View Full Version : B12 in water

Dec 11th, 2004, 12:28 PM
From http://www.tagnet.org/adventist.fm/health/heallup.htm

'Adventist health scientist Matt Steele wondered about this for a long time. Vitamin B12 is almost the universal product of bacterial action. So it dawned on him that it might have come from natural drinking water -- which would have had many bacteria in its catchment area. He tested the water in the Yarra River near Warburton Adventist Hospital in Australia. The river water there is good drinking quality. When he tested it, he found one litre (two pints) of the water contained the Recommended Daily Allowance of Vitamin B12.'

Mar 17th, 2005, 02:22 AM
Cynobacterium are very common in water (it's the natural habitat for most varieties), so it would make sense that non-toxic water supplies contain B12.

Aug 8th, 2006, 12:19 AM
From http://www.uga.edu/ugami/esapelo_handbook.html :

When the Marine Institute was first considered, two questions were upper-most in the minds of the advisory committee; what were the water flow characteristics and what was the importance of the vast expanse of marsh? The early faculty appointments were chosen with these questions in mind. Robert Ragotzkie and Theodore Starr arrived in January 1954, fresh out of graduate school. They were followed by Lawrence Pomeroy in September 1954. Ragotzkie's role was that of hydrographer, studying water transport. Some time later a short post-doctoral appointment brought Richard Dugdale to Sapelo, where he worked with Ragotzkie on water flow and estuarine productivity questions. Starr was appointed as microbiologist to study the bacteria, and Pomeroy’s role was as a marine biologist, to study food webs and matters relating to nutrients in the saltmarsh and water column. Starr remained a year on the island, using the technique of measuring the amount of vitamin B12 in the water as an indicator of the capacity of the system to support the growth of algae. Further microbiological studies were undertaken by Paul Burkholder from the Bacteriology Department of U. Ga. in Athens, who encouraged the use of the island as a field site by students from the main campus.

Aug 28th, 2006, 09:23 AM
Here's another source that confirms B12 in water:


A fundamental process that has puzzled researchers for many years has been explained by UK scientists. Some simple plants that are crucial in maintaining the balance of carbon in the Earth's atmosphere require vitamin B12 to grow properly but it has been a mystery to scientists why some types needed external sources and others did not. Now researchers at the Universities of Cambridge and Kent have discovered that half of all algae have a dependent but beneficial relationship with bacteria that make the vitamin for them.

The researchers, funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), found that no algae have the necessary genes to produce vitamin B12. Those that do not require a supply are like higher plants; they have an alternative metabolic process that does not need the vitamin. However, algae that need vitamin B12 cannot make it themselves and must get it from somewhere else.

The scientists realized that the amount of vitamin B12 required to grow the types of algae that do need the vitamin in the laboratory is much higher than natural levels in the seas and rivers. They discovered that in the natural environment were bacteria that could supply the necessary vitamin B12 the algae needed. However, the relationship between the bacteria and algae was not one-way. The scientists found that the algae supported the bacteria by providing them with carbon from their own photosynthesis.

Dr Alison Smith, one of the research leaders at the University of Cambridge, said, "What these observations demonstrate is that, although algae live by harvesting the sun's energy through photosynthesis, many of them are like animals in that they need another organism to supply them with a vital nutrient. This has implications for how we consider the ecosystems in the world's oceans."

Feb 19th, 2007, 09:23 AM
Here (http://links.jstor.org/sici?sici=0024-3590(197209)17%3A5%3C774%3ADOVTAB%3E2.0.CO%3B2-K) are more studies about B12 levels in water.

Oct 17th, 2007, 01:36 PM
From http://www.aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_17/issue_2/0315.pdf


In August, the pattern of vertical dis-
tribution of vitamin B12 changed markedly
( Fig. 3). Dominant species of phytoplank-
ton changed from diatoms to Anucystis
cyanea. Cell density of the blue-green alga
was 47,2OO/ml and the chlorophyll a con-
centration was 30 mg/m3 in the surface
water. The concentration of vitamin B12
(11.7 mpg/liter) in the surface water was
high in contrast to that of earlier months
and was at all depths > 6 mpg/liter.

Nov 15th, 2007, 10:27 AM
The article 'Distribution of vitamin B12 in the Northeast Pacific Oceans' (http://www.aslo.org/lo/toc/vol_11/issue_4/0642.pdf), shows the various amounts of B12 in seawater.

The range of vitamin B12 concentrations from all reported assays has been between an undetectable amount and 200 mcg/liter, but most were less than 10 mcg/liter.

A variety of organisms and methods were used so the reported concentrations represent responses to a number of analogues.

Note that the term 'analogues' here doesn't necessarily mean that these B12 amounts are bioavailable - or bio-unavailable - for humans. Not do vegans normally swim around in the Pacific Ocean with an open mouth either, prepared to drink a few deciliters directly from the sea. The most interesting part of this and many other studies is probably that those who claim that B12 only exists in animal products hopefully sooner or later will understand that not only is this incorrect, it's not even what the vegan/B12-related discussion is about. It's about to which degree the various forms of B12 that can be found in food, soil, water etc, is useful for humans.

Jul 25th, 2008, 09:29 AM
Prescription drugs turn up again in water (2001) (http://www.uswaternews.com/archives/arcquality/1predru2.html)

More waters test positive for drugs (2002) (http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/327/title/More_Waters_Test_Positive_for_Drugs)

Antidepressant drugs found in drinking water; pharmaceuticals have now become environmental pollutants (2004) (http://www.naturalnews.com/001891.html)

How Prescription Drugs Are Poisoning Our Waters (2006) (http://www.alternet.org/environment/43242/)

Prescription drugs found in drinking water across U.S. (2008) (http://edition.cnn.com/2008/HEALTH/03/10/pharma.water1/)

There Are Drugs in Drinking Water. Now What? (2008) (http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/03/10/there-are-drugs-in-drinking-water-now-what/?hp)

Comment: many pharmaceuticals are commonly known to be B12-antagonistic... (http://veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=113)

Jul 25th, 2008, 12:03 PM
if you request the info from them, are water companies bound to give you the info about whats in the water served to our area i wonder? presumably they test peroidically......interesting subject....i'm going to contact my water board to find out.

May 19th, 2010, 06:11 AM
From http://www.jstor.org/pss/2482180

A pond upon which Euglena develops was found to contain from 0.0001 to 0.002 μg. of B12 per ml. Numerous bacteria and Actinomycetes were found capable of synthesizing B12.

From 0.0001 to 0.002 mcg per ml. equals from 0.1 mcg to 2 mcg per liter. 1 mcg is almost the average of 0.1 mcg and 2 mcg, and if we use the relatively common advice about drinking an average of around two liters of water per day, this loose estimae would result in circa 2 mcg B12 per day from water alone. But don't expect this to be true for chlorinated (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showpost.php?p=4526&postcount=10) tap water!

Dr. Victor Herbert suggested that nobody needs more than one mcg per day, with circa 0.3 micrograms per day being adequate for most people, but I'm sure he didn't take all the B12-antagonistic factors we are exposed to every day when he wrote this. Also, we don't know the ratio relationship between active, bioavailable B12 and inactive B12 analogues in most studies that have been made on plant food, animal products, soil or water. Read more about the reliability of the different B12 test methods in upcoming thread...

Sep 14th, 2010, 09:59 AM
The link above, to studies about B12 levels in water doesn't seem to be working - I'll see if I can find other sites which has the same info.

Anyway - more and more info about the effect of chlorine in water pops up - and not only in drinking water (and not only about chlorine - fluoride (http://www.newmediaexplorer.org/chris/Vitamin%20B12%20vs.%20Alzheimer%20final.rtf) also affects B12 levels in water)... There are some links that may be worth reading here (http://correctenergysolutions.com/old-research-only/water-purification/large-stirling-assist/distillation-for-health.html), and a new study shows how chlorine and other chemicals in swimming pools may increase cancer risk (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/09/100913163502.htm). At least at the surface, it's a little confusing, because there are also studies suggesting that drinking water reduces cancer (http://adventist.fm.netadvent.org/health/heallup.htm).

The bottom line is still that even if it seems that B12 may occur naturally in both sea water (plants and algae) and in rivers - the B12 amounts, by that B12 time it reaches us, the levels are probably strongly reduced. Studies have shown that the natural B12 synthesis that happens when certain types of bacteria meets cobalt peaks at around 4 days, and then the B12 levels start to decrease. 'Fresh food' is probably going to be the next big thing after raw food...

More (conflicting) info about B12 and chlorine here: B12, chlorine and birth defects (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/showthread.php?4264-B12-chlorine-and-birth-defects).

There's also some interesting info here:

Tap Water Linked to Stillbirths, Cancer - What About Swimming Pools? (http://swimming.about.com/od/allergyandasthma/a/cl_pool_problem_2.htm)

Chlorinated Swimming Pools Can Cause Asthma In Swimmers (http://swimming.about.com/od/allergyandasthma/a/cl_pool_problem.htm)

Don't let your baby swim (http://health.asiaone.com/Health/News/Story/A1Story20100127-194703.html)

Mar 23rd, 2011, 10:20 AM
Vitamin B12 Production and Depletion in a Naturally Occurring Eutrophic Lake (http://aem.asm.org/cgi/content/abstract/23/2/341) (1972)

The distribution of vitamin B12 within Upper Klamath Lake was surveyed at approximately monthly intervals during a period from September 1968 to November 1969. High concentrations (up to 1.8 g/g of dry sediment) characteristically occurred at the water-sediment interface, with a sharp decline below this area. A heavy bloom of Aphanizomenon flos-aquae occurred from the latter part of May through October 1969. B12 concentrations of the uppermost sediments, from all but one sampling site, increased gradually through the bloom, followed by a drastic increase during the die-off period. B12 is probably not a limiting factor for primary productivity, since sufficient levels of this vitamin were found to occur throughout the year. Of 42 cultures isolated from Upper Klamath Lake water and sediments, 20 were found capable of producing 50 pg or more of B12/ml of medium. Phytoplankton samples were found to contain up to 5 g of B12/g of dry material. Degradation of B12 occurred in sterilized as well as fresh sediment samples (American Society for Microbiology)

Mar 23rd, 2011, 10:23 AM
Distribution and Ecological Significance of Vitamin B12 and Thiamin in Three Lakes (http://md1.csa.com/partners/viewrecord.php?requester=gs&collection=ENV&recid=7712334&q=&uid=790528143&setcookie=yes) (1975)

Many phytoplanktonic species require a particular vitamin in their environment if they are to grow. Monthly tests of vitamin B and thiamin were undertaken in Nantua, Leman and Annecy Lakes (France) in order to ascertain the ecological significance of these compounds. Test organisms were Euglena gracilis for vitamin B12 tests and Lactobacillus fermenti for thiamin tests. In Nantua and Leman Lakes, a decrease in contents of vitamin B12 and macronutrients in the superficial waters was observed together with the springtime algal growth. Vertical distribution of vitamin B12 in Nantua lake during spring is the same as dissolved inorganic P distribution and inverse to Oscillatoria rubescens distribution. In summer, great growths of O. redekei and Aphanizomenon flos-aquae increase the vitamin content of epilimnion. O. redekei and A. flos-aquae may produce vitamin B12 while O. rubescens may consume it, at least in spring.--Copyright 1977, Biological Abstracts, Inc.

Sep 14th, 2012, 01:27 PM
All of this discoveries about water could mean that plants watered with non chlorinate water in an experiment might be more prone to appear as a better container of this vitamin, and the opposite. Just guessing whether the water can influence some of these experiments or not... And guessing if non chlorinate, pure water could increase the amount of b12 in plants.