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Thread: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

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    Default Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hi there! I apologize in advance for being a total newb. I hope I'm not posting in the wrong section or anything.
    I was wondering if you should start taking B12 supplements as soon as you go vegan, and if it's dangerous to wait a bit.
    (More details, in case you need them: I've only been vegan for 3-4 months after some vegetarian years and I took this b12 deficency thing quite... lightly, but all the articles I'm reading are starting to scare me
    I eat fortified cereals everyday, but it looks like I should eat tons to reach the RDA, and I admit I don't eat much in general. I'm going to take a blood test in a couple of weeks to check if everything is fine. I've been dizzy and very tired lately, but I'm pretty sure I can blame stress and university for that.)
    Thanks for your patience!



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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: When to start taking B12 supplements?

    Hi,

    since B12 levels among both vegans and non-vegans vary from person to person, there's no fixed rule saying that 'vegans should start to take B12 after X weeks' or that 'vegans that go non-vegan should start to take folate after Y weeks'...

    The B12 thing isn't more 'scary' than what non-vegans exprience - they often lack a lot of nutrients as discussed in eg. this thread.

    Too little - or too much - of anything isn't a good idea.

    What many vegans seem to do is to figure out what nutrients vegans may risk having low levels of, and take some supplements to be 'safer' than they would be if they weren't taking any supplements.

    For some reason, many of us didn't figure out which nutrients non-vegans often have too low levels of, followed up by supplementing with those nutrients to be on the 'safer' side (before we turned vegan).

    It's good that vegans care about their own health and take supplements when needed - or add small amounts of eg. B12 to reduce the risk of ever coming in the situation where you'd need a therapeutic amount of B12 to deal with a deficiency.

    The part that IMO actually is 'scary' is that the large percentage of the world population that are not vegans or vegetarians think they are 'safe' just because they use meat or use milk from another species. They seem to prefer to ignore the fact that most non-vegans often - at some point in life - suffer from diseases and health problems that are directly linked with all the stuff these people normally get too little - or too much - of.

    Taking blood tests isn't only a good way to check you get the nutrients you need, but it's also a good way to show doctors across the globe how healthy we are.

    When testing for B12, taking MMA and homocysteine tests may make sense as well.
    Last edited by Korn; Dec 17th, 2008 at 12:32 AM.
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Thank you so much for your answer, Korn, it sounded reasonable I'll make sure I'll ask my doctor a prescription for MMA and homocysteine tests as well, and then I'll decide whether to take supplements or not.
    I guess I'm a bit of a hypochondriac.
    Thanks again!

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Update:
    I got my blood test results and everything is normal except the B12 level. The weird thing is it doesn't state a precise value, it just says "<150 pg/mL (180-1160)". What the hell is that supposed to mean? O_o I have more than 150, but how much? Usually the values that are out of the norm are marked with an asterisk, but there is no asterisk here. The omocisteine exam is not ready yet, but I really don't know what to think in the meanwhile.
    Any ideas?

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    Vegan Pride<3 Guate_Vegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I got a blood test for Potassium yesterday and I'm finding out today if it's good or not. Hopefully it's normal because my pill is supposed to raise potassium to unhealthy levels. Nothing to do with veganism though...

    I'm nervous about my b12 now...
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hey Guate, are you taking B12? It's a good precautionary measure to take it. Even if you dont have symptoms of a deficiency...

    And I'm pretty sure insurance doesnt cover B12 tests. Like across the board... they're actually 'unnecessary' tests according to insurance companies in the United States. You can probably bypass that by asking for a homocysteine test because you're concerned about a 'family predisposition' for heart disease or something. It'll help you get an idea of your B12/folate status.

    Loss, the test seems to be saying that you have less than 150 pg/mL, which is below the normal range of 180-1160 pg/mL. You should ask the doctor if they recommend you take a B12 supplement. If your blood levels are low, it is likely your liver stores are low as well... which means that you might have to get supplements or injections of some kind to raise your levels.
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    Vegan Pride<3 Guate_Vegan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    No I'm not actually, but I'm going to buy PMS medicine right now and I'll get B12 too just to make sure since maybe PMS is linked to B12 and other things as well...
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    Loss, the test seems to be saying that you have less than 150 pg/mL, which is below the normal range of 180-1160 pg/mL. You should ask the doctor if they recommend you take a B12 supplement. If your blood levels are low, it is likely your liver stores are low as well... which means that you might have to get supplements or injections of some kind to raise your levels.
    Oh, I'm so stupid, I read < as "more than" instead of "less than". I'm worried =| I've been a strict vegan for just 4 months, how's that even possible?
    Well, I bought a b12 supplement today, I'll start taking it now and I'll ask my doctor as soon as possible. Thank you so much for answering!

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    You're not stupid! I'm just happy to see both of you keeping up with your health and getting everything checked out.

    Deficiency is quite possible if you've been veg*n for a while. The liver typically stores about 8 years worth of B12. But this varies GREATLY between individuals. I've been veg*n for 11 years, so my liver stores have dimished significantly and I need to take B12 supplements to keep my blood levels normal.

    What form of B12 did you buy? The most common type of B12 sold in the US is not very well absorbed (cyanobalamin). The best absorbed kind is methylcobalamin, which is what I take.
    I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Alcott

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    That must mean my liver is on premature retirement
    I bought the B-12 LongLife sublingual supplement by Phoenix (2000 mcg). It's recomended by most italian vegan websites - but unfortunately according to the ingredient list it's cyanobalamin.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Loss View Post
    Oh, I'm so stupid, I read < as "more than" instead of "less than". I'm worried =| I've been a strict vegan for just 4 months, how's that even possible?
    even before you were vegan it's perfectly possible that you weren't getting enough B12 for a long time. if you take a supplement and it doesn't improve you may have problems absorbing it which is nothing to do with being vegan and may require regular injections.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Ok, I guess I'll take another blood test in a couple of months or so and check again. Thanks

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I have no overall problem absorbing B12 (at least from the patches lol I put them behind my ear and I was like an energy crazed person, but they're too expensive). Last night I went to buy B12 and it's the Whole Foods brand 365, and it's in packets, you can delude them in water or eat straight out of (tastes disgusting straight out).

    I read the package and it says:
    cyanobalamin 1,400mg
    methylcobalamin 300mg
    Dibencozide 300mg

    So, I'm guessing that they put the three types so just in case I'm having trouble absorbing one type, the other two will kick in :P Or maybe because Cyan is hard to be absorbed they pumped it up to 1,400mg.
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I take a liquid sublingual that is a mixture of cyano and methyl. Mainly to play it safe and because I can't be bothed to get to the doctor about this right now (or my other longstanding health issues), though the hardest part is remembering. I have to take it the earliest in the morning because I don't want any extra energy in the evening. And I try to take smaller amounts every day rather than one bigger amount each week.

    The way I see it: as an omni child/teenager, I supplemented with at least a dozen vitamins etc. because I wasn't getting enough fruits, veggies, etc. Nowadays, just the b12 and I figure most the other stuff is taken care of in my diet, from the few days of close monitoring I've done. (Granted, almost nobody has perfect levels of everything, but I do pretty darn good for a college student whose organization skills are very awful).

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    interesting that a couple of you have mentioned feeling more energetic after taking B12. it's never had that effect on me, although i did once have tremendous difficulty sleeping after taking a high-dose B-vitamin tablet.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Gorilla View Post
    interesting that a couple of you have mentioned feeling more energetic after taking B12. it's never had that effect on me, although i did once have tremendous difficulty sleeping after taking a high-dose B-vitamin tablet.
    Maybe you weren't missing B12 that much. I think that the people that feel a huge difference is because they really needed it. I believe I did so that's why I felt like I could concentrate like a maniac during AP test season, and had endless energy lol...
    "Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better."
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Yeah and well most times when I take a daily dose I don't notice it, but when I take a spoonful that is for a week then I notice.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hmmm, I never noticed a big difference in energy when I started taking it. I do think it has improved my B12 status though, which inevitably improves other bodily functions, folate metabolism, etc. Just to clarify things, its really not necessary to take various forms of the vitamin because they are interconvertable. Taking a massive dose of the other forms of vitamin B12 will just allow more to be converted to the useable forms (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin). Dibencozide is another name for one of the two active forms of B12, adenosylcobalamin.

    It might be a good idea to get a homocysteine test regardless of whether you're taking a B12 supplement or not. Certain symptoms may not be explained by B12. And taking B12 supplements can mask other issues. Just confirm everything with a doctor
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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Guate_Vegan View Post
    Maybe you weren't missing B12 that much. I think that the people that feel a huge difference is because they really needed it. I believe I did so that's why I felt like I could concentrate like a maniac during AP test season, and had endless energy lol...
    possibly, although i take B12 supplements quite sporadically. perhaps i have a high amount stored in my body so i don't need to consume much more.
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Oh my god, i just read this thread and am (a) confused and (b) slightly worried! I know nothing about body chemistry and have been strictly vegan for nearly three months and so far have noticed an improved positive attitude, cleaner skin and clearer cognitive thought patterns. Little detrimentl effects have been noticed otherwise. Should I be expecting something badto happen!?

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    Hmmm, I never noticed a big difference in energy when I started taking it. I do think it has improved my B12 status though, which inevitably improves other bodily functions, folate metabolism, etc. Just to clarify things, its really not necessary to take various forms of the vitamin because they are interconvertable. Taking a massive dose of the other forms of vitamin B12 will just allow more to be converted to the useable forms (methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin). Dibencozide is another name for one of the two active forms of B12, adenosylcobalamin.

    It might be a good idea to get a homocysteine test regardless of whether you're taking a B12 supplement or not. Certain symptoms may not be explained by B12. And taking B12 supplements can mask other issues. Just confirm everything with a doctor
    Ha, yeah, I know that a mixture isn't necessary that's just how it came. I went to a doctor a month or two ago when there was numbness in the left side of my hand and wrist, but he thought it was a carpal-tunnel type thing and gave me a wrist brace, and it's pretty much all gone now.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote choptveg View Post
    Oh my god, i just read this thread and am (a) confused and (b) slightly worried! Should I be expecting something badto happen!?
    What are you confused about? Are there particular symptoms you're worried about? You shouldn't expect the symptoms of deficiency.... deficiency is rare. Our bodies store B12 for years...

    Quote Quantum Mechanic View Post
    I went to a doctor a month or two ago when there was numbness in the left side of my hand and wrist, but he thought it was a carpal-tunnel type thing and gave me a wrist brace, and it's pretty much all gone now.
    Ohhh awesome!! Hope your wrist feels better!
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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    What are you confused about? Are there particular symptoms you're worried about? You shouldn't expect the symptoms of deficiency.... deficiency is rare. Our bodies store B12 for years...
    very true - you shouldn't be expecting to feel unwell at all. but you should realise that just like any other diet, you need to be aware of the need for certain nutrients. B12 is one of those things most people don't even think about until they hear that apparently vegans might be deficient in it. just eat fortified products or take a supplement and you shouldn't need to get confused.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I'm back with stupid questions!
    I thought that a B12 deficiency was always paired by high homocysteine levels.
    However, today I got my homocysteine test results and it's perfectly fine (7.5, normal range is 0.0-15.0), even though my B12 level is <150. Any ideas?
    (I swear I'll call my doctor very soon and stop bugging you - it's just that I'm under the impression that she doesn't know very much about this topic )

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    It's not a stupid question

    Low vitamin B12 levels dont always result in high homocysteine levels. Though, that's the most common result; the relationship isn't as direct as most people think. This whole cycle also involves folate, iron, SAM, other B-vitamins, and other factors. Your body is able accomodate/ adjust the homocysteine level even with deficiencies.

    What has she said about B12 supplementation? ANything about folate levels? Or SAM levels? You're probably right that she doesn't know much about it... most doctors don't study nutrition in med school. You could talk to a dietician... they have lots of experience in biochemistry. (Or just ask me... LOL )
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote ellaminnowpea View Post
    What has she said about B12 supplementation? ANything about folate levels? Or SAM levels? You're probably right that she doesn't know much about it... most doctors don't study nutrition in med school. You could talk to a dietician... they have lots of experience in biochemistry. (Or just ask me... LOL )
    Thanks for your neverending patience
    Actually, I started taking B12 supplements as soon as I got the results without even asking my doctor - It will be a couple of months till I'm able to go back to my hometown and visit her. But when I asked her the prescription for blood tests and insisted on B12 and homocysteine she looked quite confused. I hope she reads something about it in the meanwhile
    My serum folate is in the norm as well, by the way (5.4 - normal level: 2.5 - 20), and so is my iron.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I've been vegan for about 4 years now and never taken b12, should I have been? I do feel tired all the time. I think I will start, i'm worried i've been doing damage without realising it.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Being tired can come from all sorts of reasons for vegans, I guess.

    Not getting enough calories could be the first thing to check .
    Do you eat enough for what you consume?

    B12..

    I have been taking B12 for a while now cause it helps reduce migraines.
    So when I turned vegan i was already taking it.
    I take a tablet of a B complex and it states that each tablet has 150% of the
    RDA for vitamin B12.


    I guess, tests or not tests, it's safer here to err on the side of being precautious and take B12 supplements.

    I'd hate to be part of those vegan people who are not healthy and
    make doctors scream out that ours is a bad diet.

    But i think we really have to point out to everyone, doctors included,
    even if as just a joke or a side comment , what Korn said about
    how most nonvegans have these and MORe deficiencies..

    They dont have to think.
    I think it's easy even for doctors to forget that and just think vegans' diet
    are defective..

    really annoying.

    but as long as the idea is that vegans DO NOT EAT meat, fish, milk and eggs,

    rather than

    vegans EAT MORE fresh fruit, veggies, carbs, pulses, cereals etc etc

    then people will keep thinking that our diet is defective..
    we need to start challenging that description ..

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Yeah, well said vetarian cat! I've been vegan for 23 years and for the last 10 or so haven't taken any suplements. I just take fortified soya or oat milk, fortified yeast extract (e.g. Marmite) and fortified margarine to get B12 and feel really fit and healthy. So like people are saying in this thread, veganism is like any other diet - people just have to make sure they know where to get all the required nutrients needed for health. So, whilst people need to take supplements for various reasons from time to time, those following a vegan diet are in no more need of supplements than any other group

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Dan T View Post
    I just take fortified soya or oat milk, fortified yeast extract (e.g. Marmite) and fortified margarine to get B12 and feel really fit and healthy.
    Well, so you do take some kind of supplement after all. I consider fortified food to be supplements, anyway.
    The only fortified food available and affordable food here is corn flakes, but I'd have to eat so many to reach the raccomended ratio that I just must rely on tablets.

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Loss View Post
    Well, so you do take some kind of supplement after all. I consider fortified food to be supplements, anyway.
    The only fortified food available and affordable food here is corn flakes, but I'd have to eat so many to reach the raccomended ratio that I just must rely on tablets.
    Yes you have a good point there. Looking at my thread, I can see how I could potentially appear to be rather self congratulating in my mistaken belief that I was supplement free. That was not my intention. I was in fact trying to emphasise, as other recent threads had done, the positive nature of veganism in order to counter some (non vegans) who think it is somehow deficient compared to other diets. So yeah, I guess we all take B12 supplements one way or another and I don't think there is a problem with that. I don't think it's unnatural or anything to take supplements - it's natural for us to use our intelligence as humans to alter our diets and become more compassionate. Also I should imagine it is harder to be vegan in somewhere like Italy than say, Bristol, where its full of health food shops and supermarkets selling vegan stuff. So respect to all vegans whatever supplements they need to take

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    B12 supplements are found in ALL modern diets. This is something very insightful from one of Korn's posts:

    "To prevent or alleviate cobalt-B12 deficiency, farmers routinely add cobalt to animal feeds or salt licks. Some fertilize pastures with cobalt-enriched fertilizers; others opt for periodic quick-fix B12 injections. With any of these measures, all symptoms are reversed and B12 in milk and colostrum dramatically increases."

    So you see, omnivore food is supplemented with B12 too, they just don't know it!

    There is nothing wrong with taking a B12 supplement, you have nothing to fear. You can get veganically synthesized B12 and guess what, it's the exact same molecular structure as found in nature! Technology has been good for *something* after all Happy cobalomning!

  33. #33

    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I've been veg for 7 years and vegan for almost 3 yrs now and I haven't ever taken any B12 supplements. I recently started looking into it, and purchased some B12 supplements... here's what there are:
    Member's Mark High POtency Sublingual B12 2500mcg supplement. It says to take one every day and one is 2500 mcg and it says 41,667% Daily Value. Is this ok to be taking? I'm worried it's too much!!! Whats the recommended amount? thanks
    Last edited by sunrisesunset; Oct 30th, 2009 at 06:50 AM.
    "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hi sunrisesunset,

    where I live, B12 supplements with more than 9 mcg can't be sold without a prescription. As the value in your supplement suggests (41,667% Daily Value) this amount is ridiculously high for a non-deficient person. There's normally absolutely no reason to take such amounts on a regular basis, and while there are vegans that have been going longer than you without B12 supplements without having had any symptoms of B12 deficiency, only a test would tell give you some info about your actual B12 status. But I'm no doctor, and for what I know, you could have been B12 deficient before you became a vegan/vegetarian. Low B12 levels can have negative effects even if you don't notice any symptoms.

    Almost 40% of all non-vegans have low B12 levels, and the percentage is higher for vegans (for B12. Regarding other nutrients, vegans often have healthier values than non-vegans). Therefore - while may ignore some of the supplements non-vegans ideally should take (and many do take), taking some B12 for long term vegans makes sense.

    I'm against giving personal, general advice over internet, and again - I'm not even qualified to do that, so the best advice I can give you is to take a B12/MMA/homocysteine test. If you don't, or until you see the results, it's smarter to take some B12 than not to take any... but again: 41,667% of the daily value doesn't make sense as a permanent solution.

    Some people who know or have reasons to believe that they have a B12 deficiency start with a short supplementation period with high levels (ideally spread over 3 or 4 times a day) for a few weeks, and then continue with a normal, small amount of B12 more or less daily.

    As you can see in the link below, B12 is most efficiently absorbed (per microgram) at very low levels (below 0.5 microgram), so if our water, spoil and plants would have been affected by all the changes the world have seen eg. over the last 200 years, we probably wouldn't even have to think about supplementation. But we live now...

    B12 isn't only about B12; it's also about homocysteine levels. Lots of experts disagree with/question what seems to be The Vegan Society's prevalent viewpoint on the B12/homocysteine issue, but there's still so much uncertainty involved in finding the right answers regarding B12 and homocysteine, so there's no need to risk finding out (at some point in the future) that one should have started taking B12 supplements a long time ago. This is true for both vegans and non-vegans. A little too much B12 makes no or very little harm, but too little B12 is something we don't want over a sustained period of time. This is why many of vegans (and non-vegans) take B12 supplements, but make sure they don't overdo it.

    Food for thought: At what levels is B12 absorption best?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  35. #35

    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Korn,
    Thank you for the information. I really appreciate the response. I will look into getting tested for deficiency.
    "Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of each."

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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    I have just checked my B12 levels today for very first time in my life. After been veggie for 10 + years and decided to swith to vegan 2 months ago I thought I should know at what levels I am starting and the result is 173.7pg/ml with references 60-1200 pg/ml. I am a bit confused. The test says I am within normal ranges but from what I have read here it seems I am low. I wonder if they put such references according to the "machine sensitivity" or whatever or just take some numbers and reffer to them. Apparantly the result is not that low but it does not fit the normal ranges I have seen here and there. I don't want to put myself into risk as I am 29 years old and probbably will consider having a child within a year or two and don't want to do any harm.
    Could somebody advise me is this that low or not?
    BTW I think that whatever storages of B12 I had from my omni period had been completly destroyed 2 years ago when a faced such extremely stressfull period that I got lost 10 kg for less than few months and weight under 45 kg. So I do believe this 173.7 pg/ml are my normal levels but I might be wrong as well...

  37. #37
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hi,


    The values that are considered minimum acceptable values vary from country to country. If I remember right, the minimum levels that re considered acceptable are for instance 4 times higher in Japan than they are in Australia.
    B12 values alone don't tell the whole story, and this goes both ways: the levels in tissue can be good even if the blood levels are low, and B12 levels don't only represent the active, useful B12.
    When someone considers what a minimum amount of B12 intake should be (for himself, or when writing an article), it's quite common to forget to look at the whole picture: lifestyle, consumption of B12 'enemies' (eg. coffee) and much more.

    I'm not a doctor or dietician, and don't know you, so I can't give you any advice - but in general, make sure you don't get too low or too high levels, and avoid as many B12 killers as possible (especially when/before becoming pregnant/lactating). B12 and folate levels are particularly important for upcoming mothers in the period before they are/know they are pregnant, which is why it's good to focus on these nutrients as you as decide to become pregnant. It's better to have a little too much B12 than too little B12. In some countries you current values would have been considered low, and I doubt that you need to worry about the risks involved in taking too much if you would add a B12 supplement before/during/after pregnancy.

    160 pg is still considered normal for a newborn (it's the lowest acceptable value by some), but when you're becoming pregnant, you're eating for two people (or more!). Even if these values are based on the average US population, which not in any way should be considered as represents for optimum levels (due to their very high intake of meat and other animal products), if I were you, I would be more comfortable with adding some B12 before pregnancy than risking that the values would be too low in the coming period. It's also an easier solution than keeping testing yourself all the time, and - again, if you don't overdo it - increases the safety factor.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  38. #38
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Assuming that for one person the above levels mignth be ok if none of the B12 killers are on hand (in my case - I do not drink alchohol, coffee and I haven't smoke a cigarette in my entire life). As for a future baby - better safe than sorry. So I will start taking some suplemets when planning a pregnancy (the very low possible dosage) just to ensure safety levels and get checked regularly.

    Thank you, Korn. I think you are right making a note that nobody is safe just thinking that he/she has some storages from prevegan period. I am glad I made the test and that I was influenced by all the info on VF.
    As we all know meateaters are also suffureng from B12 defficiency.

  39. #39

    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    This is a very helpful thread! I've been looking into b12 supplements for the past few weeks and the term "laboratory tested" proudly pasted across some bottles discourages me (animal testing??). I'd rather not support animal testing in any form. I'm also discouraged by lack of a label. I've been vegan for 2 years and refuse to eat anything non-organic or take supplements, but I've been considering it, and I think I'm willing to open-up into supplements. I'd just really like the reassurance from fellow vegans on which 'brand' or manufacturers are legitimately safe vegan. What supplements do you buy? I've been looking into it myself and can't seem to find a clear answer. Thanks again for the helpful information, particularly to Korn!

  40. #40
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Hi Insect Someone in the US will probably be able to point you to vegan B12 supplements that you can buy in the shops there, but I just wanted to say that you can also buy them online on sites like www.veganessentials.com - actually that might also give you some ideas about brands to look out for.

  41. #41

    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    thanks, harpy! I'm gonna buy a lot from this site I can tell! And thank you for the warm welcome~

  42. #42
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Just a quick tuppence worth about worrying too much ...

    To the very best of my understanding NO animal can produce B12 itself.

    The only reason 'food' animals have B12 in them is because they get it from their food.

    If the food animal is a plant eater, and most are, then the B12 they contain comes soley from plant food.

    Personaly I have always found that enough to stop me worrying about not getting enough B12 without shoveling dead plant eaters or supplements down my neck.

    Not to everyones liking this: But apparently the best source of B12 is food that has been grown in 'poo' and not had all the 'poo' lovin' B12 producing microbes scrubbed or peeled right off.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

  43. #43
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    Quote Cupid Stunt View Post
    If the food animal is a plant eater, and most are, then the B12 they contain comes soley from plant food.
    It's a little more complicated than that, because part of this as to do with both recycling B12, and about the ability to synthesize B12 internally if the right 'ingredients' are present...

    Personaly I have always found that enough to stop me worrying about not getting enough B12 without shoveling dead plant eaters or supplements down my neck.
    Of course there's no reason to use animal products, but due to reason that has to do with how fresh/organic our food is, the quality of soil, intake of sugar/coffee/alcohol/medicine/painkillers/oral contraceptives and much much more (including stress, sleeping patterns, iron intake, sun exposure, and modern lifestyle in general)... we actually should all "worry" a little (read: pay attention to) B12, but not for the reasons meat eaters sometimes suggest ("you have to eat meat to get the nutrients you need".


    But apparently the best source of B12 is food that has been grown in 'poo' and not had all the 'poo' lovin' B12 producing microbes scrubbed or peeled right off.
    Where did you see this? There was a theory around for a while that some Iranian vegans were found to have good B12 levels since they were using human manure as their fertilizer, but it seems that study was never made - not on vegans. Another study (which actually found place) found B12 in human manure, but 95% of that B12 was inactive B12 analogues.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  44. #44
    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: Should I start taking B12 supplements?

    'Lo Korn

    First, I should have stressed that I was saying worrying TOO much, rather than not take the matter of getting enough B12 as being very important.

    Where did you see this?
    I did a whole pile of online research a few years back when my principle hobby was bickering with meat eaters over some of the bollox they come up with. I'm not academic so citing sources, et-al, is not my strong point.

    I remember finding much on bacteria and algae being the sole natural synthesisers of B12 and nothing substantive at all to back up any claim that any animal can synthesize B12 from scratch at all.

    Wikepedia (don't know exactly how authorative that is regarded as being) reflects pretty much what I learned though ...

    Vitamin B12 consists of a class of chemically-related compounds (vitamers), all of which have vitamin activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt. Biosynthesis of the basic structure of the vitamin in nature is only accomplished by simple organisms such as some bacteria and algae, but conversion between different forms of the vitamin can be accomplished in the human body.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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