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Vitamin B-12: Still A Problem


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Even the authors of the study think that b-12 supplements work despite the finding about those supplementing not having better status than those not.

 

Supplements don't work if people don't take them.

 

There is the simple issue of people just falling out of the habit of doing it.

 

Then there are the issues of misinformation, egotistical concerns and "idealogies" that you see a bit of in this thread. To be fair, those things are not confined to this thread. I have been post Jack Norris' article on B-12 for years in many places. The same reactions, and worse happen in many vegan forums.

 

In an ideal world it should just be a matter of a problem being solved by someone with an education writing an article explaining the situation, what to do about it, people rationally pursuing their own self interests reading the article and then altering their behavior.

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47 cents a week

 

I order my vitamin b-12 lozenges once a year from freeda vitamins. I take one a day before I leave for work. I just place a new order a few days ago. $24.83 with shipping costs.

 

47 cents a week. About 6-7 cents a day.

 

47 cents a week to prevent chronic fatigue, poor mental processing, strokes, paralysis and heart attacks.

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47 cents a week

 

I order my vitamin b-12 lozenges once a year from freeda vitamins. I take one a day before I leave for work. I just place a new order a few days ago. $24.83 with shipping costs.

 

47 cents a week. About 6-7 cents a day.

 

47 cents a week to prevent chronic fatigue, poor mental processing, strokes, paralysis and heart attacks.

 

But did you get tested?

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I saw a better quote on veganhealth.org!

 

Vegans do not need to get their homocysteine or B12 levels checked merely because they are vegan. Rather, being vegan means that you should get a regular, reliable source of vitamin B12 from fortified foods and/or supplements.
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Beforewisdom, why is it so important for you that you post about this since decades ? Its each individual's health/problem; why you don't chose to go on much important croisades, like peace in the world. I believe that if each individual becomes a peaceful person, there will be no more wars or no crimes at all. Being vegan is a good start. To supplement with b12 is not so important, unless people start experiencing symptoms. 25$ per year is still 25$ less in your pocket, it is better to wait for symptoms so then you know if you need it and you know if the supplements will make a change. Otherwise you will supplement all your life without knowing if its necessary or not. 25$ for 25 years is already 625$.

 

Is nutritional yeast (like the FiveStar - or something similar- flakes or brewer's yeast) are as good as templets ?

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Beforewisdom, why is it so important for you that you post about this since decades ?

 

I want to see veganism succeed. If vegans don't take b-12 they will likely get ill, quit and then encourage other people to quit.

 

it is better to wait for symptoms so then you know if you need it and you know if the supplements will make a change.

If you wait for symptoms of a b-12 deficiency you will likely have a serious problem you can't recover from.

 

Otherwise you will supplement all your life without knowing if its necessary or not.

 

This isn't true. It is established by research and reported by vegan nutrition experts that vegans need to do it. You are endangering the health of people more ignorant than you are by saying that it is not necessary. Those people may not bother to check up on what you write.

 

Is nutritional yeast (like the FiveStar - or something similar- flakes or brewer's yeast) are as good as templets ?

 

I'm not being sarcastic, but you are trying to trivialize this issue and now you are pretty much admitting ignorance of it by asking a very basic question.

 

Only one kind of nutritional yeast is known to be a reliable source of sufficient b-12. Red Starr Brand nutritional yeast, their "vegetarian formula".

 

I don't know what templets are. If you are talking about tempeh, in the developed world it is not a reliable source of b-12. High sanitation standards destroy much b-12 that would otherwise be present in food. In exchange for that we get a much safer food supply, but there is the need to take sublingual b-12 lozenges to ensure our health, or eat foods fortified with b-12.

 

On the last point, many people claim they haven't used b-12 in years and feel fine. However, they are not right. Many packaged foods are fortified with b-12 because everyone, omni and vegan alike has issues with b-12 due to standards of cleanliness( and other issues ).

 

The thing is, those amounts of b-12 are enough to suppress problems, but not necessarily enough for optimal health.

 

Don't trust what I say, read Jack Norris' article for yourself:

http://veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

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Red Star nutritional yeast and some other brands like Bragg's nutritional yeast (but not brewer's yeast) are fortified with b-12 but you'd have to eat a shitload of it each day to reach the daily requirement. Some soy/coconut yogurts and milks also contain B-12. If you eat a couple servings of fortified food regularly every day, you're probably good. But I don't get the sense that you eat much pre-packaged food IYM. I'd seriously consider taking a 1000 mcg pill once or twice a week or adding b-12 to your smoothies or something but it's your health.

 

If you're really anti-pills or fortified foods there's some evidence that nori and chlorella have active b-12 and raise serum b-12/lower MMA levels but that's based on only a couple of small studies and probably not worth risking your nerves.

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Beforewisdom, why is it so important for you that you post about this since decades ? Its each individual's health/problem; why you don't chose to go on much important croisades, like peace in the world. I believe that if each individual becomes a peaceful person, there will be no more wars or no crimes at all. Being vegan is a good start. To supplement with b12 is not so important, unless people start experiencing symptoms. 25$ per year is still 25$ less in your pocket, it is better to wait for symptoms so then you know if you need it and you know if the supplements will make a change. Otherwise you will supplement all your life without knowing if its necessary or not. 25$ for 25 years is already 625$.

 

lolwut? sounds like you have some sort of deficiency...

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lolwut? sounds like you have some sort of deficiency...

Sounds like you are not a good human being. Have compassion and peace inside, instead of negativity, be respectful instead of unhappy and miserable.

 

Beforewisdom, why is it so important for you that you post about this since decades ?

 

I want to see veganism succeed. If vegans don't take b-12 they will likely get ill, quit and then encourage other people to quit.

 

Veganism already succeeds. It will succeed completely when all the population will be vegan, the reason we're not there yet is not because of B12. The meat-eaters that don't go vegan don't think about b12 to remain omni, or if they do it is just based on myths, not facts.

 

 

 

 

I don't know what templets are. If you are talking about tempeh, in the developed world it is not a reliable source of b-12. High sanitation standards destroy much b-12 that would otherwise be present in food. In exchange for that we get a much safer food supply, but there is the need to take sublingual b-12 lozenges to ensure our health, or eat foods fortified with b-12.

 

...

 

Don't trust what I say, read Jack Norris' article for yourself:

http://veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

You put this link for like 10 times in this thread. I've already read the article.

 

Sorry, I meant tablets... I know the b12 in tempeh is supposdly a form of b12 that we cannot use.

When you write that high sanitation standards in the food industry destroy much b12, I guess it means it destroys the b12 in meat and eggs, since those are irradiated, cooked, etc.

In a USDA report, it says that lots of crushed insects are present in food products such as pastas, peanut butter, chocolate and fruit juice, sometimes 40g of insects per 100g of food, so that's a lot of B12, no need of pills.

About waiting for symptoms, like Ducati I'm not sure there are irreversible damage at the stage of the first sy,ptoms, please show a study to back up your claims. If the damage is irreversible as you say, why do you claim that vegans who experienced B12 deficiency quit veganism to eat meat again, as if it would solve the problem, if their nervous system is already permanently affected. And no need to eat meat again even if a vegan developps B12 deficiency, just need to start taking supplements.

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I'm your man,

 

Although I don't think everyone needs to be tested regularly, I do agree that anyone on a 100% plant-based diet take a supplement, especially if they don't consume any plant-based foods fortified with B12. The main reason is that symptoms are not the same among all people. You might get a little tired and I might develop mouth sores. If you then go to the doctor and they tell you to take B12 supplements, you probably just spent more then a lifetimes worth of supplements to see the doctor.

 

Taking a supplement is cheap insurance. Personally, I spend less than $7 a year. I get the liquid kind and each drop has over 10,000% of the RDA.

 

I am not sure what Beforewisdom is trying to do here. I have stated exactly the same thing that is promoted by Jack Norris who he is using as reference, but he has issues with what I am saying. Take a supplement, and don't worry about it unless you develop symptoms.

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Okay, here's a quick read that will shed some more info:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12_deficiency

 

Let's take just a few of the fun things from it:

 

"Early and even fairly pronounced deficiency does not always cause distinct or specific symptoms. Common early symptoms are tiredness, a decreased mental work capacity, weakened concentration and memory, and irritability and depression."

 

Yes, early warning signs that some people here might not pick up on when they start happening. These are symptoms that are easy enough to write off as "just having a rough patch" in life, and most likely won't cause anyone to question their B12 levels possibly being low.

 

And it gets better....

 

"Neurological signs of B12 deficiency, which can occur with or without anemia, include sensory disturbances (due to damage to peripheral nerves caused by demyelination) and irreversible nerve cell death. Symptoms include numbness and/or tingling of the extremities, altered proprioception, impaired sense of smell, loss of appetite (anorexia), disturbed coordination and, if not treated in time, an ataxic gait especially in the dark when there is less visual reference[2]. In extreme cases, B12 deficiency can lead to a syndrome known as subacute combined degeneration of spinal cord.

 

B12 deficiency can also cause symptoms of mania, psychosis, fatigue, memory impairment, irritability, depression and personality changes.

 

B12 status may be associated with the onset and course of Alzheimer's disease. Some studies have found no relationship, while several recent studies indicate a relationship between B12, homocysteine, and Alzheimer's. B12 status is routinely measured at the time of Alzheimer's diagnosis, and there is some indication that ongoing measurements may be useful to detect the development of a severe deficiency. In addition to checking serum B12, checking the levels of other compounds (particularly methylmalonic acid) may be necessary to accurately detect a deficiency state, because serum levels do not necessarily correlate with efficient utilization of B12.

 

Studies showing a relationship between clinical depression levels and deficient B12 blood levels in elderly people are documented in the clinical literature.

 

Science Daily reported that "a deficiency of B-vitamins may cause vascular cognitive impairment, according to a new study by the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging (HNRCA) at Tufts University." Aron Troen, PhD, said that: "The vascular changes occurred in the absence of neurotoxic or degenerative changes. Metabolic impairments induced by a diet deficient in three B-vitamins — folate, B12 and B6 — caused cognitive dysfunction and reductions in brain capillary length and density in our mouse model."

 

Yeah, that's all the sort of thing that we don't need to worry about, eh?

 

There's a chance that some people may have low B-12 levels and never have a problem. But why, dear sweet Baby Jesus, oh why do some vegans think that it's bordering on criminal to accept that it's not a bad idea to take a simple supplement? Like I said earlier, you're not "making a stand" against anything by ignoring the potential for long-term damage for those who may be deficient, and again, a little bit spent on B-12 goes a long way.

 

And, for the argument that "it still costs $25 a year", do you buy ANYTHING in this life that is non-essential? Do you live your life in a 100% utilitarian manner without any waste whatsoever? Do you only eat precisely the exact calories at maximum that you need to consume daily because anything else is excessive? Do you drive a car? See movies? Use electricity for anything non-essential? Do anything that might cost a few dollars from time to time? Can you see where I'm going with this? If $25/year to safeguard against the ONE MAJOR THING that can be a serious health issue on a vegan diet is too much, perhaps you need to question your commitment to your own optimal health. Because seriously, if you simply say "I won't worry about it" based off of assumption that you just "think" you're getting adequate B-12 on your own, then you obviously aren't that serious about safeguarding yourself. Period.

 

And, IYM, I think you're missing part of what beforewisdom means by people going back to meat and dairy after a health scare while vegan. What do people typically do when they have health problems? Listen to their physicians' advice. What do you think a physician is going to say if someone comes in with a deficiency? They're 99.9% guaranteed to do anything in their power to convince the patient that it's the VEGAN DIET that is the problem, not their failure to safeguard against a simple vitamin deficiency. I can safely say, I've met no shortage of people over the past decade who have told me that they USED to be vegan, but they "never felt good" on the diet, and decided to go back to being omnivorous. Maybe it was something to do with inadequate B-12, maybe just a crappy diet, who knows. But, what do you think those people do in turn? Tell everyone else "Yeah, I WAS vegan, but that diet sucks, I felt terrible, and I feel MUCH better eating meat again!" It's happened plenty - we should be encouraging vegans to be SAFE in order to avoid issues to further the cause of the movement rather than ignore potential hazards because we THINK that we're perceptive enough to figure out warning signs if they ever pop up. Ignoring potential hazards and pretending that the science isn't there is not promoting veganism well, it's simply making us look like we pick and choose what we WANT to believe, as if we're still arguing the concept of whether the earth is flat or round. And that kind of appearance doesn't make us look like we have any real grasp on what we're promoting, does it?

 

But, it's your health. What's funny is, people too often don't WANT to hear what's right, even if it is for their benefit. I don't know what's to be gained by ignoring facts, but if keeping one's ego strong by never admitting you might not be 100% on the mark is all that matters, then, that's your issue to contend with. Can't say we didn't try, hey BW?

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Beforewisdom, why is it so important for you that you post about this since decades ?

 

I want to see veganism succeed. If vegans don't take b-12 they will likely get ill, quit and then encourage other people to quit.

 

Veganism already succeeds. It will succeed completely when all the population will be vegan

 

Only a fraction of a single percent of the population is vegan and everyone admits that it is probably lower since many people aren't sure what the word means. A vegan world is far from inevitable.

 

You put this link for like 10 times in this thread. I've already read the article.

 

I keep putting it in because people keep arguing on points they would not had they read the facts in it. Since you have read that article by Jack Norris, vegan RD and are still arguing about b-12 supplementation not being a need I don't see a point in arguing with you. All I can do is point you to the facts that research has produced and as has been reported by someone with the proper education and credentials. If you aren't going to listen to that, that is it.

 

Sorry, I meant tablets... I know the b12 in tempeh is supposdly a form of b12 that we cannot use.

 

Not true.

The b-12 in tempeh is usable, but sanitation practices in America either prevent it from being in tempeh, remove it or destroy it.

 

 

When you write that high sanitation standards in the food industry destroy much b12, I guess it means it destroys the b12 in meat and eggs, since those are irradiated, cooked, etc.

 

No it does not mean that. If you really did read Jack Norris article on b-12 you would not have written that.

Sanitation standars reduce/remove/eliminate b-12 from fermented foods and b-12 that would be on the food from the environment.

 

If the damage is irreversible as you say, why do you claim that vegans who experienced B12 deficiency quit veganism to eat meat again, as if it would solve the problem, if their nervous system is already permanently affected. And no need to eat meat again even if a vegan developps B12 deficiency, just need to start taking supplements.

 

Because there is more than one type of damage. A number of people who eat a vegan diet without b-12 merely get chronic fatigue, which clears up after they go back to eating animal products.........and often write articles and blogs dissing veganism as unlivable.

 

There is no guarantee you will get chronic fatigue first( something which could be mistaken for many other problems and sucks as a warning sign ). You could just have a heart attack or find your arm tingling one day out of the blue.

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There is no guarantee you will get chronic fatigue first( something which could be mistaken for many other problems and sucks as a warning sign ). You could just have a heart attack or find your arm tingling one day out of the blue.

Maybe, or you or I could be hit by a car and die instantly... Don't worry guys, I always make sure to get some B12, I consume fortified milks for morning cereals or oatmeal, or some protein powders have some, or nutritional yeast, etc. But because I don't eat those things very frequently these days I am thinking about buying B12 supplements soon, like a did some years ago. It is sad if some vegans get sick or die because of B12, but it is stupid to say it is because of them that veganism is a failure, or to say veganism is a failure, you want to see it succeed, what are meat-eaters gonna think, etc. There are plenty of people getting sick in all kinds of diets, for instance omnivores that die of heart attacks and diabetes; it is not the diet, it is each individual, they don't eat this diet properly, they eat too many sweets, sodas, deep-fried stuff, etc. Another example: Islam may appear to be a violent religion, but Islam means Peace, it is a religion of peace, like all other religions, even if there are some terrorists that don't practice this religion properly.
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Good lord, why is everyone arguing about this. People should be watching ALL of their vitamin levels, not just B12. Check for a few days to make sure your intake is good, and if it isn't, then take a supplement every day or every few days. When you start having any kind of symptoms (of any deficiency), go to the doctor and get yourself checked out, maybe have some blood work done to be safe.

 

/thread

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And, for the argument that "it still costs $25 a year", do you buy ANYTHING in this life that is non-essential? Do you live your life in a 100% utilitarian manner without any waste whatsoever? Do you only eat precisely the exact calories at maximum that you need to consume daily because anything else is excessive? Do you drive a car? See movies? Use electricity for anything non-essential? Do anything that might cost a few dollars from time to time? Can you see where I'm going with this? If $25/year to safeguard against the ONE MAJOR THING that can be a serious health issue on a vegan diet is too much, perhaps you need to question your commitment to your own optimal health. Because seriously, if you simply say "I won't worry about it" based off of assumption that you just "think" you're getting adequate B-12 on your own, then you obviously aren't that serious about safeguarding yourself. Period.

Ok...what if I tell you I got a blood test and everything was fine ? I don't have a car, I walk or use skateboard, bike, bus, subway, but those things costs some money. Yes I go to movies. With 27$ I can go see 6 more movies. It is better than swallowing some pills, especially if they aren't essential, since there is B12 in the fortified foods, or, as I said, probably in everything, all the flour products, because of the insects. It is BeforeWisdom who assume he is getting enough B12, by consuming supplements without testing his blood (maybe he did, but he didn't answer Ducati's question). Maybe I take risks by going to the movies instead of buying B12 pills, but so far I've taken the right decision, I'm not sick or dead.

 

By the way, beforewisdom and veganessentials, you seem to think that I encourage people to not buy B12 supplements. It is not true, I HAVE NEVER SAID THAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT BUY B12 SUPPLEMENTS. Beforewisdom even said that because of me some vegans might die. Each individual is responsible for his own life. I talk for my own experience, which is: sometimes I consume B12 pills (in the past and in the future, but currently I'm not) or b12 fortified food. Like FallenHorse said, b12 and ALL vitamins are important, if you are not getting enough, do what you need to do.

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And, for the argument that "it still costs $25 a year", do you buy ANYTHING in this life that is non-essential?

 

Something that researchers are stating that is needed to help you avoid a major health catastrophe is not non-essential.

 

Anyone who is making an argument over spending 7 cents a day is not making a rational argument -- one based on issues of facts.

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Something that researchers are stating that is needed to help you avoid a major health catastrophe is not non-essential.

 

Anyone who is making an argument over spending 7 cents a day is not making a rational argument -- one based on issues of facts.

If you buy all the products that researchers are telling us its essential, its not gonna cost you 7 cents per day but 7 hundred dollars per day !

Besides, it is much better to spend 0 cents per day than 7 cents per day

 

Next thing we'll learn is that B12 supplements increase the risk of some diseases...

An example: calcium supplements increase heart attacks by 25-30%, we can read this in an article in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), a meta-analysis from researchers of New-Zealand based on 11 studies, but we can read about this in different articles about calcium.

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I hate it when I can't counter argue my mates on the B-12 part I really love vegan food and I'm proud to a vegan too.

 

Anyways, when I checked my B12 levels, it was around like 400. And the best part is I don't take supplements . That was like 4-5 months before tho.

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