A vegetarian and vegan diet can be beneficial for your health – as well as put an end to animal suffering. But changing your diet cannot be improvised. These types of diets require monitoring to avoid certain deficiencies that may occur.
Scientists at the University of Kent (UK) have made an important discovery about how the content of vitamins in some plants can be improved to make the vegetarian and vegan diet more complete. In particular, the Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin,
this a major nutritional component e it is mainly provided by meat, fish, milk and eggsSo vegetarians and vegans are more prone to vitamin B12 deficiency. Plants do not require this nutrient in quality or in reliable quantity.
The results of this discovery were published on May 17, 2018 in the journal Cellular chemical biology,
Improvement of vitamin B12 in vegetarian and vegan diets
on Vitamin B12 is one of the eight B vitamins. essential for the proper functioning of the brain, in blood formation and c nervous system, Vitamin B12 also helps with the absorption of vitamin B9 (folic acid).
According to ANSES (National Agency for Food Safety, Environment and Health at Work), a healthy adult needs: recommended daily allowance by 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12,
Therefore, this finding is essential for the future of people who follow these diets and effectively prevents deficiencies. It is also an interesting way to avoid turning to food additivesmade up of cyanocobalamin, a synthetic vitamin B12,
The study was able to prove that ordinary garden watercress can really absorb cobalamin.
Watercress and Vitamin B12
The amount of vitamin B12 absorbed by the garden watercress depends on the amount present in the growth medium and the research team has been able to confirm the absorption of vitamin B12 by showing that the nutrient is in the leaves.
Observing that some plants are capable of absorbing vitamin B12 is important, as such nutrient-enriched plants could help overcome food restrictions in countries such as India, with a high percentage of vegetarians.
These plants can be important to meet the global challenge of providing a complete vegetarian diet with nutrients, a valuable development, as the world becomes more ‘blendless’ due to population growth, some damage to the carnivorous diet and animal suffering.
For this study, researchers and students cultivated a garden watercress containing increasing concentrations of vitamin B12. After seven days of growth, the seedlings of the seedlings were removed, washed and analyzed. The seedlings absorb cobalamin from the growth medium and store it in their leaves.
To confirm this first observation, scientists are producing a type of vitamin B12 that emits fluorescent light when activated by a laser. This fluorescent vitamin B12 is applied to plants and has been shown to accumulate in a specialized part of the cell called the vacuole (which concentrates 80 to 90% of the volume and weight of the plant cell), which provides conclusive evidence that certain plants can absorb and transport cobalamin,
Effective prevention of deficiencies
Vitamin B12 is unique among vitamins because it is produced only by certain bacteria and therefore has to make a more complex journey to make its way through multicellular organisms.
The research described in this article highlights how this journey can be followed with the help of B12 fluorescent molecules, which can also be used to understand why some people are more likely to Vitamin B12 deficiency,
Finally, this finding is also important in the fight against certain parasitic infections. On the one hand, researchers have demonstrated that certain plants can absorb vitamin B12, but they can also use the same technique to track the fluorescence of B12 molecules.
These results show that this is a powerful model for learning how to absorb vitamin B12 and how to improve absorption in vegetarian and vegan diets.