Vitamin B12

This is a very important vitamin – made by bacteria in the soil – essential for the development of blood cells and for nerve function. A lack of it can lead to collapse of the nervous system and eventually death. The liver has stores of vitamin B12 for up to three years. Vegetarians get sufficient B12 from free-range eggs and dairy products. Vegans are amply supplied by the use of B12-fortified foods such as soya milk, mock soya meats (TVP), many breakfast cereals, margarines and yeast extracts such as Marmite, Vecon and Vegemite. It is now thought that vitamin B12 from fortified foods is better absorbed by the body than the vitamin B12 from meat, poultry and fish (106).