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!
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 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!