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B 12

Mkay so. I know that vitamin b12 is hard to get for us vegans unless we eat it in vitamin or supplement form. But is this a rumor? Is this vaid? And if so, how come all of us aren't falling over dead? How do you get your B 12 either thought vitamins/supplements/injections/foods?

Preferably I'd like to know what foods you all eat. I know of seaweed (actually this started puzzling me as I ate sushi last night) and nutritional yeast but there have to be others, right?

most commercial foods are fortified (soymilk and the like). if you eat those you should be fine. your body, i understand, also stores it so if you were eating meat/dairy for any period of time you'll have some "leftovers" but i dont think a good multivitamin every so often hurts

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I don't absorb vitamin B from foods (if I do from foods, not much) or vitamins.  I go monthly for a B12 shot.  It is the only thing that has kept my B12 in check.  I have also read and been told by health food stores that the body does not absorb B12 from a vitamin tablet.  However, most people absorb it very well from subliguals.  Sublinguals did help me but not enough.  I am about three or four weeks overdue for my shot and I have been dragging my a** around for the last couple of weeks.  I am going this Friday for my shot.

Every year and sometimes twice, I have my B12 levels checked with blood tests.  Low B12 is dangerous.  Can actually give you symptoms of dementia.  So when my mom started losing her memory, they checked her B12 levels.  In her case, it was Alzheimer's.

Everyone should ask to have their B12 checked when getting general blood work done at their yearly physicals.  When I asked to have it checked a few years ago, it was dangerously low.  My doctor called me and told me to get in right away and that is when the shots began.

My problem is an absorption one as most people can get enough through fortified foods as Baypuppy stated.  Or subliguals which are not expensive at all. 

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I take a B complex twice a week just to be on the safe side--I eat like crap pretty often so I don't trust that my diet is too complete--I'll give you a heads up though, the supplement I take turns my urine neon yellow! It can be a little jarring if you're not expecting it!  ;)

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I get all my veg nutrition information off of this site: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/
A very good Vitamin B12 article: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/positions/english/b-12.htm
It should answer your questions, and if you have any other nutritional related question pertaining to the veg lifestyle, look around the site and you just might fight it, because they go through a lot of issues.

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seaweed has the inactive form of B12, which actually blocks the absorption of the active form, so try to have B12 supplements or fortified food away from meals containing seaweed.

I take sublingual B12 or sometimes liquid B12, depending on which one is cheaper. Most non-dairy milks are fortified with B12 but I don't drink enough of them to get all I need.

Nutritional yeast contains B12, so that's a source. Other than that, you can get B12 shots, but with the supplements I never had to do that.

I have heard that B12 stores don't deplete very fast because much of the B12 is recycled in your system. However, at one point or another (weeks, months or years down the road) you will get deficient if you don't consume B12 or get shots.

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the need for B12 is somewhat strange... I had been vegan for years, never took B12 (I didn't eat the fortified foods too much either), had my blood tested for different stuff, and I was definitely not anemic. For something so trace or non-existent in plant matter, it doesn't seem like anyone eating a plant-based diet was "dropping dead" from B12 deficiency before it was discovered. But, figuring out what is and isn't essential, and how much, and how everything's metabolized is sort of a complicated science anyway (one you can't really test on animals!). Who knows, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a lot we don't know about some vitamins/minerals, B12 in particular.

It's function, I believe, is a cofactor in (the making of?) hemoglobin. The special ingredient is cobalt; maybe trace cobalt intake alone is enough, rather than the whole molecule?

But, despite all this, I still do a sublingual B12 spray now and then. Still have never been anemic.

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I take a B complex twice a week just to be on the safe side--I eat like crap pretty often so I don't trust that my diet is too complete--I'll give you a heads up though, the supplement I take turns my urine neon yellow! It can be a little jarring if you're not expecting it!  ;)

That's hot!

I  have been veg*n but mostly vegan for the last 7 years, and only started taking b12 supplements this year.  I may have acted a little crazy, but now I'm fine!  :-X

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I get all my veg nutrition information off of this site: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/
A very good Vitamin B12 article: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/positions/english/b-12.htm
It should answer your questions, and if you have any other nutritional related question pertaining to the veg lifestyle, look around the site and you just might fight it, because they go through a lot of issues.

This is unrelated to B12, but I was looking around on that website and found an article about why eating raw is bad.  It says a lot of things like "raw foodists believe this, but in reality..." and then doesn't cite any sources or anything.  It's hard to tell what to believe...

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I take a sublingual tablet (which has both b12 and folic acid) when I remember (if I haven't in a while, I pop 2 or 3). They are 500mcg B12 and 400mcg folic acid per tablet. Does anyone know how much B12 (in a sublingual) one should take? They have 500mcg, 100mcg, etc.

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I get all my veg nutrition information off of this site: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/
A very good Vitamin B12 article: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/positions/english/b-12.htm
It should answer your questions, and if you have any other nutritional related question pertaining to the veg lifestyle, look around the site and you just might fight it, because they go through a lot of issues.

This is unrelated to B12, but I was looking around on that website and found an article about why eating raw is bad.  It says a lot of things like "raw foodists believe this, but in reality..." and then doesn't cite any sources or anything.  It's hard to tell what to believe...

Oh, I added two links to that post and the latter is entirely about vitamin B12. 

The article on the raw food diet was the link you found on the front page?  If that's the one, I thought it was a pretty balanced article, it definitely didn't say that a raw food diet was all-out bad.  Espcially with a conclusion like "While eating some raw fruit and vegetables is a good plan, a totally raw diet may not be the best."

I mean, I know of people who were adversely affected by the veg lifestyle, albeit few, they do exist.  So, probably some persons may not adapt well to a raw food diet? *shrugs* With as many people as there are in the world, I would think it's possible.

But anyway,I think it's a good site!

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I take a B complex twice a week just to be on the safe side--I eat like crap pretty often so I don't trust that my diet is too complete--I'll give you a heads up though, the supplement I take turns my urine neon yellow! It can be a little jarring if you're not expecting it!  ;)

i know! i take a vitamin b 100 supplement (assorted b vitamins) and my pee is like the neon greenish yellow colour. crazy and sexy, eh? :)

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the need for B12 is somewhat strange... I had been vegan for years, never took B12 (I didn't eat the fortified foods too much either), had my blood tested for different stuff, and I was definitely not anemic. For something so trace or non-existent in plant matter, it doesn't seem like anyone eating a plant-based diet was "dropping dead" from B12 deficiency before it was discovered. But, figuring out what is and isn't essential, and how much, and how everything's metabolized is sort of a complicated science anyway (one you can't really test on animals!). Who knows, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there's a lot we don't know about some vitamins/minerals, B12 in particular.

It's function, I believe, is a cofactor in (the making of?) hemoglobin. The special ingredient is cobalt; maybe trace cobalt intake alone is enough, rather than the whole molecule?

But, despite all this, I still do a sublingual B12 spray now and then. Still have never been anemic.

I think the reason why "no one was dropping dead from B12 deficiency before it was discovered"... is that the doctors just didn't know it was B12 deficiency.  The possible neuropathy that arose could have had a number of sources... so nobody thought to blame B12.

People didn't know that Beri Beri was thiamine deficiency or that kwashiorkor was protein deficiency, but people still suffered from it.

B12 is important in itself.  B12, as a cofactor including cobalt, participates in an enzymatic reaction... not the cobalt on its own.  If you take cobalt orally, bad things could happen... like getting cobalt poisoning.

I take a B12 supplement whenever I remember it...

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I get all my veg nutrition information off of this site: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/
A very good Vitamin B12 article: http://www.vegetarian-nutrition.info/positions/english/b-12.htm
It should answer your questions, and if you have any other nutritional related question pertaining to the veg lifestyle, look around the site and you just might fight it, because they go through a lot of issues.

This is unrelated to B12, but I was looking around on that website and found an article about why eating raw is bad.  It says a lot of things like "raw foodists believe this, but in reality..." and then doesn't cite any sources or anything.  It's hard to tell what to believe...

Oh, sorry Saby!  I wasn't saying that your article wasn't related to B12, I was saying my comment wasn't related.  ;)  Thanks for the link though!

Oh, I added two links to that post and the latter is entirely about vitamin B12. 

The article on the raw food diet was the link you found on the front page?  If that's the one, I thought it was a pretty balanced article, it definitely didn't say that a raw food diet was all-out bad.  Espcially with a conclusion like "While eating some raw fruit and vegetables is a good plan, a totally raw diet may not be the best."

I mean, I know of people who were adversely affected by the veg lifestyle, albeit few, they do exist.  So, probably some persons may not adapt well to a raw food diet? *shrugs* With as many people as there are in the world, I would think it's possible.

But anyway,I think it's a good site!

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hm... I just read on wikipedia that, if your organs are functioning properly, B12 can be absorbed via ingestion (rather than just sublingual)... but it was all technical-sounding, so yeah =P

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I was going to post a thread similar to this. owalkerjillo beat me too it. Saby, nice articles, specially the second one. But it's funny how it calls vegans "total vegetarians" LOL. But good info overall.

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Odawalla's Protein drinks are high in B12. I think one bottle is considered two servings & each serving is 100% the daily value. I go through a bottle maybe once a week in sips here & there. Also, Silk Soymilk is fortified with it, Nut Yeast of course, and I think some cereals & snacky bars. I feel like I saw it somewhere else too, probably my vega protien powder. I take a multi maybe 3-5 times a week that has 100% my daily value, so I figure with all that I'm probably ok. I only notice the crazy color pee after taking the multi or eating something with a lot nut. yeast but when I have my vega supplement it smells funny, like after you eat asparagas.

Edit: Not all Odawalla Protein drinks are high in B12. I have the Chai today and it is not. I think the Pumpkin & the Super Vanillia both are though

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This from the Vegan Coach Newsletter on how much B12 we actually need, and how to get it:

"If you’re vegan, you MUST be sure you’re getting the amount of vitamin B12 you need.

But how much, exactly, do you need?

The recommended amount of B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day. Such a teeny, tiny amount, yet so very important.

Here are some reliable ways to get the vitamin B12 you need:

Nutritional Yeast – A delicious, cheesy-tasting source of this very important vitamin IF IF IF it’s been fortified with vitamin B12. Red Star is one nutritional yeast that has been a dependable source for vegans for years. Be sure to regularly check your nutritional yeast source, though, as sometimes they may make changes to their “recipe” which could change the amount of B12 you’re receiving.

3 Tbsp. of the large flakes equals approximately 8 micrograms of B12. So you can see that you only need 1 Tbsp. per day to meet the recommended amount of 2.4 micrograms per day. I LOVE nutritional yeast and use it every single day in just about anything, including my salads, soups, rice and bean dishes, on my veggies, etc. You really can’t get too much B12 since your body will simply let the excess just move on out.

Nutritional yeast is okay for those on a yeast-free diet since it’s an inactive yeast. It has a shelf life of 18 months stored in a cool, dry place.

(By the way, 1 Tbsp. of powdered nutritional yeast is equal to 2 Tbsp. of the large flakes.)

Fortified Foods and Beverages – Check the labels to be sure they’re actually fortified with vitamin B12. Look for 50% of the U.S. RDA, which is equal to 3 micrograms.

B12 Supplement -- Remember, you’re shooting for 2.4 micrograms per day. So if you’re not getting your B12 from other sources, pay attention to the amount of B12 the supplement provides.

If, for example, the supplement contains 250 micrograms (mcg), then you can see that you only need to take one per month. (Of course, that’s enough B12 to last you many months, but since your body easily excretes the B12 it doesn’t need, then it’s better to take it on a regular basis, than to wait a long time and saturate your body with it.)

Hope this helps to clear things up in the B12 department. Please contact me with any further questions or comments.

Note: The above information is the general rule for MOST people . This does not include pregnant or nursing mothers, those with digestive disturbances (like Krohn’s disease), or those who take some very specific prescription drugs. Be sure to check with your physician to ensure you’re getting the B12 you need.

Children generally don’t need as much B12 as adults, by usually less than half. But excess B12 is simply flushed out of your body in the normal course of a day, so taking excess cannot hurt. I always feel it’s better to be on the safe side and eat more than you need."

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Thank you, Saskia -- for a long time I thought all nut. yeast had a lot of B12.  Took me a long time to hear anywhere that nut. yeast needs to be fortified.  And I still have no idea if the stuff I buy in bulf from Whole Foods or Wild Oats is fortified  :-\

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I didn't know that nutritional yeast was a good source of b12.  I usually feel a little energy burst when I eat something with a N.Y. sauce like a breakfast scramble.  I thought it was just a coincidence but now it makes sense.  :)

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wow thanks for all the info guys! I'm definately planning on getting more nut yeast in things I eat but I also do drink soymilk and eat other fortified products like cereal so maybe I don't need to worry too much about it  :)

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