While other nutrients can be supplemented effectively through sensible food options, Vitamin B12 is a genuine issue for people on a plant based diet. Since this vitamin is primarily found in animal products, it can be hard to supplement on a 100% plant based diet.
Vitamin B12 protects the nervous system so is essential for the human body.
A deficiency can cause brain fog, memory problems and cognitive decline on the surface, with much more serious problems like neurological disorders similar to multiple sclerosis in the long term.
Since B12 is not needed by plants, they do not store this vitamin.
Instead, it is found exclusively in animal foods such as beef, lamb, liver, eggs, and seafood like fish, clams, crab, lobster, oysters and mussels. Dairy products like cheese also contain vitamin B12.
For people who allow dairy and eggs on their plant based diet, B12 can be supplemented through these foods. For instance in cheese the amount of B12 depends on its type and variety. Eggs can deliver good supplies of vitamin B12.
Milk and yogurt can also provide vitamin B12 supplies into the diet while yeast extract spreads like Marmite are also packed with vitamin B12.
Others who do not include either dairy or eggs in their diet need to make up for supplementing B12 through supplements.
It is always recommended to consult with your doctor before you start taking any kind of supplement.