Summary. In a recent advertising campaign, GNC published the statement that “Vegetarians and vegans are among the healthiest people in the world.” [source]

Now that’s truth in advertising.

However, the bold print of their advertisement reads, “The only natural source of vitamin B12 comes from consuming animal products.” Pictured in the ad is a cut of steak.

The clear message is that meat is our only source for Vitamin B12.

This just isn’t true, and it’s a surprising statement coming from a company that should know better. It’s also an odd contradiction to say that vegans are among the healthiest people in the world, but they don’t get vitamin B12.

The fact is that non-meat sources of Vitamin B12 include milk, whey, yogurt, cheese, and eggs. In addition, yeast extracts are considered a good vegan source of Vitamin B12.

Neither plants nor animals make vitamin B12. Bacteria are responsible for producing vitamin B12. Animals get their vitamin B12 from eating foods contaminated with vitamin B12 and then the animal becomes a source of vitamin B12. … About 2 rounded teaspoons of large flake Vegetarian Support Formula (Red Star T-6635+) nutritional yeast provides the recommended amount of vitamin B12 for adults. [source]


Commentary. Below is a commentary from Greg Johnson on this topic.

“Consumers are being inundated by misinformation these days. The implication that animals need to die in order for us to get our Vitamin B12 is false.

Most fortified drinks and non-animal foods offer plenty of Vitamin B12. Today I drank a Naked Blue Machine and that one bottle alone has 200% of my Vitamin B12. That’s on top of what daily supplements might have.” ~ Greg Johnson

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