Vitamin B-12 and Plant-Based Diets: The Research

If you eat a plant-based diet: Vegetarian, Vegan, or Raw/Live Vegan… or have friends who do… or if you did one of these diets for years, listen up.

The research is in: Plant-Based Diets, for all their healing benefits, leave adherents with dramatically lower – and health damaging – Vitamin B12 levels.

While I have written about this extensively in B12 Exposed, I wanted to link a few clinical studies – peer-reviewed research – into this blog post, and then I invite you to join the The B12 Exposed Course and discuss this important topic with us.

Here is the Research:

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Vitamin B-12 Status of Long-Term Adherents of a Strict Uncooked Vegan Diet is Compromised

The present study examined the vitaminB-12 status in long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet called the "living food diet." In the longitudinal study, six of nine vegans showed slow, but consistent deterioration of vitamin B-12 status over a 2-year observation period.

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Long-Term Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian Diet Impairs Vitamin B-12 Status in Pregnant Women

A well-planned vegetarian diet has been stated to be adequate during pregnancy. The aim of the present study was to compare serum vitamin B-12 and homocysteine concentrations in pregnant women consuming vegetarian and Western diets and to evaluate the adequacy of current dietary reference intakes of vitamin B-12 for these women.

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Vitamin B-12 and Homocysteine Status Among Vegetarians: A Global Perspective

Evidence exists that well-planned vegetarian diets provide numerous health benefits and are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle. It is also known that animal foods provide micronutrients that are nonexistent or available only in limited amounts in plant foods. Restriction or exclusion of all animal foods may therefore result in low intake of certain micronutrients such as vitamin B-12, thereby affecting vitamin B-12 status and elevating plasma homocysteine concentrations.

Overall, the studies we reviewed showed reduced mean vitamin B-12 status and elevated mean homocysteine concentrations in vegetarians, particularly among vegans.

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Total Homocysteine, Vitamin B-12, and Total Antioxidant Status in Vegetarians

Decreasing or eliminating animal products from the diet decreases the intake of some essential nutrients, such as vitamin B12, which may lead to hyperhomocysteinemia.

We investigated vitamin B12-dependent metabolism and oxidative stress in groups with various or no intake of meat or animal products.

Conclusions: Functional vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarians may contribute to hyperhomocysteinemia and decreased Total Antioxidant Status, which may partly counteract the beneficial lifestyle of vegetarians.

 The long and short of it is that dietary human-active B12 is nonexistent in a Vegan Diet (and very low in Vegetarian diets), which raises blood homocysteine levels – a precursor for cardiovascular disease. It also reduces the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood, decreases digestive strength, and creates the preconditions for Alzheimer’s and neurological disorders.

SO, if you are eating plant-based for healing temporarily, or for moral or health reasons long-term, please heed the research above! Supplement with human-active B12 – you can find excellent options in the B-12 Exposed Course.

On the other side are healthy B12 levels – and reduced inflammation, greater energy (due to increased oxygenation), healthier digestion, better cardiovascular health, and a better life with fewer medical expenses. Not bad for a little Vitamin that is so easy to get, once you know what to do!

See you in The Course!

Stay Sharp,

David Rainoshek
Master Coach and Author
The B12 Exposed Course

David Rainoshek