Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 plays a pivotal role in maintaining overall health and is the only vitamin that is not recognised as being reliably supplied from a varied wholefood, plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, together with exposure to sun. The discovery of vitamin B12 in the 1940s made plantbased diets possible and vegetarian diets morally obsolete.

What is B12?


Where does B12 come from?

Contrary to misconceptions, animals don't produce B12; instead, microorganisms are its exclusive creators.

What are the signs of B12 deficiency? 

Unlike most B vitamins it can be stored in the body and deficiency symptoms usually take five years or more to develop in adults, though some people experience problems within a year. A very small number of individuals with no obvious reliable source appear to avoid clinical deficiency symptoms for twenty years or more.

How much B12 do I need?

B12 is a unique vitamin. It is required in smaller amounts than any other known vitamin, just ten micrograms of B12 spread over a day appears to supply as much as the body can use.

Where can I get B12?

Many herbivorous mammals, including cattle and sheep, absorb B12 produced by bacteria in their own digestive systems, these are the foregut fermenters. Humans, like rabbits and horses, are foregut fermenters and cannot absorb the B12 produced internally. This is likely why many foregut fermenters practice coprophagy (eating faeces).



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