How to supplement vitamin B12 in vegetarians
Should all types of vegetarians take supplements? Even if they eat dairy or eggs?
VITAMIN B12 FOR VEGETARIANS
Should all vegetarians take B12 supplements?
Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a well-known vitamin because it is deficient in the vegetarian diet. Due to its important functions in the body, it is better to ensure a good contribution through supplements.
It is recommended that vegetarians perform a specific analysis with levels of vitamin B12 and methylmalonic acid to determine the degree of vitamin deficiency they present, if any.
Taking vitamin B12 can prevent preventable health complications and is also recommended because it has no toxicity.
Many readers ask us if they have to take supplements in case of vegetarians who eat dairy and eggs, and what is the origin of this vitamin
Do you have enough vitamin B12 if you are a ovo-lacto-vegetarian?
People following a vegan diet, who do not consume any product of animal origin, must be supplemented with vitamin B12.
To obtain enough vitamin B12, 3 servings of dairy products and eggs should be consumed daily, approximately equivalent to 2 eggs and 1 glass of milk. If less is consumed, this vitamin should be supplemented.
This recommendation is more important in pregnant women, lactating mothers, people with digestive diseases and the elderly.
What problems does the lack of B12 involve?
In addition to the known megaloblastic anemia, the lack of B12 has many other repercussions in the organism:
This vitamin is necessary so that the myelin sheaths of the neurons are renewed. It also acts, along with folic acid (vitamin B9), in the proper functioning of the cardiovascular system.
* More information: Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency
Official B12 recommendations on vegetarians
Official agencies recommend that vegetarians take cobalamin supplements as it is a very safe food supplement and can prevent many preventable complications.
If in doubt, you should go to nutritionist dietitians who are experts in vegetarianism or to associations of dietitians in your country.
Where do you get the supplements?
Vitamin B12 supplements are suitable for vegans. They are not of animal origin nor has any living being killed to make them, since they are obtained from bacterial fermentations.
There are no foods with B12 of plant origin, neither extracted from algae, which do not contain B12 but analogs of vitamin B12. These products can mask B12 deficiencies.
When do vegetarians have a deficit?
Vegetarians are estimated to have vitamin B12 deficiency at most from the age of 4 on a vegetarian diet.
They may present it earlier if their vitamin requirements are high or if they have problems of absorption, such as intestinal diseases, infants of lactating vegetarian mothers, vegetarian children or pregnant women.
Many times the vitamin B12 deficiency has no clear symptoms.
More information on vitamin b12 in the listing above
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This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.