Vitamin B12, A Simple Guide For Good Health For Everyone.
Your questions answered on Vitamin B12
You guys ask me more questions about B12 than any other veggie or vegan subject.
Do keep them coming as we do love your questions. The best way to send us questions on blog topics, health etc is to simply email me & I will try my best to answer as many as possible.
What is Vitamin B12 & what does it do in the body?
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble nutrient and part of the B Vitamin group and it is a vital nutrient for everyone.
It helps to look after our blood health, our nervous system, brain function and helps to make our DNA.
What happens when we are deficient in Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 Deficiency can cause a lot of problems including tiredness, nervous issues, nerve damage, pregnancy issues, heart problems and more.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency is very serious as the health problems can be very severe and its vital, that we ensure we get good Vitamin B12 daily to avoid problems.
Where can we get Vitamin B12 from?
As Vitamin B12 is so important I recommend we all do the following for good health.
Nutritional Yeast Flakes with B12.
In the UK we have Engevita with B12. This is a cheesy, nutty tub of flakes that has many uses.
I recommend that we all take 2 tablespoons of this uncooked per day. Simply add it to food as it is or add a little water, oil or cider apple vinegar to it. This makes a lovely paste and its an easy way to consume it.
I also make a spread with it by grinding up Organic Omega Mix, adding Pink Salt & the Engivita. This can also be used as a dip. The easy recipe for this is on the blog section.
There are plenty of foods out there fortified with B12, such as spreads, yeast extracts, cereals, breads, Sosmix, and more.
I am not sure how absorbable the B12 is with a lot of these fortified foods but I would suggest trying to consume a couple each day.
Do try to find fortified foods that are not overly processed to help with absorbtion as much as possible.
I do suggest taking a supplement daily and it needs to be a good one.
There are a lot of supplements out there and I have come across dozens of customers who have experienced B12 deficiency despite taking a supplement daily.
This can be down to 2 reasons.
1. Most often it is due to poor supplements and price does not always reflect how good or how processed they are.
Some mainstream brands can be very poor quality. You do need to ensure you get a good one and they usually are not expensive. All of the B12 Supplements on our site are known to be of quality and not over processed.
2. Some folks have absorption problems with B12 and in this case you need to look for SUBLINGUAL B12 supplements. They are simply placed under the tongue and are far easier for the body to absorb. They cost just a little more than regular B12 supplements and can make a big difference quickly.
Do we need to eat animal products to get our Vitamin B12?
No. Gut Bacteria in animals is known are known to produce Vitamin B12.
It is claimed by some that by eating animal products we take in some of the bacteria or B12.
However studies seem to show that B12 deficiency is more common in meat & dairy eaters than vegetarians and vegans.
The problem with obtaining bacteria & B12 from animal products is that we always cook meat and pasturise dairy products. Also all farmed animals are fed antibiotics which kill off the good bacteria in the gut and I don't believe eating animal products is a beneficial source of B12 or bacteria.
With this information in mind it makes sense to ensure you have a good supply of good bacteria in your own gut.
The subject is debatable as to whether the bacteria in our gut do indeed produce Vitamin B12. Some experts claim they do and others claim they do not. I believe they do as many raw food vegans do appear to have adequate vitamin B12 levels, without using any supplements at all.
The issue for most humans is that when we do consume meat and dairy products we also consume the antibiotics fed to farmed animals. These antibiotics then kill off our own good bacteria.
The answer is of course not to consume animal products and to also eat foods with good bacteria and take a regular probiotic supplement, free from dairy products.
There are plenty of these on the market and its best in my opinion, to avoid those that come in dairy products. There are plenty of great vegan probiotics plus Kombucha Drinks and my favourite is Raw Saurkraut.
Is B12 deficiency a vegan and vegetarian issue?
I have to state B12 deficiency appears to effect everyone and not just vegetarians and vegans.
Some studies claim around 60% of the US population are B12 deficient and that figure is usually lower in vegetarians and vegans.
In my opinion everyone should supplement B12 and look after their digestive system.
How quickly will I get back to normal after being B12 deficient?
This is a tough question as everyone is at a different state of health depending on their lifestyle.
As a rough guide, if enough B12 is being taken things should start to improve within a week or two.
Usually we see people regain energy levels very quickly when restoring thier B12 levels although everyone is different.
Do Nutritional Yeast Flakes interfere with Candida treatment?
No. Nutritional yeast flakes are inactive yeast and will not cause Candida sufferers a problem.
One of the problems with Candida is that often B12 deficiency is a problem due to it causing nutrients being absorbed.
It is also worth noting that Niacin in nutritional yeast flakes is used sometimes as a treatment for Candida and getting it from the flakes is far cheaper than some of the expensive supplements.
More information on Candida can be found in the blog section.
I am struggling with B12 levels despite using sublingual supplements. What should I do?
A small amount of people may need B12 injections and need to speak to a Doctor or healthcare professional. I would also suggest looking at improving the digestive system to fix the problem.
How do I know if I am B12 Deficient?
Some of the symptoms of B21 deficiency can be feeling tired all the time, feeling lethargic, feeling faint, headaches, being out of breath, lack of energy, tinnitus, mood swings, depression and others.
You can ask your health professional to do a vitamin B12 test if the symptoms are severe.
Can I overdose on Vitamin B12?
It is very hard to overdose on B12 as it is a water soluble vitamin and the body excretes any excess.
If you stick to 2 tablespoons of Nutritional Yeast Flakes and take the B12 supplements as directed on the bottle you will be fine. If you are in any doubt do talk to your healthcare professional.
Summary - To ensure we get our Vitamin B12:
2 Tablespoons Of Nutritional Yeast Flakes per day.
Supplement daily as directed on the bottle.
Eat a few B12 Fortified Foods daily.
Look after your Digestive System daily with good bacteria or probiotics.
Even more Health Articles, Customer Questions, Blogs, Recipes & News