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B12/supplement for teen

(8 Posts)
Gabois Mon 28-Oct-19 20:18:39

My 13 year old daughter has become vegan. I am trying to ensure she has a wide variety of food available at home, but I understand she'll need a supplement, in particular B12. Is there any product out there that is recommended for teens?

I've tried Holland & Barrett but they seem to have either vegan supplements for adults or teen/kid supplements which aren't designed for vegans. The one product that looked promising 'Teen Fizz' effervescent tablets actually states unsuitable for under 18s in the small print!

LeGrandBleu Mon 28-Oct-19 23:38:02

You are right, vit B12 is a must but there several other supplements you should consider. Omega 3 DHA and EPA is often forgotten and the brand DEVA has algae based omega 3. I used to eat more than 800% of ALA with flaxseeds, chia seed -and walnuts, so was quite shocked when blood test showed I was dangerously deficient at 3.8 when there is cognitions decline at 3.5. One should be above 13.

Another is iodine. So plenty of seaweed or iodine drops.
Iron can become an issue especially if the vegan diet skips the VEG part of it and is mainly 50 shades-of- beige and highly processor frankenfood such as vegan burger, vegan cookies and so on.

Vitamin D should also be considered in the winter months. And if not eating lots of seeds and nuts zinc as well.

It is a lot better to take single supplements than multivitamin as the amount on there are insufficient and you don’t want to supplement for minerals and vitamins you are not deficient in.
Malnutrition is rampant in vegan and she must learn how nutrition works so this video is a good starting point . I have several of Brenda Davis’ books and you should have one in the house.

Calcium is also important and Brenda Davis explains which green leaf is a good source as oxalates inhibits absorption in several ( spinach is rich on calcium but useless to humans)
Firm tofu is a good source of calcium.

A well planned vegan diet still needs supplementing in some cases as the way the body has the ability to absorb or transform nutrients varies greatly.
I recommend blood test for the b12, iron, folate, vitD and possibly zinc, and privately done omega 3 index.

Selenium is an issue for vegan but a single Brazil nut a day covers your needs.

GrumpyHoonMain Mon 28-Oct-19 23:43:52

It’s really rare to find vegetarian supplements let alone vegan ones. Suggest you opt for a varied diet instead - she could get an entire day’s allowance of B12 in a couple of teaspoons of marmite, for example, and up to 300 percent of her daily calcium intake through a single block of tofu. Vitamin C and iron through citrus fruit / varied veg. Vitamin D via fortified plant milks.

LeGrandBleu Tue 29-Oct-19 02:05:35

she could get an entire day’s allowance of B12 in a couple of teaspoons of marmite, Marmite isn't naturally rich in B12. It is added to it, so marmite or b12 pill is the same as both are supplements, one you spread the other you swallow.

I was also totally against supplementing until blood tests, especially Omega 3 came back with alarming results. As said I was eating 800% of ALA plant based omega 3, yet ZERO was converted into DHA and EPA for whatever mysterious reason.
So for some, supplementing isn;t necessary for other it is critical, and the only way to know is to have blood tests.
Deva Vegan is the brand I used for plant based omega 3 .
Even Dr. Greger, one of the big names in the Vegan advocacy recommends supplementing watch the video.

In summer you don't need vitamin D. Yes you can get it from enriched milk but again what is the difference, supplementing the milk or supplementing straight away, and the most natural organic no OGM soy milk, have no supplements in it, it is the sugary, sweetened and more industrial one that have added vitamin and minerals.

First steps, is understand vegan nutrition. Borrow books, and make sure your DD understands that the bulk of vegan diet should come from the VEG part of VEGan. Doritos, oreos, pizza, pasta, chips and fries is a crap diet. A lot of ultra=processed vegan food is double crap. Opt for real food. Beans and tofu/tempeh have a big parts, and seeds and nuts as well for minerals and vitamins.
Nutrition in your teenage years will affect lifelong health.

If you can afford it, see a dietician who specialised in plant based diets

RockinHippy Tue 29-Oct-19 09:31:32

Well done for knowing this & making sure your DD does too, as a sufferer of PA, who had to learn this stiff & fight tooth & nail to get my teen daughter treat even though that treatment git her out of a wheelchair & ive. Been involved with the charities raising awareness etc I get fed up of the number of vegans I've met & know who are adamant that they can get everything they need from a vegan diet, whilst complaining of symptoms of deficiency, it dies my head it when it's so easily avoided

Avoid the seaweeds mentioned below until B12 is well topped up, preferably don't eat often as they do not contain B12, but a B12 analogue, that mimics B12 so that the body recognises it as B12, but it isn't true B12 & won't stop a deficiency & can even block absorption of the proper stuff if you eat too much. Some are okay such as chlorella, but not the most common food ones.

Marmite isn't a reliable source for a vegan either, there are no vegan foods that are good enough. You DO need a good supplement as per vegan society advice & as above, a few others such as calcium too.

Injections are always best as you get the full dose whether you digest B12 well or not, which when not taking in large amounts in meat or fish etc, may be needed. You also need to take folate, iron & complete B high strength B Vitamins to get the best out of B12. Otherwise you just wee it out, as it only stays on your system for 48 hours & needs to be active to work.

This is the best one we've tried & was recommended to us by PAS & other B12 charities
A dissolve under the tongue supplement is best as it's a hard vitamin to absorb in the gut.

Comes in other flavours too...

Jarrow Methylcobalamin B12, 1000mcg, 100 Lemon Flavour Vegan Lozenges (1000mcg, 100 Lemon Flavour Vegan Lozenges)

Solgar High Strength Complete B vits contains full doses of the B vits
Including the folate she needs & a full dose of B6, which B12 will also use & deficiency can affect periods badly. Also recommended

Ferroglobin is good gentle on the stomach iron

RockinHippy Tue 29-Oct-19 09:34:32

Make sure she gets plenty of potassium with her B12 supplements too,as it needs that, coconut water is a good thing to wash supplements down with, but even a packet of crisps will help

Gabois Tue 29-Oct-19 14:41:52

Thanks all for your comments, I will share all this with my DD as I think it's important she understands the implications of her (valid) choices, rather than me giving her a supplement. She has never been a huge fruit/veg eater but she is making an effort to try new things (kale has gone down well). Perhaps also a GP appt for blood tests would be a good idea also.

BF888 Sun 29-Dec-19 16:39:27

I use viridian for supplements a lot of them are vegan. This is the one I take

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