Doctor's Note

For more videos about vitamin B12, see:
Vitamin B12 Necessary for Arterial Health
New Vitamin B12 Test
Daily Source of Vitamin B12
Cheapest Source of Vitamin B12

For further context, check out my associated blog post: Vegan B12 deficiency: putting it into perspective.

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  • mms9070

    B-12 in cyanocobalamin form or methylcobalamin form? At my local veg society dinner last month the speaker said the cyanocobalamin can’t be used by the human body and buying the methylcobalamin is much better. Marketing hype or current unresolved controversy?

  • Some of the dogmatic vegans need to pay attention to this.

  • April Barnswell

    I’m sure someone has mentioned this already, but omnivores are at risk these days of B12 deficiency, too. It’s not strictly a vegan problem. Much of the animals raised for meat aren’t grazing naturally anymore (grain fed), so the animals are deficient in B12, which means the humans eating them are deficient in B12 as well. My co-workers father was just diagnosed with B12 deficiency, and he is a meat eater.

    •  Beyond the issues you mention is an autoimmune disorder, Pernicious Anemia. Certain cells in the stomach normally produce a substance called intrinsic factor which is necessary for the B12 to be absorbed by our receptor sites. This doesn’t effect the passive diffusion mechanism but does markedly alter the amount of oral B12 needed to meet our requirements… see plus the other in the excellent series of B12 videos February 3 to 9 of this year. If diagnosed with B12 deficiency it is important to work with your physician to be treated and tested periodically.

    • Marcella

      I agree April, we give A LOT of B12 injections to common meateaters at our clinic. It seems, after the age of 60, our gut has a harder time processing and absorbing B12 correctly. At 60 yr, in the USA it is 20% deficient rate! Can you imaging how many folks are B12 deficient in a nursing home? Perhaps contributing to there parenthesis and dementia? I can tell you, just my observations, we were giving a high percentage of elderly patients B12 injections due to B12 deficiency and Vit D supplementation too! Surprising how the aches and pains can decrease with something as simple as Vitamin D

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Also be sure to check out my associated blog post Vegan B12 deficiency: putting it into perspective!

  • Marcella

    I agree April, we give A LOT of B12 injections to common meateaters in our clinic, it seems, after the age 60, our bodies have a hard time processing B12 correctly. So whether Vegan or flesheater, we all need to have our B12 checked and supplemented (while you are in there have them check your Vit D too!)

  • Wade Patton

    As i dig deeper and deeper for naturally occurring sources as my diet gets closer and closer to full-on vegan (not there yet, not a big rush, but do like the results!), I found this extensive list of foods and vitamin contents. While i don’t fully trust the source, I hope the data is sufficiently correct. And maybe they have some numbers for well-water/spring water samples from around the country too!

    Here: 7282 “foods” tested for B12:

    “food” because it’s all manner of things, many food-related or food-like and a great many that few of us here would consider eating.