Friday, July 27, 2018

The 411 on B12

I am asked frequently about supplements - please note the danger of supplements in general (Scandalous Supplements). SPOILER: there is literally NO governmental regulation of ANY dietary supplements in the USA!

None of this delicious summer food contains B12

When we eat a plant based whole foods diet (fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, seeds, and whole grains!), it's reassuring and awesome to know that intakes of ALMOST ALL vitamins and minerals are higher than those of people eating processed and animal foods. In fact, for most micronutrients (vitamins and minerals), everybody is getting plenty. One deficiency that is widespread in the USA and beyond is...take a guess...fiber! Read more about fiber here: FABULOUS FIBER!

One SPECIAL BONUS about fiber is that many of phytochemicals (antioxidants, etc.) found in the plant foods that we love are BOUND TO FIBER. This fact makes smoothies a better choice than juicing (discarding the pulp is like throwing away nutritional treasure!).

BUT BESIDES FIBER, WE ALL NEED A RELIABLE SOURCE OF VITAMIN B12. It is recommended that all Americans ages 50+ take a B12 supplement, and if you follow a plant based diet, YOU also ought to be taking some B12!

So...the focus of this post...B12!

The good news is that you don't need a B12 injection. There are several details you must carefully check. The following results are based on the best available research on vitamin B12.

USP is the most important thing...please don't just look for Nature Made...please LOOK FOR USP verified.

1. Choose CYANOCOBALAMIN (rather than methylcobalamin)
2. Choose a supplement with a USP seal (United States Pharmacopoeia) - Refer back to Scandalous Supplements.
3. Choose sublingual (this is a dissolving that the B12 gets into your bloodstream, rather than your harsh intestine, from where it is more difficult to absorb)
4. Serving size may vary (usually between 500-5000mcg, micrograms)
Now, how to take it!

1. Initially, take above supplement daily for 1-2 weeks, to kick start your body's stores. This has been shown to be equally as effective as a B12 injection!
2. Let tablet dissolve under your tongue, rather than chewing and swallowing into digestive system.
3. Henceforth, your intake should total around 2500 mcg weekly. Yes, just once a week!
Vitamin D is a good idea, too; but I don't recommend anything else!

Here are a bunch of videos about B12.

I love this Victory for Vegetables sign at Disney, but vegetables today don't contain B12.
By the way, Disney World has chocolate tofu "ice cream", vegan cheese vegetable pizza (for a treat!), and of course chips and guacamole in Epcot! Mostly...we pack food for the day, but my awesome hubby scoped out some fun options for us! Remember to ask for "non-dairy" versions since they didn't seem to use the word vegan at Disney, or list such items (vegan options) on menus.


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