement.