Supplements: B12 and D

AYCE answersCategory: Mental healthSupplements: B12 and D
Jeremy asked 2 years ago
(Last Updated On: January 29, 2019)

Can you talk more about supplements, especially what to look for and what to avoid when shopping for B12 and vitamin D? In case it matters, I’m a vegegarian who eats salmon about once a week.

After reading your blog, I’m considering going back to meat. I’ve been living with depression for over half my life and have been a vegetarian for about a third of my life, so far. In recent years I’ve been proactive about dealing with my mental health and have been open to all options. I found your site a few weeks ago and have been reading your articles, especially those on diet and mental health. Thank you for a great, science-based approach.

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Maria replied 2 years ago

Glad you’re finding my articles helpful, Jeremy. When it comes to vitamin D, I assume you have read my article on the subject in relation to brain health. Unless you are living on the equator, you probably need to supplement during the winter months. I certainly do, between November and April. 400iu daily. I prefer drops as they are more readily absorbed. As I say in my Thinking of Going Vegan article, B12 absorption from food is quite low. Even from meat and fish you can only expect to absorb about 50%. I doubt if eating salmon once a week is sufficent to achieve B12 requirements. Or the fatty acid DHA, for that matter. That is why supplements tend to have high dosages, as so little is absorbed.(see article). Sub-lingual or oral spray appear to be the most absorbable methods. As for the best form – I would say that methylcobalamin is superior to the synthetic but more common cyanocobalamin.

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