Don’t forget your B12

| 16 November 2020
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Older people enjoying a picnic

Deficiency is no more common among vegans who take a supplement

Not much is known about the nutritional status of vegans in the Czech Republic. According to a 2019 survey, 10 per cent of Czechs aged 18-34 describe themselves as vegetarian or vegan. This study investigated whether the use of B12 supplements prevented deficiency in 151 Czech vegans compared to 85 non-vegans. They found that vegans who regularly took a supplement had similar levels of B12 to non-vegans but those not supplementing had significantly lower levels. This is a predictable result but one that carries a simple and important message – remember to take your B12! Low levels are not uncommon in older people, regardless of diet, as absorption from food declines with age. In the US, all adults over 50 are advised to take a supplement.

Selinger E, Kühn T, Procházková M, et al. 2019. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Is Prevalent Among Czech Vegans Who Do Not Use Vitamin B12 Supplements. Nutrients. 11 (12) 3019.

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About the author
Dr. Justine Butler
Justine joined Viva! in 2005 after graduating from Bristol University with a PhD in molecular biology. After working as a campaigner, then researcher and writer, she is now Viva!’s head of research and her work focuses on animals, the environment and health. Justine’s scientific training helps her research and write both in-depth scientific reports, such as White Lies and the Meat Report, as well as easy-to-read factsheets and myth-busting articles for consumer magazines and updates on the latest research. Justine also recently wrote the Vegan for the Planet guide for Viva!’s Vegan Now campaign.

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