Vitamin B12 in the Vegan Diet
About 26% of vegetarians and 52% of vegans (people who avoid dairy and eggs in addition to meat) are deficient in vitamin B12, according to a study from Saarland University Hospital in Germany. Vitamin B12 helps maintain healthy nerves and red blood cells. Skimp on this vitamin regularly and you’ll put yourself at risk for nerve damage, memory problems and heart disease.
The main source of vitamin B12 in most diets is red meat, organ meats, eggs and milk. Small quantities are found in soybeans, green beans, beets, carrots and peas. Anyone on a strict vegan diet may have to include a vitamin supplement that includes vitamin B12 to keep their B12 levels up.