Just decided to go vegan.
I've been a vegetarian for over a year, but today, after watching a slaughterhouse video, i decided i want to try being vegan. That being said, i'm really not clear on how much vitamin b12 supplements i should take. This may have been asked before and if so u'm sorry. But i also need to jnow if i should be taking any other vitamins.
Most B12 supplements have 8000-16000% of your daily value (and other than people with a problem absorbing B12, I don't even see why the 16,000% variety is necessary...). So taking one a day should be completely sufficient. I take a multivitamin now, but before then I only took calcium (100% per day) and B12. For the B12 I took one per week (I don't know what percent it was, either), and never had any problems. I've been vegan for 11 years, so I'm guessing such a problem would have manifested by now...
Many fake meats and soymilks have B12 added, so that can also be a source.
As far as other vitamins/minerals, it all depends on your diet. You can get enough of anything else through diet without supplementation for the most part, but maybe you're like me and not downing kale in mass quantities. If you're really concerned, you can use a nutrient tracker like at nutrition-data or mypyramid and see where you're missing stuff.
Like I say in this thread, I take a B-100 complex every day which has B12 in it. I don't take any vitamins at all related to veganism but I have to take the B-Complex for another reason so I just make sure there's some B12 in it to cover me. http://vegweb.com/index.php?topic=32980.0
I take a B complex in sublingual/liquid form once a week. I believe one dose has 1200 mcg (20,000%) b12 and the other b vitamins in it are 100 to 300%. My guess as to why the B12 dose is so high is that not all is absorbed. It does seem a bit high but I havent had any trouble and I have taken it for over a year (I took this long before going vegan which has only been four months). I also take a vegan DHA capsule that is derived from algae instead of fish and uses vegetable glycerin in the capsule instead of animal glycerin. I had to do some searching and calling companies to find this DHA and confirm the ingredients are not animal derived. I am in surgical menopause even though I am quite young due to losing my ovaries and the added omega 3 in addition to what I include in my diet (walnuts, avocado, flax oil etc) is very important for me to lubricate those joints etc. Otherwise my only other supplements are a calcium/magnesium supplement (without D3 or other animal derived ingredients which was also no easy task to find as D3 is in everything grrr but I found a pure calcium supplement at GNC with no questionable ingredients ) and a D2 supplement I had to order online. I take those because I have a severely low bone density (also had long before going vegan due to surgical menopause and years of low weight). If I didnt have the health issues I have I probably wouldnt even bother with supplements because my diet is quite healthy and varied. I also find it interesting that omnivores like to think vegans have to take supplements all the time due to lack of nutrition in their diet, but 99% of the supplements made out there are omnivore based (made with animal ingredients) such as fish oil or D3 that are so widely promoted, and the majority of omnivores that take supplements do so because of lack of nutrition in their diet (although in many parts of the world due to abuse of land/factory farming/pollution our plants do not have the mineral and vitamin content they once did so it is a concern for everyone). I believe a vegan diet is much healthier for sure. As I am fairly new at being vegan myself, I bought a book called "Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant Based Diet" by Brenda Davis, R.D. and Vesanto Melina, M.S., R.D. and this book is very comprehensive on vegan nutrition. It even includes sections for seniors, those with eating disorders, teens, etc. and how to get optimal nutrition. You might find it very helpful. Hope this helps! Good for you for taking this step!
I asked my old dietitian if i should be taking a B12 vitamin, and she told me that a multivitamin should cover my daily needs for B12. Like some other people said, many vegan products are fortified with B12, but i think that it is important to take a multivitamin as well. I was told by my dietitian that vitamins are almost like insurance..It is important to do your best at getting a range of nutrition, but taking a multivitamin can help in case of any gaps.
I also take a calcium chewable, because i doubt that i consume enough calcium.
I hope that everything works out with your new step into veganism!