vitamin B12

Vitamins B12 and D: Monitoring versus Supplementing

Good nutrition is aimed at preventing nutrient deficiencies (among other things), which means that, no matter what type of diet you eat, there are circumstances where supplements may play a role. Regular vitamin B12 supplements are absolutely essential for all vegans who don’t eat B12-fortified foods every day. Depending on sun exposure, vegans may also require vitamin D (although this isn’t a vegan issue; it’s true of most omnivores, too.) And depending on individual requirements and diet, some vegans (and again, some omnivores) might require other supplements to ensure adequate intake.

An alternative to supplementing is to monitor blood levels of […]

By |2011-09-12T10:09:28-04:00September 12th, 2011|Tags: , , |46 Comments

Oral Contraceptives and Vitamin B12: Is There An Issue for Vegans?

Several readers asked me about an article that appeared on the Vegan Mainstream website linking oral contraceptive use to vitamin B12 deficiency. The writer, who was depending in part on greens and sea veggies for vitamin B12 (somebody bring me my smelling salts, please) ended up with a B12 deficiency. Unable to reverse the deficiency with supplements, she finally was able to bring her blood levels back up after a doctor advised her to discontinue using oral contraceptives.

I can’t comment on this particular situation, but I can comment on the conclusion made in the article that “a vegan […]

By |2011-07-13T10:24:08-04:00July 13th, 2011|Tags: |17 Comments

Recommended Supplements for Vegans

Just days before everyone was talking about the Voracious [ex-] Vegan story, I received a severe scolding from a reader for my stance on supplements (this was in response to my post on omega-3s). She was adamant about the fact that “whole plant foods” can easily provide everything we need.
An effort to prove that a whole foods vegan diet is the ideal or foolproof diet of all humans gives rise to all kinds of potentially harmful myths. These include the unfounded […]
By |2010-11-28T13:19:06-05:00November 28th, 2010|Tags: , , , , , |179 Comments

Do Ex-Vegans’ Stories Make the Case Against Vegan Diets?

When I read the recent blog post by Tasha, who used to be The Voracious Vegan, it felt like déjà vu all over again. Just a couple of months ago I was blogging about another woman—Lierre Keith—whose vegan diet made her so sick that she had to go back to eating meat and, in the process, she learned about how “nutritious” cholesterol is, became an advocate for a type of sustainability that depends upon animal foods (ie, learned that it’s more ethical to eat animals than to be vegan), and […]
By |2010-11-21T10:48:45-05:00November 21st, 2010|Tags: , , |235 Comments

Vitamin B12 Supplements: How Much is Enough?

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 […]

By |2010-07-26T13:07:00-04:00July 26th, 2010|Tags: , |57 Comments

Ex-Vegans, Happiness and Vitamin B12

People abandon plant-based eating for any number of reasons, but it’s often because they didn’t feel well as vegans. Some are so convinced that their former diet was damaging to their health that they even become activists against veganism.

If you poke around the internet and read stories of ex-vegans, it becomes pretty clear that at least some of them never wholeheartedly embraced the principles of vegan lifestyle to begin with. In one interview, Rhys Southan, an ex-vegan who blogs about veganism, said, “I’ve come to appreciate ethics as one possible ingredient in a meal, but […]

By |2010-06-03T12:40:00-04:00June 3rd, 2010|Tags: , , , |30 Comments

Supplements for Sad Vegans

Are you sad? I often am. Anyone with a genetic predisposition to depression knows what it’s like to have the blues for no earthly reason. And when you are an animal rights activist, it can make things a whole lot worse.

Let’s face it, when you care about animal suffering, it’s pretty easy to feel despondent and despairing. How many of us can read about factory farming or puppy mills or fur farms without feeling anger at the least, and more often a sense of overwhelming sadness.

Maybe we can’t change our genes or control all of the things in the world […]

By |2009-06-08T09:26:00-04:00June 8th, 2009|Tags: , , , |11 Comments
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