Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Vegans


Two of the top questions I get asked as a vegan are “where do you get your protein?” and “what about vitamin B12?”.  Just b12to be safe, we do suppliment with B12, but I am beginning to think all it is doing is making our pee expensive. After researching this topic, I have come to realize that we don’t need that much B12, and most of what is in our bodies gets recaptured after it’s use and reused.

It would be more appropriate to ask a meat eater where they get their B12 because apparently all the B12 gets destroyed when meat is cooked.  And there are components in meat, and especially in dairy, that inhibit the absorption of B12 by the body.  People who are clinically treated for vitamin B12 deficiency in the USA are 99% meat eaters.  Since 4% of Americans do not eat animal products, one might expect to see at least 4% of B12 deficiencies to be from vegans to reflect the country’s eating preferences.

Infact, if meat eaters were to be proven right about B12, then the majority of deficiency cases should be from vegans.  But the opposite is true.  Vegans who have been eating a plant based diet for decades without supplementing B12 in their diet take blood tests and do not have a B12 deficiency.  How can this be? I will let Bite Sized Vegan explain:


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