In the previous article we talked about protein deficiency for vegan athletes. This time we will have a closer look to one of nature’s most beautiful vitamin due to the striking red colour of its crystals, vitamin B12.
Micronutrients: Vitamin B12
Due to an absence of animal and dairy products, vegans are at an increased risk of developing Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency. Data from the EPIC-Oxford cohort study in the UK indicated that
~50% of vegan participants were vitamin B12 deficient. Nevertheless, this vitamin is essential for normal nervous system function, homocysteine metabolism and DNA synthesis.
Plant-based sources of cobalamin are unusual. Vitamin B12 can only be found in foods of animal origin (e.g. meat, eggs, milk) or yeast.
How it works
The B vitamins act as coenzymes (helpers) in numerous biochemical reactions in the body. They are therefore essential for the proper growth, maintenance and functioning of all cells, tissues and organs.
They are also needed for the production and release of energy, hormones, neurotransmitters, blood cells and antibodies.
Some B vitamins are important for the optimal functioning of others: B12 and folate are jointly involved in homocysteine lowering. B12 is important for two key steps in fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.
Because of its role alongside folic acid in the creation of red blood cells important for oxygen transport throughout the body as well as DNA synthesis, a deficiency in vitamin B12 can result in such anaemia-based symptoms as fatigue, poor energy levels, nausea and diarrhea, decreased appetite, weakening of the muscles, headaches, and tingling sensations.
Vitamin B12 also protects the outer covering of nerves, called the myelin sheath, which helps facilitate optimal conduction of energy throughout the nervous system. Suboptimal vitamin B12 levels thus may compromise a person’s ability to see, hear, think and move. While deficiencies are rare thanks to the body’s ability to maintain stores for several years, the added stress of intense work, exercise and today’s life on the body’s energy-producing pathways and tissues may leave a person at elevated risk for diminished stores.
The body absorbs vitamin B12 more efficiently in frequent small amounts. Adults (aged 19 to 64) need about 1.5 microgram a day of vitamin B12.
There’s not enough evidence to show what the effects may be of taking high doses of vitamin B12 supplements each day.
BSFood Vegan and Organic Supplements
The BSFood supplements are fortified with a blend of different active macro and micro nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and long-chain n-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA to achieve the dietary needs of most active people and athletes satisfactorily. Every formula is transparent. Only verified and allowed substances are used. Not too much, not too little. Just the right amount for that type of formulation and purpose.