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January 22, 2012

Exploring the Truth of Vitamin B12 and Vegans



Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) is a vitamin that plays an important role in the function of the brain and nervous system, the metabolism of cells, DNA regulation, and the creation of blood. The "normal" range in a standard blood test is 200-900 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter). Levels below 80 represent B12 deficiency. A blood test is not an accurate test for vegans who also consume algae or spirulina because they contain B12-analogues that mimic true B12 in blood tests while actually interfering with B12 metabolism. A blood test may not be totally accurate for other reasons too, explains Dr. Gina Shaw: "Just because there is a low level of B12 in the bloodstream, this does not mean that there is a deficiency in the body as a whole, it may well be being utilised by the living cells (such as the central nervous system). More reliable tests appear to be that of homocysteine levels and Methyl Malonic Acid tests." Dr Gina Shaw, D.Sc, M.A.- source. When the vegan community has been surveyed, there were long time vegans that did develop Vitamin B12 deficiency. Some developed deficiency only after 5 years of being vegan (it is estimated that we have a 5-20 year reserve in our liver).


Some health practitioners don’t feel that vegans get B12 deficiency any more than non-vegans; a certain percentage of the general population becomes deficient; for various reasons such as: they lose their own Intrinsic factor (a glycoprotein necessary for the absorption of B12) - malabsorption problems - or alcohol, drugs, antibiotics, and smoking could affect ones’ stores of B12. However, if a vegan does not supplement B12, it can result in a dietary deficiency. Because of the re-circulation of B12 in our bodies, it may take 20-30 years to become deficient after eating a strictly vegan diet.

Vitamin B12 is apparently a necessary nutrient; but only a miniscule amount is needed (less than 3 micrograms per day). Vitamin B12, no matter where it is sourced from produced by micro-organisms. Rather than killing a cow or a pig to eat him/her for the B12 stored in their gut, vegans choose to take a liquid B complex (with B12) or a vegan sublingual nugget/dot (proven effective) and sprinkle B12 fortified good tasting nutritional (savoury) yeast on their meals - and let the cow live his/her life.

It is debated whether we can or cannot reabsorb Vitamin B12 in our own body (there is controversy over the bacteria being produced too low down in the intestines to be reabsorbed). Some sources say there is B12 in the natural environment when we drink from rivers and eat out of organic/veganic gardens, but this has not proven to be reliable. Rumor has it that purple Nori (may have B12 but also has B12 analogs that interfere with B12 absorption), Chlorella (see link below)unpasteurized miso, a certain mushroom, or Comfrey contain some active B12, however B12 that is sourced from micro-agriculture; cultivated on a bed of yeast, seems to be more count-on-able. (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18247530) - this study proves Chlorella has active B12
(http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19256490) - this study says Nori has active B12, but others say it has more B12 analogs that interfere with real B12 absorption, so who knows?

When being compared to the “normal range” – we are being compared to flesh eaters and those who are drinking the milk of another species; this is not the “normal” that vegans want to be compared to (because frankly, we don’t think it’s normal to exploit, harm and eat other animals or steal the milk meant for their calf.) I question if there are some answers that we do not yet know. After 33 years of being vegan, I’m totally convinced that we should be powered by plants, so therefore we should be able to get all we need directly from plant sources and sunshine, easily. That’s the B12 controversy. That’s the issue that has not been resolved in the minds of some vegans. Perhaps vegans need less Vitamin B12 than their omnivorous counterparts. Perhaps people didn’t wash the microorganisms off their food and were less sterile than we are today, or some other possibility. For now, vegans should supplement, because very low B12 intake can cause anemia, nervous system damage, and has serious consequences such as dementia or fatality!
"We do have to look at the reality that most grain products, especially those that are called "enriched grain products," cereal, breads, and pasta, and whatnots, are typically enriched with B12, which means you're taking a B12 supplement every day. What we call the normal level of B12 is based on testing people who are supplementing with B12 at every meal. This is an abnormally high level of B12 compared to the normal population or compared to a population which isn't supplementing..."  Douglas Graham; doctor of chiropractic, long-time raw foodist, author of the 80-10-10 Diet, and professional fasting supervisor. 
After investigation, it’s reasonable for vegans to supplement Vitamin B12 or they are putting themselves at serious risk. It’s an absolute must (according to vegan medical doctors) for pregnant vegan mothers and children! Infants that drink only their vegan mother’s milk might have limited reserves of B12 and can develop deficiency within months of birth. Untreated, vitamin B12 deficiency in infants can result in severe and permanent neurological damage. That explains this:
"The American Dietetic Association recommends supplemental vitamin B12 for vegans during both pregnancy and lactation to ensure that enough vitamin B12 is transferred to the fetus and infant. Pregnant and lactating women who follow strict vegetarian or vegan diets should consult with a pediatrician regarding vitamin B12 supplements for their infants and children.”
It is inexpensive to supplement, it is water soluble and won’t accumulate in the body over time, and has no known side effects even when taken in large quantities, and is a precautionary measure. If vegans supplement with B12, generally they are at far less risk of heart disease than the general population. However, if vegans don’t supplement with B12, they might be at more risk! 
“But there is room for improvement in any diet, and the analysis, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, suggested that vegans who have low intakes of vitamin B12 and possibly omega-3 fats could lose out on the benefits of healthful plant-based eating. Inadequate B12 is associated with elevated levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that is linked to increased heart disease. But that's an issue only for vegans who fail to supplement with vitamin B12. Those who consume recommended amounts of B12 have healthy levels of homocysteine.” Source link:  http://www.whatsonchengdu.com/wine-msg-14.html 
"Studies have found that people who have low levels of vitamin B12 (including those who are not classified as deficient in B12) tend to have high levels of homocysteine. This reduces life expectancy and increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases (such as heart attack and stroke) and dementia. This is another reason why it is very important to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B12, from supplementation and fortified foods. It is not simply about avoiding overt vitamin B12 deficiency, but about avoiding high homocysteine levels and the negative health consequences of this. I recommend that vegans supplement with 5 to 100 mcg of vitamin B12 per day, or 2000 mcg as a weekly dose."Amanda Benham, Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist www.humanherbivore.com
Position of the American Dietetic Association:
"The vitamin B-12 status of some vegetarians is less than adequate due to not regularly consuming reliable sources of vitamin B-12. For vegans, vitamin B-12 must be obtained from regular use of vitamin B-12-fortified foods, such as fortified soy and rice beverages, some breakfast cereals and meat analogs, or Red Star Vegetarian Support Formula nutritional yeast; otherwise a daily vitamin B-12 supplement is needed. No unfortified plant food contains any significant amount of active vitamin B-12. Fermented soy products cannot be considered a reliable source of active B-12. Vitamin B-12 status is best determined by measuring serum levels of homocysteine, methylmalonic acid, or holotranscobalamin II." 
A B12 deficiency can cause an interruption of normal metabolism and result in the accumulation of substances like ‘methylmalonic acid’ and ‘homocysteine’. Tests showing increases in these metabolic products are used to early diagnose B12 deficiency. Elevated homocysteine levels occur long before any of the following symptoms are noticeable:

Some reported Symptoms of B12 deficiency

*Mild problems with the nervous system characterized by numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, or down the side of the body. For example, symptoms have been described like this: “a weird ‘zinging’ thing that went from jaw down the arm.” -or- “sharp stabbing, tingling pain in the palm of one or both hands”. These sensations are reversible in early stages; however, damage to the nervous system can become irreversible.
*Fatigue, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, constipation
*Itchy, tingly or sore tongue, sores at the corners of the mouth and sometimes along the edge of the lip.
*White spots in the skin, resulting from melatonin becoming absent in the area –or- paleness
*Nerve shock in the side of the body. It can be felt coming on a few seconds before it hits, and then it hits almost like a mild but deep electric shock and quickly subsides.
*Shortness of breath, when walking just a few yards, respiratory problems
*Eye twitch, usually in one eye or the other -or- facial pain, usually on only one side of the face at a time, blurred vision, abnormal gait, memory loss, disorientation, confusion, hallucinations, personality changes, cognitive decline, depression
*deafness has been associated with B12 deficiency link: http://www.ajcn.org/content/69/3/564.full
*Infants typically show more rapid onset of symptoms than adults. B12 deficiency may lead to loss of energy and appetite, failure to thrive, movement disorders, or developmental delays. If not promptly corrected, this can progress to coma or death. It is very important for pregnant vegans to supplement and supplement their young child with B12 (and vegan DHA).

Doctor Recommendations and dosage: 
"I knew forty years ago that vitamin B12 would become the last bastion for meat-and dairy-lovers (and the industries that profit from them), because this is the only criticism with any merit that could be lodged against the McDougall Diet (a plant diet). In order to avoid that condemnation and the small risk of harming anyone, I have recommended and printed in the beginning of my books and DVDs the following advice: If you follow the McDougall Diet for more than 3 years, or if you are pregnant or nursing, then take a minimum of 5 micrograms of supplemental vitamin B12 each day." John McDougall, MD drmcdougall@drmcdougall.com
"In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health. It is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12, from fortified foods or supplements. This will benefit our health and help to attract others to veganism through our example. National recommendations for B12 intakes vary significantly from country to country. The US recommended intake is 2.4 mcgs a day for ordinary adults rising to 2.8 mcgs for nursing mothers. The German recommendation is 3 mcgs a day. Recommended intakes are usually based on 50% absorption, as this is typical for small amounts from foods. To meet the US and German recommendations you need to obtain sufficient B12 to absorb 1.5 mcgs per day on average. This amount should be sufficient to avoid even the initial signs of inadequate B12 intake, such as slightly elevated homocysteine and MMA levels, in most people. Even slightly elevated homocysteine is associated with increased risk of many health problems including heart disease in adults, preeclampsia during pregnancy and neural tube defects in babies." Stephen Walsh, Ph.D., Trustee of The Vegan Society [U.K.]
We're vegan because using other animals needlessly for human purposes is unjustifiable. As vegans, we oppose all harm, sexual assault, oppression, slavery, and murder - no matter what species the victim is; human or any other fellow sentient animal. Therefor we will remain vegan, and B12 supplementation is in order, at this point. But the facts are not all in on the B12 controversy. It would greatly benefit the vegan community if we could create scientific studies comparing vegans and their B12 levels. Upon the recommendation of vegan health professionals, it is wise for vegans to supplement; even if it is just sprinkling fortified nutritional yeast (which adds a delicious cheezy flavor) on your meals, daily. Sublingual (under the tongue) is the preferred method for B12 absorption, and possibly a better choice is Methylcobalamin, so check the label. Here is a link to explain why: http://www.naturalnews.com/032766_cyanocobalamin_vitamin_B-12.html 

38 comments:

Lisa in VA said...

I do not think that the necessity of B12 supplements is a weakness for veganism. If we were able to eat the way we are supposed to we would get it just as cows do. I know that Butterflies gets more natural bacteria than most of us because she is able to drink from a stream, but most of those natural ways of eating are too dangerous because of the damage humans have done with our pollution. Defensive non-vegans will look for any excuse no matter how flawed, so they lean heavily on the B12 excuse.

Fireweed said...

Great post!

Vegan said...

Thank you so much for sharing your story and this information! I find many young/new vegans are not taking B12 seriously, based on a handful of non-scientific websites that claim that the human dietary B12 requirement is fabricated by agribusiness and the nutritional supplement industry. Some of them even say they have been vegan for X years (a number in the single digits) and do not have a B12 deficiency, therefore, they don't require a B12 supplement, and they obviously have not researched the issue or they would know that their body contains a store of B12 that can last for years. But not forever. I'm in my 24th year of being vegan, and have always taken a supplement and/or consumed fortified foods, and have never been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency.

Michael Lanfield said...

Thank you so much for that wonderful article. I have been 3/4 raw for some time now and vegan for almost 3 years and I feel better than ever! It is true that the cut off mark is 2.4mcg per day of b12. But I recommend at least 50 mcg per day no matter how you eat. The reason according to Dr. Michael Greger on why omnivores are deficient in B12 is because of the lack of folate in their diet. Folate of course comes mainly from vegetables. I believe when we consume more fresh raw vegetables (including dark leafy greens) on a daily bases this helps with the B12 levels, however I still believe supplementing is a good practise. And a lot of vegans I know do not and argue against it. According to Freelee and Durianrider when checked, levels should not be below 500 pg/mL. The video was taken off youtube, but it was called "Meat eaters are 99% of B12 deficient" by freelee. I can send anyone the video if they like. However according to the latest research by Dr. Michael Greger you must take 2500mcg per week or 250mcg daily. In my opinion I think this is too high, but nevertheless take b12 supplementation regularly. What you also want to watch out for is various other nutrients like vitamin D (for those who don't get a lot of sunshine or live in higher altitudes), supplement 2000 IU daily and eat mushrooms on a daily bases. Mushrooms are the only plant sources that have natural sources of vitamin D, but too little so you still need to supplement just to be safe. Be careful though, purchase the correct D supplement. D2 is derived from plant sources and D3 is from animal sources. To be sure always check with the manufacturer and see if it says D2 and when possible buy from vegan companies. Iodine can also be a problem for vegans. 150mcg daily from iodized salt and seaweed. Kelp tends to have too much iodine and hijiki (hiziki) should not be eaten due to high arsenic levels. Selenium can be obtained from brazil nuts. Don't forget your dark greens for your calcium. Some nuts have also excellent sources of calcium. Lastly, omega-3 from algae-derived DHA and/or EPA (250-500mg daily), ground flax or walnuts. I don't recommend flax oil as it gets rancid pretty quickly, has a much shorter shelf life, cost more, is pure fat and most of the nutrients found in the seed is stripped. Hope that helps! info@tarve.ca

evervescence said...

Thank you so much for this post. The B12 controversy is a big one, and is the primary question I am always asked as a vegan. I do not take a vitamin B12 supplement as of yet, but I have only been 100% vegan since this past November (though I lived an almost vegan lifestyle the previous three years eating no meat and almost no dairy/eggs). I eat unpasturized miso, nutritional yeast and some fortified foods so I haven't been worried about it. I have been worried about my vegan friends who are wanting to become pregnant though and just as a rule of caution have advised anyone worried to take a supplement. I would much rather take a supplement than get sick, and like you I would rather die than eat foods that are the result of such needless violence, suffering and cruelty. Thanks again! I look forward to following your blog and sharing this great information with my vegan, vegetarian and omni friends and family. :)

Anonymous said...

B12 comes from bacteria. It's in the gut of animals because they eat bugs, dirt, and feces unintentionally (or intentionally) along with their food. -Scott

Anonymous said...

If you had no symptoms nor illness, just don't get tested...
Problem solved...
Please don't put this kind of harmful scaremongering purposed disinformation commercial crap on my wall again, Thank you
Do what the Gorilla does, don't go to the Doctor and forget you ever heard about B12, eat right, good food doesn't come in them silly little bottles...

Ineke said...

Don't feel that veganisme isn't ok because of having to take a supplement, always realise the half of the vitamin- and mineral supplements in the world are being fed to the cattle. And more than half of the consumers of that are taking supplements on top of that.

Vegan Poet said...

That's true Ineke, and most of the "foods" that most people eat are fortified (supplemented)...as in the Twinkees example. Not a healthy food, but supplemented with B12. So mainstream eaters are eating supplements in their food. The white bread most people eat is nothing but supplements.

Vegan Poet said...

Anonymous - I wish I knew who you were so I would not put it on your wall. Most everyone was very appreciative. I just want vegans to consume some fortified nutritional yeast, at the very least...so they ensure that they are in-taking some B12. I mean no harm. I am not a supplement pusher or taker, but this is one nutrient for whatever reason is important for vegans to supplement. If you don't like little bottles, do the fortified nutritional or savoury yeast such as Red Star vegetarian support or Lotus Brand.

Vegan Poet said...

I've modified this essay from the original post if any of the comments don't make sense.

Vegan Poet said...

Also anonymous, gorilla's are not vegan and I am. About 3% of their diet is termites and caterpillars, apparently.

Amanda said...

Thank you Butterflies for helping raise awareness of this vital issue. Veganism will not thrive if vegans do not thrive, so I urge all vegans to take care of their health, take B12 daily and to ensure that all the people they influence towards veganism know about vitamin B12.

And you're right, gorillas are not vegan and they get their B12 from eating dirt, faeces and insects (such as termites). We too could do those things (at our peril) but let's be grateful that vitamin B12 supplements are available as an alternative, allowing us live healthy, cruelty-free lives.

Anonymous said...

Cows are female. You don't need the 'him/her' distinction. Male bovines are called 'bulls'

Tony - FoodsforLife said...

I wonder if the reason why meat eatsrs are now so often deficient in vitamin B12 is because animals are so regularly given anitbiotics and are forbidden their normal organic environment?

A Japanese study prove true vitamin B12 in chlorella algae.

They have yet to conclusively prove that Chlorella increases levels of B12 in humans.

One World Day

Vegan Poet said...

Thanks Tony,

Here's a link to the study: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18247530

They did find B12 in chlorella in this study, and apparently this study is a fair study. Very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this essential information, i'm sharing it with others whenever the topic comes up.

marzo co said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M. "Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies said...

Marzo - Most health professionals believe that the bacteria is produced too low down in the intestines and cannot be absorbed by our bodies. I tend to believe it since after being vegan for 25 years, I ran out of my stores, and I became deficient. I drank directly from a river and foraged in the (vegan/organic) garden, and still was deficient. I wasn't getting any. I was not supplementing or even eating fortified nutritional yeast at the time. Since taking a supplement, I've tested fine, so it is not a problem of my body not having intrinsic factor. So maybe some people can live off what they make in their body, but some can't get enough this way. Or maybe it is fine to be what doctors call deficient, and just have a very small amount in the body that the body produces. I don't know. But I am playing it safe and supplementing, because the bottom line is too awful with B12 deficiency.

marzo co said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Everyday Athena said...

I'm curious as to why this article does not talk about the option of taking B12 in a shot (which is what I do). Years ago, a naturopathic doctor told me that this was the best way for the body to absorb B12 (injection into muscle). I know that there have been studies in recent years which suggest that a sublingual supplement works just as well, but I'm not convinced. Any advice on this is appreciated; I'm a fairly new vegan...

M. "Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies said...

Everyday Athena - a shot is warranted when one is diagnosed very depleted. Otherwise, I have supplemented with dots/tabs and sublinguals for years and have been tested many times and they work just fine, so why would anyone choose a shot over a drop under the tongue? We need so little, that a shot is not necessary. Also the shot is water soluble - so will just leave the body soon.

Philippe Orlando said...

How did prehistoric people who didn't have access to supplement used to get their B12? How did Homo Erectus, 2.5 million years ago get his B12? How did the first Homo Sapiens get their B12. Note that I'm a vegan and also at the origin of some of the footage you can see in Vegucated and Earhtlings. So I'm not trying to pick a fight here. I need your opinion. Thanks.
Philippe

M. "Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies said...

Hi Phillipe - I was not around back then so can't tell you for sure, but I am guessing that they were not as sanitary and got some of the microorganisms from the plants they ate out of the ground. I also don't think they were strictly vegan. Humans are evolving quite literally to be able to thrive living as a vegan. We're in evolutionary process. that's my take on it...I'm sure you will get different answers from different vegan perspectives.

Chuck Bluestein said...

Everyday Athena, Some people have a problem like a bad balance of good and bad bacteria in their intestines and cannot use vitamin B-12 that they take orally.

A friend of mine Erica Robinson has a year left to be an ND and has studied it and she gets a vitamin B-12 injection.

At the other end you have Freelee and her boyfriend who get checked for vitamin B-12 levels and they are fine. But they do not supplement and only eat raw vegan foods-- mostly fruit.

M. "Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies said...

To Chuck Bluestein - generally - it takes about 20-25 years for deficiency to show up in vegans, it's more of a long term vegan problem, as B12 stores can store in the body for about 20 years.

But there have been vegans who were deficient at 5 years, and some that won't ever get deficient. Everyone is different and has different habits/diet.

Anonymous said...

Hi, Great article overall, balanced, informative and sensible. It's unfortunate that some interpret this as scare-mongering -- we should do what the gorillas do? Gorillas eat their own poo. Big, grassy, stringy chunks of poo. Whatever floats your boat I guess but I think I'll stick to my weekly sublingual! :) Basic anatomy explains this. Your stomach is followed by your small intestines, where nutrient absorption takes place. Your small intestines are followed by your large intestines, where our gut microbes reside. Some of them produce B12, but alas, we are past the small intestine, past the site of nutrient absorption. And we are on a one-way street. We poo it out, and out in nature, that wonderful B12-rich poo would be mixed right up with the soil that we're plucking our tubers out of, and contaminating our rivers and streams. But fortunately or unfortunately we have become incredibly adept at separating our poo from our food and water sources.

What COULD be interpreted as scare-mongering though, could be the reporting of the unfortunate accounts of ill children whose vegan parents aren't responsible enough to ensure they get the necessary B12, either by direct consumption, pregnancy, or breastfeeding. According to the CDC, **vegan-mother-induced** B12 deficiency happens in 1/500,000 births in the U.S. This is just silliness. There's no reason for this to happen. As plant-based parents we have the opportunity to give our children the healthiest diet possible, heads and shoulders above what the rest of the general population's children are eating. But some of us need to put aside our dietary ideological fantasies and realize B12 is simply a compound that our body needs, can't get it from plants, end of story. Maybe in the past, when our plants weren't power-washed and our water wasn't sanitized, maybe, but not today. There is too much hocus-pocus wishful thinking floating around in the vegan world today. This is simple and non-controversial science and nutrition.

I'd like to elaborate on one thing, though. As I mentioned above, B12 is a compound. A simple chemical compound. It is *synthesized in* bacteria. I have seen the phrase "vitamin B12 is a bacteria" too many times on vegan sites. We can't be authoritative and reliable sources on nutrition for those around us if our basic info is wrong. What happens when we're discussing nutrition with a non-vegan, they leave and do some research on their own, and they realize how off-base we were in our knowledge regarding what B12 simply is? I wouldn't blame them for throwing anything else their vegan friend said about nutrition out the window.

Here is the structure of B12: http://0.tqn.com/d/chemistry/1/0/U/R/1/cobalamin.jpg

I hope you can update the post accordingly. Cheers. And again, great article, vital information. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Hi - am making the transition to vegan and am troubled by the B12 question. What exactly is the source of the B12 in supplements/fortified foods? If it's from a non-vegan source, then I'm troubled. If it is from a vegan source - I would rather consume the source product than purchase a supplement or eat fortified foods. All thoughts on this welcome! Rachel

"Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies) said...

To the last anonymous person leaving a comment: Your questions shows that you have not read the article. Vitamin B12, no matter where it is sourced from, is a microbe or bacteria produced by micro-organisms. It can be made in a sterile factory, or you can kill another animal and eat his/her guts to get theirs (unethical), or you can try chlorella (but it may not be reliable, though it is scientifically proven to contain B12, whereas most other vegan food sources are not reliable.)There are not reliable plant sources. People eat a lot of fortified foods. People eat iodized salt, packaged foods that are all fortified because the soil is lacking in certain nutrients that we need, etc. I have no issue with taking a sublingual drop of B complex with B12 a couple times a week. Generally I like to get nutrients directly from food, but you can't with B12, in any count-on-able way. It is not work the risk. Nor do I want to kill a cow to get B12, so supplement it is.

the-raw-advantage said...

Blessings and thanks for this post!
I am curious, Research I have seen points to Nutritional Yeast having Anolougs as well yet I see it being pointed to in this article a lot, can you comment? Also have you looked into Chlorella, there seems to be growing evidence it contains bio-available b12 and little to no anolougs.
Hope to hear back, thanks again, great read! :)
Much PeaceLovenSeasonalFruit ck

"Butterflies" Katz (go by the name Butterflies) said...

Hello Raw Advantage,

Thanks for your comment. I've never read or heard that the fortified B12 in nutritional yeast is analogue, no. It isn't.

And yes, I did mention in the article along with a link to a scientific study showing chlorella might be one of the few
food sources of real B12. Also some kombucha drinks and other fermented foods for probiotics may have real B12. I bought a kombucha drink in the U.S. and it said 20% B12 on the label.

Anonymous said...

Many meat eaters believe B12 is not a problem for them because they get it from meat, and the animals they eat get it from what they consume. This is also a fallacy. Most farm animals get it by supplementation. Farmers INJECT their animals with B12 because farm animals typically have a B12 deficiency for the same reason humans do - inadequate, commercially produced diets. Don't believe me? Go anywhere (ebay, the net, whatever) and search for Cobalex. That's a product farmers use to do this. So yes, B12 is a problem for all - meat eaters supplement with it too (via the farm) and as such can't point the finger at vegans for supplementing it too. The only difference is we supplement ourselves and don't lie that its "natural" for farm animals...

Anonymous said...

Veganism is a religion. You need to justify your god called Vegan and prove their teachings to mankind are the best. You want your B12 tablets? Pharmaceutical lobbies want you to take them too. That's a perfect match. Who knows who holds the power to convince you you need something you don't.. like kilos of proteins a day...
And in the meanwhile everybody forgets how to use their own brain to critically understand things. The same mind independence would teach you no damn species ever needed B12 supplements. Just find better quality food for yourself and go very healthy and consider trying fasting regularly before being doped if you apparently lack this vitamin. Unless you have an inborn disease, intestinal dysbiosis is to blame for bad absorption and purification is the cure, not the chemical bombing.
And you think animals produce B12? They're fed supplements so that everybody who eats them have higher B12 levels in their blood, to fuck up its natural absorption. Why should Kelloggs care about everybody's B12 intake and enrich its products without telling its consumers unless they go and read their ingredients? Doesn't it sound a tad sordid?

Butterflies Katz - this is my actual name said...

To the last anonymous commenter: I have a super high quality diet: whole foods and veganic and organic mostly. I also happen to be a faster and I don't have any problems with my body - it's just that I ran out of my B12 stores and need to supplement. This was not true the first 25 years of being vegan - but after that and once I hit over 50 years of age, I needed to supplement. I have been tested a few times since supplementing and all is fine. I don't generally believe what government tells me - however I've read many studies and I think, at this point of our evolution, we should be supplementing with B12 or we risk heart failure and lose all the benefits of a plant-based diet.

Anonymous said...

I have evidence to confirm what I said, it's just not in English so you probably wouldn't understand those documents.
This evidence has me understand that you're either lying or doing it wrong.
That's incredible, our body can store stuff for 25 years and then runs out.. super logical is to believe it runned out eventually XD

Butterflies Katz - this is my actual name said...

Anonymous - I have no reason to lie as I'm not profiting off the sales of B12. I am very truthful and have a desire to share honest information with vegans and everyone.

Many doctors and scientists say that B12 stores in the body for a long time. I also was vegetarian for 10 years prior to being vegan, since age 12, - and so I never was getting any B12 and never had any built up in my gut like most people - and new information and science is confirming that all adults over 50 should supplement B12.

Anonymous said...

There is scientific proof against that too. It's just not granting much profit to say you're free to eat the way you were genetically meant to do. That's probably why you didn't come across it.
Science? Market? Medicine? Is there any difference nowadays?
Anyway, it seems as if you're missing the point. I can't translate all that stuff to English but I will maybe link it nonetheless.
I'm hardpressed to realize how you can truly believe scientists tell the truth and you can't because you believe you lack knowledge and authority.. really. How on earth would anyone become a vegan if they weren't somehow critical and inquisitive? And the worst thing is that you believe you're being kind and helpful, which is certainly your true intention but.. you're disinforming like everyone else. I won't go on. It's pointless. All I hope is somebody read and understood there are other opinions as to this subject. Nobody is doomed to fatten Pfizer and Bayer.

Butterflies Katz - this is my actual name said...

Hello again anonymous

I am vegan so don't do pharmaceuticals as they are tested on animals (unless a rare emergency) - so I don't advocate support of Pfizer and Bayer

The B12 tablets are from companies that grow B12 in labs - sold in health food stores.

I'm not offering disinformation. I tried in this article to represent differing views. But the general consensus is to take precaution and supplement and since it can shorten life or be fatal - I am not going to risk advising vegans NOT to supplement. If you want to be that experiment - fine - but just don't raise a child vegan and not give them B12 supplementation - because there have been cases of death from vegans who agreed with your point of view. I want the vegan community to live long healthy lives.