Importance of Vitamin B12 for Vegetarians
Scientific research shows that ovo-lacto-vegetarians are healthier than meat-eaters, and vegans are the healthiest overall. However...
Vitamin B12 is a genuine issue for vegans, although very easy to deal with. Traditionally, getting this vitamin has not been difficult. In cultures with plant-based diets, the microorganisms that produce B12 grow in the soil and cling to root vegetables, and traditional Asian miso and tempeh contain large amounts of the vitamin. But with industrialized production and improved hygiene, this source of B12 has been eliminated. Meat-eaters get B12 through microorganisms living in the animals they eat.
Although cases of B12 deficiency are very uncommon, it is important to make sure that one has a reliable source of the vitamin. Good sources include all common multiple vitamins (including vegetarian vitamins), fortified cereals, and fortified soymilk. It is especially important for pregnant women and breast-feeding mothers to get enough vitamin B12.
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