Thursday, March 1

No vitamin B12 in Vegemite!

I have to retract a statement that I made previously, that Vegemite is a great source of vitamin B12. Today I made the shocking discovery that Vegemite contains NO vitamin B12. I feel I have been lied to my entire life. I've always heard it was full of B12 but no, apparently not. According to the official website, only My First Vegemite has vitamin B12 (and it also has iron), but even then it's not much of the daily reccommended intake. Also, it doesn't have the full flavour of proper vegemite, but it has half the salt. I went looking for it at the supermarket anyway and neither Woolworths nor Coles stocked it!

As a vegetarian I ate lots of Vegemite to make sure that I was getting enough B12, especially since I'm not a big egg eater, and as a vegan I have been eating quite a bit of the stuff to compensate for not eating animal products such as eggs and dairy.

So what are some good vegetarian, and most importantly vegan, sources of vitamin B12? After going through some of my more thourough vegetarian and vegan cookbooks, and the internet, I have comprised the following list:

Vegan - Marmite, seaweeds, alfalfa sprouts, fortified breakfast cereals, fortified soy milk
Non-vegan vegetarian - Dairy and eggs

Vitamin B12 is very important for the body so it is important that as a vegan I make sure I am getting enough of it. I am currently consuming fortified cereal and fortified soy milk though I wonder if this will be enough. I do have regular blood tests to keep track of a medical condition and have always had results showing very high vitamin B12. I will keep you posted on whether this changes. I am really hoping to be able to prove that vegans don't need supplements!

Happy eating! :)

2 comments:

  1. it does have b12 ?

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  2. Hmm.. I did reply to this comment back when it was left but it seems to have disappeared...

    As discussed in the post, Vegemite does not contain vitamin B12. It does contain other 'B' vitamins but not B12. The product called 'My First Vegemite' did contain vitamin B12 though it has since been discontinued.

    I do not take any supplements and my B12 levels have always been great. I wouldn't say I particularly go out of my way to eat foods high in vitamin B12, though the soy milk I buy (Sanitarium So Good Regular) has a high fortification of B12. I also eat a lot of cereal, most of which is B12 fortified.

    Having now been vegan for 18 months I can honestly say that I have never had any difficulty in obtaining all essential vitamins and minerals. I never take supplements and all blood tests have always shown fantastic levels for all vitamins and minerals.

    I think that, like most people, I thought that being vegan would be really hard but I have found that is absolutely not the case!

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