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Hometown Foodie – the Truth About B12 and Plant Based Diets

#foodie-all – by Ellen Britt

If you are considering a totally plant based diet with no meat, chicken, eggs or dairy products, then great! The research is solid that this is a great way to eat to reduce the risk of heart disease and more.

Plua, the great thing is that you can get every nutrient you need from plant based foods, including protein. Every nutrient but one that is…

And that nutrient is vitamin B12.

Since the human body does not make B12 and only animal products have it, then if you eat a totally plant based diet you must take a Vitamin B12 supplement or risk a potentially serious B12 deficiency if you go without it long enough.

Vitamin B12 helps in the manufacture of new red blood cells among other vital functions. Symptoms of a B12 deficiency many include weakness, tiredness, shortness of breath, heart palpitations, numbness and/or tingling in hands and feet, vision loss and even mental problems such as depression and memory loss.

Adults need 2.4 mcg (micrograms) per day, with pregnant or breastfeeding women needing more (check with your physician). If you are already deficient, which can be diagnosed with a blood test, you may need B12 injections or high dose oral B12 treatment till your levels come back up.

For most otherwise healthy adults who are on a plant based diet, a daily inexpensive B12 supplement contains plenty of the vitamin to keep you healthy. Let’s eat y’all…!