Vitamin B12 can be especially problematic for vegans as the only reliable vegan sources are either fortified foods or dietary supplements. Indeed, because 10 to 30% of persons over the age of 50 lose the ability to digest the form of this vitamin found in animal products it is recommended that all persons aged 50 or over use B12 supplements or fortified foods (including some soya milks, meat alternatives and yeast extracts). Low vitamin B12 intake raises plasma homocysteine concentration which is associated with increased heart disease risk, and prolonged deficiency may lead to impaired neurological function and megaloblastic anaemia, so it is essential to ensure adequate intake of this vitamin.
The UK Vegan Society recommends consuming at least three micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 per day, and they have a useful information sheet on the subject on their web site. Click HERE.
There is also an extensive article on vitamin B12 by Jack Norris, Registered Dietitian. It can be seen HERE.
Copyright © by The Australian Vegetarian Society All Right Reserved.