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 Post subject: Rethinking & Clarifying the B12 Issue
PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 7:43 am 
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Elephant
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Rethinking & Clarifying the B12 Issue
By Dr Vivian V. Vetrano

There is no such thing as a B12 deficiency, even in 100% raw vegan food eaters. They do not have to eat dirt, animal products, or take pills to secure coenzymes of B12. Bacteria in the intestinal tract make it for us, and the metabolically usable and necessary forms of coenzyme B12 are contained in unprocessed, fresh natural plant foods, particularly in nuts and seeds. The real problem in so-called B12 deficiency is a failure of digestion and absorption of foods, rather than a deficiency of the vitamin itself.

Vitamin B12 coenzymes are found in nuts and seeds as well as in many common greens, fruits, and many vegetables. If we ate 100 grams of green beans, beets, carrots, and peas we would have half of our so-called daily minimum requirement of Vitamin B12 coenzymes providing our digestion and absorption are normal. From Rodale's The Complete Book of Vitamins, page 236 we find the following clarification: “As you know, the B complex of vitamins is called a ‘complex’ because, instead of being one vitamin, it has turned out to be a large number of related vitamins, which appear generally in the same foods.”

A little publicized source of active Vitamin B12 coenzymes is from bacteria in the mouth, around the teeth, in the nasopharynx, around the tonsils and in the tonsilar crypts, in the folds at the base of the tongue, and in the upper bronchial tree. This source alone will supply sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12 coenzymes for the very small requirement of total vegetarians, especially considering that their needs for this vitamin are not as great as for those on conventional diets.

I have studied the Vitamin B12 issue thoroughly, and have learned that biochemists, neutraceutical scientists, and many writers mistakenly use the term Vitamin B12 for cyanocobalamin, THAT IS NOT USABLE BY THE BODY BUT which is in all vitamin B12 supplements. When speaking of Vitamin B12 they are referring to the semisynthetic Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) that initially was contaminated with poisonous cyanide during its chemical extraction from animal tissues. Carbon columns are used during the extraction process and the carbon combines with nitrogen from the medium forming the poisonous cyanocobalamin, that scientists insist on calling Vitamin B12. The original method used to extract Vitamin B 12 from its sources included heating the medium in a weak acid, the addition of cyanide ion, and exposure to light. In this process the coenzymes were converted to cyanocobalamin, yet this was over looked. (Review of Physiological Chemistry, Harper, Harold A., Lange Medical Publications, New York, 1977, page l81. Also refer to Cobalamin: Biochemistry and Pathophysiology, Wiley. N. and F. Sicuteri, New York, 1972.) MOREOVER, in the manufacture of vitamin supplements, cyanide is added to the medium because the carbon and nitrogen are needed to form large molecules as are found in vitamins; and IN ADDITION they need it to extract the B12 from fermentation liquors and liver homogenates. Carbon is needed in great quantities when making vitamins or any other manufactured vitamin or substance that mimics the natural vitamin that normally contains a lot of carbon.

THE TWO VITAMIN B12 COENZYMES KNOWN TO BE METABOLICALLY ACTIVE IN MAMMALIAN TISSUES ARE 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin (methyl-B12. When extracted in light, these two coenzymes undergo photolysis and are destroyed. Natural B12 is found solely in plants and animals, and that is the only form that can be called “coenzyme B12.”
If an animal or individual is given cyanocobalamin the body removes the cyanide because it is not usable as a coenzyme and it is toxic. Then the cobalt of the former cyanocobalamin can combine with other substances that are not toxic and actually form Vitamin B12 coenzymes that are usable by the body. These normally existing Vitamin B12 coenzymes are labile and break down easily unless inside living tissue.

Potassium in the body can react with the cyanide found in cyanocobalamin – the “Vitamin B 12” – and form toxic potassium cyanide (KCN). Potassium cyanide is a poisonous compound used as a fumigant. This is one reason why the body jettisons the “Vitamin B 12” (i.e., cyanocobalamin) injections so rapidly. Within 24 hours most (about 90%) of the cyanocobalamin in supplements has been eliminated.

The names of cobalamins formed by the body or in a laboratory are: l. hydroxocobalamin if it combines with a hydroxyl ion (OH), and 2. aquocobalamin, when it combines with water. Cobalamin also combines with anions such as nitrite a form of nitrogen, chloride, and sulfur. These are not usable by the body. The two active coenzymes that can be formed in the body after stripping off the cyanide are 5’deoxyadenosylcobalamin, or adenosylcobalamin for short, and methylcobalamin. The problem is that the cyanide is toxic and makes many people sicker than they were before taking the supplement.

Cyanocobalamin is in every vitamin B12 supplement known because it is stable and less costly to manufacture. But it is not usable in the body. If the body has sufficient energy it may be able to offload the cyanide and benefit from the useful component. Mainly, what people experience after taking cyanocobalamin supplements is stimulation. The toxic effect of the cyanide triggers a rush of energy as the body works hard to excrete the poison, and this fools people into believing that the supplement has “worked” to heal them. Meanwhile, if their blood tests show an increase in B12, it mainly reflects the amount of the CYANOCOBALAMIN in the blood stream. The usable forms are carried into the cells and can’t be discovered by testing the blood as is the current practice. Blood tests are often inaccurate and, as previously stated, in the case of cyanocobalamin supplementation and B12 injections, about 90 % of it has been eliminated from the body in 24 hours.

Looking at it Hygienically, no Vitamin B12 therapy can cause a recovery from any so-called deficiency disease. It may only hide the symptoms and cannot give an individual health. When people report that their apparent B12 deficiency symptoms have been relieved by cyanocobalamin supplementation, they are mistaken. They are not getting usable Vitamin B12 coenzymes, and their bodies are forced to convert the cyanide form into the active forms, methylcobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin. This extra function stimulates but wastes nerve energy, and they are are actually getting worse, not better. They have not addressed the cause of their troubles.

In summary, vegans and raw fooders all have sufficient amounts of coenzyme B12 in their diets, and FROM THAT produced in their bodies. The most common basic cause of a natural cobalamin deficiency is a failure to digest, absorb and utilize the various cobalamins from food and from the intestinal tract as in the case of gastritis or gastroenteritis. The cause of malabsorption is commonly a gastrointestinal disorder and this was known by pathologists way back in the l800s. In this case, one's lifestyle must be assessed and brought into unison with the needs of the living organism.

Furthermore, absorption of the natural B12 coenzymes can take place in the mouth, throat, esophagus, bronchial tubes and even in the upper small intestines, as well as all along the intestinal tract. THIS DOES NOT INVOLVE THE COMPLEX ENZYME MECHANISM FOR ABSORPTION (INTRINSIC FACTOR) IN THE SMALL INTESTINE AS REQUIRED BY CYANOCOBALAMIN. THE COENZYMES ARE ABSORBED BY DIFFUSION FROM MUCOUS MEMBRANES.

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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 10:05 am 
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Elephant

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Our bodies may synthesize B12, but I've read that we synthesize it in a part of the intestine that is lower than the area in which it is best absorbed.

I háven't read the whole article, but I will when I have time.

I have read, though, that ORGANICALLY GROWN foods show traces of cobalt, which is used in the synthesis of cobalamin B12), but CONVENTIONALLY GROWN foods show no traces of cobalt. Another reason for going organic.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:40 pm 
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Elephant
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My favourite book on nutrition is Diet & Health - Scientific Perspectives by W. J. Veith.

I copy the chapter on B12 here for you:

Quote:
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a complex molecule that contains the minerals cobalt and phosphorus. The vitamin is an important coenzyme required for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins and fats. It functions together with folacin and plays an important role in DNA synthesis and the maturation of red blood cells. Severe vit. B12 deficiency can result in pernicious anaemia and can lead to irreversible neurological deterioration.
Plants do not produce vit. B12 and neither do animals. The vitamin is produced by bacteria, and animals thus obtain their supply from their intestinal bacteria, or from eating the flesh of animals. The bacteria that produce vit. B12 are very sensitive to acid and so they are confined to intestinal regions that have a low acidity. For ruminants there is thus no problem, as the rumen contains an alkaline medium and ample bacteria which can produce the vitamin. In non-ruminant plant eaters such as rodents and rabbits, the bacteria that produce vit. B12 are mainly confined to the posterior portions of the intestinal tract where absorption of the vitamin is minimal. They solve this problem through the phenomenon known as coprophagy (eating one's own excreta), and thus satisfy their vit. B12 demands. Carnivores, in turn, obtain their supply of vit. B12 from the stored vitamin in the flesh of animals, but they also prefer to eat the rumen content of their prey, which is rich in nutrients, including vit. B12.
The human digestive tract also contains the bacteria which produce vit. B12, but these bacteria are again largely confined to the colon, where absorption is minimal or not existant because of the absence of the intrinsic factor required for its absorption. The bacteria are there, and B12 is produced in the colon as was proved by correcting B12 shortages with extracts of human stools. Short of coprophagy, there is thus no other of obtaining vit. B12 but through the diet. As plants do not produce vit. B12 (although there is evidence that some plants may produce small amounts), the vegan can only obtain this vitamin from food that is contaminated with bacteria, or from the small amounts which are available from the intestinal bacteria. Vegans have a high consumption of fibre, and as a consequence, they have higher concentrations of bacteria in the lower portion of the small intestine where B12 can still be absorped because of a high enough concentration of the necessary intrinsic factor. The bacterial flora in the mouth can also contribute to the vit. B12 requirements of vegans. The more alkaline the diet, the higher the intestinal bacteria concentration will be, and great care should thus be taken to ensure proper food combinations and to consume correct portions of alkaline to acid forming foods.
The requirements for vit. B12 are extremely low, and nobody needs more than 1mg/day. It has even been found that doses as low as 0.1mg/day could reverse symptoms of deficiency. Moreover, vit. B12 is reabsorbed very efficiently from bile and thus has the longest reserve capacity of all vitamins, and this explains why it takes up to 20 years to run out of vit. B12 after one stops consuming it. In case of disturbed absorption capacity, mostly because of intestinal infections or a reduction in the production of the intrinsic factor required for the absorption of vit. B12 it will however take only 3 years to runout of vit. B12. The production of the intrinsic factor is normally impaired when portions of the stomach have been operatively removed, or if there is an infection of the stomach mucosa (gastritis). This probably explains why cases of vit. B12 deficiency are rarely reported in the literature. Vegans need thus not panic over the issue, but they should be aware of the possible shortages which may arise, particularly in small children, and should supply the lack in the form of a supllement or foods fortified with cobalamin. Fortified soymilk or vit. B12 fortified nutritional yeast are possible sources for this purpose. It is important to ensure sufficient dietary B12 in the case of infants that are breast fed, as B12 reserves will decline over time in mothers that breast feed if reserves are not maintained. For peace of mind in this regard, it would be prudent to have a serum analysis done to determine the concentrations of B12 in the blood, as this is the most accurate way of determining B12 status.
When purchasing fortified food or supplements, it is important to note that the product contains cobalamin, and not some analogue of the vitamin. Most of the claims of B12 contents on products are incorrect, as the analyzing techniques used do often not distinguish between analogues and the active B12 which is cobalamin. Fermented soy foods, such as tempeh, also do not contain vit. B12, and neither does spirulina, which is often sold in health shops as a source of vit. B12. Spirulina may even make matters worse because it contains analogues which may interfere with normal absorption of cobalamin.


Uff :lol:

I agree to that opinion.
I think it's not controverse to the opinion that one might be able to do without supplements, if the diet is highly raw and alkalizing.

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 Post subject: Pots
PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:32 pm 
If its just cobalt and phosphorus I can take care of the first part for you...phosphorus is easy to get but I can make really bright blue pottery that leaches cobalt into your food then you'd be in luck :twisted: atleast while your alive :roll:


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 5:59 pm 
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Elephant

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For "Plant-Based Nutrition and Health" by Stephen Walsh, of the UK Vegan Society and International Vegetarian Union, the author consulted many studies (all human-based) on vegan nutrition and gives nutritional recommendations based on the conclusions of the study. He recommends B12 supplementation as necessary, as do most vegan nutritionists: in fact, the only ones I've seen that don't recommend it are some raw fooders, like David Wolfe, but Wolfe incorrectly identifies some foods as good sources of B12, whereas Walsh shows that they actually contain more B12 analog than assimilable B12, and excess consumption of some of them, like nori, can actually make B12 insufficiencies WORSE because the analog takes the place of real B12 in the body.

Walsh also mentions a study done on the raw food group Hallelujah Acres, which showed that the majority of those studied had B12 deficiency, which wasn't remedied by any of the usually suggested raw-food sources of B12.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 6:03 pm 
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The thing is, there isn't some huge powerful industry pushing B12 supplementation. There's no patents. It doesn't even cost a penny a day. And the actual supplementation only takes about 30 seconds per week. So.... I really don't understand why fruitarians/raw vegans even bother to take the time to be against it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 3:31 am 
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To my mind the argument in favour of B12 supplementation has by proven (barring new info).
Just stating things like:
Quote:
The usable forms are carried into the cells and can’t be discovered by testing the blood as is the current practice. Blood tests are often inaccurate and, as previously stated, in the case of cyanocobalamin supplementation and B12 injections, about 90 % of it has been eliminated from the body in 24 hours.

It's unreferenced, it doesn't explain why or how they have measured the B12 method they recommend. How have they proven that present day B12 supplementation doesn't work, what they've said is "I say it's this, believe me". This is classic pseudo-science. Use a lot of technical terms, wrap it up to "look" (to the untrained eye) like a scientific piece.
I've no need to mention any sources to check out the real science as a few have been mentioned before. Stuff like this can be dangerous, it can lead to vegans getting sick & dying younger than they should. Just about every expert agrees that B12 supplementation is the option to go for if you want to stay healthy as a vegan into old age, until new research comes out to change my mind I see no reason to stop taking B12.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2006 3:04 am 
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This is an ancient article (1966) but it is nevertheless quite interesting, as it presents a case of a vegan with no absorption problems suffering from megaloblastic anemia due to lack of b12 in the diet.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/abstrac ... type=HWCIT


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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking & Clarifying the B12 Issue
PostPosted: Wed Jul 26, 2006 5:17 pm 
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Gorilla
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@Bigbwii Thanks for the article.

@ Daywalker Thanks for copying the extract!

The B12 issue is the one issue that still bothers me slightly, especially in the case of children.

Non-vegans use the issue as an argument that humans are supposed to eat meat. In response, I have used the arguments that if your diet is clean, mostly raw and high in fibre, your digestive system will be able to work efficiently and your body will absorb the bacteria containing cobalmin.

But if my children developed health problems because I stubbornly refused to feed them b12 fortified food or b12 supplements, I would regret it.

I would like to believe that supplementation is not necessary, even in children.

"Gorillas don't take b12 supplements, so why should we?" I ask myself.

@Jay I know what you mean. Supplementation is quick, easy, inexpensive, doesn't harm anyone. I have been drinking multivitamin juice, which says it contains B12, but then I wonder how these chemicals are added to the juice, and I ask myself if I really need to buy it: "Why not just stick to whole fruit?" I ask myself.

What form of supplement do you use?

Why is spirulina bad? Because it contains an "analogue"? Could someone explain this please?

Thanks.

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 Post subject: Re: Rethinking & Clarifying the B12 Issue
PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2006 9:11 am 
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Elephant

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Gorilla wrote:
"Gorillas don't take b12 supplements, so why should we?" I ask myself.


Because Gorillas drink from streams and don't have chlorinated water that kills bacteria. Because they don't wash their food before they eat it, and therefore consume small amounts of soil that contains B12 (IF the soil contains cobalamin, which most conventionally-grown foods don't, vs organic foods which do). Also,, perhaps, because they eat small amounts of insects.

All of these contribute to getting B12 in a natural setting. The modern world is far from a natural setting, thus our need to supplement with B12.

As I stated previously, some raw food groups that didn't use B12 supplements found that almost all of them were deficient in it, and now use supplements.

The epidemiological and scientific evidence for taking B12 supplements far outweighs the opinions of those who advocate against it. And it has been shown that some of the "B12 sources" that some (like David Wolfe) advocate are not true B12, but analogs that are not digestible, and in fact, interfere with the assimilation of actual B12.

Just because we would like something to be so, doesn't mean it is so. And to refuse to take B12 because of some ideal of 'purity' is rather foolish, IMO. It also can lead to some ill vegans, which does nothing to promote the lifestyle.

I think taking a spray of B12 once a week is a small concession to make.

But noone should take this as 'proof' that a vegan diet is not natural or doable for humans. It's just that our living conditions have changed to the point where B12 is no longer easily available to us, as it was in more primitive times.


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2006 1:03 am 
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Yes, I understand. Good explanation.

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