The only reliable vegan sources of B12 are foods fortified with B12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B12 supplements. Vitamin B12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms.
Most vegans consume enough B12 to avoid anaemia and nervous system damage, but many do not get enough to minimise potential risk of heart disease or pregnancy complications.
To get the full benefit of a vegan diet, vegans should do one of the following:
- eat fortified foods two or three times a day to get at least three micrograms (mcg or mg) of B12 a day or
- take one B12 supplement daily providing at least 10 micrograms or
- take a weekly B12 supplement providing at least 2000 micrograms.