With all the controversy surrounding the nutritional value of a vegan diet, labeling some downside or another by fellow vegans as a “myth” propagated by opponents of veganism has become commonplace. And although I often agree–myths about the drawbacks of veganism abound, it’s minimally unwise, if not dangerous to strike down as a myth a deficit that has been discovered with staggering scientific consistency: B-12 deficiency.
I, for one, wish it were a myth. After scrutinizing the scientific literature, however, I am sad to say: it doesn’t seem to be. We vegans are likely to have significantly lower intake of vitamin B-12– a risk already noted by the vegan society here: http://www.vegansociety.com/lifestyle/nutrition/b12.aspx, and again by the vegetarian resource group here: http://www.vrg.org/nutrition/b12.php.
The Office of Dietary Supplements at the NIH (National Institutes of Health) goes a step further and provides guidelines for recommended daily intake, as well as a table illustrating what any vegan hates to see: B-12 is found in animal products.
Be wise-these sources are very explicit about the importance of sufficient B-12 intake. Get it from supplements to secure a wholesome diet.