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"Just be who you are, calm and clear and bright." - Richard Bach, Illusions: The Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

Vitamin B12


A few months ago I went to my friend Carrie’s house for dinner. Over hummus and chips (while a delicious cauliflower curry bubbled away on the stove), Carrie told me that she had been vegan for a long time. But somewhere around the six-year mark she got sick, and her doctor told her that the liver stores a six-year supply of vitamin B12. Apparently her supply had run out.

This story scared me into taking vitamin supplements more seriously. Up to that point I’d been taking a vegan multivitamin very sporadically (while grumbling about how vitamin manufacturers want everyone to think they need them when they truly can get all the nutrients they need from a diet of wholefoods). That sporadic multivitamin was better than nothing, I suppose, but I really wanted to feel confident that I was getting enough B12.

Here’s some critical info on vitamin B12 from Vegan Society:

Very low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimize potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.

Before Big Ag leached all the nutrients out of the soil, we could have gotten the B12 we needed from those micro-organisms in the dirt on our vegetables. Now, even if you grow your own, you should take a supplement just to be on the safe side.

So I ordered a supplement pack from Vegan Cuts (looks like it’s no longer available though), and the B12 spray was the coolest thing in the box. It’s way more pleasant to take than a capsule. One berry-flavored spritz and you’re all set! The manufacturer’s link (Pure Vegan) is here, although you can find the spray for a few bucks less elsewhere online.

I’ve learned my lesson here: making informed and responsible health and dietary choices doesn’t have to be tedious.


1 Comment to Vitamin B12

  1. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    August 27, 2015 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    I’m going to the doctor next week for a general check up. I wonder if I should get my B-12 levels checked? Thanks for the warning!

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Hi! I'm Camille. I only write stories that could never ever happen in real life, though I do believe in real-life magic. If we were in the same room I'd fix you a cup of tea, but for now we'll have to settle for a virtual connection. I'm really glad you're here.