30 May 2006

Are you getting enough Vitamin B12 ?

I have written a previous Vitamin B12 entry but as it is such an important subject I shall be placing an entry in this blog once a month. If you are Vegan and wish to know more about vitamin B12, please click on the links at the bottom for excellent articles on the subject.

Vitamin B12 is a member of the vitamin B complex. It contains cobalt, and so is also known as cobalamin. It is exclusively synthesised by bacteria and is found primarily in meat, eggs and dairy products. Therefore to get sufficient quantities a Vegan should try an get it from either B12 fortified foods and/or supplements as there is very little in plant based foods, if at all.

Clinical deficiency can cause anaemia or nervous system damage. Two subgroups of Vegans are at particular risk of B12 deficiency: long-term vegans who avoid common fortified foods (such as raw food vegans or macrobiotic vegans) and breastfed infants of Vegan mothers whose own intake of B12 is low.

Tempeh, miso, sea vegetables and spirulina are reported to contain vitamin B12 but unfortunately it's impossible to know how much and is it enough ?

B12 Supplements can be purchased online at Pangea (VeganLife B12 Chewable Supplement 1,000 mcg tablets) or Veg-Life B-12 1000mcg can be purchased online or in any good Health Shop.

Fortified Products - B12 is light sensitive so storage both in the shop and at home is very important. Many B12 fortified products can be found; yeast extracts, nutritional yeast flakes, Vecon vegetable stock, veggieburger mixes, textured vegetable protein, soya milks, vegetable, vegan margarines and breakfast cereals. Do check labels and ask advice from Health Shop staff.

Vitamin B12 Articles
Vegan Society
Vegetarian Society
Vegan Health

Non Dairy Melty Cheese

1 Cup RED STAR® Vegetarian Support Formula™ (T6635+) Nutritional Yeast Flakes
1/3 cup white flour
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 cups water
1/3 cup vegan margarine

Mix dry ingredients in a saucepan. Gradually add water, making a smooth paste and then thin with the remaining water. Place on heat and stir constantly until it thickens and bubbles. Let it bubble up for about 30 seconds and remove from heat. Whip in the margarine.

Good on pizza, casseroles, open-faced tomato sandwiches, grilled cheese sandwiches, macaroni and cheese, and enchiladas.

Makes 1 serving (27.8 oz.) Per serving: Calories 1417, Protein 54.9g, Carbohydrate 103g, Fat 93.2g, Fiber 41.8g. High source of folate, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and B12


Thomas said...

I didn't realize how important B-12 was thanks for the suggestions and all the good info.

Judas said...

Thanks for the info

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Kelly Crawford said...

Vitamin B12 is really important. To vegans/vegetarians, some of them lack this since they avoid meat products. Some experts recommend that they take supplements. There's this site I found about Vitamin B12: You may wanna check out! By the way, thanks for sharing this nondairy melty cheese. I'm gonna try it at home. :)