Veganism and the B12 deficiency: how to get enough


The rise of veganism and B12 deficiency

Whether you’re a flexitarian (Cut meat out most of the time), Vegan (no meat or product/ingredient sourced from animals including dairy), Vegetarian (no meat)… cutting out animal cruelty is proving not just to be a food trend, but a long-term lifestyle choice. With an interest in personal appearances, wellness and health on the rise, there are now more vegans in the UK than ever before. In the past 10 years, there is now an estimated 1.14 million vegetarians over the age of 15 in Britain alone. Whilst many give up eating meat for the cruelty aspect, others are also concerned with the effect meat production has on climate change. Did you know, if you skipped eating meat and cheese one day a week, it would be equivalent to taking your car off the road for five weeks?

What ever the reason may be, there is no doubt that cutting back on meat will have a positive effect on both climate change and the welfare of animals. However, how is it affecting our health?

Why might someone develop a B12 deficiency?

It’s relatively common for those that reduce their intake of meat to develop a B12 deficiency. This is because the vitamin is mostly found in animal tissues. Typical symptoms of a B12 deficiency make include: weakness, tiredness, fatigue, foggy mind, lack of motivation among other problems.

Some vegans get just enough B12 that they can avoid further health problems such as anaemia and damage to the nervous system, but others do not get enough to avoid serious diseases like heart disease and even complications during pregnancy. Studies have also found that whilst it is possible to gain B12 from some plant sources, a few of them are B12 analogs and actually block the intake of B12, increasing the need for it.

Am I getting enough B12 from plant sources?

 Plant sources such as Kale, seaweed, spirulina, and Japanese Nori compete with the human active B12, reducing its status.

Others argue that our body produces its own B12 and therefore does not need any supplementation. Whilst this is somewhat true, studies have found that this source is not available for absorption.

What other sources of B12 do you recommend?

B12 supplements are recommended, but a lot of younger people seem to have absorption problems. This is believed to be due to antacids blocking the vitamin.

At 111 Harley St., we offer B12 shots that are delivered directly in to the blood stream and you do not have to be concerned with too much consumption of the vitamin, since if has a very low potential for toxicity. It’s easier for our bodies to absorb the vitamin in a liquid form, as opposed to a supplement.

Celebrities like Hailey Baldwin and Chrissy Teigen are fans of this method, and praise it for its ability to boost energy and help with fatigue.