Why Are Vegetarians at Risk of Developing Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

Save

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is widespread among vegetarians. According to a review published in Nutrition Reviews in February 2013, vegans, who abstain from all animal products, and people who have been vegetarians since birth have even higher risk. That's because animal foods are the richest sources of B-12, and so few plant foods naturally contain vitamin B-12. The stricter the vegetarian diet you follow, the more likely you are to be deficient. If you are unable to get enough B-12 through your diet, talk to your doctor about taking a supplement to prevent a deficiency.

Daily B-12 Needs and Sources

  • The recommended daily intake for adults for vitamin B-12 is 2.4 micrograms. That's about the amount in 3 ounces of salmon, six large poached eggs or about two and a half glasses of milk. If your diet includes fish, dairy or eggs, it's easier to meet your B-12 needs. Some of the richest B-12 sources are shellfish, including clams and mussels, with 84 and 20 micrograms per 3-ounce serving, respectively.

    Vegans have to work harder to get enough B-12, but it is possible. Nutritional yeast, which is a food yeast grown on a molasses solution, provides well over 100 percent of the dietary reference intake for B-12. With its cheesy flavor, it can be stirred into soups and sprinkled over salads and even popcorn.

    Other dietary options for B-12 are fortified foods such as cereals, juices and dairy alternatives such as soy and almond milk. Recent experiments show that other plant foods, including fermented beans, edible algae and mushrooms, are significant sources of B-12, but their reliability as consistent sources is still in question, Linus Pauling Institute reports.

References

  • Photo Credit mathieu boivin/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet

You May Also Like

  • Vegan Sources of Vitamin D

    Vitamin D is naturally found in very few foods, and many people have a difficult time meeting their daily needs, according to...

  • What Is Laughing Gas?

    Laughing gas, scientifically known as nitrous oxide (N2O), is a simple gas that is odorless and non-flammable at room temperature. It is...

  • How Much Protein Does Milk Have?

    To Americans of a certain age "Drink your milk" was heard as often as "Sit up straight," "Turn that down," and "Because...

  • What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

    Have you ever wondered why you might feel sluggish, have tingling in your hands and feet or have stomach problems like constipation...

  • What Causes Vitamin B12 Deficiency?

    Most people get enough vitamin B-12 in their diet, but actually absorbing it is sometimes a problem. You’re at risk for a...

  • How Much Computer Memory Do You Need?

    You can actually have too much memory. The amount of memory you need is contingent on your hardware configuration. Your computer can...

Related Searches

Check It Out

This Is the Beauty Routine of a Yelp Sales Manager

M
Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!