B12 levels

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  • I'm feeling a little concerned about this. My mam told me that she was tested ages ago and it came out as 251. Recently someone told her that anything under 250 would requite treatment (injections). In the US the lower limit is 400 and in Japan it is even higher at 500-600. We have the highest rate of dementia in the UK, probably due to low B12!

    I decided to call my doctors as I had a test a few months back. Mine is 271.... so, also quite low. I've bought some pills but I'm not sure if they're as effective as injections (not that I fancy getting those).

    Does anyone know anything about this?

  • Vitamin b is absorbed and lost very slowly, o pills will work but you would need to take them for a long time for your levels to build up. This is why they give you injections if you get too low. See what your doctor says, but tablets can't hurt in the meantime.

  • B12 is a tough one for vegans so i take multi-vitamins/minerals that contain it though not all year round...just in the winter or if i`m tired or a bit run down. Soya milk and margarine is fortified with it too...just read the side of my milk carton and it says that a 100ml serving contains 15% of your RDA. It was thought to be completely absent in the plant kingdom but have read a few articles recently that say it can be found in mushrooms?

    I`ve been vegan for about 18 years now and only had my B12 levels tested for the first time last year and they were totally fine, so i must be doing something right :)

  • Actually, I got my numbers wrong, sorry. My mam was 151 and the lower limit is 150. I'm still low compared to the normal range of other countries though.

    Can you get B12 from Marmite?

  • I'm surprised to see that information on the NHS website! I used to eat a lot of marmite when I was vegan - I knew I'd read it somewhere! Most websites I've looked at recently state that you can only get B12 from animal products - meat, eggs and dairy. Bollocks! I'm off to get some marmite on toast... :)

  • All the british levels seem to be really low compared to the rest of the world. Ferritin is acceptable at 24 here, the rest of the world are worried if it is below 60. You should not drink tea or coffee while eating iron rich food or taking vitamins as it depletes the absorbtion by 60%, drink water or fruit juice 30 mins either side of a meal. But have a cup of coffee with your marmite on toast as that actually helps you absorb the b12, as it ups your stomach acid.

  • i have had fibromyalgia for over 20 years chronic fatigue and depression taken every depression tablet there is , i take gabapentin tramadol and now sertaline . a friend on fb wrote about b12 pa i had a good read and all the symtoms are the same a fibro cf and depression . so i went to the docs going off last years blood test i was 278 or so . i got him to give me loading doses for evey other day for two week , up to the 4th injection i felt shit but then on the 5th one it started getting better i felt great after the last one but he would not carry on till no improvement as to bn guidelines . so its another 2 months now . i am going to self inject soon . there is a fb page b12 pernicious anemia i am on there . you will learn a lot , you can only get b12 from meat. i am taking subs under the tongue till i start injections . if only the uk can wake up to this peoples lives will be a lot better good luck ...sean

  • There are vegetarian and vegan multivits with B12 in, and food sources such as Marmite with B12, so I am certain you do not need to eat meat or indeed any animal products.

  • Isn't it in wheaty products? like marmite? breakfast cereals? I thought even lager? Hubby increased his vit B intake during the summer to combat horse fly bites, worked wonders. But he ate pork too which is meant to be good.

  • I just take a multivitamin but I dunno if the B12 in there is v effective. Also lots of foods are fortified with B12.

    I believe the injections are the best way, but surely upping consumption of certain foods (I believe like red meat but I'm sure there are others) would work? o.O

    Or perhaps a more concentrated supplement. I guess it depends how bioavailable it is through the GI tract.

  • I love marmite and you can add it to soups and stew - chilli etc

    Not sure about my b levels but I did hear that lack of the B vits is one reason heavy drinkers have poor memory or blood flow around the brain.

  • The b12 in animals is produced in the gut by bacteria, we also produce it but in our intestines but it is poorly absorbed and vegans have a faster passage due to high fiber content so even less time to absorb? . also different amounts of different bacteria are found in each individual, so some people might have more of the b12 bacteria than others. there is more evidence about intensive farming were chemical ferts(salts) are used which kill of b12 producing bacteria and also the washing of veg being a problem. when you eat your feeding a whole load of different bacteria and a lot of research is going into that, theres been a few programs on it lately, as what they produce ultimately gets into your system. I suspect also that cows,sheep (herbivores) etc dont have b12 problems because they have large digestive tracts due to the nature of there food, so they have the time to absorb the b12 from when the food enters and leaves.

    As for needing animal products to get b12, well in america 30% of the whole population(meat eaters included) are considered to have low b12 levels (China study)

    "A study in the 1950's verified that vegans with pernicious anaemia could be returned to normality by isolating the B12 analogues from their faeces and feeding them back orally, where it could be combined with intrinsic factor. This proved that the forms produced in the intestines contain active B12 analogues, but that insufficient is absorbed passively to prevent deficiency"(http://www.howweheal.com/vitaminb12.htm) haha I'd rather the injections!!!