Q:

How do you get vitamin B12 if you're a vegan?

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Quick Answer

Vegans obtain vitamin B12 through fortified plant milks, cereals, spreads, nutritional yeast products and supplements, according to the Vegan Society. The Vegan Society warns that these are the only reliable sources of vitamin B12 for vegans, and humans should consume around 3 micrograms of the vitamin daily. WebMD explains vitamin B12 is naturally found in meat, milk, cheese, poultry, seafood and eggs.

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Full Answer

The Vegan Society claims consuming 1.3 cups of fortified plant milk, plus 1 ounce of a fortified breakfast cereal, usually provides 1.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. Macaroni with fortified "cheesy sauce" and fortified vegan spreads to put on bread and crackers are also common sources of vitamin B12 in vegan-based foods. The Vegan Society suggests taking a 10-microgram supplement every day, or a 2,000-microgram supplement every week, to ensure vegans get enough of the essential nutrient.

Vitamin B12 helps the human body manufacture DNA and red blood cells, according to WebMD. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency may include weakness, tiredness, pale skin, sore tongue, easy bruising, easy bleeding, upset stomach, diarrhea and constipation.

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