View Full Version : Vitamin B12 & coffee

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Apr 24th, 2004, 12:29 PM
Hi, below are a few quotes re vitamin B(12) and coffee. In my long term process of trying to find out what these maybe 20% of vegans that do not take supplements and do not develop B12 deficiency have in common, I've seen many references to coffee as a B12 reducing element. My hypotheses is that there is enough active B12 in water and food, but due to a lot of lifestyle and environmental factors, many vegans (and non-vegans alike) develop B12 deficiency.

Vegans are more exposed to B12 deficiency than meat eaters, because we don't eat someone who already consumed B12 (or drink their mother's milk).

B12 is to be found in water, grass, trees, soil. We need close to no B12 in order not to develop deficiency. Still, sugar, vaccines, alcohol, tea/coffee, chemicals, chlorinated water, fluor, amalgam etc. might all reduce our B12 levels.

Later this year, we will start a detailed Vegan/B12 survey including questions about pretty much everything that could affect your B12 levels. (The survey will not be inside this message board, and will be announced 'everywhere').

Meanwhile, here is a little coffee survey... (this is a non public poll; nobody can see which of the 5 options you voted for).

The quotes:

From http://www.thevitaminlady.com/VLvitaminind.htm :
B12 / Negative Interactions : alcohol, coffee, tobacco, calcium deficiency.
From 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.

Alcohol is toxic towards these vitamins so moderate or remove alcohol from your diet.

Vitamins are affected by cooking so it's best to steam or poach your food to reduce the loss of nutrients.

Try to ensure that food is fresh and consumed as soon as possible."

Apr 24th, 2004, 02:15 PM
These links you´ve put up today, Korn, are great! Very helpful, and I agree with your hypothesis - ever since I first went vegan, I found it difficult to believe that there was one vitamin missing in a vegan diet - just doesn´t seem like nature´s way.

That is not to say that we should all stop taking supplements, just that we should look at all the issues that may be causing us not to absorb or process enough B12. Given all the things that inhibit B12, it would seem that we are not even secure with supplements.


Apr 25th, 2004, 10:01 PM
101 Foods Highest in caffeine (based on levels per 200 Calories)

From http://www.nutritiondata.com/foods-000131000000000000000.html

The top 10 (of a total of 101) is:

1) 4710 mg: Coffee, brewed, espresso, restaurant-prepared

2) 4000 mg: Tea, brewed, prepared with tap water [black tea]

3) 4000 mg: Tea, brewed, prepared with distilled water [black tea]

4) 3400 mg: Tea, instant, unsweetened, powder

5) 3000 mg: Carbonated beverage, low calorie, other than cola or pepper, with aspartame, with caffeine [soft drink, soda, pop]

6) 2800 mg: Carbonated beverage, low calorie, cola or pepper-type, with aspartame, contains caffeine

7) 2610 mg: Coffee, instant, regular, powder

8) 2600 mg: Coffee, instant, regular, prepared with water

9) 2600 mg: Tea, instant, unsweetened, powder, prepared

10) 2200 mg: Carbonated beverage, low calorie, cola or pepper-types, with sodium saccharin, contains caffeine

May 28th, 2004, 08:17 PM
I wonder if it is possible to start do drink coffee without really trying hard / spending some time getting used to it. Did anyone here like coffee first time they tasted it??

Jun 2nd, 2004, 02:02 AM
... Did anyone here like coffee first time they tasted it??

Ha! Not at all, but I had this, um, sickness (yah, that’s it) most every Saturday morning when I was in high school. I had to go to work and it helped me cope. I learned to like it.

Ari... who gave up that demon tequila long ago.

Jun 25th, 2004, 05:49 AM
I liked coffee at an abnormally early age. I would ride my bike to school with a friend and go pick up bagels ang coffee. This was in middle school. I'm not positive that I like it the first time that I tasted it though... I then got into the specialty coffees. I still love coffee but don't drink it as much as I think the average american does.

Jul 2nd, 2004, 06:33 AM
Interesting article on the subject here: http://www.fredericpatenaude.com/coffee.html#restarticle (Frederic Patenaude is a raw foodist).

Jul 2nd, 2004, 08:19 AM


Excerpt from the article:

"The effects of caffeine on the body are well researched, but you never hear about them in your newspaper. You never hear about them anywhere because the whole nation, if not the whole world, is addicted to caffeine. Doctors, journalists, scientists, writers Š everyone drinks coffee. Those whose job is to inform us are usually heavy coffee drinkers. And few of them ever rise up to speak against this popular drug.

But one did. His name is Stephen Cherniske, a scientist who spent 10 years of his life researching the effects of caffeine on the body and compiling them in a shocking document, 'Caffeine Blues.' On the first page of this book we can read:

- Caffeine can't provide energy, only chemical stimulation and induced emergency state that can lead to irritability, mood swings, and panic attacks.

- Caffeine's ultimate mood effect can be letdown, which can lead to depression and chronic fatigue.

- Caffeine gives the illusion of heightened alertness by dilating pupils, quickening heart rate, and raising blood pressure. In fact, caffeine does not increase overall mental activity.

I have read 'Caffeine Blues' and selected the most relevant information and quotes out of it for this article."

Jul 2nd, 2004, 08:55 AM
Thanks, Eve - I posted the as a separate post in the Link forum!

(To Eve and everybody else - please don't hesitate yo share you fav. links or post interesting news here (http://www.veganforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=7) if you find some! )

Jul 3rd, 2004, 01:04 PM
Yeah yeah, but the aroma ..... then the taste ..... Sorry, but whilst I can go for several days without coffee, sometimes I just feel like it, and after all, it is vegan! :)

Jul 3rd, 2004, 02:28 PM
I guess I'm just a lucky guy - I never liked the taste, except in ice cream :)

Jul 5th, 2004, 12:16 AM
I read some where that an apple in the morning is much better at waking people up than a cup of coffee. If only people knew stuff like this.

After The Rain
Jul 5th, 2004, 12:04 PM
I just found this at http://www.vegan-straight-edge.org.uk/nocoffee.htm:

Coffee? Tea? Me? No thanX!

John Coleman

Coffee and Tea
Coffee makes us speedy, irritable, sleepless, and often causes heartburn or ulcers. The removal of caffeine is supposed to reduce some of these undesirable effects. Coffee is an addicting beverage. If you consume more than 2 cups per day, you are likely to experience unpleasant withdrawal if you stop. The minimal suffering includes a headache, irritability, and fatigue. The popular ideas that the bad effects of coffee are caused by one chemical, caffeine, is misleading. The 800 or so other chemicals in coffee include aromatic or phenolic chemicals and many are probably neurotoxic; other chemicals are allergenic. Coffee is also a crop with pesticide residues. Coffee can be allergenic and makes some people obviously sick. Chlorogenic acid is one of the allergens which coffee shares with oranges.

Tea and coffee have much in common, although they different plant products from different geographic zones. Tea contains caffeine and other members of the drug family, methyxanthines. Tea also contains tannin, a good tanning agent. The caffeine dose in a cup of coffee ranges from 100 to 160 mg. A cup of tea has 20-60 mg and 12 ounces of regular Coca Cola has 45 mg of caffeine. The symptom complex produced by tea parallels coffee. Chronic heavy tea- users have sometimes been nicknamed Tuffers. Teas are addicting and are allergenic.

Daily coffee or tea ingestion induces a 24 hour cyclic disturbance with morning arousal, irritability, difficulty concentrating, subtle levels of disorganization, clumsiness, and forgetfulness. As the day progresses, 2 or more cups later, a heavy fatigue sets in by mid to late afternoon. Further coffee doses may rouse one a bit, but then further collapse is inevitable by evening. Irritability may evolve into disproportionate or inappropriate angry outbursts, pleasure-loss, absence of good-feelings, or empathy anesthesia. It is likely that the subtle pyschopathology of moderate to heavy coffee consumption contributes to the production of unnecessary conflict and dysphoria. The subtle cognitive and memory deficits which appear after coffee intake should alarm employers who expect their employees to think, remember, or carry out skilled, coordinated acts. It may be that coffee and tea intake facilitates dull, routine, rote tasks where thinking, skill, and initiative are unimportant. The cognitive and emotional defects of the coffee-drinker should also alarm a spouse or close family member who cannot understand why the relationship is not working. Until you consider coffee and other food-factors, mental and emotional disturbances may be totally mystifiying. Early sleep may be denied the infrequent coffee user. The chronic coffee-used may go to sleep readily but sleeps poorly and awakens feeling tired and mentally clouded. Morning fatigue demands more coffee to get going. A familiar recursive loop is established following the familiar addictive sequence.

If you begin in a clear state with no symptoms and a clear mind, the ingestion of even one cup of coffee will often produce a marked and undesirable effect. The sustained ingestion of even small amounts of coffee seems to produce a subtle psychopathology. The chronic coffee user risks a variety of physical and mental disabilities, especially coffee-user-fog. If your Cuffer spouse, employer, employee, or best friend seems irritable, obtuse, unduly nasty, or depressed, nurse them through the three-day- withdrawal headache and serve nice cups of hot water instead. Coffee substitutes are definitely not recommended. Many ex-cuffers find that a "nice cup of hot water" becomes a suitable drink. Others switch to light consume, soup, or hot water, lightly flavored with lemon and honey.
-Stephen J. Gislason MD

Coffee-Not as harmless as you Think
• Coffee is a natural diuretic, therefore it promotes the loss of sodium, potassium, calcium and other essential vitamin elements, as well as electrolytes imbalance.
• It is essential to drink at least 8 twelve ounce glasses of filtered/bottled water each day. If you drink coffee you will have to increase this amount. Just as you would naturally increase water consumption of you exercised routinely you would increase your consumption of water. This latter point of course leads to the need to increase vitamin and electrolytes to compensate for the loss.
• Caffeine stimulates the adrenals and may rob your liver of it's glycogen stores.
• Boston University demonstrated that "The risk of myocardial infarction among those drinking one to five, and six or more cups of coffee a day are estimated to be increased by 60% and 120% respectively."
• University of Illinois, in a test of 14 women who drank seven or more cups of coffee daily, researchers reported either miscarriages, still births or fetal deaths among 13 of the women! "University of Washington has come up with corroborative findings"
• Dr. Cole of Harvard School of Public health discovered hat women who drink at least one cup of coffee daily have 25% greater risk developing bladder cancer.
• Harvard University found that "about 25% of the bladder cancer in men and about 49% of the bladder cancer in women could be due to coffee drinking".
Caffeine Coffee = 100-150 milligrams per cup Tea = 90 milligrams per cup
• A search of MEDLINE for one year revealed over 40 articles cited adverse effects of caffeine and an additional 20+ articles discussed the following caffeine-induced problems:
◦ 1. Headaches (especially migraine), fatigue, drowsiness as withdrawal symptoms.
◦ 2. Exacerbation of the incidence of migraines
◦ 3. Intensification of premenstrual symptoms
◦ 4. Increased intraocular eye pressure.
◦ 5. Increased chromosomal damage and inhibition of DNA repair
◦ 6. Fetal growth retardation and newborn symptomotology.
◦ 7. Caffeine interferes with your body's ability to absorb calcium.
◦ 8. Coffee kills good bacteria in the intestines
◦ 9. Coffee pulls B vitamins from your body
-Michael J., health researcher

*Roasting plant matter such as coffee beans, or cooking such as frying, may produce 3,4 - benzopyrene, a potent carcinogen. Caffeine causes cancer and birth defects in laboratory animals.

After The Rain
Jul 5th, 2004, 12:05 PM

Jul 7th, 2004, 05:18 PM
I love coffee. It's one of my bad eating/drinking habits I can't kick. Not too concerned w it really. I've given up plenty for the time and am under too much stress to give it up. I've been drinking it since I was in middle school... if I brew it myself I drink way too much... if I have to pay for it outside the home I tend to go down to about 1-2 cups a day which is pretty average.

Jul 12th, 2004, 02:00 PM
i really find that a glass of cold ice water with lemon wakes me up and gets my system going alot better then coffee.

the taste and aroma are delicious eve! i only drink coffee if i buy fair trade organic coffee beans. which is in a blue moon! but sumtimes i just have to taste it. oh so delicious.

Jul 12th, 2004, 10:45 PM
The only "healthy" way to take in coffee is in an enema. It's very cleansing.

Jul 13th, 2004, 10:06 AM
Sorry, but that sounds disgusting!

Jul 14th, 2004, 12:59 AM
What is disgusting is the stuff that comes out! Rather than describe any more about the hows and whys of coffee enemas, I have pasted a link... http://altmedicine.about.com/cs/dietarytherapy/a/EnemasColonics.htm

Aug 20th, 2004, 01:21 AM
when i was in elementary school, i used to beg my mom to let me have cafe au lait in the morning. i'm sure i was reacting a lot to the sweet milky flavor (even though i hated milk, so it must have had something to do with the coffee), but i am one of those people who loved coffee the first time i had it. i'm drinking less now, but i still aboslutely adore it. i know it's bad for me, but eh...

Aug 22nd, 2004, 12:17 PM
Wow! I am surprised at the high number of people in this post who don't drink coffe.

I never drink it, but in the US that is a rarity.

Next to soft drinks, people use it like water.


Feb 11th, 2005, 07:15 PM
I LOVE Coffee, especially the one-cup filters you can get (Colombian). I used to drink around 6-8 per day. :)
:mad: However, I have given it up completely - it gives me Heart Palpitations, headaches, and Insomnia. It also encourages me to crave sugary foods.
Mostly, I don't miss it, but when I smell it brewing in a cafe, for instance, it's hard. :rolleyes:

Feb 12th, 2005, 01:55 AM
I drink double-shot lattes 1-2x day and have been vegan for 3 years. My B12 was in the normal range the last two years I had it tested, though a bit toward the lower end of the range. Though I did recently start taking a sublingual B-12 supplement once every week or so.

Feb 21st, 2005, 09:42 PM
I didn't like coffee at all when I first tried it. But I love it now. It must be down to the addictive nature of caffeine. Even the smell of coffee... Mmmmm!

Having said that, I don't actually drink coffee. I just don't like having to depend on something. When I was a coffee user, the idea of not putting the kettle on first thing in the morning would have been totally out of the question.

I sometimes drink tea, but I'm trying to cut that out too.

By the way... Excuse my ignorance, but what is the actual function of Vitamin B-12? What does it do? And what are the symptoms of a B-12 deficiency?
Maybe someone can post a link?


Feb 21st, 2005, 09:46 PM
Have a browse of the b12 (http://veganforum.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=30) forum Stu. :)