Vegan Sources for Vitamins E and B12?

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sirdle
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Vegan Sources for Vitamins E and B12?

#1 Postby sirdle » Tue Aug 09, 2005 10:01 pm

Have any of you analyzed your diet to see if you are getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals?

I have been experimenting with mixing different vegan foods together and keeping track of the nutrients in each. My goal is to get all the nutrients I need by eating natural, vegan food without taking any supplements.

Even with 2 big salads a day I can get only about 50% (7-8 mg) of the vitamin E suggested by the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Acadamies. (1C brocolli = 1.3 mg, 1/2C spinach = 1.7 mg). How do you get your vitamin E?

And I can't get any Vitamin B12. Are there any vegan sources of B12 other than supplements?

Thanks
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#2 Postby Daywalker » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:03 pm

Hi Sirdle.

I don't know exact information by heart, but it should be fairly easy to find this in the internet.

Anyway, as far as i know, Vit. E is in nuts and seeds.

B12 is another matter. Some say it's in algae, some say it's in fermented food (like yeast, sauerkraut, miso), but others disagree and claim that those are only analogons of the real cyanocobalamin and as such useless if not harmful.
Some suggest that eating a vegan diet (esp. raw vegan) changes the intestinal flora so that the B12 produced there can be absorbed, which is normally NOT the case.
The only sure source i know is unwashed organically grown vegetables. The bacteria on the outside contain small amounts of B12.

As far as i know, the matter is still not solved sufficiently. I take a multivit. supplement that also contains B12.

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#3 Postby michaelhobson » Wed Aug 10, 2005 12:37 pm

Daywalker wrote:The only sure source i know is unwashed organically grown vegetables. The bacteria on the outside contain small amounts of B12.


I surely wouldn't count on dirty vegetables for B12!!!

A supliment or fortified foods is the only way to go. B12 deficiency among vegans who don't take supliments or eat fortified foods is not at all uncommon. The effects are serious and can even lead to permanent brain damage in severe cases. All vegan nutrition experts and current vegan literature call for a supliment.

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#4 Postby Richard » Wed Aug 10, 2005 1:18 pm

IMO there is no need to be 'natural'. Nature often sucks big time, check out discovery channel. I eat fortified stuff and take multi vitamins, although there is arguments about how good they really are.

I surely wouldn't count on dirty vegetables for B12!!!


:lol:

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#5 Postby sirdle » Wed Aug 10, 2005 2:22 pm

Thanks guys. What about vitamin E? Do you take supplements? Or do you get it all from your diet?
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#6 Postby michaelhobson » Wed Aug 10, 2005 3:26 pm

sirdle wrote:Thanks guys. What about vitamin E? Do you take supplements? Or do you get it all from your diet?


I have read quite a lot about vegan nutrition lately, but don't recall any particular concern for vitamin E. It is abundant in soyfoods, whole grains, vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. I have never used an E supliment, though it may be in fortified foods that I eat.

I'll double check my vegan nutrition book, just to make sure. "Becoming Vegan" is a must read for any vegan, no matter how well informed you may already think you are. :wink: It has current scientific information and is not biased by any vegan myths such as getting b12 from unwashed veggies.
Last edited by michaelhobson on Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

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#7 Postby Daywalker » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:03 pm

Oops, sorry.
You're absolutely right, Michael, i chose the wrong words :oops:

What i intended to say was:
Unwashed vegetables definitely contain B12, THAT'S for sure. NOT that it is a sure source for the vitamin! Sorry, if i wasn't clear about that :?
The other sources i mentioned are not undisputed, therefore i didn't want to call them "sure".

As i said, i use a supplement...

Oops again...

:oops:
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#8 Postby michaelhobson » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:17 pm

Daywalker wrote:Oops, sorry.
You're absolutely right, Michael, i chose the wrong words :oops:

What i intended to say was:
Unwashed vegetables definitely contain B12, THAT'S for sure. NOT that it is a sure source for the vitamin! Sorry, if i wasn't clear about that :?
The other sources i mentioned are not undisputed, therefore i didn't want to call them "sure".

As i said, i use a supplement...

Oops again...

:oops:


It's all good! :D

In my recent reading, there have been far too many accounts of vegans
suffering from B12 deficiency. Considering the serious effects of B12
deficiency, I just want to make sure we take it seriously. :wink:

The early days of the vegan movement made far too much effort to try
and convince people that vegan is the natural diet of mankind etc. It may or may not be, but we need to be careful not to ignore scientific evidence
that calls for needed supliments. 8)

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#9 Postby CollegeB » Wed Aug 10, 2005 4:49 pm

We have talked about B-12 on other posts. Rob pointed out that if cows dont need it why do we? Cows probably do need some and get it but from dirty grass. A vegan book even said we clean our veggies too much and wash away b-12. Your body does not even need a daily dose of b-12. Nat where did you read far too many vegans have a deficiency, and that veganism is not a natural diet? In my paper I used sources that said the early humans probably were vegan except for a bug or two that happened to be on their fruit. I agree with eating fresh organic veggies, you all can do what you want. I even supplement but i probably am just wasting money.

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#10 Postby sirdle » Wed Aug 10, 2005 7:06 pm

I thought I had read that B12 was produced by bacteria somewhere between the small and large intestines in humans. The large intestine (if I remember correctly) does not have the ability to absorb nutrients, so, even though humans make their owe B12, we can not absorb it into our body and need suppliments. I can't find the source for this claim, though. Cows and other animals have different digestive systems and their bacteria produce B12 in areas where it can be absorbed.

I did run across this today from Health and Fitness Excellance by Robert Cooper 1989. He is summarizing an article from M. J. Albert, Nature 283, (1980): 781-782.
It was thought for many years that vegetarians were deficient in vitamin B12. But by the early 1980s, these conclusions were judged premature or based on scientific oversights. Sophisticated research techniques have revealed that vitamin B12 is made by bacteria high enough in the human intestinal tract that it can be absorbed into the body. And the absorption of B12 is reportedly as high as 70% for vegans, compared with 16% in meat eaters.

Has anybody run across anything more recent?
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#11 Postby michaelhobson » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:23 am

Below is an excerpt from Vegan Outreach's "vegan health" project web site. It is a must read for any vegan. I'll let you all draw your own conclusions about dirty veggies and intestinal bacteria being good sources of b12 after reading it.

http://www.veganhealth.org/b12/

Does Vitamin B12 Matter?

There are two types of B12 deficiency: mild and overt.

Overt B12 Deficiency:

B12 protects the nervous system. Without it, permanent damage can result (e.g., blindness, deafness, dementia). Fatigue, and tingling in the hands or feet, can be early signs of deficiency. B12 also keeps the digestive system healthy.

Mild B12 Deficiency:

By lowering homocysteine levels, B12 also reduces the risk of heart disease, stroke, and other diseases. Vegans and near-vegans who do not supplement with vitamin B12 have consistently shown elevated homocysteine levels. See the section Homocysteine, B12, Vegetarians, and Disease.

B12 is generally found in all animal foods (except honey). The overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, is that plant foods do not provide vitamin B12. Despite this, some vegan advocates still believe that "plant foods provide all the nutrients necessary for optimal health" and, therefore, do not address vitamin B12 when promoting the vegan diet. Other vegan advocates acknowledge the need for B12, but only as an afterthought.

The result is that many vegans do not eat B12 fortified foods or supplements. Many have developed overt B12 deficiency. In some cases, the symptoms have cleared up after taking B12 supplements, but not everyone has been so lucky.

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#12 Postby michaelhobson » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:38 am

Another important and ongoing study that you can be a part of:

http://veganhealthstudy.org/veganhealthstudy.htm

Vitamin Deficiencies:

The Vegan Health Study confirms numerous other studies that vegans who do not supplement their diets with vitamin B-12 are at definite risk for deficiency of vitamin B12. The effects of vitamin B-12 deficiencies may appear as soon as 6 months after adopting a purely plant-based diet, or may not appear following consumption of an exclusively vegan diet for 10 years or more.

Vitamin B-12 deficiencies:

Vitamin B12 deficiency has numerous negative consequences for health:

Artery Damage:

When vitamin B12 levels fall, homocysteine levels in the blood begin to rise. Homocysteine is a waste product of the metabolism of the amino acid, methionine. Elevated levels of homocysteine can damage the inner surfaces of arteries and in doing so promote deposition of cholesterol plaques - thus elevating the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Neurological Damage:

Peripheral nerves – numbness and tingling and burning sensation in extremities and profound muscular fatigue.

Spinal cord injury – a serious form - subacute combined degeneration - may cause paralysis and be irreversible.

Other neurological hazards of vitamin B12 deficiency: dementia and depression in adults.

Risks to children:
If mother is B-12 deficient while pregnant: birth defects.

If mother is B-12 deficient while breastfeeding: nerve and brain damage, poor weight gain and “failure to thrive syndrome.”

If child is B-12 deficient during infancy and adolescence: impaired intellectual function impairment.

Blood system damage:

Vitamin B12 deficiency leads to macrocytic anemia (abnormal shape and function of red blood cells), causing weakness, fatigue, irritability and inability to concentrate.

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#13 Postby sirdle » Thu Aug 11, 2005 10:47 am

Well, it seems pretty clear to me. Get a supplement!

The overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, is that plant foods do not provide vitamin B12.
As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love --- Leonardo Da Vinci

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#14 Postby brendan » Thu Aug 11, 2005 7:42 pm

Hey, Sirdle, did you recently go vegan or vegetarian? I thought I remember from some of your previous posts that you said you were one of the only non-vegs on the board, but now it looks like you might be trying it out and you have that cool da Vinci quote as your signature. If so, how bout a pre-emptive "WOOT"! :D

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#15 Postby sirdle » Thu Aug 11, 2005 8:15 pm

Well here is the story (you did ask).

My longtime philosophy-of-life is simply incompatiable with the concept of "animal rights." However, based on the comments made by many people on this board, and due to the overwhelmingly positive support that everybody has shown, I am coming to believe that philosophy may be wrong. So I am trying to reconcile the two viewpoints and find a common philosophical ground. It is not easy. I may, in the end, reject either my philosophy or the concept of "animal rights," but I don't think I'll need to.

So I won't claim to be an "ethical vegan" (and maybe I never will). But I do think that from a health and fitness standpoint, veganism is the best approach to Life, the Universe, and Everything. About 2 weeks ago, I stopped eating meat (and all that non-meat food like chicken and fish :wink: ), and eggs. I still do eat some yogurt and cheese... mostly for logistical reasons... but I have switched to soy milk.

So that is it. I hope to keep learning and growing, and I thank everybody here for being so kind, and helpful, and understanding. :D
As long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other. Indeed, he who sows the seeds of murder and pain cannot reap the joy of love --- Leonardo Da Vinci


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