I've recently decided on two very important changes to my life. I've been vegetarian for the past while (I don't keep track of how long) and I have decided, after trying it out and giving it some thought, to go vegan. Secondly, I've decided to cook more of my own food than I currently do. That way, I can keep a grip on what goes into my food better. I currently live at home with my parents. I'm 18 years old and studying Computer Science at University. Since I'll be cooking a lot more of my own food from now on, this seems like a good community to keep an eye on, though most of the stuff being made is a little over my head. I'll have to try something a bit more ambitous than bread or spaghetti bolognese one of these days :P. Eimear linked me to an article here and I read through the recent posts. I'll probably be asking a good number of questions, so please be patient with me ^^.
I'm told that Vitamin B12 is a problem for vegans, so I did a little research and what I'm finding is both interesting and slightly frustrating. One interesting point is that research suggests bacteria in the human intestinal tract do produce enough Vitamin B12 to completely avoid any form of deficiency (bar malabsorption), but they produce it at the point in the intestinal tract after the point at which we absorb it and so it just passes right out. That reminds me of how rabbits eat their own poo, actually. That's likely one of the reasons they do it. Though I don't think any of us are about ready to eat our own poops :P.
This site seems to think that Kellogg's All Bran contains 7.2 micrograms of B12 per 30 gram serving (24 micrograms per 100 grams), which would be more than enough if they weren't just making that up out of thin air. Kellogg's own website reports the figure at 0.85 micrograms per 100 grams. I really don't know where they're getting their information from. They say Corn Flakes contain 9.5 micrograms while the packet and their own website put the figure at 0.85.
I'm left at a loss for information that you guys probably have.
Normally, I have a bowl of cornflakes with soya milk in the morning and mabe a mug of soya milk cocoa later in the day. That's about 1.85 micrograms and that's about all I get every day. I'm told I should be getting 3 micrograms, at least 2.4. B12 supplements are made by bacterial culturing in the same way insulin is made and the body can store a certain amount of B12 in the liver, which is why deficiency symptoms might not come about for years. I'm slightly worried about not getting enough of it, and I'm a little worried about a friend of mine not getting enough, too, though they seem alright at the moment. It's the long term problems I'm worried about. Would any of you suggest me using a daily low dose supplement or is there another option that any of you have found. I'm not really fond of the idea of taking supplements and would prefer simply to alter my diet a little if possible. Would it be possible to get 5 micrograms of B12 per day by eating more fortified foods without unbalancing my diet or having to rely heavilly on certain products?