What Makes Vitamin B12 Vegan? A Guide for Plant-Based Eaters.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays a crucial role in various bodily functions, including the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of healthy nerve cells. It's also a vital nutrient for vegans and plant-based eaters, who may have trouble obtaining enough of it through their diet alone. In this article, we will explore what makes vitamin B12 vegan, how to obtain it through a plant-based diet, and why vitamin B12 supplements are important for vegans and plant-based eaters.
What Makes Vitamin B12 Vegan? Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is produced by bacteria, not by animals or plants. While animals are a common source of vitamin B12, they obtain it from the bacteria in their guts. Therefore, vitamin B12 is not inherently non-vegan or non-plant-based. Vegans and plant-based eaters can obtain vitamin B12 from fortified foods or supplements that are derived from bacterial sources. How to Obtain Vitamin B12 on a Plant-Based Diet? Since vitamin B12 is not found in plant-based foods, vegans and plant-based eaters need to obtain it from fortified foods or supplements. Fortified plant-based milks, cereals, and nutritional yeast are some of the most common sources of vitamin B12 for vegans and plant-based eaters. Vitamin B12 supplements derived from bacterial sources are also widely available and a convenient way to ensure adequate intake. Why Are Vitamin B12 Supplements Important for Vegans and Plant-Based Eaters? As mentioned earlier, vitamin B12 is crucial for various bodily functions, including the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of healthy nerve cells. Since vegans and plant-based eaters may not obtain enough vitamin B12 through their diet alone, supplements are essential to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, nerve damage, and other serious health problems. Therefore, it's crucial for vegans and plant-based eaters to take vitamin B12 supplements regularly to maintain good health.