My friend Jessy just contacted me and asked me about vitamin B12 for her little boy. Jessy just gave birth to her second son and is now a bit concerned about his Vitamin b12 level. That’s why I want to answer Jessys question here on my blog as I think that there are more vegan moms out there wondering about this.
Here is another blog post where I told you more about my B12 supplementation.
How much B12 does a child need?
0-6 Month 0,4µg
7-12 Month 0,7µg
1-3 years 0,9µg
4-6 years 1,2µg
7-9 years 1,8µg
from 10 years 2,4µg
Pregnant women 2,6µg
breast feeding women 2,8µg
In generell the daily need is lower than 1µg. In most cases the absorption is not 100% because of the digestion. 40%-80% absorption is more likely. That’s why the recommendations are higher to really secure the daily needs. As you get older the absorption gets worse especially if you have gastritis. Young children most often have a better digestion system and the absorption is better. Breast feeding and pregnant woman have a higher need.
As folic acid and vitamin B6 can partly replace B12 the need for vegans are often lower as they eat a lot of folic acid. That’s also the reason why B12 deficiency is more unlikely for vegans.
What’s the reason for a deficiency?
A too little intake of B12 is rarely the reason for a deficiency. In 90% of the cases the reason for b12 deficiency is the malabsorption. Another reason is a bad diet.
High fat diets, coffee, tee, alcohol, acidic food, salt, drugs and medicine can effect the b12 absorption negative.
How does your child gets B12?
If you are still breastfeeding your child gets B12 through your milk. If you are not breastfeeding (anymore) than you should check if the diet supplies your child with B12. Otherwise you can take supplements. I use this B12 but this is for adults.
How do I handle this issue for my daughter?
I still breast feed my daughter so her B12 is covered. I personally supplement B12 to secure I get enough of it. I do check my blood each and every year and during pregnancy my B12 levels decreased. They are still within the normal range, but at the lower level. So I decided to supplement as long as I’m breastfeeding.
What are natural sources of B12?
A lot of plants contains B12, as they uptake it through their routs. It’s made out of bacterias from the soil. This matters only for plants which are grown on humous- or cobalt rich soils. As the soil in generell is not that good anymore this is not a safe source.
Plants like spirulina, nori, chlorella, dulse and wakame contains bacterias who can make B12 themselves. Often this is the inactive form and this is not a safe source either.
To be on the safe side a blood test is a good thing.
Which form of B12 is good?
In generell Methylcobalamin is the best as it doesn’t need to be converted.
An overdose is very unusual as the uptake is limited and the overdose will be extracted. Doses over 10000 microgram can show some allergic.
B12 should be stored dark if it isn’t supplied in a darker bottle already.
These were some more information regarding B12 and I hope, Jessy, and you too got some more knowledge. If you have any more questions do not hesitate to contact me.
This is just my knowledge I want to share here with you. I’m not a doctor and haven’t studied this topic. What you do with this information is up to you.
See you soon. Let’s rock.