One of my coaching clients recently asked about the common misconception that only vegans are susceptible to a deficiency in vitamins like B12 and D. Right after that session, no fewer than three friends asked me the same question! It must be in the air, so I'll share it with you too.
The truth is that with depleted soils and indoor lifestyles, pretty much everyone needs to supplement with these two essential vitamins.
According to Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina, vegan dietitians and co-authors of several excellent books including their latest, Becoming Vegan, in addition to other essential functions, vitamin B12 is in charge of maturing blood cells properly, giving us energy, and building the myelin sheath around the nerves.
Our family takes this B12.**
For another helpful breakdown of B12, check out this video from Dr Greger.
Vegan Vitamin D
Vitamin D or "the sunshine vitamin" serves many important functions like aiding the absorption of calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphate, and zinc.
As its nickname implies, the most natural way to get vitamin D is to expose your skin to sunlight. Since these days many of us don’t spend enough time outdoors to meet our requirements, we turn to supplements.
You can easily check your vitamin D with a blood test. The ideal level is 50-70 ng/ml.
Vegan Vitamin D3 is a relatively new offering. Until recently, the only vegan vitamin D was vitamin D2, since the source of vitamin D3 was lanolin (an oil in sheep's wool). Thankfully, it is now possible to get a vegan version of vitamin D3, which is better absorbed and utilized by the body. It's sourced from the lichen plant or mushrooms.
Our family uses this vegan vitamin D3.**
While vegans are the most often told to supplement with vitamins B12 and D, I hope you can now see that just about everyone can benefit from these essential vitamins.
By the way, if you don’t know about the online store Vitacost,*** you'll want to. It’s where I get great prices on supplements; shampoo, lotion, soap, etc.; and lots of other things sold at health food stores. If you’ve never shopped at Vitacost, you can get a $5 off coupon through my referral link here.
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