HEALTH : popping pills | the only supplement i take

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let’s once and for all reply to the super common question – which supplements do you take ?

the only pill i’m hooked on is the B12 pill.
all vegans, and most vegetarians and people over the age of 50, should take B12.

there are so much information and misinformation online on the subject of supplements in general, and B12 in particular. you should do your own research guys, don’t just take my word for it ! because even though i’m a health nerd biologist who loves to read up on this stuff, i’m still just a blogger. and bloggers say all sorts of crazy stuff !

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but if you still want to know what conclusion i’ve come to regarding supplements – here goes :
if we summarise all the collected studies made on the subject ( that i know of anyway ), B12 is crucial to take as a supplement for vegans to remain healthy. if you get B12 deficient, it messes up your brain ( among other things ) so let’s not take any chances here.

all the other nutrients we can get though our diet. that is, of course, if our diet is varied and nutrient-packed enough. if you’re ever uncertain or feel like something’s wrong in that body of yours – go to a doctor. listen to your body !

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now if you’re a new vegan and you haven’t been taking your B12 – don’t worry ! the body is quite good at going strong with the B12 we already have in our bodies, so it takes a long time to get deficient. just go get some now, and you’ll be fine. or get tested if you’re worried.

in the pics below you see the pills i take. they’re from swedish company helhetshälsa* and you can get them from any of these shops. i like them since most of their products are certified vegan ( even the capsules ), and they’re extremely careful with what goes in to their products to keep them as clean and simple as possible. they’re also eco-friendly and work with compounds with as high bio-availability as possible. i used to just buy the generic over-the-counter B12 at the pharmacy, without knowing too much about it, so it feels great to have found a brand that i trust.

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i take 1000 µg per day, which is on the higher end of the recommended span ( some say 250 µg, some say 500 µg, some say 1000 µg per day ). i reckon that i rather be taking a little more than i need, than a little less than i need. just to count in that it usually takes us a while to get new pills when we’re out, and we might once in a while forget to bring them with us when we travel etc. so i’d rather be safe than sorry.

another nutrient i know i should take once in a while is vitamin D. the swedish winters are so incredibly dark that it’s extremely difficulty to get enough sun exposure up there in the north. although i prefer trying to get as much sun as possible, and when you’re as pale as i am, it doesn’t take many minutes to refill that vitamin D stock.
that being said, vegan or not, if you’re not getting enough sun – take a vitamin D pill.

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so now you know what i think. since going vegan 8 years ago, i’ve tested my blood levels a few times. last time about 2 years ago. i’ve never had any deficiencies, quite the opposite in fact, so i feel confident in my diet.
let me know if you’re worried about anything or having any thoughts on the subject of deficiencies – and i’ll write another post about the nutrients vegans vs non-vegans risk getting deficient in.

take care of that body – and the best way to do just that is by fruit and veg, people !

love // jenny

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p.s. make sure to never miss a post – follow me on bloglovin’ !

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11 Comments

  1. Cont… always evolving.
    I don’t like taking pills.
    I have however been very low in B12.
    So I do have B12 injections that last for a year or so…
    Vitamin D pills, my ‘gut’ does not absorb so I take as much sun and light as I can.

  2. hej jenny!
    vill bara tacka för en så otroligt inspirerande och bra blogg och youtube kanal!
    Ser fram emot att testa mer av dina recept detta året! Kram!!

  3. Hi Jenny,
    Marina mentioned not absorbing D; it appears B12 absorption is a problem too for some, according to stuff I’ve read online.
    Read b12 in sublingual form and (even better) injections are best.
    I get my b12 in a few ways; fortified cereals, nutritional yeast, and fortified soymilk.
    I also take a weekly pill (Solgar brand) and no deficiencies, thankfully.
    Always interested in what vegans have to say about supplements they’re taking.

  4. Hi! I like this post. Thanks for it! I’ve been taking a vegan-geared multi-vitamin for teens for a while as I’m a teenager (with iron and B-12). Have you read anything about teenagers diets? The research is so limited unfortunately and my doctor isn’t super knowledgable about vegan diets. Thanks!

  5. Teresa… Yes that is so true… My ‘gut’ has malabsorption issues.. It does not absorb either VitD OR B12.. That’s why i have the injection for B12. I have just had one dose for three consecutive weeks and then will have three more over the next nine months. This dosage will then last me for two years till my next blood test.
    This is very much recommended for long term plant based eaters.
    There is however not injection for VitD.
    It is also a known fact that the presence of high Folic Acid can disguise a low level of B12.

  6. Thanks for mentioning it, Marina. I’m learning more and more every day about supplements, and nutrition.

  7. I’ve always had problems with my joints (I’m still 21 btw) but my doctor scared me that since I don’t eat fish I can’t get the oils needed for healthy joints. Since I’m very athletic, I keep injuring my joints and I don’t know how to protect them and strengthen them through my diet. I have been taking plant based glucosamine for years (and before that, fish-derived pills) but with no visible results. If you could give any advice on that, it’d be greatly appreciated.
    P.s. Love your blog :)

  8. Myrto: I’ve read some studies that Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) can be helpful for joint problems. Fish oil is not necessary, but if you would like to get some long-chained omega-3, algal oil could be an alternative :)

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