Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Vegan B12 Sources

Supplements: In today's highly sterilized world, vitamin B12 is mostly found in animal products such as milk, eggs, cheese, yogurt and meat. Therefore, it is wise for vegans to consider taking a supplement and / or consider eating B12 fortified foods.

Other (Natural) Vegan B12 Sources - 

Organic Produce: One significant study reveals that plants "grown on soil fertilized with cow dung showed substantially higher levels of B12 than those grown without cow dung, the increases for barley and spinach being statistically significant" (Link).

Just as humans can get B12 from organically grown greens (especially greens fertilized with manure), cows that are pasture fed are also able to get enough B12 without the need of a supplement. However, when cows are taken off the pasture, they must get their vitamin B12 from supplements (again, this is similar to humans).

Of course, cows do not wash, sterilize or spray pesticides on grass before they eat it. As a result, they have no problem getting enough B12 from organic pastures.

Fermented Foods: Fermented foods such as kombucha, rejuvelac and sauerkraut are said to contain B12. The most famous brand of kombucha (GT Dave's), for example, provides 20% of your daily B12 intake per bottle, according to its label. In her book, "Soak Your Nuts," popular raw vegan author Karen Calabrese says, "I have been a vegan for over thirty years and rarely supplement with B12. I believe that the fermented foods, like sauerkraut and rejuvelac, in my diet are to credit". Popular raw vegan Jay Kordich also promotes tempeh as a source of B12.

Natural Drinking Water: "Adventist health scientist Matt Steele wondered about this for a long time. Vitamin B12 is almost the universal product of bacterial action. So it dawned on him that it might have come from natural drinking water -- which would have had many bacteria in its catchment area. He tested the water in the Yarra River near Warburton Adventist Hospital in Australia. The river water there is good drinking quality. When he tested it, he found one litre (two pints) of the water contained the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin B12" (Link).

"Mud Baths" and Bare Feet: "Recently, I met with a Jain Saint who has been living Vegan life for last 6 years. He was not aware about B-12 bacteria. I suggested him to take B-12 dosages. What he told me is unique way to take b-12 by putting legs inside soil (as you know B-12 bacteria are there in soil) for at least 2 hours, so that body skin will absorb all essential bacteria and minerals. According to him, like our body absorbs oil while massaging with it, our body will absorb what it needs. He also said that bare feet walking on the earth also helps. According to him, we should live as much as close with earth, sunlight, fresh air, fresh and organic food, less and less artificial food" (Link).

Fortified Foods: B12 (in supplement form) is added Nutritional Yeast as the yeast is forming, making it a food source of B12 for vegans. B12 supplements are also added by manufacturers to most cereals and other foods such as breads.

Eggs and Dairy: Another option (that is not vegan) is to add grass fed dairy and/or free range eggs into your diet.

Feces: Many animals such as gorillas, pigs, hamsters, guinea pigs and rabbits often get enough B12 by eating their own feces (Link). I imagine it is absolutely disgusting, and I would never recommend it. :-)

In conclusion, if you are a vegan and do not eat a lot of wild greens and roots or fermented foods, you should probably consider taking a B12 supplement. 


  1. Animals that don't eat animal products (elephants, sheep, cows, etc.) don't get B12 from grass. They get it from a bacteria in their gut that synthesizes it from cobalt from plants. I'm pretty sure all people that have been vegans for more than 5 or so years either supplement, or lie. Pure veganism (no supplements) isn't a long term viable diet.

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