Sunday, May 2, 2010

vegetarianism/veganism 2- vit B12

*edited to add: I had a brain malfunction and accidentally drew the giveaway winner last Friday instead of this coming Friday. No wonder people kept entering. Sorry all, giveaway now closed.

First of all, congrats and happy spiralizing to giveaway winner Kim from a boy, a girl, & a kitty!

On Saturday, I worked on a final exam for my pediatric nutrition class that was basically 5 case studies (and 9 pages of writing…I am wordy). Pretty intense, but hopefully I did ok.

I took a break for lunch with two blogger friends, Lauren and Iga at Local Harvest Cafe. I’m a big fan, and everything I’ve ever eaten there has been delicious.


I had the Morganford Mediterranean, which is lentil dip, feta cheese, onion, roasted red peppers, cucumbers, kalamata olives, field greens, and balsamic dressing on focaccia.

Lauren is a new blogger and also ran the Go St. Louis half marathon a couple of weeks ago!


The Farmers’ Market:  seasonal produce, pickled beets, local goat cheese on field greens with sherry vinaigrette. If you’re ever in St. Louis, you have to eat lunch at Local Harvest!


As promised, more info relating to vegetarianism & veganism styles of eating [read part I here if you missed it].

:: Vitamin B12 ::

What is it?

  • water soluble vitamin that contains cobalt
  • active forms are methylcobalamin & 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin

What does it do for me?

  • required for proper red blood cell formation, neurological function, and DNA synthesis

Where do I get it?

  • naturally found in animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and milk products
  • lacto-ovo vegetarians (consume dairy and eggs) can get B12 from diary foods, eggs, fortified foods and supplements
  • vegans: B12 must be obtained from fortified foods like soy and rice milk beverages, some breakfast cereals, meat analogs, nutritional yeast fortified w/ B12 or B12 supplements
  • According to the ADA, fermented soy products are not a reliable source of active B12

How much do I need in a day?

  • Recommended dietary allowances for those > 14 years old are 2.4 mcg for males and females, 2.6 mcg for pregnant females, & 2.8 mcg in lactation

What happens if I don’t get enough?

  • Most people meet the RDA for Vitamin B12.
  • Symptoms of deficiency may include megaloblastic anemia, fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, and weight loss, and neurological dysfunction (note that these symptoms are common in many disorders…their presence doesn’t necessarily indicate a deficiency).

*sources: ADA position paper on vegetarianism; NIH factsheet on B12

Soy + alternative protein sources are going to get their own post because it’s kinda a big deal. I’m curious about what recommendations you have heard concerning soy, though…

I’m finishing the last rotation of my dietetic internship (geriatrics) before heading into a 3 week staff relief in GI/cardiovascular at Children’s Hospital. Super excited! Now that classes are over, I finally have a chance to breathe a little.

What did you do this weekend?