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Tuesday
Oct062009

Take a Vitamin B12 Supplement (No Matter What Diet You're On)

I make a habit of avoiding supplements whenever possible.  In my opinion, paying premium prices for manufactured products seems pointless when we can simply eat fresh, raw fruits and vegetables and get better results.  Even so, I don't make any rules simply for the sake of being stubborn.  There are some nutrients that we simply can’t reliably get naturally from our foods, regardless of our diet.  Vitamin B12 is one such nutrient. 

The importance of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is essential for the normal function of the brain and nervous system and for the formation of blood.  It’s involved in the metabolism of every cell in the body and is especially important for DNA synthesis, which means we need vitamin B12 for our cells to divide and grow. 

Do you need to supplement?

Vitamin B12 can’t be made by plants or animals.  The only organisms that possess the right enzymes to produce B12 are bacteria.  Humans and other plant-eaters are designed to get B12 from the bacteria present in the dirt on the fruits and vegetables we eat. This worked fine when we foraged for our food outdoors, but now we buy it from a store instead, clean and dirt-free.  The cleanliness factor, coupled with the fact that the process of absorbing B12 is very complex, means that it’s very easy to not get enough Vitamin B12 in our diets. 

Recommendation

For this reason, I strongly recommend using a B12 supplement.  I take one every other day, myself.  Look for one that says “methylcobalamin.”  This is the form of B12 that's biologically-active. In other words, it’s already in the form that your body needs and it doesn’t have to go through the complex absorption process.  Also, make sure the label says “sublingual” on it.  This simply means that it dissolves under the tongue.  This is the best way to administer B12 as it's absorbed right into the blood vessels in the mouth.  Conveniently, B12 supplements aren’t expensive at all, and you should be able to get several months worth for around $10.  

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Real-World Raw Health and Nutrition:
The raw food diet made easy for your busy life!

Mike Dillman has lived a raw-vegan diet since 2004. Because he's experienced the learning curve firsthand, he wants to save you from making the same mistakes yourself. You can visit Mike's blog at Real-World-Raw.com to learn how easy it can be to make a raw-vegan diet fit your busy lifestyle. You can also download his free eBook, "The 7 Biggest Raw Mistakes", where Mike lays out the major missteps beginning raw foodists make that undermine their success and tells you how you can avoid them. To get your free eBook click here.

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