For the past 13 months I've been on a high raw food diet. In early February I went completely vegan. My goal is to maintain a high raw vegan diet (about 85% raw). I went to my doctor for my annual checkup and absolutley aced the exam! NOTE*** BIG SMILE HERE. All of my blood work was better than it has been in 20 years!.... except for my B12. It was scary low (116). I have lost 72 pounds and my doctor said that I'm 40% healthier than most women my age. My blood sugar is well within normal limits, my BMI was cut in half, my ANA was just one point above normal as compared to last years results of being 400. My triglicerites were great, bad colestoral was down and good was up... all in all I was extremely pleased. My blood calcium and protien level were great and my blood pressure was even better than normal. The best surprise was that my kidneys (I've had problems with for years) were functioning not just well but great!
With results like these I am more firmly convinced that I'm on the right track with my dietary life. My one concern is the B12. Any ideas of good vegan sources in food? I am not good at taking suppliments and being honest with myself I know it's not the way I want to get my nutrients so please don't respond with a commerical pitch for the world's greatest B12 pill. I started this diet to avoid a future of having to take pills and I am convinced that there is a natural way to get all our bodies need.
Any thoughts? Thanks much...
Your viable choices are meat, pill, or injection. You can take chances with supposed whole food vegan sources but they are all iffy at best.
Unfortunately minus fortified vegan foods there is no viable source as eecho says.
If you want to stay 100% vegan then your choices are pill(sublingual is best), injection or fortified foods such as some brands of nutritional yeast, some cereals etc.
eecho and powerlifer,
thank you both for your comments. It's disapointing to me. I really enjoy being vegan and I don't want to go back to consuming animal products (or by-products). Shots are an option I can consider and I already use some nutritional yeast in various recipes. I'll have to give more thought to how I will handle this.
Don't hold off anyway, b12 deficiency can cause irreversible nervous system damage which is something you don't want to happen.
Also bear in mind most brands of nutritional yeast aren't fortified with vitamin b12 but are rich in B group vitamins. I believe the brand is known as red star which contains added vitamin b12.
I would like to agree with both powerlifter and eecho here. Don't wait - B12 deficiency has some scary health effects that I've seen some first hand from BEFORE I was vegan. Fatigue, tingling limbs, muscle weakness, hair loss, etc. My levels are better now than they were before as inflammation is down, food absorption is up, and I took B12 shots for a year and a half. Now I take a liquid vegan "B Stress" supplement and have fortified foods from time to time. I monitor my B12 levels, and if they dip again, I will go back to the shots, no hesitation. Taking lots of pills and powders has always been something I hated, but I still take some supplemental protein, vitamins, and minerals due to my predisposition to developing deficiencies.
I am SO happy you are doing so much better! The kidneys and ANA levels struck a chord with me - I have systemic lupus and going vegan and getting more exercise were the two best choices I made in managing my disease. I hope you continue to grow strong and have lots of energy!
Thank you. I also have experienced low B12 for the past 12 years... long before I began this lifestyle. I am concerned though about it b/c it is soo low. My doctor did give me a B12 shot during my appointment and I'm plannig to get another one in a couple of weeks but I did hope there would be an alternative. My mother has Lupus and has suspected that I have it for years. She's been bugging me to be tested and last year I finally was. You can not even imagine my surprise when it came up as positive. It explained a number of things I was trying to ignore. It's part of why I began changing the way I eat. Anyway... thanks for your input.
Thanks to you also, Powerlifer. I really appreciate your insight in so many of these posts.
Not a prob TheBajan glad to help if i can:), Were you 100% vegan before embarking on the raw lifestyle or did you still consume meat? If you regularly ate meat and still had low b12 over the years it could be likely that you have absorption problems period, in which case the b12 injections would be a recommended choice over supplements and even food.
Good to here you got a shot and are getting another soon especially if you have been low for a while, last thing you want to develop is any irreversible health problems
I daily participated iin the "fast food marathon" here in America. Lots of meat, pasta, and dairy. Occasionally I ate a few vegtables and rarely any fruit. All the white sugar and dead bread I could stand. You're probably right about the absorption issue.