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Resources
Where to buy Organic?
Supplementation of Vitamin B 12
Supplementation of D 3

Where to buy Organic?

Organic fruits and vegetables

  • Green Current- Leena or Chaitanya, 02226194797/ 9820546316/ 9987529738.

  • Sanjay Farmer for kakwi 9881391192

  • Green Sattva - 022-23851999

  • Farmer online, Akash Thakkar 9833907750

  • Nature's gram, Vishal 9820966802

  • Anushka Panthaky 9920588763

Grocery stores / dry goods

  • Organic Kart-www.organickart.in, Ketan Shah, 093 22 22 15 44. All of the above + apple cider vinegar.

  • Gourmet Delight- www.gourmetdelight.in , 022 6523 7788/ 65247788

  • Navdanya Andheri West 9920418027

  • Miru Andheri West 022 2634 5085

  • Baba International, Kandivali, JitendraVora 9920476414

  • Taru ,Ruchi 9958699685

  • Rare Earth Organic store, Khar, Shammi Sethi 9820030868- All vegan products

  • The organic shop, Kandivali (W), Satish- 99870 31401

  • Armin, Dry fruits, 7208865691/ 9969352920.

  • Neelam Foodland (Khar), Chheda Ayurved (Santacruz), Nature's Basket stores

  • Naturally yours 8767801982

  • Organic garden 022 27789201

  • Amazon.in, naturalmantra.com

  • New Arife Lamoulde -Phone: 022 2642 5990/ 9833532392. Stores in Crawford Market, Andheri, Borivali/ Vashi too.For baking ingredients and paraphernalia.

Tiffins, healthy desserts and ice creams

  • Vegan Bites, Samir Pasad- 7666586430

  • My Pure Path, Mayavi & Shishir Khandelwal - 9819516503

Healthy snacks, desserts

  • Flat Tummies - +91 98337 04416

  • Organic whole wheat sourdough breads- Impossible Foods, Vivan Futehally 97692 69606

  • Gluten free & whole wheat Bread - Birdsong Cafe, Bandra 022 2642 2323

  • Organic Tofu- Madhavi Barot, Khar, 99200 45333

  • Murginns organic tofu- in select stores

  • Cowvathi, Shashvati Siva, for vegan cheese, 9920341205

  • Butter nut company- Nut butters, 98191 34617

  • Break of Dawn, Pardita- Almond Milk, 84335 19280

Farmer's markets - Do look them up on Facebook as well :
Juhu Organic Farmer's Market ,Pushpa Narsee Park, Malad Organic Farmer's Market Bandra Organic Farmer's market, D'Monte Park, Cuffe Parade Farmers' Market Better Foods Farmer's Market ,Versova&Powai

Supplementation of Vitamin B 12

B12 is manufactured by bacteria and yeast. Meat and milk are full of bacteria because they are decaying substances and so these foods have plenty of B12.
In a more natural world, vitamin B12 could be naturally available to vegans in the form of organic fruits and vegetables straight off the farm, pond water, river water or other natural drinking water etc. Nature always made provisions for us to get all nutrients. In fact some raw vegans find that their B12 levels are good without supplementation due to the abundance of fermented foods and drinks that they consume.
Vitamin B12 is so vital and the repercussions of low B12 are so huge that its just not worth it. Whether you have a deficiency or not can be determined by a simple blood test. Even if vitamin B12 deficiency is not currently present, it is likely to occur in the future. You should keep checking or take a B12 supplement to be safe.
Vitamin B12 is required in minute amounts and can be stored for up to 3 years.

Deficiency:
Both vegans and non-vegetarians can suffer from B12 deficiencies. Vegans may suffer because of low intake. Non vegans suffer due to the inability to absorb B12. Deficiencydue to the inability to absorb B12:
Vitamin B12 is absorbed by the intrinsic factor in the stomach. High protein from meat and milk force the stomach to produce more acid to digest them. This high acid secretion not only is one of the causes of acidity but also destroys the lining of the stomach so that the intrinsic factor is deficient. Thus vitamin B12 is not absorbed.
When deficiency is due to a lack of intrinsic factor, B12 tablets will not help, and injections are required. Deficiencies could also be the result of bacterial flora being destroyed by antibiotics or because of deficient intake of bacteria in our unnaturally sterile food. Deficiency due to low intake:
Vegans may be able to absorb vitamin B12 but are unlikely to get enough of it on a plant-based diet. This is because of our present day lives which are unnaturally hygienic. Microorganisms naturally available in our food are destroyed or removed due to many reasons like:

  • Irradiation of fruits and vegetables

  • Pesticides used in farming

  • Chlorine or other forms of sanitizing drinking water

  • Washing fruits and vegetables too well

  • Preservatives used in packaged food

  • High hygiene levels in our lifestyles

  • Modern day toothpastes with Triclosan which destroy oral bacteria

  • Alcohol consumption

  • Use of the microwave

Hence, even fermented foods found in almost every culture (eg. idli, dosa, miso, kimchi, sauerkraut, rejeuvelac, vegan yogurt, tempeh, etc) are not enough to provide vegans with required vitamin B12 levels.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can occur in anyone at any age. B complex tablets contain B 12 but the amount of B12 in them is not sufficient for proper supplementation.
Vitamin B12 deficiency may be less common in the West, especially in the US, where soya milk and other ready-made foods are fortified with vitamin B12. Many people who want to live naturally, are averse to taking vitamin B12 supplements and this may not cause a problem for a number of years, since vitamin B12 is stored in our body, but sooner or later this problem can catch up. Therefore it is important that everybody keeps a check.

Symptoms of B12 deficiency:
Symptoms can range widely and may not manifest themselves at all, because vitamin B12 is required by all cells of the body. Some of the common symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency are:
weakness, apathy, memory loss, acidity, loss of weight, nausea and vomiting, anaemia, mental confusion, delusions, paranoia, respiratory symptoms, hives and other symptoms of allergy. A long-term deficiency can lead to heart attacks or stroke- the very problems that a healthy vegan diet can prevent. Long-term vitamin B12 deficiency can cause irreversible damage to the brain and nervous system.

How to test for deficiency?

Test for Vitamin B12

Serum B12 - The normal range is 200 to 900 pg/ml. (Please note that your B12 may have been measured by another system - pmol/l so you should see the normal range described in your report.) If your B12 is less than 150 it is very low. A good level is around 400.
If a cynocobalamin source (like spirulina or chlorella) is consumed these levels may be high but the B12 is still not usable by the body. In this case it is better to rely on one of the other two tests: Homocysteinelevl & Holotranscobalamin.

Ways to supplement
It is important to take supplements or at least check levels regularly so that supplementation is not delayed. It is better to take just B12 instead of B complex. There are two kinds of vitamin B12 - methylcobalamin and cynocobalamin. Methylcobalamin is the kind which is used by our body. Our body cannot efficiently use cynocobalamin. Spirulina and Chorella contain cynocobalamin and not methylcobalamin, and hence are not good sources of vitamin B12. Some vitamin B complex supplements also contain cynocobalamin rather than methylcobalamin.

Tablets:

  • If deficiency is low and the absorption of vitamin B12 is not yet affected, you could opt to take B12 orally. Methycobal 500Mcg by Wockhardt OR

  • Nurokind by Mankind

  • Folinext by Otsira genetics. Folinext contains both Folic acid and methylcobalamin.


Take one tablet daily initially when the deficiency is detected. After 3 months, get your blood levels checked again and see if levels are normal. Once your blood levels reach normal take one tablet every alternate day for life.
In case you are not vegan and your B12 levels are low, it means you are not absorbing B12. In this case the only option is injections.
Suggested dosage: Methylcobalamin 250 - 500 mcg daily till the levels are 400 pg/ml or more after which it should be taken 2-3 times per week lifelong. Incase levels do not rise, injections are suggested. It is best to have levels around 400 pg/mL.

(Note: this should not be taken as cyanocobalamin, dose should not be more than 500 mcg/day).

Injections:
Vitamin B 12 injections should be taken if the deficiency is very severe, or you are not vegan but deficient. If you are vegan and deficient, you may be able to absorb, so after the initial injections you could switch to tablets and continue for life or you may choose to take regular injections (about once in two months). In case you experience some side effects after the injection they should not last for long. Injections should be given to you by a doctor after a test dose for the first time.

  • Injection Eldervit from Elder Company is recommended. It comes as a combi pack of two vials. No.1. vial contains vitamin B12, 2500mcg with Folic acid 0.7mg, and Niacinamide 12 mg. No.2 vial contains Vitamin C, 150 mg. No. 1 vial can be taken as it is or mixed with no. 2 vial. Mixed is better for absorption of vitamin B12. About 10 injections may be required initially in one month depending upon the severity of deficiency. Later one injection every two months is good as a maintenance dose.

  • Injection Vitcofol contains B12 and Folic acid or Injection Methycobalamin. Take a total of 2 vials (each vial 10 ml) in the following way: Take 2ml twice a week of Vitcofol for 15 days. After that, 2ml each week. This should be enough to lift the B12 levels. The second vial would last for one month and one week.

Supplementation of D 3

Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because our bodies create this important vitamin when the skin is exposed to the sun. The deficiency of this vitamin is becoming more common in cities all over the world. This is because many people spend most of their time living and working indoors and avoid the sun or use sunscreen because of the fear of skin cancer or damaging their complexion. Smog and pollution in cities can also block the sun's rays. In a random study of people from Indian metro cities we found that 50% had vitamin D deficiency.

The importance of Vitamin D

Vitamin D is very important for calcium absorption. It also helps boost immunity by fortifying the white blood cells, which defend against bacteria. In addition, it has anti-inflammatory properties. A link has been made between influenza and vitamin D deficiency in countries which experience long winters with low levels of sunlight.
Depression, mental health problems and Seasonal Affective Disorder have also been linked to low vitamin D levels in patients. Other diseases which can be caused by a deficiency in Vitamin D include high blood pressure, diabetes, autoimmune diseases, excess fat accumulation around vital organs, different types of cancer, atherosclerosis (thickening of arteries), osteoporosis (deterioration of bone mass) and osteopenia (thinning of bones).

Getting Vitamin D naturally
There are two types of Vitamin D. Ergocalciferol (Vitamin D2) is found in a few foods like fatty fish. In some countries, fruit juices, milk or cereals are often fortified with this vitamin. Cholecalciferol (Vitamin D3) is what is produced by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It is difficult to get enough Vitamin D through food sources. This is why sunshine is the best option.
The best way to get Vitamin D is from the sun. Spend 15 to 20 minutes a day in direct sunlight ideally between 11 am to 4 pm without any sunbloc or sun glasses, 3 to 5 times a week. Do not wear sunscreen during this time as this will prevent your skin from absorbing the vitamin.
Taking vitamin D supplements can cause hypervitaminosis D, which can be dangerous. However, you can never get too much vitamin D from the sun.
Do avoid sunburn by limiting exposure. If you are eating plenty of raw fruits and vegetables, the anti-oxidants in these will help prevent sunburn and also reduce the risk of skin and other cancers.
Vitamin D is stored by the body. If you have enough stores you can get by on cloudy days without any problems. If you're concerned that you may be Vitamin D deficient, and have symptoms like depression, chronic fatigue, weight loss and muscle ache get a test done to determine your level of Vitamin D. In places with long winters, or cloudy or smoggy weather, it's very important to get Vitamin D levels checked. In case of deficiency, supplementation is required but even then levels should be checked to avoid over-dosage.

Testing for Vitamin D
A blood test can be done to check vitamin D3 levels. 15 to 50 ng/ml is the normal range. Less than 15 is too low. In this case, one should take supplements. Once the level reaches around 30+ sunlight will be the best source.
Supplementation can be oral or by injection. If the values are very low, injections may be best.
In India the following vegan Vitamin D3 supplements are available:

  • Unived has launched a Natural Vegan D3 supplement. Each dropper contains 30 servings - for one month supplementation. Each serving offers 2500 I.U. Vegan D3 (as cholecalciferol) with 550mg of Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Organic Coconut Oil. The product is 100% natural with no synthetic ingredients. Shake well before use and take one squeeze daily at any time during the day. For more information about the product visit: http://unived.in/Products/D-veg-2500I-U-Plant Based Vitamin D3/19 or contact them on +91 22 28574455/2244

  • Solya D3 & Forzza rays D3 nasal spray from Fullife. Contact them at [email protected]
    The commercially available vitamin D3 is not vegan since it is usually made from lanolin fat from sheep's wool. Vegan Vitamin D2 is made from vegan sources like yeast and mushrooms and has been available but there is some debate on the virtues of D2 over D3. Many say vitamin D3 is more easily used than vitamin D2.

    • Oral: Calcirol made by Cadila Pharma or Caldikind sachet by Mankind. It is Vitamin D3, 60,000 IU granules in 1gram sachets. 1 sachet can be taken orally at an interval of 1 - 4 weeks as required.

    • Injection: Injection Arachitol by Solvay. 6, 00,000 ( Six Lakh units)( per ml), Intra muscular ( IM), every fortnight for two months). Contains cholecalciferol. It is made by Solvay company. It is also available in 3,00,000 IU. ( Per ml) Rs. 87.00 for 6 vials.

      Both are oil-based.


Note: Vitamin D levels take some time to build up after depletion.
Requirements:

  • 1 to 70 years of age: 600 to 1000 IU per day

  • More than 70 years: 800 to 2000 IU per day

  • 5000 IU per day for 9 weeks can be advised for deficiency.


Suggested dosage:
Level of 25-OH Vitamin D (total):

  • 0- 10 ng/ml:- 60,000 IU twice a week for 4 weeks followed by once a week for 6 weeks for levels to reach above 30 ng/nl

  • 10 - 20 ng/ml:- 60,000 IU twice a week for 3 weeks followed by once a week for 6 weeks for levels to reach above 30 ng/nl

  • 20 - 26 ng/ml:- 60,000 IU once a week for 10 weeks for levels to reach above 30 ng/nl

  • 26 - 30 ng/ml:- 60,000 IU once a week for 2 weeks for levels to reach above 30 ng/nl or 1000 IU daily

  • 30 - 40 ng/ml:- 60,000 IU once every 4 - 6 weeks lifelong or 1000 IU daily

Vegan Starter Kit
Sources of Vegan Calcium
Best Vegetarian Sources Of Protein




Indian Vegan
Being Vegan in India
Indian Meal Plan
'The most ethical diet so happens to be the most environmentally sound diet and just so happens to be the healthiest - Micheal Mc. Gregor M.D.'