Be Positive with your B12

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From the desk of Dr Nandita Shah

I am frequently asked “if SHARAN recommends nature’s lifestyle, why do we need to take artificial vitamin B12?” A very good question indeed. It is commonly thought that only vegans suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, but this is not true. Vegetarians, non-vegetarians and vegans alike, all may suffer from it. Vitamin B12 supplementation would not be required if we led a natural life, which we don’t. Artificial solutions are sometimes required in artificial situations. 

Vitamin B12 is made by bacteria and with our super hygienic lifestyle we do not come across much of it naturally. Most of us live in cities or towns in man-made houses, drinking water that comes through pipes, which we purify further. To make matters worse, we are constantly exposed to radiation which destroys vitamin B12. Radiation comes from all kinds of microwaves, not just your oven but your mobile phones and their towers too. Alcohol too destroys vitamin B12. 

Vitamin B12 is required by every cell in your body and so the consequences are widespread. Everyone should get their vitamin B12 levels checked at least once a year and supplement if required.

Free Talk : Don’t miss listening to Dr Nandita Shah’s mentor Dr Neal Barnard speaking on Nutrition is the Key to surviving Covid-19 this Friday, 19th June at 8 pm IST, 10.30 am EST, 6.30 pm UAE, 3.30 pm UK & 10.30 pm Singapore. Register here.


Vitamin B12 supplements came to my rescue!

SHARAN Dubai co-ordinator Ram Prasad was suffering from a frozen shoulder for months. He took all possible treatments but nothing worked. One email to Dr Nandita and he found his cure!

Some lessons are learnt the hard way. But it does not have to be so for you! I was elated after my first SHARAN seminar and I stopped dairy immediately. It took some time to go oil-free and then organic. I thought everything should be okay now. Little did I realise, there was still something I had overlooked!

I started getting minor pain in the shoulder. Initially, I brushed it off and ignored it for a few weeks. One morning, I just couldn’t move my hand and I was in intense pain. I rushed to an Ayurveda doctor. It turned out to be “frozen shoulder”. The joint movement was stuck. The doctor said that it might take several months to get well. The pain intensified after massage. I then rushed to a chiropractor. That didn’t help either. Finally, I wrote an email to Dr. Nandita asking for advice. I was asked to get my Vit B12 & Vit D checked immediately. The reports showed the levels were alarmingly low! Dr. Nandita advised me to quickly supplement with injections and tablets. In two days, I got major relief. In a week, I was almost normal!

Though Vit B12 and Vit D are in the 5-point SHARAN plan, I neglected them till it turned into an emergency!

I have been enjoying great health since then.

Recipe – Carrot Beetroot Kanji  

Try this simple recipe and be surprised.


  • 1 cup of 1 inch sticks of unpeeled carrot
  • 1 cup of 1 inch sticks of unpeeled beetroot 
  • 2 tbsp ground mustard powder
  • ½ tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 4-5 cups of water


Put all the ingredients into a big glass jar. Cover with a lid or muslin cloth and keep the jar in the sun for 3-4 days. Stir the contents of the jar, with a wooden spoon every day. Kanji is ready to drink when it tastes sour. Fermentation might take longer in winter so you may need to leave the jar in the sun longer.

Enjoy this spicy and sour drink.

Serves 4-5

Food for the mind


If you love Facebook, then join us to be supported on your plant based journey. we are offering two possibilities

1. SHARAN India This is SHARAN’s main Facebook page which you can like and follow for getting useful daily updates and news from the plant based health world. You will also get news about the latest SHARAN events, see testimonials, and more.

2. SHARAN’s Vegan Support Group This is an open support group to know more about vegan/plant-based lifestyle. Here you can ask questions and share inspiring stories, tips, recipes, etc.

All our doctors and presenters will be here to answer your questions and give you tips. If you have attended our events join this group to be a part of our family.

Please like the main SHARAN page and join the group(s) applicable to you.


Did you check your B12?                                       

With constant use of technology, especially during the lockdown, the chances of your B12 being low are pretty high. Why is that a concern? Well, it could lead to multiple problems, including stroke and heart attack.

Hence, if you are experiencing weakness, tiredness, anemia, acidity, sudden weight loss, tingling of the nerves, muscle weakness, vision loss or mental issues like depression, loss of memory or anxiety – it is time to check your B12 and supplement for sure, if it is low. For more details on vitamin B12, how to test and supplement

Read on to find out what else you can do to ensure your B12 levels are doing well.

1. Go plant based

Meat and dairy products contain bacteria as they are decaying substances. However, prolonged consumption of meat and dairy can result in the inability to absorb vitamin B12 by the intrinsic cells in the stomach.

2. Go organic

Pesticides destroy bacteria on produce. Vitamin B12 may be naturally available in small quantities in organic fruits and vegetables straight off the farm. 

3. Opt for fermented foods

Idlis, dosas, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, naturally pickled vegetables and vegan yoghurt may offer small amounts of vitamin B12.

4. Don’t take cyanocobalamin

Methylcobalamin is the kind which is used by our body. Our body cannot efficiently use cyanocobalamin.

5. Stay away from antibiotics

Deficiencies could also be the result of bacterial flora being destroyed by antibiotics.

6.  Ditch the microwave

Its strong rays kill good bacteria.

7. Reduce alcohol

Significant amount of alcohol in the body affects the B12.

8. Reduce mobile phone usage

Speak with ear phones or on speaker mode and keep the instrument afar.

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This newsletter was compiled by SHARAN Head of Mumbai, Reyna K Rupani, She facilitates the Six Weeks to Health Gain & Weight Loss program and also conducts health talks for schools, groups, corporates and more.

Edited by Seema Nayak, who has also benefited from the SHARAN programmes, and now spreads awareness of plant based lifestyle through her talks and cooking sessions.

Sanctuary for Health and Re-connection to Animals and Nature (SHARAN) is a social enterprise with the goal of spreading awareness about holistic health and an ecologically sustainable compassionate lifestyle.
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