To Supplement Or Not To Supplement?

Today I received a call from my doctor’s office. I went for my physical last week (have you had yours this year?!) and it turns out my vitamin B-12 is low! This is the first time it’s ever been low!

vitamins.jpg (Source)

But the more I thought about it the more it makes sense. One of my goals for 2010 was to decrease the amount of fake meats I eat because they’re still a processed food and I’m trying not to rely solely on soy for my protein (as we all know, too much of anything isn’t good for us). Unfortunately, most fake meats are fortified up the yingyang including a whackload of vitamin B-12 so it makes sense that it’s a little on the low side.

So this begs the question. Do I supplement?

I’m not a person to take supplemental vitamins and minerals with the exception of calcium (as a woman, vegetarian with limited dairy intake and as an athlete, I just have to). I do my best to get my vitamins and minerals through a varied diet. I try not to eat the same thing all the time for that very reason. However, I also can’t deny the fact that B-12 is incredibly important (see here for a great article) and I also can’t deny the fact that B-12 is mostly naturally found in animal products. If it is my choice to live my life the way I do, I can’t afford to ignore it’s importance in my diet.

vitamin-b12-source-picture.jpg (Source)

Vitamin B-12 is found in natural foods such as tempeh, sea vegetables and some nutritional yeasts. However, some research suggests that this form of B-12 is actually inactive in the human body and may actually block the the effects of active B-12 in the body so most doctors err on the side of caution for non-meat eaters and suggest supplementation.

So do I go back to eating my fortified fake meat? Up my dairy content? Drink loads of fortified soy milk and/or fortified cereal (which could arguably also be seen as a processed food)? What about vitamin shakes? Or do I just take a supplement?

Of course, I’m not doing anything until I go see my doctor on Tuesday. It could turn out to be nothing!

To be continued…

Do you take vitamin or mineral supplements? Why or why not?

P.S. Check it out! I’m featured this month on Evolving Wellness!



  • At 2010.12.02 08:11, Mark Smith said:

    Multi-vitamin and fish oil for me. I also take other supplements like Creatine and an EAA complex. The multi for me is just to make sure I get everything I need as my diet is far from perfect. Fish oil has plenty of benefits.

    • At 2010.12.02 08:17, Anne said:

      Hey! One thing that you didn’t mention is eggs… according to that image, you could get at least some B12 from them… Like dairy, I try to keep my consumption of eggs to a minimum, but it may be a good, wholesome alternative (especially since there are so many nutrients in eggs).

      If you are mostly trying to eat vegan, then maybe you should go to a health food store and ask about natural supplements that are absorbed properly. A naturopath could certainly help you out on this one!

      • At 2010.12.03 11:49, Therese said:

        Yeah, I’m not a huge egg fan either. I only really like my eggs in three forms: 1. Omelette form, 2. Bread form, and 3. Pastry form.

        But I would be willing to at least make sure I had a whole egg once a week if it’ll help.

      • At 2010.12.02 08:43, Erikka said:

        I take a prenatal vitamin because I’m nursing so I’m sharing my vitamins with someone else. lol I really should be taking a cal mag too.. I don’t drink milk at all. I barely eat dairy products really.
        As for B-12… Isn’t that a vitamen that is best injected if you need to supplement? I could be wrong on that but I thought it was B-12.

        • At 2010.12.03 11:50, Therese said:

          You don’t necessarily need a shot for B-12, I think it depends on the deficiency level though. And I ain’t gettin’ a shot! It’s not covered!

        • At 2010.12.02 09:44, Hayley said:

          I recommend trying Vitamin Code raw whole food vitamins. They have B12, and they also have a regular multi, D3, etc. The multi has all the B12 you need, plus lots of other essential nutrients. That is the one I take. Anyway, I really think these are the best supplements because the nutrients come from real food, which makes them easier to absorb. For the record, I do not work for the company and I’m not a nutrition professional (yet!), just sharing something that has worked well for me :)

          • At 2010.12.03 11:50, Therese said:

            I’ve never heard of that brand! I’ll have to see if it’s available in Canada! Thanks for sharing!

          • At 2010.12.02 10:25, Amanda said:

            Would you believe that I have never in my entire life had a physical? (Hangs head in shame …)

            I do take a few supplements, though. A multivitamin, calcium and iron (but only because I’m anemic right now – it’s not a normal part of my routine). I used to take a ton more but I’ve cut it down because I’m not entirely sure that what I was taking was necessary.

            • At 2010.12.02 12:31, Robyn @ Frugal 'n' Fit! said:

              I take a prenatal vitamin and fish oil (so I’m not really a vegetarian – gasp!!! But it’s so that my baby is a smarty pants, so I make the exception lol).

              A couple of years ago my doctor noted my B12 was low so recommended a certain brand of vitamin supplement only available at a natural health foods store. Hopefully your doctor will give you a few different suggestions for upping your B12 and you can choose the best that suits you.

              It is tough being a vegan/vegetarian, eh? You are just trying to do right by the world and your body, but getting all the vitamins is tough. Good for you for taking care of yourself, though!

              • At 2010.12.02 15:47, Haley said:

                I do supplement, mostly just because I can’t find the room in my diet for some things (without going way over my daily caloric intake). I try to keep up with my nutrients, my fiber, my protein… ya know?

                I only have a few supplements, though:
                1) iron – because I got to be borderline anemic and it was doctor’s orders if I wanted to stay a pescatarian
                2) B complex – because it honestly gives me more energy
                3) 1/2 a multi in the morning – because who REALLY needs 4000% DV of vitamin C, anyway?!
                4) protein – because I just don’t get enough of it and don’t want to eat meat.

                Good luck on finding your perfect balance!

                • At 2010.12.03 11:53, Therese said:

                  It’s funny because the last time I went in for my physical I told my doctor that I felt tired a lot and he mentioned that it “could” be vitamin B related but didn’t bother to do anything about it. Now I’m thinking that it may relate, especially if I have a B-12 deficiency (although I didn’t at that last physical). Hmm…

                • At 2010.12.06 21:23, Simply Life said:

                  Great topic/question – I always wonder if I’m getting enough of all the nutrients I need so I usually take a multivitamin for main things like Vitamin D, Calcium and Iorn

                  • At 2010.12.12 01:27, vegantickles said:

                    I wouldn’t worry about taking a b12 supplement. it’s so important and you don’t really get enough from fortified food.

                    • At 2010.12.16 13:05, Lynne said:

                      I take a B-12 supplement from time to time. It seems to help with my S.A.D during the winter months. I’m not a nutritional expert by any means but I would say it wouldn’t hurt to supplement if it turns out you need it. As you point out it would seem vitamin B-12 can only be readily absorbed from an animal protein so if you’re not eating much of that then you need it from somewhere. This is why my attempts at vegitarianism don’t pan out…..the spirit is willing but the body seems to desperately need nutrients from animal protein!

                      • At 2013.11.23 13:25, orthomol immun junior C liquid vitamins said:

                        best multivitamin for women Certainly. It was and with me. We can communicate on this theme.

                        • At 2014.01.04 07:32, vitamin sale orthomol said:

                          I am sorry, that I interrupt you, but it is necessary for me little bit more information. Omnival chewable prenatal vitamins

                          • At 2014.02.01 14:40, Cheap Chanel boots said:

                            I loved as much as you will receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come more formerly again as exactly the same nearly a lot often inside case you shield this increase.

                            • At 2014.08.11 04:35, WWW.SUBLIMINALPOP.COM said:

                              Vitamin for skin i apologise, but, in my opinion, you are not right i am assured i can defend the position, write to me in PM, we will discuss

                              • At 2014.08.19 04:43, said:

                                mystical-journeys giuseppe zanotti scarpe.VINCENTI E PIAZZATI – Bella la finalina di consolazione per il terzo
                                posto con los angeles vittoria di Skies Sports activity 24 che ha battuto for
                                every 4-2 una versione rimaneggiata di Italia 7 Precious metal.

                                Poteva entrare nella fuga in cui c’eranoCataldo and Marcato, Nocentini e
                                Ulissi. Perch? ? se fai l TMGiuseppe Zanotti e hai una disabilit?

                                , quello ti chiedono: fai los angeles Giuseppe Zanotti con disabilit?
                                .mystical-journeys scarpe italia

                                ? ?Questa scarpe no esiste? ? , tuona il Dalai Lama.
                                Created in Italy in InghilterraE sarebbe il primo italiano a fare
                                ingresso nella Leading league da proprietario di un team.
                                Il Comune ha deciso di puntare alla sua valorizzazione appear polo culturale e ha affidato l’organizzazione degli eventi all’scarpe “Whitelabs” che, sotto la direzione artistica di Nicola Davide Angerame, proporr
                                un ricco calendario di eventi.più a buon mercato outlet giuseppe zanotti

                                Ma il scarpe fa parte di questo Paese, mi auguro che troveremo il nuovo Del Piero, il nuovo Totti.

                                Un documento e forse un movimento Veltroni dROMA – Los angeles ?
                                svolta? info a mezzanotte meno dieci dell’ altro ieri, quando Walter Veltroni prende los angeles parola nella riunione del coordinamento del Pd e dice:
                                ? Sono d’ accordo con Massimo D’ Alema? . Ma ci sono anche modelli che sfiorano le 200.
                       recently posted.. Profile

                                • At 2014.08.22 06:45, how to stop back pain said:

                                  Just wish to say your article is as astounding.
                                  The clarity in your post is just great and i can assume
                                  you are an expert on this subject. Fine with your permission let me to grab your
                                  feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post.
                                  Thanks a million and please keep up the gratifying work.
                                  how to stop back pain recently to stop back painMy Profile

                                  • At 2014.08.28 00:51, foot pain said:

                                    Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a collection of volunteers and starting a new initiative
                                    in a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us valuable information to
                                    work on. You have done a wonderful job!
                                    foot pain recently posted..foot painMy Profile

                                    • At 2014.09.03 05:10, product wiki said:

                                      I believe that is one of the most important information for me.
                                      And i amm satisfied reading your article. Howeverr should commentary on few normal issues, Thee website taste is great, the articles is really great : D.
                                      Excellent process, cheers
                                      product wiki recently posted..product wikiMy Profile

                                      • At 2014.09.16 00:24, offshore company registration said:

                                        Hello to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this web page,
                                        and your views are pleasant in support of new users.
                                        offshore company registration recently posted..offshore company registrationMy Profile

                                        • At 2014.09.21 01:53, dich vu ban ve may bay said:

                                          You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this topic to be really something that I think I would never
                                          understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for me.
                                          I’m looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!
                                          dich vu ban ve may bay recently posted..dich vu ban ve may bayMy Profile

                                          • At 2014.09.21 09:50, classon said:

                                            Really glad I found this great information, thanks

                                            • At 2014.09.25 04:40, Exclusive Hip Hop Beats said:

                                              Thanks for some other excellent article. The place else could anybody get that kind of info in such a perfect means
                                              of writing? I’ve a presentation next week,
                                              and I am at the search for such info.
                                              Exclusive Hip Hop Beats recently posted..Exclusive Hip Hop BeatsMy Profile

                                              • At 2014.12.16 10:37, said:

                                                It’s impressive that you are getting ideas from this paragraph as well as
                                                from our discussion made at this place.
                                       recently posted.. Profile

                                                • At 2015.05.19 17:00, Eileen said:

                                                  Right here is the perfect website for everyone who hopes
                                                  to understand this topic. You realize a whole lot its almost
                                                  hard to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa).
                                                  You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic that’s
                                                  been discussed for ages. Wonderful stuff, just wonderful!
                                                  Eileen recently posted..EileenMy Profile

                                                  • At 2016.01.30 01:54, Read Home said:

                                                    I’m just incredibly amazed with the way with words-at all since neatly like with the dwelling in your blog. Is this the paid for issue and also does one change them oneself? No matter what continue the nice top quality publishing, it really is extraordinary to seem a fantastic website like this one nowadays. I’m just incredibly amazed with the way with words-at all since neatly like with the dwelling in your blog. Is this the paid for issue and also does one change them oneself? No matter what continue the nice top quality publishing, it really is extraordinary to seem a fantastic website like this one nowadays.

                                                    (Required, will not be published)

                                                    CommentLuv badge