I have done a search but nothing that I could see that addresses my question exactly shows up relatively early in the results. I want to go Superhero but I have two kids, 6 and 21 months and while at Whole Foods, one of the workers there scared me by telling me that the only real source of B12 comes from meat and that the supplements are no good AND that his good friend became Vegan and then went crazy and committed suicide due to low B12.
I know what it says in the book regarding B12, but I assume this applies to adults only. Can you help put what the Whole Foods guy said to rest and also say something about if what is in the book applies to children too? It's scaring me. I really want to move towards Superhero status.
It is scary trying to be sure that your kids are getting the nutrients they need - even kids who aren't vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free or whatever the case may be! I suggest you do a lot of research on it - that's really the only thing that makes me feel better. What I decided for my own kids was that the amount of B12 needed every day is very small; and that a lot of the products they typically have in a day are fortified with B12 (cereals, soy and other milks, the nutritional yeast I buy), AND they take multivitamins. For me, while I know that the amount they absorb from supplements may not be super high, I feel like they are getting enough from various sources that it works for them.
And, the Whole Foods guy was wrong anyway - the only REAL source of vitamin B12 is actually bacteria :)
I am really upset that a Whole Foods employee would give you that kind of advice. The CEO of Whole Foods is actually basically a vegan (he eats eggs from his own hens), and Whole Foods has launched the huge Health Starts Here program based off of the Engine 2 Diet by the son of one of the doctors who wrote the China Study. Health Starts Here is a no oil, completely vegan diet. So even though that employee scared you with his opinion wearing the Whole Foods apron - Whole Foods as a company believes that veganism is a healthy way to live.
It's true that there are many different factors that go into vitamins. My sister eats chicken, fish, and dairy in her diet and has a B12 deficiency! She does not absorb B12 through the vitamin form and has to inject herself with a B12 shot once a month. On the contrary, my friend has been vegan for 5 years. She started experiencing fatigue from her busy schedule at school and went to a new doctor who was convinced she was lacking B12 along with several other vitamins. They tested her only to find that her B12 levels was better than the average person - and she doesn't even take vitamins but instead gets b12 through supplemented vegan foods.
My personal understanding of B12 is that it comes from bacteria, not animals. The animals consume the bacteria from eating in from the ground, and we are consuming the vitamins that they have consumed from plants in many cases. Vitamins are tricky business - but a simple test at the doctor's office every couple of years can keep track of your vitamin levels as well as your kids. I would suggest buying the highest quality of vitamins available to you. I purchase The raw Code vitamins, which come from food. I also drink and eat tons of vegetarian foods supplemented with B12. Also, remember all of the people who have been vegan for decades and are still shining examples of health. A vegan diet can be one of the healthiest diets in the world. Focus on eating whole foods more than processed foods and get a check-up every once in a while, and I bet you'll do great :)
Also, there are bits of b12 in dairy and eggs. Even though I believe vegan diets are healthier and usually more humane than vegetarian diets, if you are really worried - consider allowing humane eggs (the farmer's market often has eggs from truly free roaming hens) and dairy into your kids' diets. Many families in India for example have been vegetarian for hundreds of generations - which is proof right there that meat is not a necessary part of the human diet :)
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