Vitamin B12 for vegans: description, sources of content, deficiency

There are many medical and paramedical sources that, while agreeing on the question of the undoubted benefits of vitamin B12, fundamentally disagree in everything else – from the definition to the list of products containing the element that the body needs so much.

After the transition to a healthy diet based on the principles of vegetarianism and veganism, the problem often arises – how can people who adhere to the basic principles of maintaining the health of the body cope with such a difficult task as a deficiency of this substance, especially in a fragile child’s body.What is Vitamin B12? And the very first question that arises before those who want to understand the problem – what is this vitamin and why is it so important for our health?

If you do not go into the language of medical definitions, then Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can accumulate in the body – it is deposited in the liver, kidneys, lungs and spleen.

It is essential for the formation of red blood cells as well as for the optimal functioning of nerve cells. Without it, normal development of red blood cells is impossible, in which the maturation of DNA molecules that carry genetic data takes place. That is, the formation of hereditary information that we pass on to children with genes is simply impossible without this component!

If you look at the interpretation of encyclopedias, then vitamins B12 are called a group of cobalt-containing biologically active substances called cobalamins. Sometimes in a narrower sense it is called cyanocobalamin, since it is in this form that the main amount of vitamin B12 enters the human body.

However, this is not all! I had to meet the statement that B12 is nothing more than a bacterium that independently develops in any organism, and not at all some kind of substance. Where is contained

In fact, B12 IS PRODUCED by microorganisms (bacteria). Therefore, it is found primarily in rapidly perishable animal products such as meat, entrails and milk. However, seafood is also a reliable source of this substance. It is contained in the tops of plants and in a variety of greens, although there are some sources of assertion that no plant products contain it. It is also found in small amounts in some mushrooms, such as champignons.

Why is it most of all in animal products? For one simple reason, they are produced in the stomach of herbivores by the natural fermentation of bacteria. Predators, eating a herbivore, get the vitamin from its organs. Fermentation also occurs in the human body and a certain amount of this valuable element is produced, however, unfortunately, this occurs in those parts of the intestine in which the absorption of nutrients does not always occur to a sufficient extent.

How to eliminate vitamin deficiencyHowever, it would be a big mistake to make a categorical conclusion that the deficit can be filled only with meat and dairy products!

Just a vegan meal should include as varied a menu as possible!

Since a healthy person needs only 2,4 microkilograms per day for normal functioning of the hematopoietic element, it is enough to simply include in your diet a large amount of greens, lettuce, spinach and green onions, and seaweed. Greens can be added to salads, soups and main courses. It is also beneficial to use vitamin-fortified breakfast cereals as an addition to the main diet. Although it is not considered a completely natural product, they will certainly help maintain the balance of vitamins in the body.

It is also beneficial to eat vitamin-fortified foods – usually fortified soy milk, fortified nutritional yeast, cornflakes, etc. To find out if a particular food is a source of vitamin B12, look for the word “cyanocobolamin” in the list of ingredients. Foods enriched with it should be stored in the refrigerator, away from light.

For prevention, you can use chewable vitamins or vitamins in capsules containing from 500 to 1000 μg of B12 1-2 times a week. Medical control. To be completely confident in your health, you need to regularly take tests for the amount of B12 in the blood. However, this is not always a reliable indicator; an increase in the level of homocysteine ​​in the blood is considered more reliable, which indicates a lack of B12 in the body, and this can lead to the onset of vascular destruction and provoke cardiovascular diseases.

It is possible to take drastic measures in the form of intravenous B12 injections or taking a course of special drugs with an increased content of the aforementioned vitamin, only after receiving test results indicating a real deficiency of it in your body and always after consulting a doctor.

At the same time, do not forget that vitamin B12 should not be taken additionally for some serious pathologies (in the case of erythrocytosis, thromboembolism).


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