Cobalamin, or Vitamin B-12, is a crucial B Vitamin for overall wellness. It supports nerve tissue health, optimizes brain function, enables the use of energy from food by helping the body absorb folic acid, and aids in the healthy production of red blood cells.
Vitamin B-12 is the largest, most structurally complex vitamin found in animals. Our bodies have the capacity to store it for up to four years, and because it is water-soluble, facilitating its travel through the bloodstream, the body can easily excrete excess amounts through urination.
Vitamin B-12 is most commonly found in animal products such as eggs, meat, fish, and dairy. Some types of cereal and soy-based milks are fortified with it, but it is not naturally synthesized in plants.
It is an essential vitamin for human health, and defficiency has been linked to dangerous issues such as depression, memory problems, fatigue, anemia, and more.
Getting enough vitamin B-12 may seem to represent a challenge for vegans at first glance, as Cobalamin is mostly synthesized by bacteria found accumulated in animals. There is no need to worry, however; vegan-friendly options are readily available in:
- Fermented Foods: Certain fermented soy-based foods like tempeh, and certain types of algae and seaweed, like purple laver, are rich in Vitamin B-12.
- Fortified Foods: Breakfast cereals, soy products, and nutritional yeast are all fortified with this vitamin, and are widely available.
- Supplements: It is generally believed that people over the age of 14 should consume about 2.4 micrograms of Vitamin B-12 daily. Dietary supplements are abundantly available in most markets for this reason.
Globally, there is an alarmingly high percentage of people with Cobalamin deficiency or below-optimal levels. This is unfortunate, as the benefits of Vitamin B-12 in the human body are numerous. Benefits may include prevention of birth defects, improved eye health, and mood and mood improvement, among many others.
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