Day TWENTY-THREE: B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal function of our blood cells and nervous system. The primary source of vitamin B12 for humans is┬áconsumption animal products. A person might reasonably assume that this is a good reason to go back to eating the SAD and to forget this whole vegan thing altogether, but wait–Where do you suppose the herbivorous animals that we used to eat got their vitamin B12? It turns out that the true source of B12 is from bacteria that live in the soil and on the plants that herbivores eat. Because we tend to wash our produce and not eat dirt, vegans will have to take B12 supplements that can be bought at any grocery store or pharmacy. Just make sure that the source of the B12 in the pills is bacteria, not animals.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very rare, even among vegans, because our bodies can store it for quite a long time. However, it is important to know and watch out for the symptoms of B12 deficiency:

  • Weakness
  • Light-Headedness
  • Fatigue
  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Rapid Breathing
  • Pale Skin
  • Sore Tongue
  • Easy Bruising
  • Bleeding Gums
  • Nausea
  • Weight Loss
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea

If this topic makes you uncomfortable with continuing your vegan lifestyle, do a little more research before you give up. Veganism can be safe, and many vegan B12 supplements are available. Just use your head here.