Vegetarian vitamins


Riboflavin may be low in vegan diets as the main sources are milk and milk products. Other sources include fortified breakfast cereals, yeast extract and mushrooms. Someone who eats no milk or meat can meet the RDA for riboflavin by including all of the following in a daily diet: three slices of whole meal bread, a cup of almonds, half an avocado and average servings of spinach, broccoli and mushrooms.

Vegetarian vitaminsVegetarian Vitamins B12

Animal foods are the only reliable sources of vitamin B12. Vegetarians who eat dairy products generally obtain adequate vitamin B12 from these sources. Vegans tend to have lower vitamin B12 intakes which may not reach recommended levels, and should make sure they include vitamin B12-fortified foods or supplements in their diets. This is particularly important for women who are, or who plan to become, pregnant.

Sea vegetables and fermented soybean products such as miso also contain forms of vitamin B12, although some research suggests that the human body may not be able to absorb these forms and they may even block true vitamin B12 absorption. Many vegetarian and vegan products are fortified with vitamin B12, including yeast extract, vegetable stock and soya milk. In developing countries, food may contain bacteria and other micro-organisms which are a source of vitamin B12. In Western countries better hygiene and food processing removes these sources of vitamin B12.

Vegetarian Vitamins D

Vitamin D is present in vegetarian diets in dairy products. Vegans tend to have low vitamin D intakes, fortified margarine being the major dietary source. In most countries, sufficient vitamin D can be obtained through manufacture in the skin in response to sunlight. Vegans who do not get enough exposure to sunlight may be advised to take a vitamin D supplement; although pregnant women should not take large amounts as there is an increased risk of fetal deformities.

Vegetarian Vitamins E

Vitamin E needs increase in those whose diets are higher in polyunsaturated fats from nuts, seeds and vegetable oils. As vegetarians often have a higher intake of such fats, they need to make sure their vitamin E intake is adequate to protect against harmful free radical damage to these fats.

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