B12 – Just the facts

 

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Why do we need it?

–       Humans cannot synthesize this essential vitamin, so we must obtain it from dietary intake

–       It is one of the most metabolically important vitamins, involved in a wide array of body processes including cognitive ability, nerve transmission, red blood cell formation, mood support, DNA, ATP, fatty acid, and folate synthesis, and heart health

–       Vegans have a higher need for B12 because non-animal foods do not contain this essential vitamin. 

Where do I get it?

–       Food: only animal foods contain B12 (this includes dairy, eggs, butter, etc.).  Also, small amounts can be found in foods fermented with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium

–       Supplements: I recommend sublingual methylcobalamin because of its enhanced absorption

–       Once per month B12 injections

–       Nutritional yeast

Nutritional Yeast v. Brewer’s Yeast:

A product designed for vegans, nutritional yeast is a yeast grown on sugar beets, molasses or wood pulp, to absorb B-12 and protein.  The flakes are packaged in bottles, to be shaken onto your favorite foods!  It imparts a nutty/ cheesy flavor to foods.  I love Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast topping with a little melted coconut oil on popcorn– MUST TRY!!!

Brewer’s yeast is a by-product (derived from hops) of the beer-brewing process

 

Myth-busting!

Myth: Brewer’s and nutritional yeast contain B12

Fact: Only nutritional yeast is grown in a B12-rich medium.  Brewer’s yeast contains all B vitamins, except B12.

Myth: My food based vegan supplement contains B12.

Fact: Only if it has been fortified with a synthetic form* of B12.

*Note:  Synthetic B12 is a perfectly safe and acceptable way to supplement.   It is synthesized by fermenting and growing certain bacterium under special controlled conditions. Toxicity reports are extremely rare, even when taken in mega doses.

Myth: Brewer’s or nutritional yeast are not recommended on a candida diet.

Fact:  Both of these yeasts are inactive, and therefore can easily be included in a candida diet.

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