Monday, August 16, 2010

Going Vegan? Better Get Some B-12 Lozenges

While my personal credo is: "Man is made for eating meat." I respect everyone who - for ethical or whatever reasons - refuses to do so. In spite of that, a recent study by Gilsing (Gilsing. 2010) found that vegetarians and vegans even more so, have a high risk of being vitamin B12 deficient. In their conclusion on the evaluation of the EPIC-Oxford cohort study, the scientists write:
the results from this study show that vegetarians and vegans have much lower concentrations of
serum vitamin B12 but higher concentrations of folate in comparison with omnivores. Mean serum vitamin B12 was not associated with the duration of adherence to a vegetarian
or vegan diet, which may indicate that mechanisms that maintain circulating concentrations of vitamin B12 are upregulated in vegetarians and vegans. Further research into the health effects of vitamin B12 deficiency and depletion in vegans and vegetarians is warranted , and vegetarians and vegans should ensure a regular intake of sufficient vitamin B12 from fortified foods and/or supplements. (Gilsing. 2010)
Especially if you are an athlete or gymrat, this is another reason to include either a reliable high dosed B-vitamin complex or another source of  source of additional B12 in your supplement. In case you are already taking a multi covering all your needs, don't bother taking additional B-vitamins - although it is often stated otherwise some of them can produce negative side effects not only in susceptible individuals.