Vegans 'need to be aware of B12 defic... - British Heart Fou...

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Vegans 'need to be aware of B12 deficiency risk'

MichaelJHHeart Star

I heard this on the news this morning. It stuck a chord as I saw one of the "beauty shops" offering B12 injections alongside derma fillers, botox, etc. My feeling was no way would I want an injection like that unless advised by a GP/consultant. Also vegan diets are quite actively promoted these days so feel the warning is worth highlighting!

12 Replies
MilkfairyHeart Star

The Vegan society gives this information about fortified foods and supplementation.

I've just had a crash course of six B12 shots over two weeks as last blood tests came back with a low red blood cell count. Not the most enjoyable experience - got a strong stinging sensation as the B12 went into arm!

That aside, bit worried about "beauty shops" carrying out these procedures!

MichaelJHHeart Star
in reply to SpiritoftheFloyd

I found the fact someone was offering B12 injections somewhat disturbing. Whilst you can buy supplements injection is a whole new ball game especially if there is no diagnosis of anemia. If there was treatment should be left to your medical team.

I totally agree. You read about stories of people going for dental work, cosmetic surgery in places like Turkey, Romania, Hungary etc for a third of the cost of the UK and ending up in life threatening situations. Any procedure like this should be carried out in a place that has full medical qualifications

in reply to MichaelJH

B12 deficiency and anaemia are two different conditions.

There is a much misunderstood condition called Pernicious Anaemia that affects the body’s ability to extract and absorb vitamin b12 from food. The process of extracting and absorbing b12 from food can be hindered by long term use of both metformin and PPIs ( omeprazole, lansaparole etc). Diets that exclude animal sources can also give rise to deficiency.

Another cause is age - as we age stomach acid production decreases which reduces our ability to break down and extract vitamin b12 from food.

This article from September relates to this issue. Vegans and Vegetarians have 10 fewer cases of heart disease and 3 more if stroke per 1000 people. It’s suggested that this is because of a lack of vitamin B12:

Well I've cut out meat and eat fish occasionally and some low fat dairy.I make sure I eat vitamin B12 rich foods and I take a vitamin supplement.I have lost four and a half stone as a result and my cholesterol level has dropped to 3.6 without statins( it was 4.7 before) plus my glucose levels are bang on.I used to get palpitations after I ate...they've gone and whilst I suffered from IBS from my twenties this is now a thing of the past.Not only that I feel that I am doing my bit for the planet as well.All diets have their pluses and minuses it's about taking a reasoned approach.


I was just reading an article earlier in either the Standard or the Metro as though it was a restaurant review roundup. It was actually a review of Drip shops opening in London where you can just roll up and get put on a "pick up" up drip which you pick from a menu. One mentioned B12 specifically and various unlisted minerals - unlisted seriously. How are these places even legal here

MichaelJHHeart Star
in reply to Hidden

Frightening! 😱 I have visions of people thinking drips can correct bad lifestyle choices!

in reply to MichaelJH

That's really how they are promoting it. A pick me up to get you through the busy festive period they don't mention hangovers but the implication is there.

It is in the London Evening Standard the article is on their FB page

I agree that although veganism is being heavily promoted, especially considering that less than 4% of the UK are vegan, the fact that it necessitates supplements is a contraindication to its claimed health benefits.

Somebody is ignoring the evidence to push an idealism/flawed theories.

Logically, for our hind guts to be smaller than other great apes whilst accommodating larger brains, we have to get more energy by eating less vegetation than they do. Since the oldest signs of agriculture are at most 15,000 year old, before that time our ancestors would only have had access seasonally to carb dense foods such as root veg/tubers. That, combined with us not being suited to fibrous food (we can't break down cellulose) point to us getting most of our energy from natural fats, and this is supported by what is known of modern hunter-gatherers and palaeolithic diets.

We also know that the risk of diabetes and cancer increase with surplus carbohydrate consumption.

However, carbohydrate is important for making compounds for instance, so much so that if there is a deficit the body will attempt to make up for any scarcity by using other foods (ketogenic diet).

Conversely, too much carbohydrate is toxic, so the body will convert it to fat-de novo lipogenesis (which meal after meal, day after day, year after year results in chronic ill-health).

The body naturally has an ideal carbohydrate intake that is somewhere between the two. Jaminet and Jaminet 2012 assert that that is between 120g and 160g per day for most people.

Therefore. for decades we've been advised to eat twice as much carbohydrate (RDA) as we need to facilitate a flawed, low-fat theory, during which time over 70% of the UK are now overweight, one in two people will get cancer, the incidence of heart disease has increased (though treatment means more people are surviving), and diabetes is going through the roof.

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