Where do you get Vitamin B12 in a vegan plant-based diet?
Updated: Jun 24, 2019
When you eat a conventional diet, you typically eat a lot of fat, protein and refined foods, all of which tend to elevate needs for B12.
“Indian researchers found that high-fat intake causes marked B12 deficiency in laboratory animals fed normal amounts of the vitamin; saturated fats, in which beef, eggs and dairy products are extremely high, had an especially severe effect. High protein diets tend to deplete the vitamin in the blood, liver and kidneys of laboratory animals; animal proteins evidently produce more rapid loses than plant proteins. A diet dominated by refined foods more than doubled the B12 needs of baboons. Diets high in animal products, fat and refined carbohydrates lead to conditions in which absorption of B12 is inhibited in humans also.
It appears adults taking low fat, whole food vegan diets should need no more than 0.05 micrograms of B12 daily. The National Research Council recommends adults take 100 times that amount, or 5 micrograms per day. With consistent inconsistency they recommend 1.0 microgram of B12 per day for infants, which is a high multiple of what breast-fed tots get.”
So how do you get that .05 mcg of B12 a day from a plant based diet?
Just one ounce of the roots of leeks, beets, and other vegetables would provide .1-.3 mcg per day, far more than your body needs!
Another great source of B12 is seaweed like kelp, algae like spirulina and chlorella, and sea moss.
Shiitake and white button mushrooms have been found to contain significant amounts of B12 particularly in the outside layer.
Not to mention your small intestine can make vitamin B12 from bacteria. Intestinal bacteria can produce 5 ug of cobalamins and 95 ug of B-12 analogues per 24 hours.
Also if you have your own garden, adding an organic fertilizer such as cow manure significantly increases the Vitamin B12 content in vegetables you grow.
I’m sure if more research and studies were done on the over 300,000 plant species we have growing on our planet, we could find an abundance of natural sources of B12. It’s truly amazing how nature provides everything we need to thrive.