The Importance of Vitamin B12 | Deficiency & Vegans

Vegans using adequate amounts of fortified foods or B12 supplements are much less likely to suffer from B12 deficiency than the typical meat eater. For that reason and more, Myprotein has designed a new Vitamin B12 supplement for vegans in mind.

Very low B12 intakes can cause anaemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 and B12 supplements.

Each serving of Myprotein’s Vitamin B12 contains 1,000mcg Vitamin B12 and 400mcg Folic Acid per serving. But that’s not all, each capsule is packed with 40000% of the RDI – the perfect source for vegans and vegetarians.

Vitamin B12 Benefits

If you’re not yet clued up on the benefits of Vitamin B12 and all that it does for your system, here it is in a nutshell. Vitamin B12:

  •  contributes to normal energy-yielding metabolism;
  •  contributes to normal functioning of the nervous system;
  •  contributes to normal red blood cell formation.

It is usually found in red meat. It is essential for muscle strength and energy level retention. These are key in all manners of healthy living, not just serious training and fitness goals. For vegans, it is one of the vitamins that is highly recommended and yet isn’t easily sourced in other foods. Reliable vegan sources of B12 include plant milks, soy products and certain breakfast cereals. While that is a limiting range, B12 supplements are a sure way to see that you get what your body needs.

There are many myths surrounding vegan athletes, many of which are tell tales. There is, however, arguably a common concern for vegan athletes and bodybuilders in particular that cutting meat and dairy from their diet means they aren’t getting all they need to reach the heights they have in mind, although this isn’t the case, our expert advisors are here to debunk this myth.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A vitamin b12 deficiency isn’t just a concern for athletes though. It can have an effect on your day-to-day health that you might not have realised without taking advantage of supplements.

Even for non-vegans, your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12 from food slows down. So what are the side effects and how can you tell if your B12 levels are low?

You may feel more sluggish and weaker than you have before despite eating well and getting your fluids (as well as a good night’s sleep).

You may experience odd sensations, feel wobbly or dizzy.

Your skin may appear paler. With a B12 deficiency, the red blood cells that you do have are very fragile and easily broken, causing a release of bilirubin pigment that gives skin a yellow complexion.

Very low levels of B12 can cause anaemia and damage to your nervous system.

B12 is required in smaller amounts than other vitamins. Ten micrograms of B12 in a day supplies as much as your body will use. Symptoms of deficiency can take five years or more to develop in adults, though some people experience problems in much less time. Often the symptoms of pain, tiredness or hallucinations develop gradually over several months to a year before being recognised as being due to B12 deficiency. They are, however, usually reversed from two weeks after taking B12 supplements.

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Faye Reid

Faye Reid

Writer and expert

Faye has a MSc in Sport Physiology and Nutrition, and puts her passion into practice as goal attack for her netball team, and in competitive event riding. She enjoys a pun, and in her spare time loves dog walking and eating out.

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