B12 toothpaste makes vegans smile


September 24, 2012

A newly developed toothpaste is good news for vegans and aging people who are more likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency (Photo: Shutterstock)

A newly developed toothpaste is good news for vegans and aging people who are more likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency (Photo: Shutterstock)

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The German Vegetarian Society (VEBU), in conjunction with the natural cosmetics company Sante, has developed an organic vitamin B12-enriched toothpaste whose efficacy has been confirmed by test results presented in Germany earlier this month. This is good news for vegans and aging people who are more likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency.

One hundred and twenty seven healthy vegans and vegetarians aged 18-64 took part of the test over a period of five weeks. During this period, participants were not allowed fortified foods (vitamin B6, B12 and folic acid) or supplements. Half of the participants got the real thing (therapy group) and the other half was given a placebo toothpaste. The researchers compared blood sample test results before and after, including serum vitamin B12, holotranscobalamin II (a marker of vitamin B12 depletion) and homocysteine, a type of aminoacid that in high levels is linked to cardiovascular disease.

In the case of B12, the people who used real vitamin B12 toothpaste saw their median serum increase by almost 50 percent. In the placebo group it went down 22 percent. In the case of holotranscobalamin, it increased by 65 percent. Finally, homocysteine values decreased by 14 percent.

The toothpaste provides 100 µg of vitamin B12 per gram of toothpaste. With two brushes a day, the daily intake is approximately 3.6 µg, which is more than the recommended 2.4 µg required daily by adults (pregnant women need 2.6 µg and breastfeeding women need 2.8 µg). Exceeding the dose causes no harm at all.

The classic protein question that vegetarians and vegans often hear – and which prompts most of them to roll their eyes with mild exasperation – is a misguided one. The true nutritional Achilles’ heel for plant-based dieters is vitamin B12, which is made by microorganisms, mainly bacteria, that live in water, soil and the digestive tracts of animals. It is absorbed in the small intestine of humans with the help of a protein called intrinsic factor, which is secreted by the stomach and which some people, especially as they age, may lack.

B12 deficiency can lead to anemia, heart and nervous problems as well as higher chances to develop dementia. Taking sub-lingual supplements is the most efficient way to ensure the recommended intake, which led the clever folks at VEBU to conclude that making a B12-enriched toothpaste could do the same job, but more efficiently.

The toothpaste is a practical and valuable tool to ensure proper vitamin 12 intake and help vegans stick to their diet, besides producing a very convenient side effect: a clean, fresh mouth.

Sources: VEBU/Sante

About the Author
Antonio Pasolini Brazilian-Italian Antonio Pasolini graduated in journalism in Brazil before heading out to London for an MA in film and television studies. He fell in love with the city and spent 13 years there as a film reviewer before settling back in Brazil. Antonio's passion for green issues - and the outdoors - eventually got the best of him and since 2007 he's been writing about alternative energy, sustainability and new technology. All articles by Antonio Pasolini

If this comes without fluoride I'm sold.


Unfortunately it would appear that it does come with fluoride, otherwise I would have been with you:


...more good news: it does not contain sodium LaurylSulphate..!

Charlie Channels

Too bad it's not available in the USA.


Easiest way to get B-12 and the other compounds and chemicals critical to a healthy human? Eat beef.

Gregg Eshelman

Gregg, You are in fact incorrect. The easiest way to get B12 is to not wash your veggies. It's better for the environment and probably better for your health than beef. I'm not advocating eating dirt - but you have to realize that the thing that makes it a good source of B12 also makes it the cause of several hundred deaths a year (directly, many more indirectly).

Charles Bosse

Hi ! I checked about its ingredients. It contains Sodium Fluoride with vitamin B12. The thing that contains a poison like Sodium Fluoride can never be healthy. Check about Sodium Chloride on the net.


The shopping link is misleading, everyone can suffer from B12 deficiency. Whether you can get it from not washing veggies depends on your soil quality and also your gut (gut function can be compromised by medication but usually not for years, it can be compromised by meat-eating surely). 3yrs after I went vegan but on a sanitised diet and with no dietary info, I had signs of pernicious anemia, stocks can last longer for different people. I never got tested but I know I'm no longer at risk, simply by supplementing once a week. It'd be great to see a fluoride-free version of this, I haven't established why I should need fluoride and I don't like to supplement things I don't need.

Thāran SxEv

So in Germany is it prescription or over the counter?

Aruvqan Myers
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