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 Post subject: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 8:28 am 
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From the blog of Jack Norris, vegan Registered Dietitian(RD) and cofounder of Vegan Outreach:


http://jacknorrisrd.com/?p=3037

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An activist brought to my attention the article B12 Deficiencies in Vegans? Not True! at Flaming Vegan. I guess I’m naive about what vegans are saying about vitamin B12, but I was very surprised to read the article and the comments, and so I posted a response below it. It’s mostly about seaweed as a source of vitamin B12.

Another reader brought my attention to a page on vegan triathlete Brendan Brazier’s site, Lesson 2: [url=Lesson 2: High Net-Gain Nutrition]High Net-Gain Nutrition[/url]. On that page, he claims that miso is a source of vitamin B12. In fact, the two studies that have measured vitamin B12 in miso have found none.

Brazier also claims that chlorella is “the best source of B-12!” Two studies have found vitamin B12 analogues in batches of chlorella while one study found practically none. This could mean that the B12 analogues in the two studies that found it were there from contamination, which means it cannot be relied upon. More importantly, Chlorella has not been tested to see if it improves vitamin B12 status in humans. The track record of other seaweeds that were once considered a source of B12 has not been good, so there is reason to be skeptical of chlorella as well. Thus, chlorella is far from the best source of vitamin B12.

Citations for the miso and chlorella studies can be found in B12 in Tempeh, Seaweeds, Organic Produce, and Other Plant Foods.

As an aside, Brazier lists romaine lettuce and arugula as sources of calcium. According to the USDA, one cup of shredded romaine has only 15 mg of calcium, making it a poor source. One cup of arugula has 32 mg of calcium, making it a somewhat better source, but still not very good.

I sent Mr. Brazier a note through his contact form on May 5 in an attempt to alert him to these issues and did not get a response. As of today, this information is still on his website so I thought it was appropriate to let readers know they should not rely on this information and continue my attempt to spread the word to the vegan community about reliable sources of vitamin B12.


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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Sun Jun 17, 2012 9:32 pm 
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I appreciate you posting this. I read Thrive Diet a year or two ago and I remember being highly bothered by how so many claims were asserted as fact without any sort of scientific support for them. I have little doubt Brendan's diet has been effective for him and for the many athletes he advises, but a cavalier attitude about evidence raises a big red flag to me. I heard him speak today in New York and a lot of what he said felt right to me on a gut level and I noticed a lot of heads in the audience nodding up and down, but he certainly wasn't citing any studies during his presentation...and considering the price of the product he sells, I would think more people would want to see some hard facts to support his narrative...


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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 5:53 am 
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There is an old joke where someone goes on about how their grandfather smoke a pack of cigarettes every day and lived to be 97. Someone replies back "but imagine how much longer he could have lived if he DIDN"T smoke".

Without scientific backing nobody knows if Brazier did well because of his diet, in spite of his diet or if his diet was neutral in regards his athletic good fortune..........or if he could have done BETTER on another diet.

The same questions apply to anyone athletic following his books. Maybe they could do as well or even better without the inconvenience of his system or the cost of his supplements.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 8:03 am 
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I read Brandon's book around 6 weeks ago and this post isn't intended to be a slam towards him or his book. I got some good ideas from the book for various types of "grains" to eat, most I had never heard of before such as teff, spelt, amaranth and millet.

The book also recommends chlorella and maca for athletes to improve energy levels, endurance etc. So I started using both of them at the same time in a powder form that I purchased from nuts.com. Within 1 week I noticed my body would "heat up" or feel hot, especially while sleeping. This is something I hadn't experienced in years since I stopped eating meat. I checked my blood pressure and sure enough it was up.

I don't know which(the chlorella or maca) caused this or possibly both and it may be something that wouldn't effect everyone in this way. But I have stopped both for now and may start back in the future one at a time to try to pinpoint which caused this reaction.

Has anyone else every experienced this from either of these products?

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:54 am 
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I've heard that chlorella can frequently be bad and that a number of people have gotten sick off of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 12:48 pm 
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Oh ok, thanks for the info.

I wonder if by bad does that mean the chlorella went bad while in storage or that it was bad from the source it was made from? I guess it really doesn't matter, if you are sick you are sick, I was just curious.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 3:48 pm 
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Probably both, it just wasn't handled correctly.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Wed Sep 05, 2012 7:18 am 
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The PhytoAthlete wrote:

Has anyone else every experienced this from either of these products?


I know this is old, but in case it's still relevant, I tried maca and didn't experience that... then again 5 g. a day every second day maybe it's too little to experience anything.... :?:


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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:41 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
I've heard that chlorella can frequently be bad and that a number of people have gotten sick off of it.

You could probably apply that statement to any green foods supplement, or even many regular supplements for that matter.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:08 am 
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What most people don’t realise is that the calcium in dairy is not as bioavailable as plant-based sources (barely 35% of calcium from dairy is absorbed). Calcium absorption and deposition into the bones is also reliant on getting the right balance of nutrients and minerals, and dairy doesn’t provide the right environment. Dairy foods are quite high in phosphorous and low in magnesium which will impede calcium absorption. Some of the best calcium sources of absorbable calcium are leafy greens, parsley, almonds, sardines, sesame seeds, chia seeds, broccoli, cauliflower, seaweed, sea vegetables, pinto beans, adzuki beans, soybean and nuts. Pair calcium-rich foods with vitamin C and D rich foods for the best absorption.

The best way to absorb your calcium, grow strong bones and to prevent osteoporosis is by basing your diet around fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, good quality protein, essential fatty acids, soaked, sprouted or fermented wholegrains and legumes. Lifestyle changes include getting regular outdoor exercise, enough rest, enough direct sunlight regularly on the skin (without getting burnt) and avoiding fizzy drinks and acidic refined foods. Also weight-bearing exercises and a real focus on green vegetables as the mainstay of the diet.

Avoiding caffeine, sodas, excess sodium, alcohol, and excessive animal fats and protein will help you to keep the calcium in your bones too. These foods cause acidity in the body and encourage calcium to be released from storage in your bones as calcium has an alkalising effect.

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 Post subject: Re: Brendan Brazier, Norris, Calcium, B12 And Misinformation
PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 4:15 am 
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This is very interesting. I've just started adding a teaspoon of chlorella and maca powder to my morning smoothie. I've not noticed any ill effect yet, but it has only been around a week.

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