Vitamin B12 is important for the development and protection of nerve cells and red blood cells and helps in the production of DNA. Insufficient B12 can lead to many health issues, including weakness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, increased irritability, gastrointestinal distress, anemia, and nervous system dysfunction. B12 is the one nutrient that cannot be obtained sufficiently from today’s plant-based diet. Animal products themselves don’t always contain enough B12.7 The reason for this is that neither plants nor animals naturally synthesize B12. It is made from bacteria. Animals consume dirt, which is full of bacteria, through the unwashed plants and non-chlorinated water they consume. B12 accumulates in the animals’ tissues, which becomes a source of the vitamin for humans when we eat the animal.

We humans, on the other hand, rarely eat anything unwashed. We remove the dirt that contains B12-producing bacteria from our foods. There is enough research about supplementing B12 that show, when taken appropriately, it is beneficial.