The plant based, vegan diet offers incredible health benefits, but all of these can be negated of proper B12 supplementation is not made a priority. Yes, animal foods have B12; but, all animals get B12 from bacterial fermentation that occurs in their gut.
A well balanced vegan diet has many documented benefits, including lower cholesterol, improved arterial and cardiovascular function, and reduced body mass. The only essential nutrient that is lacking in a vegan diet is Vitamin B12, a water-soluble vitamin that has critical roles in the functioning of our brains and nervous systems, in addition to the formation of red blood cells. B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin, and the only way verifiable natural B12 sources are animal products. This video details the importance of B12 supplementation in the vegan diet; Vitamin B12 Necessary for Arterial Health. For a detailed scientific report comparing the arterial function of vegetarians to age matched matched omnivores, this scientific study provides some detailed insights; Arterial function of carotid and brachial arteries in postmenopausal vegetarians. The main takeaway here is that people who follow a plant based diet have far better arterial function, but all of this means nothing if you don’t have the right B12 supplement.
Vitamin B12 is made by microbes, not by animals or plants. It is easy to find quality sources of B12 online. It is absolutley critical to supplement with B12 if you are eating a plant-based, vegan diet.
Vitamin B12 deficiency cant cause a host of problems, including lack of energy, appetite, headaches, confusion, and extreme fatigue. The most serious consequence on Vitamin B12 deficiency is increased levels of Homocysteine in the blood, which can cause heart attacks and strokes.
Now that you know how important it is to supplement your vegan lifestyle with a high quality B12 supplement, let’s look at the different forms of B12, how they are made, and which supplement is the clear winner.
There are 4 forms of B12, Cyanocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamin, Methycobalamin, and Adenosylcobalamin. We will briefly delve into each one of the forms of B12 and choose which ones are the best. Afterwards, we will know which supplement is optimal. How much B12 do you need?
Cyanocobalamin: Throw this in the garbage. Avoid it at all costs. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12, and you have to transform it into Methycobalamin to make it bioavailable. With Cyanide in this source of B12, this shoudln’t even be considered as an option, and is the easiest form of B12 to eliminate from the list.
Methylcobalamin: This is a winner. Methylcobalamin is very similar to Cyanocobalamin, the only difference between them is one part of the molecule; methylcobalamin has a methyl group (just carbon and hydrogen), but cyanocobalamin has a cyanide group. Methylcobalamin can be found in the cytosol of cells and interacts with an enzyme called methionine synthase. This is a critical enzyme involved in DNA synthesis.
Adenosylcobalamin: Another winner. Adenosylcobalamin, along with Methylcobalmin, are the two forms of vitamin B12 that are co-enzymes: the body requires each of them for different reactions. It is the mitochondrial form B12 vitamin found in cellular tissues. It interacts with the enzyme methylmalonyl CoA mutase, a metabolic enzyme. It is particularly useful for people with poor energy production.
Hydroxocobalamin: This is a naturally occuring source of B12, and is primarily used to treat B12 deficiency. The normal method is injection, and for this reason I don’t recommend it unless your Doctor prescribes it. There is no need for this form of B12 for most people.
Summary: Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin are the twomost bioactive forms of B12. You need them both. The only suuplement to do so is Vegan Safe B12, from the Global Healing Center. Pick up a bottle by clicking on the link below!