The One Supplement Every Vegan Should Take

You know the story- a plant-based diet provides plenty of protein and calcium, it’s healthy for kids, and it could save your life. But there is one nutrient that you can’t get from a plant-based diet: vitamin B12.

Why Is B12 So Important?

Vitamin B12 helps make DNA and red blood cells, and contribute to healthy neurological function. B12 deficiency can lead to irreversible neurological damage. If you are deficient, you may experience symptoms similar to anemia- fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.

Why You Can’t Get Vitamin B12 From a Plant-based Diet

Although B12 is found in meat, it is NOT made by meat. B12 is made by microorganisms. These microorganisms live in animals’ bodies and in the dirt.

So why can’t we get this essential vitamin from plants? Because our produce is relatively sterile when it finally makes its way into our kitchens, there’s no B12-containing dirt left on it. Also, the soil where our plant food grow is likely pretty depleted and therefor void of B12.

If You Can’t Get B12 From Plants, Then Where Should You Get It From?

Although some foods contain trace amounts of B12 and some foods are fortified with it, these are not reliable sources of this very important nutrient. The most reliable, safest, and cheapest way to get enough B12 on a plant-based diet is a B12 supplement. B12 supplements are very inexpensive.

Adults eating a plant-based diet should take 2,500 mcg of cyanocobalamin per week. We take just one 2,500 mcg B12 supplement every Friday.

Want To Know More About B12?

Here are 3 excellent short videos that tell you everything you need to know about B12.

Safest source of B12

Cheapest Source of B12

Vitamin Supplements Worth Taking

Do you know a vegan who might not know about vitamin B12? Share this post with them!

Originally published at on September 13, 2015.