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What is Vitamin B12?

What is Vitamin B12 also known as cobalamin? B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which means the body expels what it doesn’t use.

Like most vitamins, B12 can’t be made by the body but must be received from food or in a supplement form.

What is B12?

B12 is actually a bacteria in the dirt in the ground. Think dirty vegetables and muddy grass.

This is why more animal products have natural B12. Sadly these days there are a couple of problems in getting B12 naturally.

Animals: Not all animals get to roam freely and feed from the grass. 
Soils: Intensive farming has depleted soil quality
Washed: Vegetables washed extensively to remove eat animal faeces and pesticides

Why do we need B12?

Vitamin B12 does a lot of things in the body it plays an important role in the making red blood cells, DNA synthesis, proper functioning of your nervous system and carry out other functions. It’s basically brain food!

Whether a meat eater, vegetarian or vegans needed by everyone.

Where do I get B12 Naturally?

Well, this is an interesting question. Animal-derived foods are a primary source of B12 as they eat food contaminated with bacteria. Which foods can boost vitamin intake?

Meat Products – Beef, Liver
Fish – Tuna, Clams, Salmon
Dairy Products – milk, yoghurt and cheese
Fortified Foods – Cereals,
Found in some algae and fortified foods like nutritional yeast.

Reliable vegan plant-based sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 or a supplement.

Fortified breakfast cereal
Fortified Plant Milk
Nutritional yeast
Yeast extract – Marmite

Fortified Foods – Check nutrition information on the packaging to make sure that they are fortified and the level added.

B12 Supplements

Methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin are the two  common sources of vitamin B12 supplements.

Adenosylcobalamin – coenzyme B₁₂

The two forms of natural vitamins B12 the body requires for different reactions are Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin which are coenzymes.

Look for supplements containing Methylcobalamin or where possible both. These are believed to be the active form of vitamin B12 and remains in the body longer.

NOTE: hydroxocobalamin is medically manufactured B12

B12 Deficiency

Feeling tired or loss of energy? Confused or memory not what it used to be? Can all be signs that you are running low on B12.

But there are more severe forms of vitamin B12 deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage.

Vitamin B12 is a nutritional concern for vegetarians and vegans because you’re more likely to be low because it is generally found in animal foods

But there are other reasons like you might not absorb enough due to a number of factors for example. Some medicines, bad bacteria and digestive issues in your gut or diseases can affect how nutrients are absorbed in your intestines.

Intestines absorb B12 from food and a protein in your stomach called “intrinsic factor” helps your body absorb it.

B12 Research

Louise Burton-Payne

Passionate about feeding my body a plant-based vegan food to benefit my health, save the planet and protect animals.

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