View Full Version : 50 ways to develop B12 deficiency

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Feb 9th, 2005, 11:23 AM
The same chief researcher Dan Reeter I mentioned above have reported that his extensive tests demonstrate plants grown in organically managed soil make significantly higher levels of usable B12:

Reeter said soil bacteria, comprising 20 percent of soil biomass, is destroyed or inactivated by ag chemicals, inhibiting uptake and metabolism of cobalt and other trace elements. Reeter directly traces this problem to increasing presence and proportion of B12 analogues ("false" B12). Reeter reports his extensive tests at Bio-Systems demonstrate plants grown in organically managed soil make significantly higher levels of usable B12.

Robert Kay, PhD candidate in nutrition at the Univ. of Connecticut, emphasized uncertainties in B12 research, especially in light of new methods to measure B12 and new insights these methods made available. He also cautioned categorization of "true" vs. "false" B12 may be too absolute. "We no longer talk about simply B12, since we now know there's many varieties of cobalamins with varied biological action (i.e., availability). There is no 'gold standard' in this area."


Apr 11th, 2005, 09:54 AM
Even if you are healthy, but during some period of your life has been ill and taken some of the MANY known nutrient depleting drugs, this may have lowered your B12 levels so much that you need a period of boosting B12 to get back to normal again. I have mentioned some of the most important drugs earlier in this thread, but if you look at this (http://www.sona.ie/informationpage.asp?pagenum=9) list, you'll get a pretty good overview of which drugs that disturb what nutrients. On the list of B12 troublemakers, you'll find...:

Anorectic Agents ( Diet pills Including Amphetamines)
Antibiotics (see also Trimethoprim, Sulfasalazine, Isaniazid, Penicillin)
Antidiabetics (Oral)
Antituberculosis Drugs
Anti-Ulcer (Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid)
Cholesterol Lowering drugs
Laxatives (excluding herbs)
Muscle Relaxers

Since vegans are consuming less B12 than meat eaters, vegans should pay special attention to their B12 levels if they ever have used any of the above. Most people have...

Apr 11th, 2005, 10:32 AM
From http://seasilver.threadnet.com/Preventorium/parasite.htm:
"Ascaris larvae (in lung: Common roundworm of cats and dogs - Brings with it Bacteroids fragilis and Coxasckie viruses. [...] Ascaris are often pink from absorbing our Vitamin B12. [...]Petting will transfer these to humans."

There is a thread about pets and parasites here. (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?p=46092#post46092)

Apr 17th, 2005, 10:49 PM
Thimerosal was once widely used in Vaccines (http://www.freehomepages.com/autistic/articles.htm). Despite its well-documented potential toxic effects, this harmful preservative remains present in the flu vaccine, which is given to pregnant women, the elderly and children, according to
this (http://www.mercola.com/2005/jan/19/mercury_vaccines.htm) and several other sources. (His site contains a lot of info on mercury poisoning (http://www.mercola.com/2002/mar/30/mercury_vaccine.htm) and mercury in childhood vaccines. (http://www.mercola.com/2002/jun/8/mercury_vaccines.htm) You might also have seen the discussion about mercury and autism (http://www.laleva.org/eng/2004/06/study_vaccines_mercury_causes_autismlike_signs_in_ mice.html):

From http://www.wysong.net/health/post_141_031604.shtml :
'Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Vaccine Datalink concluded that children who are given three thimerosal-containing vaccines are 27 times more likely to develop autism than children who receive thimerosol-free vaccines. * Thimerosal has been gradually removed from vaccines since 1999, however it is still present in some vaccinations – including virtually all flu shots.* One study that showed urinary mercury concentrations were six times higher in children with autism, as opposed to controls.* Evidence also suggests that the link between thimerosal-containing vaccines and autism is stronger than that between lung cancer and smoking cigarettes.'

But let's skip the discussion about a possible link between autism and vaccines for now, since this is a thread about B12... and a post about vaccines.

CureZone (http://www.curezone.com/blogs/m.asp?f=18&i=93) and many other sites has a lot of info on vaccines and mercury.

According to consultwebs.com (http://www.consultwebs.com/lawyers/thimerosallegalhelp/) you may have a valid legal claim if you or your child was innoculated with a vaccine containing thimerosal and experienced any adverse reactions.

Thimerosal is an ethyl-mercury based preservative used in some vaccines and a number of other biological products since the 1930's.

From drgreene.com: (http://www.drgreene.com/21_102.html)
'Mercury (thimerasol) is an ingredient in several vaccines -- included in order to kill any live contaminants. In rare instances this causes allergic reactions.

At much higher doses, mercury is a known cause of irreversible nerve and brain damage, especially before birth and in the first 6 months of life. Mercury was responsible for the first known epidemic of cerebral palsy from a toxin when it was dumped into Minamata Bay in Japan in the 1950's by a vinyl plastics factory (Textbook of Pediatrics 1996 WB Saunders). Might it also cause mercury toxicity in children who frequently get mercury-containing vaccines? This has long been a concern with the gamma globulin shot used to prevent Hepatitis A in travelers. Where practical, the Hepatitis A vaccine is a safer and more effective alternative that does not contain mercury. Still, getting a shot of gamma globulin is still far better than getting hepatitis.

Mercury has been used as a preservative in the Hepatitis B vaccine given to all newborns around the first day of life and again when they are only 4 weeks old. While there is no data showing that this has caused harm to children in the doses they get from routine immunization, the AAP and the PHS recently called for the elimination of mercury from all vaccines.'

Why are vaccines a relevant topic in a thread about B12? Because scientists recently obtained have more insight into the mechanism by which thimerosal interferes with folate-dependent methylation. It acts by inhibiting the biosynthesis of the active form of vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin). Doctors treating autistic kids are having good success with the administration of B12/methycobalamin. Whether there is a link between autism and vaccines/mercury or not, we know that there is a link between mercury and B12:

'The monovalent cobalt atom in methyl B12 is readily oxidized by various compounds - for instance nitrous oxide. This oxidation inactivates methioninsyntase (MS) which has then to be formed de novo. Mercury, as we know, does oxidize many compounds, logically also cobalt. lf this hypothesis (which is about to be verified), is confirmed, it means that mercury can block the methylation cycle and thus induce a functional B12-deficiency (folates are not altered). This in turn is one explanation of why symptoms of mercury overload and vitamin B12-deficiency may be identical!*

There is also a second possible interaction between vitamin B12, and mercury. Mercury has indeed been shown to impair the Transport of vitamin B12 over the blood-brain barrier which results in a low CSF/serum concentration ratio of the vitamin. Low CSF levels of vitamin B12 (and high CSF-homocysteine levels) have been observed in fibromyalgia (chronic fatigue syndrome), MS and in dementia. High doses of vitamin B12, that overcome the block to some extent, has had sometimes stunning results in these conditions.*' (From http://www.ever.ch/b12hg.htm)

More about B12 and mercury here. (http://www.whale.to/w/b12.html)

May 24th, 2005, 11:15 AM
From http://www.victorherbert.com/INACG2001.htm :

iron deficiency produces gastric damage, which produces B12 deficiency, which, like folate deficiency, produces intestinal megaloblastosis, which produces further folate and B12 deficiency, each of which produces further malabsorption of B12, folate and iron.

http://www.nutritionfocus.com/nutrition_supplementation/vitamins/vitamin_b12.html :

Absorption decreases with age and with deficiencies of vitamin B6, calcium, and iron.

See also http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2748&highlight=iron

PubMed: (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/query.fcgi?cmd=Retrieve&db=pubmed&dopt=Abstract&list_uids=10466165&query_hl=1)

Nutrition Food & Health Research Centre, King's College London, UK. Tom.Sanders@kcl.ac.uk

The nutritional adequacy of plant-based diets is discussed. Energy and protein intakes are similar for plant-based diets compared with those containing meat. Fe and vitamin B12 are the nutrients most likely to be found lacking in such diets. Bioactive substances present in foods of plant origin significantly influence the bioavailability of minerals and requirements for vitamins. Well-balanced vegetarian diets are able to support normal growth and development. It is concluded that meat is an optional rather than an essential constituent of human diets.

May 30th, 2005, 01:32 PM
Serum B12 levels were 33% lower in oral contraceptive users than in controls in a study of 229 adolescent females, but folate and homocysteine levels did not differ significantly

(Source: Am J Diet Association, 1998; 98, 49-55)

Let's say that in your country the recommended daily intake of B12 is 2.2 mcg. Of course, the people who define these values know that oral contraceptives are widely used. If they are taking the OC-reduction of B12 levels into consideration when they define the recommended daily intake (if they don't something is very wrong here...), the needed value for people who don't take oral contraceptives must be 18 mcg only, right? Why? Because 2.4 mcg minus 33% = 1.8 mcg.

I assume that they have taken into consideration all the other B12 reducing elements many people are exposed to as well, like coffee, tea, cooking, sleeping pills, smoking, canning, chemicals in water etc., because... if not, these people need to be fired! In a society where most people daily expose themselves and their food to stuff that kills or reduced B12, this simply must be taken into consideration when defining recommendations for daily needs.

The interesting thing is that if you are one of these people who do not take oral contraceptives, drink coffee, smoke, use sugar etc.... your daily needs might be a lot lower than these 2.4 mcg daily that I used as an example.

From http://www.vic-japan.gr.jp/vic/no99.htm

Results from our current logitudinal (six menstrual cycles) study on young women taking TriphasilR in regard to vitamin B12 and other nutrients are summarized in Table. Mean serum vitamin B12 level was reduced by 26% but the difference was not significant (due to high variance of data), despite the fact that the blood sample was withdrawn at the same period of menstrual cycle for all subjects.

May 31st, 2005, 07:23 AM
From http://www.healthpromoting.com/Articles/articles/b12.htm
Vitamin B12 recommendations for total-vegetarians

By Alan Goldhamer, D.C., and Douglas Lisle, Ph.D

There is no dispute that we must be concerned about obtaining adequate vitamin B12. The question is, “Do vegans need to resort to eating animal products—and expose themselves to the well-documented health risks of these foods—in order to maintain adequate vitamin B12 reserves?”

Before attempting to answer the above question, we need to consider whether animal products are naturally necessary for humans to maintain vitamin B12 reserves. This raises two important questions: “Have animal products always been the sole purveyor of vitamin B12 in the human diet?” and, “Are they the best source of this nutrient?”

We believe that the answers to both of these questions are likely to be “no.” Upon reflection, we should note that in a more primitive setting, human beings almost certainly would have obtained an abundance of vitamin B12 from the bacterial “contamination” of unwashed fresh fruits and vegetables—regardless of their intake of animal products. Human vitamin B12 deficiency is very unlikely to occur in such a setting. Only very small amounts of dietary vitamin B12 are needed because our bodies do a fabulous job of recycling this essential nutrient. A person living in the ancestral environment regularly would have consumed fresh fruits and vegetables that were not consistently, fastidiously cleaned—as we routinely do today. Our current unusual degree of hygiene is useful for combating many health threats—but may leave long-term, strict vegans vulnerable to the potential problem of vitamin B12 deficiency.


Even in the modern environment, with our fastidious food cleanliness, a person consuming a vegan diet may never experience the need for vitamin B12 supplementation. Even the small amounts of B12 commonly found in the nodules of organically-grown root vegetables, and the small amounts produced by the bacteria in our own mouths, may be enough to sustain many of us. A very little of this substance can go a long way. For those who switch to a vegan diet, for example, there are usually stores of B12 in the liver that can last for several years, or even decades. However, the doctors at the TrueNorth Health Center work with a large number of vegan patients every year, and we have documented dozens of cases of vitamin B12 deficiency, all of which corrected with supplementation. Although many of our patients are understandably resistant to the idea that they might need supplementation, we urge them to test periodically for this possible deficiency, and to take appropriate action when indicated. We also recommend that all pregnant and lactating women include a reliable source of vitamin B12 to ensure the nutritional adequacy of their milk supply.
[...]Unlike many unfounded “deficiency problems” associated with the vegan diet, the issue of potential vitamin B12 deficiency is real. However, B12 deficiencies, when they occur at all, take years to develop—so don’t take our cautioning like the blaring of a five-alarm fire. If you choose to consume a diet consisting exclusively of whole natural foods, as we recommend, it is possible that—partly as a result of our modern cleanliness—you may become B12 deficient.

May 31st, 2005, 09:00 PM
Because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12, it is advisable for those older than 50 years to meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a vitamin B12-containing supplement.
Source: The Institute of Medicine (US).

I suspect that this is much less of a problem for long term, old vegans than for old meat eaters. More about this later...

Anyway, 'People above 50 needs B12' can be handy when people insist that a vegan diet isn't natural and that a meat based diet IS, 'meat eaters don't need supplements'. (As we know, there are many meat eaters below 50 that are low in B12 as well, as expected).

From http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminB12/ :

Food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption is defined as an impaired ability to absorb food or protein-bound vitamin B12, although the free form is fully absorbable (11). In the elderly, food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption is thought to result mainly from atrophic gastritis, a chronic inflammation of the lining of the stomach that ultimately results in the loss of glands in the stomach (atrophy) and decreased stomach acid production. Because stomach acid is required for the release of vitamin B12 from the proteins in food, vitamin B12 absorption is diminished. Decreased stomach acid production also provides an environment conducive to the overgrowth of anaerobic bacteria in the stomach, which further interferes with vitamin B12 absorption (3). Because vitamin B12 in supplements is not bound to protein, and because intrinsic factor (IF) is still available, the absorption of supplemental vitamin B12 is not reduced as it is in pernicious anemia. Thus, individuals with food-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption do not have an increased requirement for vitamin B12; they simply need it in the crystalline form found in fortified foods and dietary supplements.

Jun 23rd, 2005, 08:48 AM
Here's a similar list found at this (http://www.ovarian-cysts-pcos.com/supplements-health.html) site. The list (like this one) should be interesting reading for both vegans and others

Finally, after more than 50 years, leading medical journals now recommend all adults take multivitamins. Both the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association have concluded that:

"Most people do not consume an optimal amount of all vitamins by diet alone"
"Inadequate intake of several vitamins has been linked to chronic diseases, including coronary heart disease, cancer, and osteoporosis."
"Suboptimal folic acid levels, along with suboptimal levels of vitamins B6 and B12, are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, neural tube defects, and colon and breast cancer; low levels of vitamin D contribute to osteoporosis and bone fracture; and low levels of the antioxidant vitamins (vitamins A, E and C) may increase risk for several chronic diseases."
"It appears prudent for all adults to take vitamin supplements."
A large body of research has clearly demonstrated that the nutrients found in dietary supplements reduce your risk of chronic disease, improve quality of life, and increase longevity.


Why You Can't Depend on Food Alone
for Essential Nutrition

Listed below are 22 reasons why you cannot depend on food alone to provide you with all of the nutrition you need to stay healthy.

Reason #1. Overfed and undernourished. The average American is overfed and undernourished. It's no secret. Just look around you. Most people are gaining weight. Even kids are overweight these days. You or someone you know has a chronic disorder of some kind.

If you're like most Americans, you're consuming fabricated convenience foods high in calories but low in food value (nutrition). This type of diet leads to "subclinical" or marginal deficiencies that lead to vague health complaints such as nervousness, listlessness, recurring minor infections, general aches and pains, difficulty concentrating, irritability, depression, muscle weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and just not feeling right.

A large body of research has demonstrated that most Americans are not getting what they need from their diet. For example, in one recent U.S. Dept. of Agriculture survey of 20,000 people, not a single person was consuming adequate levels of all the vitamins and minerals. In this study, the percentage of Americans were found to be deficient as follows: 90% in vit. B6, 75% in magnesium, 68% in calcium, 57% in iron, 50% in vitamin A, 45% in vitamin B1, 41% in vitamin C, 34% in vitamin B2, 34% in vitamin B12....and the list goes on.

There are literally hundreds of medical studies to suggest it’s a virtual certainty that you and every member of your family are deficient in one or more essential nutrients.

Reason #2. Soil depletion. Modern mass-production agriculture depletes nutrients from the soil without replenishing them. The application of synthetic fertilizers stimulates the growth of beautiful-looking plants. However, the nutrient content is missing.

So when you bite into that healthy salad or slice of whole-wheat bread, you're getting less nutrition today than from the identical foods grown in the same soil fifty years ago.

Reason #3. Commercial food processing. Much of the food you eat is processed in one way or another. When foods are processed, they are exposed to heat, light, oxygen, or drastic change in temperature or humidity. This exposure causes the destruction of vital but fragile nutrients. Examples of processing include baking, extruding, milling, grinding, boiling, cooking, recombining, spray-drying, etc.

Reason #4: Food storage and transportation. All foods deteriorate as they age. This is a problem for the food industry, because many foods are shipped over great distances. Therefore chemicals are added to preserve foods and give them a longer "shelf life". Unfortunately, in spite of chemicals, the nutrient content of foods decline over time, even though they may look the same.

Even fresh fruits or vegetables may be sprayed, gassed or fumigated in order to make them look "ripe" and "fresh". So what looks healthy isn't necessarily as healthy as you may think.

Reason #5: Preparation and cooking of foods. Many people eat out or bring something home from the market that is already cooked. Even if you prepare your meals at home, most of your food is probably cooked, not raw. Here's the problem: the more you cook a food, the less its nutrient value.

Of course, there are some foods, such as grains and dried legumes that you have to cook because they're inedible when raw. You're obviously not going to eat a bowl of raw rice. However, if you overcook rice, you lose nutrients.

Reason #6: Home storage of food. Have you looked in your refrigerator lately? How long has that head of lettuce been in there? What about those leftovers from three days ago? Refrigeration does slow down the deterioration of food, but it certainly does not stop it. As every day goes by, whatever is in your refrigerator is losing its nutritional value.

Some people will eat something out of the refrigerator that is three weeks old, or something from the pantry that is a year old. By this time, some vital nutrients have been completely lost.

Reason #7. Food irradiation. Exposing foods to gamma rays, x-rays or other radiation extends their shelf life by destruction of microorganisms, inhibition of sprouting, and delay of ripening. Some meats, chicken, and vegetables are irradiated. Foods served in restaurants or schools may be irradiated. The problem with irradiation is that vital nutrients, especially antioxidants and fat-soluble vitamins, are destroyed. There's no label to tell you if a food has been irradiated.

Reason #8. Pesticides in foods. A pesticide is a poison. A little bit of pesticide will kill a bug. A lot of pesticide will kill you. Most foods contain pesticides. Even organic produce contains pesticides, although a lot less than regular produce. Pesticides may be applied to the soil, to the growing plant, or to the food while in storage or shipment.

Keep in mind that you can’t see, smell or taste these pesticides. So you have no way of knowing if what you're eating contains pest poisons. But your body knows. Some pesticides can accumulate in the body and cause problems. Your body has to deal with the problem by expending valuable vitamins and minerals to detoxify and try to eliminate these poisons.

Reason #9. Genetically modified foods. Millions of acres of genetically modified corn, cotton and potatoes have been planted in the U.S. (Cotton is mentioned here because cottonseed oil is found in many processed foods, and cottonseed meal is fed to cattle.) These foods, which are now in our food supply, have been engineered to produce a naturally occurring pesticide that is supposedly toxic only to insects. There are no long-term human studies to indicate that genetically modified foods are safe. However, rats fed genetically modified potatoes had increased intestinal infections, reduced immunity, and reduced weight of intestine, pancreas, kidneys, liver, lungs and brain. Since you may be unknowingly consuming genetically modified or irradiated foods, you would need dietary supplementation to offset the invisible but potentially negative effects of such foods.

Reason #10. Environmental pollution. We dump nearly six billion pounds of chemicals into our environment every year. While some of it ends up in our food, much of it is in our air and water. If you breathe air and drink water, you are ingesting chemical pollution. Medical research has clearly established that environmental chemicals contribute to degenerative diseases.

You have no choice but to eat food, drink water, and breathe air. Therefore, you will need dietary supplements to help you process and detoxify the pollution entering your body every day.

Reason #11. Bioaccumulation of pollution in animal foods. There are certain "persistent" pollutants that tend to accumulate in any living thing, whether animal or plant. The higher up the food chain, the greater the accumulation. Take swordfish for example. Swordfish is known to have high levels of mercury, a toxic metal.

The problem starts when small bait fish eat organic material that contains mercury. They metabolize the organic material but retain the mercury. Small predatory fish then eat the bait fish, thus inheriting their accumulated mercury. The more bait fish they eat, the more mercury they accumulate. Finally a swordfish comes along and eats a bunch of small predatory fish, and picks up a load of mercury. So a big swordfish can gather a lot of mercury over time. But the swordfish is not the end of the chain. You are! You eat the swordfish, and now all that accumulated mercury is stored in "your" body.

Swordfish is only one example out of hundreds. Here's the point. You're at the top of the entire food chain on earth. Therefore, you unknowingly accumulate heavy metals and chemical pollutants, which are proven to be detrimental to your health. If you consume animal foods, you need dietary supplements to help you handle the pollutants they contain.

Reason #12. "Energy" pollution. Energy pollution invisibly burdens your body. The form of energy pollution you’re familiar with is radioactive fallout, like that from nuclear testing in Nevada which caused an increase in cancers downwind from the test site. Another, less well known form of energy pollution is altered magnetic fields from electrical motors and circuits, and all kinds of energy transmissions (microwave, radar, cell phone, etc.). Not only can energy pollution destroy or damage cells directly, but it causes a stress reaction in the body which leads to hormonal imbalances. For example, energy pollution reduces your levels of melatonin, an essential hormone. Once again, dietary supplements are a method to assist your body to compensate for another type of pollution from which there is no escape.

Reason #13: Genetic weaknesses. Each of us is genetically and biochemically unique. But none of us is perfect. We all have some kind of genetic weakness. For example, you might have a genetic abnormality in methionine metabolism called homocystinuria (methionine is an amino acid required to make your body function). In this case, taking large doses of vitamin B6 is a way to compensate for this weakness. There are hundreds if not thousands of possible genetic abnormalities. Many of them can be minimized with dietary supplementation.

Reason #14. Chronic Stress. “Stress” occurs when your body has a “fight or flight” response to any situation. Most of the time, you're not aware of it. Stress can come from anywhere at any time. It could be a barking dog, a disagreeable boss, a car that needs repair, an unpaid bill, a relationship that isn’t working, or living alone. Anything at all. You become so accustomed to stress that you consciously tune it out – but your body doesn’t.

When stress is repeated over and over, it is called chronic stress, which seriously depletes your body of energy and vital reserves. Chronic stress produces hormones that have a long-term weakening effect on your body which accelerates the aging process and leads to chronic degenerative disease. Supplements reduce the detrimental effects of chronic stress.

Reason #15. Your lifestyle. How you behave may increase your need for supplementation. For example, smoking or drinking alcohol to excess dramatically saps your reserves of vital nutrients. In both cases, dietary supplementation is not an option - it's a requirement.

On the other hand, if you're an avid mountain climber or high-performance athlete, you use up nutrients faster than the average person. The same is true if you work in a physically demanding occupation. Your performance will be improved with dietary supplementation.

Reason #16: GI problems. Any kind of digestive or gastrointestinal problem will diminish your absorption of vitamins, minerals, protein, essential fats, and plant substances required to maintain a healthy body. Irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, Crohn's disease, or chronic diarrhea hurt your ability to absorb nutrients. Ditto for bacterial, viral, yeast or parasitic infections. Food allergies are notorious for causing GI problems. In short, any inflammation in your GI tract means trouble. Therefore, you will need supplements to help you deal with the inflammation, as well as to increase the amount of essential nutrients you are consuming and absorbing.

Reason #17: Weak digestion. Heartburn, bloat after eating, burping, or gas may suggest you have an impaired ability to digest your food. If you can't digest your food, it can't be absorbed into your body. Supplementary digestive aids may be indicated.

Reason #18: Getting older. Medical studies have proven that you lose your digestive power as you get older. By the time you're "elderly", you have a serious problem that can only be corrected by supplementation.

In addition, studies have shown that many elderly people eat less well than they did in earlier years. In this case, dietary supplements can augment an otherwise inadequate diet.

Reason #19: Teenager. It's no secret that adolescents eat and drink things that are very unhealthy, i.e., "junk food". This is no way to nourish a maturing body. Most teenagers need dietary supplementation.

Reason #20. Chronic disease or disorder. It doesn't matter what the disorder is. It could be arthritis, macular degeneration, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, eczema, PMS or anything else. Specific dietary supplements can help almost any disorder.

Reason #21. Medications. Americans consume an astounding quantity of prescription and over-the-counter medications. However, nothing in your body operates in isolated compartments - everything interacts with everything else in some way. Many drugs interact with supplements, or cause an increased need for them. For example, women on birth control pills may have an increased need for vitamin B6. People on Glucophage need more calcium, B12 and folic acid. The list is endless. So if you're on medication, consult with one of our physicians to determine the specific supplements you need.

Reason #22. Pregnancy. Your requirement for nutrients undergoes a big shift when you become pregnant. It's to your and your baby's benefit to take supplementation to reduce your risk of a miscarriage or pregnancy complications, and to have a healthier baby.

BOTTOM LINE: Because of worldwide pollution and degradation in the quality of our food supply, it's hard to imagine anyone who will not need nutritional supplements for the rest of his or her life. In addition, many people have health problems, a lifestyle, or special situations where supplements are advisable.

Again, this is list is not addressing a vegan diet, but most of them are relevant to vegans as well. #11 isn't so relevant for long term vegans, but then again, switching from an animals based diet to a vegan doesn't mean that the poisons accumulated in the past will disappear immediately.

Nov 9th, 2005, 07:19 AM
There is also the reason I was given for not absorbing B12. Simply that some individuals cannot absorb it through the gut. Apparently we all had this ability once, but over time and changes in diet have led to a percentage of people being unable to absorb B12 through the gut. In this case suppliments are of no use. I know I keep banging on about this but feel it's important for people to understand, that supplimentation with pills etc may not help. :)

No wonder people develop deficiencies when you look at all the reasons Korn!

Panda, you need 3 injections to get enough of a dose, not sure why you only had 2 and they should last for several years unless you have some underlying health issue?

Jan 13th, 2006, 01:28 PM
From http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030301/979.html

The classic disorder of malabsorption is pernicious anemia, an autoimmune disease that affects the gastric parietal cells. Destruction of these cells curtails the production of intrinsic factor and subsequently limits vitamin B12 absorption. Laboratory evidence of parietal cell antibodies is approximately 85 to 90 percent sensitive for the diagnosis of pernicious anemia. However, the presence of parietal cell antibodies is nonspecific and occurs in other autoimmune states. Intrinsic factor antibody is only 50 percent sensitive, but it is far more specific for the diagnosis of pernicious anemia.

A Schilling test, which distinguishes intrinsic factor-related malabsorption, can be used to diagnose pernicious anemia (Table 3).14 Specifically, Schilling test results were once used to determine whether a patient required parenteral or oral vitamin B12 supplementation. This distinction is now unnecessary, because evidence points to a B12 absorption pathway independent of intrinsic factor, and studies have proved that oral replacement is equal in efficacy to intramuscular therapy.9 Regardless of the test result, successful treatment can still be achieved with oral replacement therapy.

Circa 2% of older adults do not produce enough intrinsic factor to prevent pernicious anemia, so lack of intrinsic factor is not a very common problem.

Jan 13th, 2006, 01:35 PM
According to this (http://www.aafp.org/afp/20030301/979.html) site, folic acid deficiency can cause falsely low B12 levels.

In addition, folic acid deficiency can cause falsely low serum vitamin B12 levels. One study revealed that approximately one third of patients with folic acid deficiency had low serum vitamin B12 levels--less than 100 pg per mL (74 pmol per L) in some patients.

Based on the above, maybe both the low B12 levels and the low folic acid levels with were symptoms of ie. a poor diet, so if you have any info on this topic, please let us know...

Jan 13th, 2006, 01:56 PM

If your diet consists of sugars, alcohol, overcooked veggies, pre-cooked foods and if you are stressed or take sleeping pills, you are depleting your vitamin B supply.


B12 deficiency may be brought upon by antibiotics (also contained in milk), alcohol, smoking and stress (alcohol damages the liver, so drinkers need more B12, smoking (and all high temp cooked food is smoky) also raises B12 needs)


Stress and stomach surgery also weaken the body's ability to produce the intrinsic factor.


B12 deficiency may be brought upon by antibiotics (also contained in milk), alcohol, smoking and stress (alcohol damages the liver, so drinkers need more B12, smoking (and all high temp cooked food is smoky) also raises B12 needs).


B-group vitamins are known to be utilised in increased quantities during times of stress. My own opinion based on observation and circumstance is that the greater the 'buffer' we can provide between a strong usual constitution and the ravages of a low B12 deficiency the happier we will be. Particularly, I believe that high stress situations are an additional cause of potential imbalance when B12 levels are marginal.


Like all of the B-Complex vitamins, Vitamin B12 is easily depleted by stress and whether from food or a supplement, is perhaps the most complex and difficult to absorb of all vitamins.

Jan 13th, 2006, 02:34 PM
From http://www.innvista.com/health/nutrition/destroys.htm

Cough syrups , especially those containing alcohol, can drain all B vitamins, especially folic acid and B12, as well as iron, magnesium, and zinc.

Jan 13th, 2006, 02:44 PM
According to this (http://www.drinkyourvitamins.com/article11.htm) source, PHP (pentachlorophenol), a wood preservative, destroys B12, and "and since it is inhaled in the fumes, it travels directly from lungs to the brain to do its damage".

Maybe some of the above reported 'B12 killers' (and there are more to come) may not have much effect on us alone, but since there are so many of them, from fluoride to drinking water to amalgam and car pollution, I find it likely that the sum of all these factors should have a pretty strong effect on us.

Jan 13th, 2006, 04:21 PM
According to vitab12.com (http://www.vitab12.com/b12.html), xposure to nitrous oxide (N2O), often called laughing gas, can cause cobalamin deficiencies in the brain. This may occur to women given the gas in labour or otherwise during use of this anaesthetic.

If a woman is becoming B12 deficient as a result of medication given to her during her babies birth, it is reasonable to believe that her child will get less B12 from mother's milk.

Jan 13th, 2006, 04:33 PM
From http://vvv.com/healthnews/vitamin_B12.htm

Vitamin E protects vitamin B-12
LITTLE ROCK, ARKANSAS. Adenosylcobalamin is an important coenzyme which is involved in the metabolism of branched-chain amino acids, cholesterol, methionine, and odd-chain fatty acids. It is synthesized in the cell nucleus from vitamin B-12 (cyanocobalamin).

Now researchers at the University of Arkansas have found that the synthesis of adenosylcobalamin is impaired if the cell membranes have been subjected to peroxidative (free radical) attack.

They also found, through experiments with cell cultures, that vitamin E effectively prevents the peroxidation and thereby allows the enzyme synthesis to proceed unhindered.

Turley, Charles P. and Brewster, Marge A. Alpha-tocopherol protects against a reduction in adenosylcobalamin in oxidatively stressed human cells. Journal of Nutrition, Vol. 123, July 1993, pp. 1305-12
The researchers conclude that short-term (five weeks) administration of folic acid and vitamins B6 and B12 will reduce post-methionine load homocysteine levels and eliminate or ameliorate endothelial dysfunction (an early manifestation of atherosclerosis). Chao, Chia-Lun, et al. Effect of short-term vitamin (folic acid, vitamins B6 and B12) administration on endothelial dysfunction induced by post-methionine load hyperhomocysteinemia. American Journal of Cardiology, Vol. 84, December 1, 1999, pp. 1359-61

Jan 14th, 2006, 09:21 AM
From http://www.thevitaminlady.com/VLvitaminind.htm :

B12 / Negative Interactions : alcohol, coffee, tobacco, calcium deficiency.

From http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/focus/nut...ls/vitamin.htm (http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/focus/nutrition/facts/vitamins_minerals/vitamin.htm) :

"To improve your diet's content of B vitamins follow these practical tips:

Try not to drink large quantities of tea, coffee or cola-based drinks as caffeine inhibits the absorption and increases the excretion of vitamins.

Coffee consumption — Four or more cups of coffee a day can reduce your B vitamin stores by as much as 15 percent.

More about coffee here... (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=88)

Oct 31st, 2006, 05:46 AM
wow, that's nuts.

Mar 12th, 2007, 09:52 AM

Patients who take potassium supplements long-term, i.e., potassium chloride and potassium citrate, are at high risk for developing vitamin B-12 deficiency. Potassium supplements such as K-Dur, Micro-K, Slow-K, K-Lyte, etc. interfere with the absorption of vitamin B-12 and eventually lead to the depletion of body stores of this crucial vitamin. (1, 2, 3)

Unlike other B vitamins, vitamin B-12 is stored in the body. Most people have enough B-12 stored in their liver and other organs to last from three to four years. But if the supply is interrupted long enough a deficiency can result, which can be devastating if not recognized and treated appropriately.

Patients and their physicians should be aware that neurological symptoms of B-12 deficiency may begin well in advance of any laboratory evidence of disease.(4)

May 31st, 2007, 08:13 AM
From http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/labtests/clinical/b/b12.cfm


Hemolyzed specimens are unacceptable and may produce a falsely elevated result. Ascorbic acid and fluoride destroy B12. Fasting specimen preferred. Pregnancy may cause a decrease in values. Excessive exposure to light may alter B12 values.

From http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/2003/06/11/vitamin_b12_drinking_water_fluoridation_and_alzhei mers_dementia_ad.htm

Dr. Dommisse does not reveal the proportion of his patients who are thyroid deficient, drink fluoridated water, have extensive dental amalgams, take Ibuprofen, etc. Correcting each/all of these sources of B12 deficiency seems unlikely to effect permanent reversal of dementia unless B12 is repleted and maintained at high level.

From http://www.pharo.com/health_and_healing/diet_for_health/articles/hhdh_00_contents.asp

Despite assurances from water companies, tap water is full of potentially dangerous chemicals - even, in some areas of Britain, including the highly controversial fluoride, and also probably residues from the contraceptive pill. Heavy metals in the water are believed to prevent the absorption of calcium

From http://www.presswatch.com/health/print.php?searchterm=%25&archive_year=2003

The Independent
Millions more to have fluoride added to water
Several of today's papers, including the Independent, report that fluoridation of Britain's drinking water could be extended to millions of extra consumers under new Government plans. The aim is to cut the high levels of tooth decay in deprived neighbourhoods, but campaigners opposed to the move claim that too much fluoride can cause teeth to become mottled, as well as causing cancer, brittle bones and thyroid disease. Around six million people in Britain already have fluoride added to their water, and in some areas, the natural levels of the mineral are high enough to protect teeth. Government ministers say that if people are opposed, they "would be able to use water filters or buy bottled water."

From http://www.healthyshopping.com/OlaLoa/FolicAcid.asp

Chlorinated and brominated chemicals, such as pesticides, herbicides and fungicides destroy vitamin B12. This includes lindane, which is still in use for treating lice, even in children. Fluoride-containing refrigerants and propellants, such as freon and fluorohalomethanes, are another class of chemicals that destroy B12; but they are seldom appreciated because doctors are not taught to consider this possibility. I made the diagnosis in a bank executive who suffered neuropathy and cardiac irregularity after repeated exposure to chloro-fluoro-methanes from the insulating materials of his desert home. The 110-degree heat vaporized these toxics, which were sucked into his home office through the air-conditioner.

May 31st, 2007, 09:24 AM
Watson WP and others. Chem Res Toxicol 2004 Dec;17(12):1562-7.

Pesticides and chemicals also deplete vitamin B12. High doses of B12 can protect against these xenotoxins

Except possibly the source above (I haven't read this text - it was quoted in an article I read), I've seen that most articles who claim that pesticides deplete B12 fail to list any studies that actually document this. If you know of any studies on this topic, please let us know!


Pesticides reduce and or destroy the B12 content of food by destroying beneficial bacteria.


Farmers use pesticides and other chemicals that prevent insects from eating their crops, but also kill the bacteria that produce vitamin B12. We now wash potatoes and carrots, which means that even if there were a little bit of vitamin B12 in the soil that clings to them it would be washed off. Pesticides and other chemicals get washed into rivers, and our water supply is treated with chlorine and other chemicals that kill dangerous bacteria and protozoans along with the bacteria that produce vitamin B12.


B12 is a unique nutrient. It is produced micro-organisms are found in the soil and on the surface of plants. (However, it's destroyed by pesticides and washing.)


Back when people grew their own food without chemicals, they got all the they needed from soil particles clinging to the carrots and potatoes they pulled from the ground. They even got [B.sub.12] from the water they drank from streams and backyard wells.

Today, our lives are much different. [B]We eat commercially grown vegetables farmed in soils that have been repeatedly saturated with pesticides and herbicides; these poisons kill off beneficial soil microbes, including [B.sub.12]-producing bacteria. This means that the surfaces of the carrots and the radishes in our salads are no longer dependable [B.sub.12] sources. And the chlorine added to our municipal water systems kills off [B.sub.12]-producing bacteria along with disease-producing microbes. Today's vegan has more to think about when it comes to [B.sub.12] than did our rural ancestors, but the fact that today's plant-based diet contains no natural [B.sub.12] is not an inherent argument against an animal-free diet. Rather, it's a strong reminder of the nutritional price we've paid for what we've done over the years to our food and water supply. Today, we simply have to add back the [B.sub.12] that has been lost.

May 31st, 2007, 09:27 AM
does the b12 disappear from garden veg when washed free from dirt though or does the b12 penetrate the skin??

- or, to put it another way, is the b12 taken in when the veg is eaten having been absorbed from the earth during growth in a pesticide/herbicide-free soil? or does the b12 exist only in the soil itself and when veg is washed clean of soil before eating, the b12 will be washed off too?

May 31st, 2007, 11:28 AM
Hi Cedarblue,
B12 has been found in root nodules of leguminous plants / roots of nonleguminous species (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=13793), in some cases in stems, and also in various leaves (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4024). In the Mozafar study, they also reported that B12 could be found in grains (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=255&highlight=mozafar) - if the soil contained B12. So yes, B12 can be absorbed into the plants... the theory about B12 being washed away when the plants are washed clean isn't a very documented one, I'm afraid... it's based on the idea that most of the B12 that can be found in plants exist on the surface of the plants, and not inside the leaves, roots etc., but I can't remember having seen any studies that document that the B12 is only on the surface (or on the dirt on the surface) of the plant, or a comparison between B12 levels in a plant before and after washing it. If you see any reports, please let me know!

Another thing is that we normally wash plants (and cook them) in chlorinated water, which may affect the level of the possible B12 it contains, or possibly covert the 'real' B12 into inactive B12 analogues.

Since B12 has been found in both (natural, unprocessed) water and soil, and there's a common conception that B12 can't be found in (inside) any plants, maybe someone has assumed that all the B12 we can get from plants is from the dirt/soil that may come with it.

May 31st, 2007, 11:57 AM
there's so much b12 information from various studies - it makes my head hurt sometimes...:o sometimes its provided in such a way using scientific language that either i dont quite follow it or i give up on reading it - and hope that i am getting enough myself to prevent deficiency...:confused: