Vitamin B12

How to get Vitamin B12 on a vegan diet | Don’t Milk It

Vitamin B12

What does B12 do:

It is needed for healthy brain function, nerve tissue and red blood cell formation.

How much B12 do I need:

Adults: according to the nhs 0.0015mg or 1.5mcg but some countries have a RDI of 3mcg.

I prefer to get my B12 through eating about 1 micrograms of vitamin B12 with each meal (to make 3mcg) or a few hours in between as B12 is absorbed better in small amounts, but you can also do this by taking one supplement containing at least 2000 micrograms of vitamin B12 every week. If you have impaired B12 absorption you may find that taking the 2000 micrograms once a week works best; this is because it does not rely on the normal intrinsic factor (a substance secreted by stomach cells that binds to vitamin B12 and protects it while it’s transported to the small intestine for absorption) in the gut.

Good sources of B12 for vegans include:

  • Meridian Yeast Extract (1g – 0.7mcg)
  • Pure Vegan Spread (10g – 0.5mcg)
  • Milk Alternative – (100ml – 0.38mcg)
  • Breakfast Cereal e.g Asda Bran Flakes (30g – 0.87)
  • Soya Yogurt (100g – 0.38mcg)
  • Yeast Flakes fortified with B12 (2g – 0.88mcg)

How to get approx. 3mcg throughout the day:

Breakfast: 30g Asda Bran Flakes with 100ml of dairy free milk: 1.25mcg

Lunch: Sprinkle yeast flakes on soup/salad: 2g – 0.88mcg

Tea/Snack: A slice of toast with 1g yeast extract and 10g spread: 1.2mcg

Total: 3.33mcg

How to help B12 absorption:

  • Cut down on alcohol (stay within the recommended units)
  • Calcium helps vitamin B12 absorption so make sure you are getting plenty of this mineral.

For more information:

Go to the vegan society website for more information on B12



Note: You should always visit your GP or a nutritionist before you start a new diet. I am not a trained nutritionist or any other medical professional, the information, views and beliefs on this site are my opinion and my opinion alone and it is not meant to replace the advice of a trained nutritionist, doctor or other medical professional. 

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