Image Credit: Charles Haynes / Flickr

Are there any risks of excess vitamin B12 consumption?

I have just posted some of your recent B12 videos on facebook to try and help my friends who refuse to accept the need to have an intake of B12 on a vegan diet. Most are convinced their ‘friends’ have been told by the doctors they have ‘abnormally high levels’ of B12 and have to avoid Soya milk etc. Can you advise on this? I have read there is no upper recommended limit on B12 set, and surely consuming fortified soy products wont take you to dangerous levels? I have never heard of this before. Can you advise if there are any known risks of excess consumption?

Peter /  Originally asked on Vegan B12 Deficiency: Putting it into Perspective

Answer:

You cannot take too much B12 orally–your body will just pee out the excess. High serum “B12″ levels (a lousy test–see New Vitamin B12 Test) may be reflective of high levels of inactive B12 analogs (if, for example, they were eating sea vegetables). These B12 “look-alikes” are considered worse than useless and so they may in fact be at particular risk and I would urge them to start consuming B12-fortified foods or supplements with actual B12 in them. See, for example, my video Safest Source of B12 and my blog post Vegan B12 deficiency: putting it into perspective.

Image credit: Charles Haynes / Flickr

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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