Why is B12 so controversial?

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GGreen
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Why is B12 so controversial?

#1 Postby GGreen » Sun Sep 03, 2006 9:43 am

Some writers tell you can only obtain it from animals products and only the B12 from animal products is absorabable by the body.

Others tell you can obtain it from none animals products but that form is not absorbable by the body and it may even block the absorption of the real B12.


So, What is the truth?

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#2 Postby Kathryn » Sun Sep 03, 2006 10:45 am

It's controversial because there is some misinformation out there. Also, some people want to believe that if a vegan diet is a natural diet meant for humans, that should mean we don't need to take any supplements (more on that later).

The controversy is mostly regarding some supposed plant sources of B12, like seaweeds. These have been found in studies to contain B12 analogs, which appear to be B12, but are not assimilated by the body. (Though some people will claim them as sources of B12, this is both misleading and dangerous.)

B12 is created only by bacteria, which is where animals get in in their systems in the first place.

As for the "if veganism is a natural state, then why do we need B12?" argument: Humans used to be able to get it from bacteria remaining on fresh-picked and lightly rinsed produce, or from drinking water from streams, but since our water is now chlorinated and processed, and our foods are the same, this is not a current source of B12.

The best thing to do as a vegan is to use a B12 supplement, which is created from bacteria in a culture. I like the Methylcobalamin spray by PUre Advantage, which www.veganessentials.com carries. Methylcobalamin is a more effective form of B12 than cyanacobalamin (which is broken down in to methylcobalamin in the body), and is what I've also used to reverse neuropathy in my diabetic cat.

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#3 Postby CollegeB » Sun Sep 03, 2006 11:35 am

Kathryn do all french profs. know way more than just french? Or is it that you just have some extra degrees in things like biology, chemistry, etc.? You just always have the most informative answers....

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#4 Postby Kathryn » Sun Sep 03, 2006 2:01 pm

CollegeB wrote:Kathryn do all french profs. know way more than just french? Or is it that you just have some extra degrees in things like biology, chemistry, etc.? You just always have the most informative answers....


Nope, no extra degrees, though while teaching French is my profession, my avocation is health and fitness, and I've been reading up on both since the mid-70's (and some of the reading and research and analytical skills that helped me get a PhD in French are also useful for other things).

Actually, there are not too few professors in many areas who don't have much common sense or know anything outside of their area. When I was a grad student, a 'brilliant' French prof was a teaching assistant supervisor one semester. I don't know about his brilliance (because I never took an actual class from him), but he seemed like someone who would have trouble trying to figure out how to use the bus system! :wink:

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#5 Postby GGreen » Mon Sep 04, 2006 6:30 am

Kathryn wrote:It's controversial because there is some misinformation out there. Also, some people want to believe that if a vegan diet is a natural diet meant for humans, that should mean we don't need to take any supplements (more on that later).

The controversy is mostly regarding some supposed plant sources of B12, like seaweeds. These have been found in studies to contain B12 analogs, which appear to be B12, but are not assimilated by the body. (Though some people will claim them as sources of B12, this is both misleading and dangerous.)

B12 is created only by bacteria, which is where animals get in in their systems in the first place.

As for the "if veganism is a natural state, then why do we need B12?" argument: Humans used to be able to get it from bacteria remaining on fresh-picked and lightly rinsed produce, or from drinking water from streams, but since our water is now chlorinated and processed, and our foods are the same, this is not a current source of B12.

The best thing to do as a vegan is to use a B12 supplement, which is created from bacteria in a culture. I like the Methylcobalamin spray by PUre Advantage, which www.veganessentials.com carries. Methylcobalamin is a more effective form of B12 than cyanacobalamin (which is broken down in to methylcobalamin in the body), and is what I've also used to reverse neuropathy in my diabetic cat.


Thanks for the info.

I know that the B12 in Spirulina blocks the absorption of the real B12. If you take them at different times, I assume the real B12 will be absorbed by the body.

Am I right?

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#6 Postby Kathryn » Mon Sep 04, 2006 10:44 am

GGreen wrote:I know that the B12 in Spirulina blocks the absorption of the real B12. If you take them at different times, I assume the real B12 will be absorbed by the body.

Am I right?

Yep!

I'm not sure if taking them at the same time would block all the B12, as supplements usually contain several hundred times the RDA of B12, so while the B12 analogs may block some of the B12(I've read that Nori does this, perhaps more than other B12 analog foods), it may not block all.

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#7 Postby willpeavy » Mon Sep 04, 2006 2:56 pm

"What Every Vegan Should Know about Vitamin B12"

http://www.veganhealth.org/articles/everyvegan/
[url=http://willpeavy.net/:34olz5pn]willpeavy.net[/url:34olz5pn]

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#8 Postby lmmy » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:01 pm

Actually, because plants will absorb B-12 from soil that is healthy and has a good supply of it, humans used to be able to get it from that, too. It isn't just "our food had dirt on it", it's also that plants are actually able to absorb B-12, even though they don't nowdays because we've over-farmed so much and have killed the soil using pesticides, herbicides, etc.

I don't like the Veganhealth.org site because one of their doctors made the claim that vegans don't live any longer than carnists (meat-eating ones), a claim which has been proven false by new research, and they haven't removed it from their site.
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#9 Postby willpeavy » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:08 pm

Do you have a link for the new research?
[url=http://willpeavy.net/:34olz5pn]willpeavy.net[/url:34olz5pn]

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#10 Postby 9nines » Sat Sep 09, 2006 10:09 pm

Is B12 "in" meat or "on" meat?

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#11 Postby lmmy » Sun Sep 10, 2006 2:53 pm

No, it was in the paper, my girlfriend alerted me to it. I'll see if I can find a link.

Okay, well, I found this (but it was more recent than this, just this spring/early summer): http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanheral ... /snt11.asp

I'll ask her if she can find me the article.
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#12 Postby Kathryn » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:38 am

lmmy wrote:Actually, because plants will absorb B-12 from soil that is healthy and has a good supply of it, humans used to be able to get it from that, too. It isn't just "our food had dirt on it", it's also that plants are actually able to absorb B-12, even though they don't nowdays because we've over-farmed so much and have killed the soil using pesticides, herbicides, etc.

Any sources on that? I've read a lot on B12 and veganism, and have never heard this.

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#13 Postby kuramus » Mon Sep 11, 2006 11:57 am

One of the best and most comprehensive articles i have read about B12 - http://www.living-foods.com/articles/b12issue.html .

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#14 Postby SeaSiren » Mon Sep 11, 2006 2:25 pm

I have been interested in this subject as well. I have read so much on it but find it all inconclusive one way or the other.
Storm (from the garden diet), says he doesn't take supplements and has been raw for 30 years now. Some of his children have been raw vegan all their lives with no supplements. They have a check up every year and they have included a B12 check as well. These children have no deficiency. I have wondered how that could be? Also, I read on one of the sites that the percentage of vegans with a B12 deficiency per capita was no different than the omni's with the same deficiency. I find it all very fascinating, although I personally am not willing to gamble with my health until I feel more confident.

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#15 Postby lmmy » Mon Sep 11, 2006 9:44 pm

Source:

... Research has convincingly shown that plants grown in healthy soil that has a good concentration of vitamin B12 will readily absorb this nutrient. However, plants grown in "lifeless" soil (non-organic) may be deficient in vitamin B12. In the United States, most of our agriculture takes place on relatively lifeless soil, decimated from years of unnatural pesticide, herbicide and fertiliser use. So the plants grown in this soil and sold in our supermarkets lack B12.

Taken from The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II. Source listed in book: Mozafar A. "Enrichment of some B-vitamins in plants with application of organic fertilizers." Plant and Soil 167 (1994) 305-311.
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