B12 Status of Vegan Children and Teenagers


Contents

Vegan Children and Teenagers Supplementing with B12

Sanders & Purves (1981, UK) (1) assessed the nutritional status of 23 vegan children (1-5 yrs old), contacted through The Vegan Society (UK). All the children had been breast-fed for at least the first 6 months of life and in most cases well into the second year. The majority of children were growing normally but tended to be shorter and lighter than the standards. Energy, calcium, and vitamin D intakes were usually below those recommended. Their diets were generally adequate with a few children having low intakes of vitamin B2 and B12. All parents were aware of the need for B12 supplementation and provided it through yeast extract, soymilk, TVP, or B12 syrup. B12 intake was 2.7 ± 0.63 (range: .3 – 15.2 µg/day). The parents were very receptive to advice.

Sanders concluded that, provided sufficient care is taken, a vegan diet can meet the nutritional requirements of the preschool child.

Vegan Children and Teenagers Not Supplementing with B12

There have been no studies of vegan children or teenagers not supplementing with B12 who were not on a macrobiotic diet or Genmai-Saishoku diet. However, there have been 4 case studies of vegan or vegetarian children and teenagers who developed serious B12 deficiency. They are listed in Individual Cases of B12 Deficiency in Vegans.

References

1. Sanders TA, Purves R. An anthropometric and dietary assessment of the nutritional status of vegan preschool children. J Hum Nutr. 1981 Oct;35(5):349-57.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Before you comment, please read:

  • If you have a question about whether it's okay to cut supplements in half or combine supplements to achieve the dose we recommend, the answer is “Yes.” Be aware that nutrient recommendations are only estimates—it's not necessary to consume the exact amount we recommend every single day.
  • We aren't able to respond to questions about which brands of supplements to take.
  • We cannot provide personal nutrition advice for specific health conditions. If you need private counseling, here's a list of plant-based dietitians and we especially recommend VeganHealth contributor Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN.
  • We urge you to consult with a qualified health professional for answers to your personal questions.