Vitamin B12 Supplements: How Much is Enough?

Vitamin B12 Supplements: How Much is Enough?

By | 2010-07-26T13:07:00+00:00 July 26th, 2010|Tags: , |56 Comments

In a new study from the United Kingdom, researchers found that more than half of vegan men were deficient in vitamin B12 based on their serum levels. The findings are part of the EPIC-Oxford study and will be published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers looked at diets and serum levels of B12 in 226 omnivores, 231 vegetarians and 232 vegans. Mean serum B12 levels in vegans were 33% lower than in the vegetarians and 57% percent lower than in the omnivores.

In addition, the vegans had much higher serum levels of folate—not surprising since vegan diets are typically high in this nutrient. Since folate can mask B12-deficiency anemia, there are concerns about diets that are low in B12 and high in folate.

One especially unfortunate finding: Only 19% of the vegan men said they took vitamin B12 supplements. And surprisingly, their serum levels of vitamin B12 were no higher than those of vegan men who didn’t take supplements.

Why are some vegans not getting adequate vitamin B12? Most likely there continues to be some reluctance among vegans regarding B12 supplements. But there is also an ongoing problem of inadequate advice within the vegan community. According to the EPIC-Oxford researchers, “[…] it may be necessary to improve the understanding of the need to regularly consume supplements containing adequate amounts of the active form of vitamin B12.”

Although most vegan advocates, especially within the animal rights community, provide good information about vitamin B12 nutrition, there are still some popular sources of information that fall short. For example, the book The China Study, offers up this advice “If you do not eat any animal products for three years or more, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consider taking a small B12 supplement on occasion.” (Emphasis added) Other equally popular vegan advocates have suggested that a B12 supplement isn’t necessary until after three years on a vegan diet and that, at that point, a small supplement will do.

But does the average vegan start out with a 3-year supply of vitamin B12? Those who were eating a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet or a “flexitarian” type of diet before going vegan could very well have much smaller stores of B12. And research suggests that blood levels can decline fairly rapidly in just months when B12 intake is low. Furthermore, if you wait until stores are depleted and blood levels have dropped, it is unlikely that a “small” and “occasional” supplement is going to restore B12 to healthful levels.

Taking a B12 supplement is the easiest thing in the world. It doesn’t make sense to wait until stores diminish or you are approaching deficiency before you start to supplement. And it certainly is not good vegan advocacy to promote inadequate advice about vitamin B12.

From the day you go vegan, you should begin to supplement with vitamin B12 or use a variety of fortified foods. Absorption of B12 drops dramatically as the dose goes up, so if you are supplementing just once a day, you need a fairly high amount—at least 10 ug per day. (If you have been vegan for a while and haven’t been supplementing, you may need much more.) It’s important to choose a supplement that can be chewed or allowed to dissolve beneath the tongue.

And when new (or experienced) vegans ask about vitamin B12, veganhealth remains the best and most reliable source of information.


  1. rose913 July 26, 2010 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    can you tell me why the B12 supplement should be chewable or sublingual?

  2. Ginny Messina July 26, 2010 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    Rose, there is some evidence that chewing B12 pills or allowing them to dissolve beneath the tongue increases their absorption quite a bit. That's why it may not be enough to just swallow a multi-vitamin pill that includes vitamin B12.

  3. Eating Consciously July 26, 2010 at 6:13 pm - Reply

    Great advice, Ginny! I always recommend B12 spray now. My B12 levels went from 262 to 893 after switching from a daily pill to a spray twice a week.

    • nancy July 1, 2016 at 4:20 pm - Reply

      I just started using the spray garden of life. How much do you use daily or per week? Idk how much should i be taking.

  4. Susan July 27, 2010 at 5:48 am - Reply

    "Absorption of B12 drops dramatically as the dose goes up, so if you are supplementing just once a day, you need a fairly high amount—at least 10 ug per day."

    This is a confusing statement – I think it would help to explain that you can't just take a somewhat higher dose every few days, and expect to absorb the same amount. If I understand correctly, you have to increase the dose exponentially, b/c of what you say about the absorption at higher doses.

    I don't think many people are going to dose more frequently than once a day, btw.

    It would also help to check the actual blood levels even if you supplement, since you might be ingesting enough, but not making use of it. That would reflect badly on the vegans/B12 issue.

    Thanks for posting about his new study!

  5. eli July 27, 2010 at 9:41 am - Reply

    The VeganHealth article says "Do not rely on any seaweed (e.g., algae, nori, spirulina), brewer's yeast, tempeh, or 'living' vitamin supplement that uses plants as a source of B12." Does this mean that the B12 source must be from an animal?

  6. Ginny Messina July 27, 2010 at 9:43 am - Reply

    Thanks, Ed. I always forget about the B12 sprays which really do seem to be pretty effective.

    Susan, you're right that no one is likely to supplement more than once a day. And, yes, you have to increase the dose exponentially if you supplement only a few times a week. So if someone is getting B12 from fortified foods, then a couple servings per day providing around 1.5 to 2.0 micrograms each would be enough. But when you take just a single daily dose via a supplement you may need as much as 10 micrograms. And if you are taking a supplement just once a week, you may need as much as 2,000 micrograms!

  7. kipwinger July 27, 2010 at 12:42 pm - Reply

    Ginny, I've been taking Now brand Ultra-B12 in liquid form since 1. getting over my "natural / complete diet" absurdity (even omnivores are often B12 deficient) and 2. reading that athletes deplete their B12 quicker than non-athletes. I have been taking the form 5000 mcg in a teaspoon serving about once a week, on top of the fortified foods (soymilk, smoothies, etc.) that I eat. Do you see any glaring deficiency in this? I've been meaning to get my blood tested lately (though I feel strong!) just to get a better understand of where I'm at, which is probably the best solution.

  8. Rhea Parsons Riker July 27, 2010 at 2:59 pm - Reply

    Is there such a thing as too much B12? What if your levels are high, above normal range?

  9. Ginny Messina July 27, 2010 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    Eli, all vitamin B12 is synthesized by bacteria, including the B12 that ends up in animal flesh, milk and eggs. Supplements use B12 from bacterial synthesis. So no, it doesn't have to come from animal foods. But some plants are contaminated with bacteria that produce B12 analogs, compounds that are similar to B12 but have no actual vitamin activity. Some of these foods–tempeh, miso,spirulina, etc–have a reputation among vegans for being good sources of B12, but studies show that they provide only analog. There are some indications that certain sea veggies could have active B12 but this isn't really clear and it's not reliable.

    Rhea–no, there doesn't seem to be any danger from high levels of B12 and the Institute of Medicine doesn't have any upper limit for intake.

    Kipwinger, 5,000 micrograms per week plus fortified foods sounds pretty safe to me! But I agree that getting B12 tested every once in a while can be a good idea.

  10. Elaine July 29, 2010 at 11:57 am - Reply

    Thank you so much for this post. I have VERY HIGH folate levels, which doctors have been unable to interpret (if you google "folate" you find tons of articles on LOW folate, which is a major health concern and which is pretty darn common). They've said it's "probably" not anything to worry about. …so for now, I do not. But I do take B12 for exactly the reasons you describe here. I'm comforted to know that my bloodwork is actually "typical" of a vegan…at least I conform to those "norms". 🙂

  11. Miss Rachel's Pantry July 29, 2010 at 11:59 am - Reply

    I'm confused about this statement:

    One especially unfortunate finding: Only 19% of the vegan men said they took vitamin B12 supplements. And surprisingly, their serum levels of vitamin B12 were no higher than those of vegan men who didn’t take supplements.

    Does that mean they're not taking enough supplements? Or does this mean once you've lost a certain amount of b12, supplements can't help? Thank you!

  12. UrbanCritter July 29, 2010 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    When I started working with the Fibromyalgia & Fatigue Center, one of the things they tested was my B-12. It was critically low, which explained some of the "neuropsychiatric" symptoms I'd had – poor balance & coordination, depression, hypomania and wild mood swings… essentially my low B-12 levels (coupled with low Omega 3) were making it look like I had bipolar disorder.

    **Once we addressed the deficiency, the symptoms went away.**

    While I completely agree that there are some conditions that need medication, my experience made me wonder how many people are on psychotropic medications unnecessarily prescribed by psychiatrists or doctors who never considered checking for B-12 and other nutritional deficiencies that might be the root cause of what looked like a mental illness.

  13. UrbanCritter July 29, 2010 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Any suggestions where I can find a good B-12 spray? I've been injecting, do not like!

  14. ryan July 29, 2010 at 12:13 pm - Reply

    There are different types of B12 tests available, aren't there? Is there one that's more accurate that we should ask for when getting our blood tested?

  15. LDM Flagg July 29, 2010 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    Does it affect us to take B12 only? I had heard that the B-complex has to be taken in the proper proportions or signs of a lack of one of the B's would show up. I think I remember reading this a long time ago in a book by Adele Davis.

  16. Ginny Messina July 29, 2010 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Yes, it's confusing that those taking supplements were still likely to have low levels. I think the possibilities are that they weren't taking enough or that their levels were depleted before they started supplementing.

    And, yes, there are a number of different ways to test B12 levels and none of them are perfect. I don't know that one is any better than another; the ideal situation is to use more than one test. But I don't know how realistic that is with the standard tests that doctor's order.

    LDM, no you don't need to take the Bs in any particular ratio. You just need to get enough of all of them. You may be thinking about the situation with high folate and low B12 (which Elaine is smartly trying to avoid!) because it makes it easier to miss the B12 deficiency.

    And UrbanC, there is definitely concern that some psychiatric disorders, or especially dementia, memory loss, etc associated with aging could be related (or at least made worse by) B12 deficiency. This is the case for omnivores as well since many older people don't absorb B12 from animal foods (and therefore need supplements or fortified foods).

    Vegan Essentials sells a spray (and also lozenges and sub-lingual tablets.)

  17. runvegan July 29, 2010 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Urban Critter…NOW brand foods makes a sweet liquid form called Ultra-B12 that you take from a dropper. You leave it in your mouth for 30 seconds and then swallow. Forget injections unless all other methods prove difficult to absorb into your system.

  18. Emily C July 30, 2010 at 6:18 am - Reply

    thanks for the article, I am not a vegan but have been worrying about my B-12 intake and would like your advice if possible.
    My diet is the same as a vegan except for that I eat egg whites and tinned salmon around 2-3 times a week. Would this be enough B-12 or should I supplement my diet with B-12 tablets?
    Thanks for any advice you can offer,

  19. beforewisdom July 30, 2010 at 1:47 pm - Reply

    Supplements don't work when they are not taken.

    I've posting Jack Norris' article about vitamin b-12 ( ) for years and it never fails to generate an argument from *some* vegans who are misinformed or who have loaded a bunch of fantasy ideals onto their diets and who find the idea offensive.

    I even got banned from a vegan forum, called for posting Norris' article about b-12. The administrator, "Korn", thought it was all hype designed to make money off of scaring people.

    Telling him that my daily b-12 lozenges only cost 7 cents a day didn't seem to alter his opinion.

    I got similar arguments and quoting of other types of misinformation this time around posting your article to a few vegan forums.

    Posting facts is simply not enough.

  20. beforewisdom July 30, 2010 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    I just saw a great quote in the comment section of the Facebook page for

    An early sign of lack of sufficient b-12 is crazy talk, like suggesting that it is not an important nutrient that we need a reliable source of.

  21. Ginny Messina July 30, 2010 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Emily, I can't tell whether you are eating 3 servings per week each of eggs and salmon or just three servings of animal foods total. Either way, I think I would be inclined to take a B12 supplement. Your intake is probably borderline and there is no downside to supplementing.

    Beforewisdom–even though I know that this opinion is out there, it is still so distressing to hear how many vegans refuse to believe that B12 supplements are necessary!

  22. retaan July 31, 2010 at 11:27 am - Reply

    Hi, great post about an continually important issue. You, Jack Norris and some other vegan writers are very good at continually raising awareness. But underestimation of the need to supplement is still prevalent. So I think there is need for a "B12 hub" for vegans – a definitive, cover-all-bases website aimed only at handling this issue, geared for maximal accuracy, guidance and simplicity. The B12 pages at go a long way but I think more is needed to cover all bases. Here is some brainstorming on that:

    – B12 TESTS. We need much more details on B12 tests. What different tests are available? What are the costs? How do they differ in effectiveness? Are there any self-test kits available? If not, why not, is it really not viable to produce such kits. if so, what are the roadblocks on the way to such self-tests? Is there room for activism/lobbying to make progress on that?

    – B12 SUPPLEMENTS. What types of B12 supplements are available? What brands? How are they verified (if they are)? What are the costs involved? Especially important: many vegans will already be eating some fortified foods and perhaps some multi-vitamin that contains some B12. How does that interact with stronger, single-purpose B12 supplements? What common food products would be useful and viable targets for (more) fortification? How can activism and lobbying help with such things?
    It is especially important that information on supplements is geared not only toward US readers but also to readers in other countries where other brands and products are more widely available.

    – INTERACTION WITH MEDICAL SERVICES. How much do average physicians know about vegans and B12? What tests and supplements are likely to be offered? What is the best way to interact with your physician about this? From hearsay I suspect some people drop veganism after a worrisome B12 diagnosis IN COMBINATION WITH a not well informed physician and some form of "better be on the safe side" thinking.

    – BEST PRACTICE HABIT FORMATION. What habits of intake are most reliable? What helps one stick to that habit? Any useful mnemonics? Is use of a "pillbox" effective or is that overdoing it (possible also too "medicalizing" on a psychological level)? What advice does different vegan oriented website offer? How is the message structured (comparisons of different strategies can be useful here). The fact that the negative effects are relatively long-term and the symptoms vague and varied generally makes it harder to motivate and keep a habit I'd think. That means even more effort should go into planning it well and for the long term.

    inform others (vegans and prospective vegans) of B12 issues in a way that is confidence building yet informative, helpful and effective?

    – ARGUMENTATIVE ISSUES. How to deal with B12 when it crops up in animal rights related discussion?

  23. Humanimal August 2, 2010 at 8:04 am - Reply

    If B-12 is better absorbed when delivered by sublingual tablet/lozenge/spray, is the same true of vitamin D2? I found a D2 spray on vegan essentials but each dose has only has 400iu. Would there be any advantage to a daily (double) spray of liquid D2 instead of a 800iu traditional pill?

  24. Ginny Messina August 2, 2010 at 3:07 pm - Reply

    retaan, I think your B12 website is a great idea!

    Humanimal, I think vitamin D is pretty well absorbed from pills swallowed whole. So the sprays are fine, but I don't know that they are any better than the pills.

  25. Mirkat August 7, 2010 at 6:11 am - Reply

    I see that Brewer’s Yeast is not considered a reliable source of B12, but how about Red Star Nutritional Yeast?

    • James Kimbell August 16, 2010 at 3:12 pm - Reply


      Red Star should be fine because it is specifically fortified with B12 – it’s not one of those things where some people think it might have B12 on its own.

  26. TippingPoint August 22, 2010 at 1:48 am - Reply

    About: "Only 19% of the vegan men said they took vitamin B12 supplements. And surprisingly, their serum levels of vitamin B12 were no higher than those of vegan men who didn’t take supplements.".
    There are 4 forms of b12.The two most commonly used in supplements being Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin. Cyanocobalamin, which is unfortunately  the more commonly used of the two, has to be converted into methylcobalamin, the active form of b12, by the body before it can be put to use. Some people have trouble with this conversion process which can partly explain why their serum b12 levels didn't rise after supplementation. Vitamin b12 is water soluble and whatever the body doesnt use gets flushed out. So far there is no evidence of anyone overdosing on b12 even at megadoses of methylcobalamin to treat some disorders.Furthermore, it should be taken on an empty stomach,away from foods, to enhance absorption.

    This page lists some other possibilities:
    B12 deficiencies occur primarily when:
    1.) Something is competing for your B12 (like parasites);
    2.) Something is destroying your B12 (like cyanide in cigarettes); or
    3.) Something is preventing the proper absorption of B12 (like inadequate production of intrinsic factor).

  27. […] B12 deficiency in vegans/vegetarians is a myth. My mother did nothing to shore up our B12 reserves when we were vegetarian children and as a vegan mother of four I am certainly not deficient nor have I ever been. The same goes for my children. The B12 myth is explained in great detail on this website. UPDATE: The B12 issue is still up for debate. However one of my wonderful readers gave me a link to a vegan nutritionist rethinking her stance on the issue. […]

  28. L. September 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm - Reply

    thank you for this article.
    have you considered that b12 level standards are based on omni diets? is a "low level" reading really low or is it relative to the general omni population?
    i recently read an interview with donald watson and he says he never took a supplement. he lived inito his nineties and was very lucid and active til the end.
    the folks at thegarden have several children and do not supplement b12. they've mentioned that doctors have been alarmed at their "low" levels but the kids are obviously thriving,
    norris's site even mentions (or used to mentiin) a child born to a non supplementing mother who was fine with "normal" levels.

    Ginny, what is the "normal" level of b12 based on? is it possible that these "low" levels do not necessarily mean deficiency? Are there cases of vegan with "low" levels living fine without health problems?

  29. L. September 25, 2010 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    I just received the booklet "Pioneers of a New Age, Reminiscences of Twelve Early Vegans" today in the mail. It was published by the Vegan Society in November 1974, 30 years following the found of the Society.
    Kathleen Jannaway wrote the foreword and mentions that all the vegans featured in the booklet have been vegan for more than 10 years; some have been vegan for as long a 30 years or more. I found it interesting that she mentions that "few of the contributors have found any need to take b12." She goes on to mention that some vegans can survive without supplementation and some cannot, but most in this booklet, all of which had been vegan for 10 years or more, did not take supplementation.
    I think much more research needs to be done on environmental factors and re-absorbtion from the gut before suggesting, as Jack Norris does, that a vegan diet is not natural because of b12. Personally, I never had a deficiency after being vegan for 7 years but started supplementing as a result of all the fear mongering in vegan literature. I encourage all vegans to supplement also to be safe, but this issue needs a lot more looking into before conclusions can be drawn.

  30. Nicole November 20, 2010 at 6:32 am - Reply

    Thanks for the great read – I really enjoy the way you address the issues both here and in other articles on your blog.  And the comments are often just as interesting.
    Your statement "Absorption of B12 drops dramatically as the dose goes up…" has me wondering if B12 absorption in individuals with adequate levels of the vitamin is similar to the absorption of other nutrients with preexisting adequate levels.  I've read that iron, for example, is absorbed less readily from dietary and supplemental sources in people who already have acceptable levels – and that people who are iron-deficient will more easily absorb iron due to to their deficiency.  Might this be the same process with B12?

    As for the curious situation of some vegans refusing to supplement for B12, I've known some vegans who refuse to supplement at all, let alone with B12. I've not asked what their reasons were for this.  But I have gotten the impression from at least one friend that his refusal to supplement (and by supplement I mean taking pills/caps/multis, etc.) has something to do with the need to prove that a vegan diet without supplementation is both possible and healthy.  I've seen a similar sentiment online amongst some vegan communities.  This may or may not work for my friend, who also says he's tested for B12 on a yearly basis and is always fine.  It seems, though, that the need to prove to others that a vegan can be healthy on solely on the nutrients from the food they eat is a really needless personal risk.  Taking a supplement to keep the body healthy is not any sort of an admission that a vegan diet is at all inadequate in and of itself.

  31. Energy Efficient Window January 28, 2011 at 7:13 pm - Reply

    ..; I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives useful information **~

  32. PGYx April 9, 2011 at 4:58 pm - Reply

    @L, a low B12 level spells bad news for anyone, vegan or omni. In addition to the associations with dementia, B12 deficiency leads to nerve damage with effects that include blindness and peripheral neuropathy (a severe burning sort of pain for which there is no truly effective pharmaceutical pain reliever). The nerve damage is insidious and irreversible. 

  33. Raychel July 7, 2011 at 3:44 pm - Reply


    I drink at least 1 cup of Silk Pure Almond every day (lists 50% vitamin B12, which would be 3 ug based on the FDA’s % RDA listings) and eat Quantum Nutritional Yeast 2-3 times/week (on popcorn, veggies, etc.). (see link here:

    I just wanted to see if you think this is enough Vitamin B12, or if I need to supplement more. To me it seems fine, because the actual need for b12 is only 2 ug/day, according to nearly every source I have read.

    Thank you very much.

    • Ginny Messina July 7, 2011 at 4:56 pm - Reply

      It might be enough, but I’d be inclined to supplement with a little extra. The reason we recommend higher doses when you are getting B12 just once a day is that the total amount absorbed declines. So the higher amounts are a little bit of insurance against that. You might want to include a little bit of the nutritional yeast in your diet every day.

  34. Sarah August 7, 2011 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Regarding the question from retaan about B12 testing: I’ve been recently dealing with a number of deficiencies due to eating a raw food diet for the past few years. I’ve learned that the best way to uncover a B12 deficiency is to do a blood test for homocysteine or methylmalonic acid. These two metabolites will increase when vitamin B12 deficiency is present:

    It’s important to test for these as serum levels of B12 can be within the ‘normal’ range but a deficiency/symptoms can still be present, especially if the test reveals high levels of folate, which can mask a B12 deficiency.

    However, another study revealed that even these tests can fluctuate and that some people with normal blood serum levels of MMA and homocysteine and symptoms of B12 deficiency responded positively to B12.

    So, it’s obviously prudent to prevent a deficiency in the first place, and to deal with any symptoms if they come up.

    Here’s another link about B12 and why some of the vegan groups in The China Study didn’t need to supplement (and why the rest of us still do need to supplement):

    However, I think that a higher dose than what this author discusses is probably a better idea. But I’m coming from a deficient state, and had neurological symptoms to boot.

    And finally, a (paleo?) page about B12 with some comments from paleo folks who are struggling to get their B12 needs met, showing that this is by no means a ‘vegan problem’.

    Sorry about all the links….I have more, since I have been researching deficiencies in the vegan diet, but tried to only include a few.

    Thank you Ginny, for providing the information in this site. You and Jack Norris are awesome and have helped me transition back to a healthy vegan diet. Keep up the good work


  35. M K P Kumar March 31, 2012 at 12:39 am - Reply

    I am taking B 12 injection 3000 mcg once in two months for the last two years plus 1500mcg every once a week. Should I continue this routine life long ? I am 80 yrs old. Can I discontinue the injection ?

  36. Eileen August 29, 2012 at 5:53 am - Reply

    I’ve been trying to find a proper dose for my small children, whom I am TRYING to raise vegan (not working so well). Even my pediatrician says to give my boy with ADHD some b12 sublingal, but she never gives me a dose…and I’m a nurse so I am very particular about this. I don’t want to overdose him. I see the dose for adults, but how about a 6 yr old boy?

    • Michele September 14, 2012 at 7:30 am - Reply

      Eileen: take a look at Ginny’s book Vegan for Life. There is a chapter on children. I have a 6 yr old and an 8 yr old. I had trouble finding chewables below 500 mcg so I give them that dose twice per week (per the book’s instruction.) I was taking 500 mg whenever I thought of it and must over a week ago I found myself feeling a little dizzy/light-headed. I went to give blood and my blood pressure was so low, I couldn’t make a donation. After getting my B12 checked, I immediately started taking 2000 mg a day. My results came back a few days later (the level was 230). At this point, I was already starting to feel dramatic improvement and a week later, I now feel great. FYI, I was taking cyanocobalamin because that’s what I had and it seemed to do the trick.

  37. Sharon March 5, 2013 at 8:43 am - Reply

    Hi Ginny. I found this article really informative. Just wish I’d come across it earlier! I’m bringing my son up on a whole food plant-based diet. He’s doing really well. He’s now 9 & has yet to have a day off school through sickness! I’ve never given him any supplements, however, from reading your article, I think I should be giving him B12. I would like to start ASAP. What would you recommend? I like the sound of the sprays. Are they safe for children? Many thanks for your help.

    • Ginny Messina March 6, 2013 at 8:11 am - Reply

      I would recommend a chewable B12 supplement–about 750 micrograms twice a week.

      • Sharon March 6, 2013 at 8:17 am - Reply

        Thanks Ginny. Much appreciated!

  38. […] B12 is a hot button issue in the vegan community. Because so many vegans consider ourselves advocates for a vegan lifestyle, too, there’s a hesitation to admit that there are any nutrients that this diet can’t meet. The thing is, it’s pretty tough to find any diet that meets 100 percent of your nutritional needs. I think Ginny Messina, a vegan registered dietician, spells it out best: […]

  39. Robin June 7, 2013 at 4:58 am - Reply

    Great article! I have a 2 1/2 year old and 5 year old that are mostly vegan. I give them Flintstone kids vitamins once per day with 4.5 mcg of B12. I try to give them Cheerios at a different time of the day, but that doesn’t always work out. Is there a dose once/week or 2 times/week dose that’s good for those ages so that I can make sure they are getting enough? Thanks!

  40. Olivia October 22, 2013 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    Hi Ginny,

    Any problem with giving an 18month old 500mcg once per week? I can’t find 375mg to give twice weekly.

  41. […] Read what Ginny Messina has to say about B12 supplements for vegans. […]

  42. Sammy Wammy June 9, 2014 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    Is 10 ug supposed to be 10 µg (micrograms)? My supplement is 1,000 micrograms, but it intended to be a daily dose. Is this too high?

    Thanks! I love the honesty, accuracy and practicality of the article.

  43. katie December 23, 2014 at 1:04 pm - Reply

    But if the men who did take the supplement don’t have higher serum concentrations of b12 then surely it’snot helpful for everyone to start taking a supplement? You gave evidence that it doesn’t work and then said everyone should do it.. :s

  44. […] is vitamin B12. The Vegan RD has written some great, science-based pieces on veganism and B12. This one is worth a read, if you’re wondering about how much you need and where to get […]

  45. Henna July 5, 2015 at 11:56 pm - Reply

    So I’ve been vegan for a year and one month now and I haven’t took b12.
    And I’m 16 years old.
    I was wondering If It was okay to take it in liquid form ?
    I was planning to take *Vitamin Mineral Rush*
    By sunwarrior.
    Or any other brand that’s vegan and that is a spray?

  46. Natalie July 20, 2015 at 11:53 pm - Reply

    Hi, I’ve been wondering if you eat fortified foods does that affect the amount of B12 you should supplement? I’ve been taking 2000μg per week but if I’m drinking 2 cups B12 fortified soy milk (at 1μg B12 per cup for the So Good brand) per day, does that affect how much I should supplement?

  47. Amanda September 5, 2016 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Hi! I’m 19 years old and have been vegan for about 4 months. I just started to look into taking B12 supplements but I’m a bit confused. Careless me went to go buy a bottle of B12 supplements for (1000mcg) and I took it two days in a row. I made the mistake of researching AFTER doing this and read that it’s recommended to consume about 10 mcg a day… So I’m a bit scared that I might have taken too much even though I read online that it’s okay to consume a large quantity of B12. However, I went to the store and bought a lower dosage of 500 mcg, and was wondering how often you recommended I take this supplement. Thanks!

  48. Nicole October 18, 2017 at 12:49 am - Reply

    Hi Ginny, if I have a wholefood powder that I add to smoothies that contains 28ug – will I still need a supplment?

    Thanks for a great article!

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