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 :)

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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.  

Raw Rage is right incorperate Spiruline, also nutritional yeast is a wonderful one!
Sprinkle a few table spoons on some pasta or mashed potatoes and it creates it wonderful cheesy nutty taste!
If you use those daily theres no need for you to take the B12 supplement
Also B12 actually does not come from meat, is is purely found in microorganisms, which ofcourse are found on the meat like every other kind of bacteria
Maybe as well while your getting used to the diet try recording it on one of those calorie counters, cronometer gives a wonderful breakdown of pretty much everything! That could really help you until you get used to the amounts of what nutrient or micronutrient your body actually needs
As well listen to your body it knows best, for example i have days where im craving walnuts sooo much and i can eat a whole pack, when i do my calculations i realize that ive been lacking omega-6. So my bosy was right to crave them all along

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!

*http://www.happycow.net/health-vitamins-B12.html 

As long as your eating right you don't :) I'd keep taking the B12 but I'm a vegetarian and I don't take anything and I am perfectly healthy

Lots of helpful information on Vegan nutrition here: http://veganhealth.org/articles/everyvegan

:-)

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