Connect with vegetarian and vegan friends from all over the world.
I'm a 16 year old vegan girl. I've be vegetarian for years and vegan since last year. My parents worry a bit about my health so insist I take supplements every day.
I currently take one 'Solgar' Vitamin B12 tablet, and three 'power teen' multivitamin tablets (which contain a little bit of everything) every day.
My question is do I really need to take supplements, or so many supplements? We got the ones I'm currently taking from a health shop and the lady there recommended I take them. But surely if I'm living without animal products, I should be living without these things too?
Are there really any essential vitamins I need from meat, eggs or dairy?
Thanks in advance for your answers everyone :)
I don't think you do. You need to concentrate on getting enough healthy fats and calories. You also need to incorporate Spirulina into your diet which will take care of the B12.
Spirulina does not supply usable B12!!! This is a myth, vegans beware...
Like most people seem to be saying, it usually can't hurt to take them... B 12 does seem to be a vitamin that vegans can be deficient in, but i've heard of people who don't take any supplements. With that said, if you wanted to try getting off the supplements Im sure you could get tested for deficiencies by a doctor (after you've been off the supplements for a little while)... If the tests show no deficiencies, then you're fine! If they do, then at least you've (hopefully!) been able to identify the deficiency before any harmful effects develop. I know some vegans who get tested every 6 month to a year just as a precaution (in part because B12 deficiencies can take a long time to develop)... So i guess my thoughts are if you want to get off the supplements it would be a safe idea to get some tests done periodically!
I just started supplementing b12 and I really like it. I feel better all around. But I only started after I learned that "B12 is found naturally in manure fertilized soil and synthesized via bacteria which are present in the intestines of animals- yummy ay? However, animals themselves are not capable of synthesizing the vitamin, only the bacteria contain the enzymes capable of breaking it down"
So b12 is found naturally in well fertilized soil, and if we were eating plants like we used to, we would be fine. But since we don't eat like that anymore, it can only be found in the meat when you injest it.
But this means that a vegan diet is not unnatural as some have suggested due to the need to supplement, as earlier humans would have gotten their b12 from plant sources. But nowadays, we have to supplement, or eat meat, so keep supplementing b12!
Lots of helpful information on Vegan nutrition here: http://veganhealth.org/articles/everyvegan