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Thread: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default The B12-Cobalt Connection

    http://www.championtrees.org/topsoil/b12coblt.htm

    From the article:

    "B12 is the only vitamin synthesized solely by certain microorganisms—many of which are abundant in soil. And the only vitamin containing a trace element: cobalt. B12 owes its chemical name—cobalamin—to the cobalt at the center of its molecular structure. Humans and all vertebrates require cobalt, though it's assimilated only in the form of B12.

    Cobalt is important in the plant world. Bacteria on root nodules of legumes (beans, alfalfa, clover) require cobalt (and other trace elements) to synthesize B12 and fix nitrogen from air. Soybeans grown without cobalt are severely retarded in growth and exhibit severe nitrogen deficiency, leading to death in about one of four plants. Adding only a few ounces of cobalt per acre can resolve deficiency symptoms in ten to 21 days.

    Cobalt deficiency is far more dramatic in animals, particularly ruminants (cattle, deer, camels, and sheep) grazing on deficient pasture. These animals obtain all their B12 from their gut bacteria, but only if bacteria are provided cobalt salts from pasture. Legumes with less than 80 parts per billion (ppb) cobalt can't meet ruminant B12 needs. Under deficient conditions, calves and lambs thrive and grow normally for a few months as they draw on B12 reserves in liver and other tissue, but soon exhibit gradual loss of appetite and failure to grow, followed by anemia, rapid weight loss and finally death. Marginally deficient pastures cause birth of weak lambs and calves that don't survive long. These symptoms mirror B12 deficiency in human infants.

    To prevent or alleviate cobalt-B12 deficiency, farmers routinely add cobalt to animal feeds or salt licks. Some fertilize pastures with cobalt-enriched fertilizers; others opt for periodic quick-fix B12 injections. With any of these measures, all symptoms are reversed and B12 in milk and colostrum dramatically increases.

    The implication for humans subsisting on vegetarian diets are profound. B12 synthesis by indigenous bacteria is known to occur naturally in the human small intestine, primary site of B12 absorption. As long as gut bacteria have cobalt and certain other nutrients, they produce B12. In principle then, internal B12 synthesis could fulfill our needs without any B12 provided by diet.

    But if cobalt in our diet is on the wane, perhaps the problem isn't so much lack of B12-synthesizing intestinal flora as lack of cobalt, the element with which bacteria weave their magic. The burning question then is: how cobalt deficient is our soil? "
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  2. #2
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Arrow Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    Inspiredliving.com has a page that according to themselves (but see below) describes the levels of some nutrients in organic vs. non-organic food. (If you click on the link, you'll see the info in a table, below is the same information, but with the level measured in organically grown vegetables listed above the levels in the non-organically grown vegetables.)

    The cobalt levels should be of special interest for vegans, as cobalt is needed for B12 synthesis (the B12 molecule is built around a cobalt atom). If this article is/would have been correct, 4 of the 5 sampled plants contain no cobalt at all unless it is organically grown. According to comments on this study isn't really about organic vs. non-organic, but about comparing food from different soils. If this is correct (I don't know if it is), this raises another question: why is some soil cobalt deficient? Another study claims that the amount of various minerals have been reduced by 50% over the last 50 years, probably due to environmental issues. If this is correct, could it be that some of the soil in the first mentioned study is from areas with more pollution than others, and that this is the reason that some soil has less cobalt than soil in other areas (and plants grown in it has less B12) ?

    I found it interesting an interesting coincidence (?) to see that most of these organically grown plants contain an amount of cobalt pr. 100g food which is very similar to the amount of B12 that dr. Victor Herbert wrote was adequate for 'normal people' pr. day: "The minimum daily requirement (MDR) for cobalamin appears to be even lower, 0.2-0.25 micrograms per day absorbed from food is adequate for normal people (Herbert 1987)". We know more about B12 now than we did in 1987 - but we also eat more than 100g food pr day - and vegans are not 'normal people' anyway . See bottom of this post for additional info...


    VEGETABLE: Snap Beans
    Total Ash/Mineral Matter
    10.45
    4.04
    Phosphorus
    0.36
    0.22
    Calcium
    40.50
    15.50
    Magnesium
    60.0
    14.80
    Potassium
    99.70
    29.10
    Sodium
    8.60
    0.0
    Boron
    73
    10
    Manganese
    60
    2
    Iron
    227
    10
    Copper
    69.0
    3.0
    Cobalt
    0.26
    0.0


    VEGETABLE: Cabbage
    Total Ash or Mineral matter
    10.38
    6.12
    Phosphorus
    0.38
    0.18
    Calcium
    60.00
    17.50
    Magnesium
    43.60
    15.60
    Potassium
    148.30
    53.70
    Sodium
    20.40
    0.80
    Boron
    42
    7
    Manganese
    13
    2
    Iron
    94
    20
    Copper
    48.0
    0.4
    Cobalt
    0.15
    0.0




    VEGETABLE: Lettuce
    Total Ash or Mineral Matter
    24.48
    7.01
    Phosphorus
    0.43
    0.22
    Calcium
    71.00
    16.00
    Magnesium
    49.30
    13.10
    Potassium
    176.50
    53.70
    Sodium
    12.20
    0.0
    Boron
    37
    6
    Manganese
    169
    1
    Iron
    516
    9
    Copper
    60
    3.0
    Cobalt
    0.19
    0.0




    VEGETABLE: Tomatoes
    Total Ash or Mineral Matter
    14.20
    6.07
    Phosphorus
    0.35
    0.16
    Calcium
    23.00
    4.50
    Magnesium
    59.20
    4.50
    Potassium
    148.30
    58.80
    Sodium
    6.50
    0.0
    Boron
    36
    5
    Manganese
    68
    1
    Iron
    1938
    1
    Copper
    53.0
    0.0
    Cobalt
    0.63
    0.0




    VEGETABLE: Spinach
    Total Ash or Mineral Matter
    28.56
    12.38
    Phosphorus
    0.52
    0.27
    Calcium
    96.00
    47.50
    Magnesium
    203.90
    46.90
    Potassium
    257.0
    84.60
    Sodium
    69.50
    0.80
    Boron
    88
    12
    Manganese
    117
    1
    Iron
    1584
    19
    Copper
    32.0
    .05
    Cobalt
    0.25
    0.20



    After I found this list, I came across http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/24.html which states that this study doesn't really show differences between organic/non-organic, but between vegetables grown in different soils. From the article:
    "Just like conventional produce, the mineral content of organic produce depends upon the mineral content of the soil where that produce was grown.

    Securing an organic label for produce in no way guarantees that
    the magnesium, copper, manganese, cobalt and iron content of
    the soils where that produce was grown has been magically
    elevated to the higher levels of 1948.

    Firman Bear revealed that a lot of farmers produced vegetables
    without cobalt and other minerals. This is hardly a surprise when
    you consider that for decades minerals have been taken out of
    the soil and not replaced.

    Cobalt is required for our metabolic enzyme systems. It is
    needed for the production of thyroid hormones and myelin, the
    insulating material found around nerves.

    Does an organic tomato purchased today at a stand in a farmers
    market guarantee you a dose of cobalt? No. And eating organic
    produce does not guarantee you get regular and consistent
    amounts of the other minerals required by your metabolic
    enzyme systems.

    You can find some folks putting minerals back in the soil, and
    God bless them. But it will take decades to reverse a century of
    neglect and abuse of our soils."

    Trying to grow vegetables organically in 'abused' soil (that doesn't contain the needed minerals) obviously isn't a solution in itself. But there are studies out there that documents that vegetables that are organically grown contain more nutrients (also B12) than plants grown with chemical fertilizers. Whether the problem is organic/non-organic or other means of neglecting/abusing soil, to me - again - it looks like plant food vs. animal based food isn't the real cobalt/B12 deficiency problem. The important thing is how we treat our soil/plants/environment & ourselves. And - again - fresh, green leafy vegetables seem to be essential for good health, they even seem to do pretty well in poor soil. More about that later...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #3
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    You can read more about cobalt here:

    http://www.anyvitamins.com/cobalt-info.htm: "Since cobalt is part of the vitamin B12 molecule, the function of cobalt is interwoven with that of vitamin B 12."


    http://www.ene.gov.on.ca/cons/3793e.htm: "Cobalt is essential in trace amounts for human life. It is part of vitamin B-12, and plays a key role in the body's synthesis of this essential vitamin. Cobalt has also been used as a treatment for anemia, because it causes red blood cells to be produced. The toxicity of cobalt is quite low compared to many other metals in soil. Exposure to very high levels of cobalt can cause health effects."

    http://www.medical-library.net/sites..._enzymes.html: "Cobalt is the co-factor/mineral for vitamin B12 (cobalamine). It enables B12 to do its job in the construction of red blood cells. It is necessary in very small amounts and must be obtained from foods, as it is not built into supplements. Sea vegetables are rich in cobalt even though some writers claim that you have to eat animal products to get it. This is just not true. "

    http://www.seasonsindia.com/pregnanc...ntial_sea.htm: "Cobalt is found in Green leafy vegetables, meats, seafood, nuts, fruits and wholegrains. Benefits: An essential part of vitamin B12 for the normal functioning of cells, especially red blood cells. Deficiency is associated with slow growth and goitre."

    http://www.ordernatural.com/newsletter/zonenet-23.asp:
    "Cobalt: works with copper to promote iron assimilation. Best sources are animal products. Vegetarians often suffer from a cobalt deficiency".

    http://www.speclab.com/elements/cobalt.htm
    "MAJOR SOURCE OF COBALT IS FOOD; CONCN IN GREEN, LEAFY VEGETABLES MAY BE AS GREAT AS 0.5 MG/KG DRY WT. BIOC: Only a few plant species accumulate cobalt above the 100 ppm which causes severe phytotoxicity. Hyperaccumulators of cobalt have been found which contain over 1% cobalt in dry leaves. Soil pH is very important in cobalt uptake and phyto-toxicity. More acidic soils sorb cobalt less strongly."

    http://www.meijer.com/pharmacy/Medi_...mzfile=300180:
    "The small amounts of cobalt in a well-balanced diet will satisfy the cobalt requirements of most people. The richest sources are meats, particularly kidney and liver; clams and oysters; milk; figs; and buckwheat. There is some cobalt available in vegetables such as cabbage, lettuce, and spinach; but strict vegetarians are at greater risk of a deficiency than others."

    http://www.herbshop.com/minguide.htm:
    "Cobalt
    Daily Intake: 15-32 mcg.
    Dietary Source: Meats, leafy green vegetables, fruits, poultry, milk, clams, organ meats
    Deficiency Symptoms: Retarded growth rate, pernicious anemia
    Importance: Maintains red blood cells; functions as part of B-12; activates some enzymes in body
    Inhibits Absorption: Unknown
    Enhances Absorption: Copper, iron, zinc "

    http://wateroz.jeffotto.com/products/cobalt.htm
    "Cobalt is an important agent of Vitamin B-12; it increases the bodyÍs ability to absorb it. Some symptoms of cobalt deficiency: Digestive disorders, Pernicious anemia, Fatigue, Poor circulation, Myelin sheath damage, Slow growth rate, Nerve damage. Natural sources: raw milk, goat milk, meats, apricots, sea vegetables."

    http://www.healthyeatingclub.com/inf...a/data5p.html:
    "Cobalt deficiency in humans is like vitamin B-12 deficiency, with anaemia and nervous system problems. As little as 0.1 microgram cobalt as vitamin B-12 per day is needed by adults. Total cobalt intake may be in a range from 10 to 1800 micrograms per day."

    http://www.potters.org/subject66126.htm:
    "FOOD COBALT CONTENT
    (micrograms per 100 grams of food)
    Green leafy vegetables - 20-60
    Organ meats - 15-25
    Muscle meats - 7-12"

    ---

    Reading about the effect of cobalt, the symptoms of cobalt deficiency and the sources for cobalt is a lot like reading about B12.

    Could part of the vegan/B12 issue actually reflect a global cobalt deficiency in the soil?

    Cobalt is more available in (green, leafy) plants than B12, but if vegans don't eat (enough of) them, or only eat non-organic plants, or organic plants from soil in polluted areas, could they develop B12 deficiency as a result the above mentioned cobalt deficiency issue, not (only?) because we consume too little B12?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  4. #4
    FR
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    I eat an almost exclusive organic diet. I love it.

  5. #5
    Goddess foxytina_69's Avatar
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    mmhhmmm i eat as much organic stuff as i can, living with omnivores who dont care about their health

  6. #6
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    i try to eat alot of organic but sometimes i cant afford it... i buy what i can when i can... but im happy.. cuz the local health store had 50% off organic produce so i stocked up....
    Vegan-pagan-homeschooling momma to Khaila (5) and felines Gamma (3) and Mickey (3 mnths) and new foster cat Holly (2)

  7. #7
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    The original article I linked to above seems to be gone (or moved?), maybe because there is discussion about whether or not this study reflects organically vs non-organically grown plants, or plants from different soils (in both cases I find the study interesting).


    From a pdf -file on the same site, I just came across this info:
    "In his 1974 book Atoms in Agriculture,
    Dr Americo Mosca, famous chemistry
    prizewinner of the Brussels World Fair,
    discovered that toxic genetic chemicals used
    in agriculture are more dangerous than
    atomic fallout.
    I calculate that in the U.S. the use of toxic
    genetic chemicals, (herbicides, insecticides,
    hormones, steroids etc.) cause damage equal
    to the atomic fallout from 145 H-bombs of 14
    megatons each, or in terms of atomic bombs
    from 72,500 atomic bombs of the
    Hiroshima type. For this reason, disease of
    all kinds and the birth of mentally retarded
    babies have increased tremendously in the
    United States in the last 10 years."
    It's always difficult to trust warnings/news as dramatic as this, and I guess most of us have a tendency to think that 'this cannot be true'. In this case, even if we would reduce the numbers by 90% or even 99%, we would be looking at scary facts.

    From the same article:
    "The Journal reported that two commonly used
    agriculture chemicals: the herbicide paraquat
    (paraquat dichloride) and the fungicid maneb
    (manganese ethylene bisdithiocarbamate)
    combined ? creates the exact pattern of brain
    damage in mice that doctors see in patients with
    Parkinson's disease.
    The environmental reality is that several of
    these chemicals are used on the same crops
    and in the same geographical locations.
    You've got to get rid of the weeds. Then the
    insects. Then funguses. These are different
    chemicals that do different things, but they're
    often applied in the same fields, says Cory-
    Slechta, who was joined in the research by
    graduate student Mona Thiruchelvam and
    faculty members Eric Richfield, Raymond
    Baggs, and A. William Tank.
    Maneb, paraquat and many other pesticides
    are used in the agriculture-rich areas of the
    country, including the Midwest, California,
    Florida and the North-east. The map of their
    use mirrors areas of the country where
    people are more likely to die of Parkinson's
    disease.
    The study is one of the first to examine the
    effects of such chemicals in tandem."
    People who suffer from Parkinson's are also known to have very low B12 levels...

    The current regulations and determinations of
    safety levels are usually based on the effects
    of single chemicals. In the real world,
    however, we are exposed to mixtures of
    chemicals every day. There are thousands
    upon thousands of combinations.
    No-one has looked at the effects of studying
    together some of these compounds that,
    taken by themselves, have little effect, says
    Cory-Slechta. This has enormous
    implications.
    Dr Americo Mosca's book is from 1974. Here is a graphical overview over the development since then:
    Attached Images Attached Images
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  8. #8
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    That is interesting - I hope the organic food isn't better because it has been grown in soil treated with slaughterhouse by-products?

  9. #9
    I eve's Avatar
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    The soil just about everywhere is so depleted of nutrients, that it hardly makes a difference whether the farmer grows crops using abattoir byproducts (organic) or whether he grows crops conventionally (with chemicals). There is evidence that dietary micronutrient intake is falling in the UK and Europe. A recent EEC survey shows that less than 3 percent of Europeans received the RDA in all recognised essential minerals. This from a UK Govt survey of 19-50yr olds. More elderly people suffer a B12 deficiency regardless of their dietary intake, unless they take supplements. A study last year in the 'Annals of Internal Medicine', found that people taking a daily multivitamin reported dramatically lower levels of infection, and had a lower risk of myocardial infarction.

    Of course there are many groups of people - some who are smokers, some who are pregnant, elderly, etc. These conditions and others, including genetic inheritance, all play a part in their health.

    Organic has yet to prove its efficacy, and as organic is far more expensive, and as the main items of my diet are fruit and veges, I'd rather buy more fruit and a greater variety of fruit, than a few mangy looking organic stuff.
    Eve

  10. #10
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    "The soil just about everywhere is so depleted of nutrients" (confirmed by studies) - isn't this in itself a proof that exposing the soil to (certain) chemicals depletes the soil of nutrients?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  11. #11
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Very good point, Korn, we have robbed the land of all its nutrients over the years through poor farming methods, and poisoned the soil just like we poison everything good.

  12. #12
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Epidemiology March 2001;22:148-156
    About 19,000 fetal deaths occur in the United States each year, and the causes remain a significant public health problem. Among known risk factors are smoking, advanced age among pregnant women and previous history of fetal deaths.
    In the past, few epidemiological studies of pesticide exposure and birth defects have considered timing of possible exposures. And now it appears pregnant women living close to farms where pesticides are sprayed on fields may have an increased risk of having a fetus die due to birth defects.
    This is the first study to our knowledge of pesticides and pregnancy in which exposures were in close proximity to the subjects and the verification of pesticide use was objective, not relying on people's memories of what they might have been exposed to.
    Researchers found a slight increase of fetal death due to birth defects when pesticides were applied near where the pregnant women lived.
    That span -- much of the first trimester -- appears to be a special window of vulnerability for birth defects, just as earlier research has suggested. If the women were exposed during the 3rd and 8th week of pregnancy -- the point when the fetal organs are forming -- the fetus seemed to be the most vulnerable to the effects of pesticide exposure.
    The association increased for women living within 1 square mile of the field where pesticide application occurred.

    The take home message is clear:
    Living close to areas where agricultural pesticides are applied will boost the risk of fetal death due to birth defects.

    Occupational and Environmental Medicine (1997;54:511-518):
    Pesticides Linked to Stillbirths

    Maternal exposure to workplace or household pesticides in early pregnancy increases the risk for stillbirths, The study authors discovered that one month of maternal exposure to workplace pesticides during the first two months of pregnancy resulted in a 2.4 times increased risk for stillbirth due to congenital defects, compared with mothers with no such exposure.

    Pregnant women with one-month workplace pesticide exposures during their first trimester (three months) also faced a 70% raised risk for stillbirths due to placental, cord, and membrane complications Home exposure was by far the most common site for maternal pesticide exposure Women exposed during early pregnancy to chemicals such as cockroach and ant insecticides for one month in the home environment were found to have a70% raised risk for stillbirths due to congenital defects, the researchers conclude.

    This really is only the TIP of the iceberg. This study does not address the well documented delayed effect of this exposure which will clearly increase cancers, breast cancer being a major one. When Isreal banned pesiticides in their food supply over ten years ago their breast cancer rate dropped by over 75%! The take home message is do NOT use lawn chemicals or ANY insecticide in your home. Also eat organic foods whenever possible!
    Annual Meeting American Academy of Neurology in San Diego May 9, 2000

    Pesticides May Increase Parkinson's Risk

    People exposed to bug sprays in the home may have a higher risk of Parkinson's disease, an incurable neurological disorder. The study is the first to show that exposure to pesticides in the home may lead to Parkinson's, although other studies have suggested that exposure to the chemicals at work is a risk.

    The researchers studied 500 people newly diagnosed with the disease, which is characterized by tremor and problems with walking and balance. People who had been exposed to pesticides were twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as people not exposed to pesticides. This study is the largest yet of newly diagnosed individuals with Parkinson's disease and it is the first study to show a significant association between home pesticide use and the risk of developing Parkinson's disease," Nelson said in a statement.

    Parkinson's patients were more than two times as likely to have been exposed to insecticides in the home. People exposed to herbicides also had a higher risk, but exposure to insecticides in the garden and to fungicides did not seem to be associated with the disease. Parkinson's occurs when brain cells that produce dopamine, an important neurotransmitter (message-carrying chemical), are destroyed in a part of the brain known as the substantia nigra.
    The Lancet August 7,1999;354:484-485:
    Pesticides May Decrease Male Fertility

    On-the-job exposure to pesticides may reduce sperm quality, according to results of a study conducted in couples seeking in vitro fertilization (IVF) therapy. Fertilization rates were significantly decreased for couples with paternal pesticide exposure.

    Despite public concern over the effects of pesticides and other chemicals on reproductive health, data on these issues remains sparse and limited, according to the researchers. Sperm from men with either high or moderate on-the-job exposure to pesticides was associated with a 78% and 48% decline in IVF success rates, respectively, compared with sperm from unexposed men.

    Overall, the authors identified 16 couples in which male partners were exposed to moderate or high levels of pesticides at the workplace. Occupations with high pesticide use included fruit or flower harvesting, contracting, livestock, poultry or dairy farming, and gardening.

    The authors stress that because most individuals were exposed to multiple pesticides with various active ingredients, it is impossible to draw conclusions as to which chemical may be responsible for the observed effect. They add that exposure to other workplace contaminants, such as organic solvents, metal dust/fumes, or welding fumes had no significant effect on male infertility.
    The Lancet September 9, 2000;356:912-913:
    Exposure to Pesticides Linked to Learning Problems

    People exposed to pesticides on a regular basis, such as farmers and gardeners, may have 5 times or more the normal risk of developing subtle neurological impairments or learning problems categorized as mild cognitive dysfunction (MCD), researchers in the Netherlands report.

    The authors note that currently "Little is known about the adverse effects of substances, such as pesticides and metals, on the development of mild cognitive dysfunction."

    MCD includes problems with verbal learning, word fluency and recall, among others.

    The investigators evaluated exposure histories for 791 individuals.

    "Of the 17 people who reported pesticide exposure, six (35%) had mild cognitive dysfunction at baseline, whereas only 85 (11%) of 774 individuals in the unexposed group had MCD," the researchers write.

    The authors note that "Exposure to pesticides was consistently associated with the separate neuropsychological test results and the longitudinal changes thereof." Interestingly, they state that "Results did not differ significantly or consistently between currently and previously employed (eg, retired) people. This may indicate long-term adverse effects of pesticide exposure."


    The study authors conclude that additional larger studies are needed to more accurately evaluate the risk of these types of pesticide exposures leading to subtle cognitive impairments.
    The Lancet 1998;352;1816-1820:
    Pesticides Increase Breast Cancer Risk

    Exposure to certain pesticides, known as organochlorines, may increase the risk of breast cancer in women. Organochlorines, which are found in agricultural and industrial products, have a weak estrogen-like effect, and play a role in the development of breast cancer. After taking into account other known risk factors for breast cancer, the researchers write that the risk of breast cancer was twice as high in women with the highest (blood) concentrations of dieldrin (an organochlorine) as that in women with the lowest concentrations.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  13. #13
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Journal Agricultural Food Chemistry February 26, 2003;51(5):1237-41:

    Organic Vegetables are Better for Fighting Cancer

    Conventional agriculture, which depends on heavy applications of chemical fertilizers, chemical pesticides and irrigation, may inhibit plantsÍ natural production of cancer-fighting flavonoids, while organic agriculture, which does not use synthetic pesticides or chemical fertilizers, may actually promote the production of flavonoids.

    Flavonoids are plant by-products believed to protect the plant from insects, bacterial and fungal infection and photo-oxidation. These plant chemicals are also thought to be useful in preventing cancer and heart disease and combating age-related neurological dysfunctions.

    Flavonoids work by protecting the cell against damage caused by active oxygen radicals. Oxygen radicals can cause cancer and are also associated with cardiovascular disease and age-related nerve cell damage.

    In studies comparing conventional farming with organic and sustainable (environmentally sound) farming of berries and corn, organic and sustainable produce was significantly higher in flavonoids than conventional produce.

    Although previous studies did not evaluate flavonoids, results indicated that conventionally produced foods had higher levels of nitrates and synthetic pesticides and fewer total solids than organic foods.

    The natural compounds showed various functions in the cell, including the potential to kill cancer cells or prevent them from spreading. Using plant chemicals in the treatment of cancer could enhance cure rates if combined with standard treatment methods, according to researchers.

    Other studies have shown that flavonoids have protective effects against cardiovascular disease and cancer, although separate studies have found that the compounds have no effect, and a few have suggested they could have harmful effects.

    Plant chemicals may also be useful in combating age-related neurological dysfunctions such as Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease, which are associated with long-term oxidative stress.

    There is substantial evidence to suggest that flavonoids, which are more plentiful in organic than conventional foods, are effective in the fight against cancer, heart disease and age-related neurological dysfunction. Additionally, increasing evidence indicates that organic farming gives high yields and is more beneficial to the environment than conventional farming.

    According to researchers, supporters of genetically modified foods often deny or ignore this large body of evidence.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  14. #14
    PinkFluffyCloud
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    These poisons horrify me - which, btw, is why I am such a hypocrit to have been a smoker (now trying deperately to do without!!).
    I can't even stand next to someone wearing heavy perfume, much less wear it myself, it makes me really ill and headachey.
    Chemical cleaners, etc, are now banned in my home - just think of their combined effects on people and the environment, not to mention the aerosol cans, etc, that are thrown away after use.
    Why did humans ever feel that these things were a necessity in the first place?

  15. #15
    MzNatural's Avatar
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    What I donít grow in my garden I buy organic. It costs more but I consciously make an effort to stay away from chemicals as much as possible. Scrubbing off regular fruit and vegetables won't eliminate the toxins since it will get into the produce. Organic produce usually does look quite different than the regular produce. One of the reasons is it has not been tampered with. I believe a product can be called Ďorganicí if it is 70%. I look for the USDA organic seal. It tells you that the product is at least 95% organic. There are companies that include the 100% organic seal. I purchase those. It is not a requirement for companies to use this seal. It is voluntary.

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    Quote Korn
    How would explain the findings that 'the soil just about everywhere is so depleted of nutrients' (confirmed by studies)- isn't this in itself a proof that exposing the soil to chemicals depletes the soil of nutrients?
    Who can prove whether it is exposing the soil to chemicals that is to blame? There is also over-production, poor planning, as well as chemicals. There are so many inconclusive comments made, that it depends who is making them, such as "may lead to Parkinsons", "may reduce sperm quality", "may lead to increased risk". As everyone knows, almost every week we are told something different - coffee is beneficial or bad, alcohol helps or harms, fish should/ should not be eaten by pregnant women, etc. As to people living close to farms where there is chemical spraying, well I pity them. But there is no doubt that the top soil, the waterways, the air, the hole in the ozone layer, may all be contributing factors.

    As to organic, well as a vegan I don't wish to 'benefit' from the abattoir byproducts. The poor little creatures are raised in artificial conditions, pumped up with chemicals to make them grow faster, more chemicals to stop their flesh decomposing too quickly, and their manure must be godawful to contemplate, even the young chooks in the intensive battery farms. How on earth can the blood, bone, horn, manure, of these nonhumans be beneficial when dug into the soil with seeds? Of course I don't like the idea of chemicals, but to me it is the lesser of two evils. We are all comprised of chemicals after all, and when people are sick, they tend to take more chemicals of one sort or another.

    This is a discussion that tends to be circular, but it is just irritating when people who boast about eating organic food seem to be like 'holier than thou' boasters.
    Eve

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    So, what do farmers use as fertilizer on non-Organic farms?
    Cos the ones I know use Chicken Manure, and Human Slurry, which to me is no better than the icky Blood and Bone meal.
    Also, I am sure that pesticides/spray fertilizers are adding to the ozone layer problem.

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    Quote eve
    There are so many inconclusive comments made, that it depends who is making them, such as "may lead to Parkinson's"....
    Well, even if it was only a 50/50 chance that putting chemicals that are not proven NOT TO HARM ourselves or our environment in the air, waterways, soil or food was harmful, would you think it's OK to use these? The fact that we don't know a lot about this yet, is a major issue and a reason to proceed with caution. But there are a lot of things we know regarding how chemicals interfere with microorganisms, nutrients etc.. As an example, the list of man created chemicals that kill, reduce or prohibit absorption of vitamin B12 is long. Very long. And with hundreds of millions of people who consume chemicals in their food, medicine, oral contraceptives etc, we know that many of these chemicals don't disappear; they are recycled. The problems these cause add to both the pesticides and fertilizers we either know have unwanted side effects, and those that are not yet proven NOT to. Experimenting with our air, soil and water can be quite hazardous, because if/when we discover long term, or even worse, irreversible damage, the damage is... irreversible - or long lasting! People in the chemical industry tend to think that until someone can prove that our chemicals can harm our environment or people, it's OK to use them. I look at it the other way round.


    "may reduce sperm quality", "may lead to increased risk"
    "Inconclusive comments"? What about "This is the first study to our knowledge of pesticides and pregnancy in which exposures were in close proximity to the subjects and the verification of pesticide use was objective, not relying on people's memories of what they might have been exposed to." If living close to a farm that put pesticides in the soil, how likely is it that it food grown in the same soil is safe? "The study authors discovered that one month of maternal exposure to workplace pesticides during the first two months of pregnancy resulted in a 2.4 times increased risk for stillbirth due to congenital defects, compared with mothers with no such exposure"? This is not inconclusive.. it's clear enough for me. The way I see it, "When Isreal banned pesiticides in their food supply over ten years ago their breast cancer rate dropped by over 75%!" is enough info make people think different about pesticides too. Same with "People who had been exposed to pesticides were twice as likely to develop Parkinson's disease as people not exposed to pesticides." Twice as likely... thats a 100% increased chance of developing Parkinson's... not 3.5 or 12. It says 'may lead to', because, as in many studies, various people have different reactions, resistance and immune systems, so even if there are people who are exposed to pesticides that are not affected by them, the numbers are clear. It would still be wrong to state that 'everybody who are exposed to ****** will develop *****, because that is not what they have found. They write 'may lead to increased risk', but that doesn't mean that they are guessing. It's not certain that they will get Parkisnon's, but it's pretty certain that the risk is increased, unless we choose to ignore all studies because there might be other studies may have different conclusions.

    Imagine a child and a bottle of 'something' physically close to you. If someone said that 'if you allow the child to drink this stuff, the chance that she will get Parkinson's disease later this evening will be increased by 100%. You wouldn't do it, because 'later this evening' is very close in time, the child might be emotionally close to you; the bottle is even right in front of you.

    Now, the references above point to studies that are clear, they are not assuming something. (Again, it's not certain that they will develop Parkison's, but it is certain that the chances will be increased by 100%.) But what if things were uncertain?

    If I imagine the same child and the same bottle, and 5 people would tell me that they KNOW that allowing the child to drink it's contents would dramatically increase his chance to get, say, an irreversible disease tomorrow, and 5 people would say that 'this is not proven yet', or 'we think it's safe' or even 'we KNOW it is safe', I still wouldn't do it. But we are all constantly fooled by distance and by lack of visibility: if bad consequences might happen in 10 years, we allow more risks than if they will happen tonight, even in cases of lethal diseases. Pollution we cannot see doesn't frighten us as much as a bottle with a risky contents that we can see. Plus, we all seem to think that 'this won't happen us'.

    As everyone knows, almost every week we are told something different
    Does that really give us any reasons to follow the most risky route?

    As to people living close to farms where there is chemical spraying, well I pity them.
    ...but the not the people eating the food grown on the same soil?

    But there is no doubt that the top soil, the waterways, the air, the hole in the ozone layer, may all be contributing factors.
    If there is no doubt about this, and I agree, why not focus on what we can do different that will *not* destroy our waterways, ozon layer, the soil and the air, and do whatever is most likely to be beneficial for ourselves and the future generations?


    it is just irritating when people who boast about eating organic food seem to be like 'holier than thou' boasters.
    I know a guy who says that 'I'm not better than others, I just have better ideals' . In the long run, I think it would harm the development towards a less destructive world, if imperfect people like him and myself and thousands of others should keep quiet because it irritates others ;-).

    We can eaisly be fooled by some sentences (that you quoted parts of) that makes this look like something that just 'may happen'. "On-the-job exposure to pesticides may reduce sperm quality" may sound diffuse, but "Fertilization rates were significantly decreased for couples with paternal pesticide exposure. [...] Sperm from men with either high or moderate on-the-job exposure to pesticides was associated with a 78% and 48% decline in IVF success rates, respectively, compared with sperm from unexposed men" is quite clear.

    The same goes for the breast cancer study: Maybe "Exposure to certain pesticides, known as organochlorines, may increase the risk of breast cancer in women" doesn't sound that convincing, but "After taking into account other known risk factors for breast cancer, the researchers write that the risk of breast cancer was twice as high in women with the highest (blood) concentrations of dieldrin (an organochlorine) as that in women with the lowest concentrations" does.

    Why take risks in situations where we don't need to? I do it myself sometimes, and often wonder why.
    Last edited by Korn; Nov 18th, 2004 at 11:34 AM. Reason: Poor writing
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    PinkFluffyCloud
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    Korn - yes, I take risks with my health all the time (see my smoking thread!!!!) - but am really beginning to wonder at my sanity!!
    Here's to a healthier, non-toxic future!!

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    Ok Korn I give in with this argument, because for every statement made, someone can find a statement to contradict. I'm unwilling to investigate too much as it is too time-consuming, so those who want to continue with organic, will do so, Those, like me, who prefer not to, will not. It really doesn't bother me that Korn may have right on his side, but what *does" bother me, are the byproducts of abattoirs that go into organic growing. The waterways are terribly polluted and not just by sprayed chemicals, but by the huge quantities of effluents coming from intensive farming and flowing into the rivers, and into the sea.
    Eve

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    Quote eve
    Ok Korn I give in with this argument, because for every statement made, someone can find a statement to contradict.
    You're not by accident thinking of me, are you?


    I'm unwilling to investigate too much as it is too time-consuming, so those who want to continue with organic, will do so.
    Fair enough...

    It really doesn't bother me that Korn may have right on his side, but what *does" bother me, are the byproducts of abattoirs that go into organic growing.
    Good point. But as we know, there are ways to grow plants without using blood, bone, horn and manure from animals. And a certain amount of animal products will always be found in water and soil, unless wild animals totally cease to die or go to the toilet; in this case being nature itself!
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    Default What about as far as taste goes?

    I find that in most cases, the organic versions of stuff tastes better. It is more flavoursome, although in some cases can look less "attractive" - for example organic mangoes. I find them ugly coz they have black spots but the taste kicks the ass of the conventional.

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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    I have no idea what B12 is, even after browsing a few threads. But I went and got a bloodtest the other week, and my doc reckons that everythings fine except low B12. I usually get a bloodtest once a year to just check it all out, not necessarly because Im a vegan, just because I like to know if Im dying or not. And usually everything is fine, and I dont take any supplements or vitamins or anything for being a vegan. BUT, this time round I have low B12, and I have just gave up adding salt to my meals, like a month or so ago, when before I ate stupid amounts of salt with each meal, like Id add 4 or 5 teapsoons of salt a meal, not to mention the salt already added to my food during preparation. And even my excessive use of salt in the past, it never affected my health, and I always wondered why when I had way too much of salt suggested for a meal. And it might just be a coincidence that I get low B12 after giving up salt, but I have my conspiracy theories.
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  25. #25
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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    I doubt that there is any link between salt and vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is one of the the family of B vitamins that are necessary for health. It is supposedly only found in animal products, which is why it is a hot issue for vegans.

    High salt intakes may only be harmful in salt sensitive people. Its main drawback for salt sensitive people is that it raises blood pressure, which damages your arteries and leads to heart disease. I have abnormally low blood pressure, which is hereditary, not due to being vegan. I don't limit my salt, but I don't eat as much as you have been eating. It might be a good idea to cut back a little, and get used to the taste of natural food, but cutting back salt shouldn't have any effect on your vitamin B12 levels. Too much salt also throws your potassium levels out of balance, which is also bad for your heart. Try a good, natural grey sea salt, instead of the processed, pure white kind. It is full of minerals, and its higher cost might help you to be more sparing with it. You may have to supplement B12, unless you include certain fermented foods like tempeh in your diet.

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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    Nah, I said I have given up adding salt to meals. I havent added salt for over a month. And in the past my blood pressure was alittle low. B12 was always fine, and I havent ate animal products for around 6 years or so now. Just after giving up salt, I get low B12. But never before.
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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    Quote Seaside
    It is supposedly only found in animal products, which is why it is a hot issue for vegans.
    Hi Seaside, B12 comes from bacteria/microorganisms, so it is not correct to say that it comes from animal products...

    Too much salt also throws your potassium levels out of balance, which is also bad for your heart.
    Potassium is a known cobalt antagonist (B12 is based around a cobalt core). http://www.acu-cell.com/nico2.htm... Both anti-coagulant medications and potassium supplements may block the absorption of B12 (http://www.jambajuice.com/features/tobornottob.html ) Potassium is also said to make B12 more 'effective': http://www.leaflady.org/cancer.htm. Large doses of B12 should be used with caution in those with low levels of potassium (http://www.innvista.com/health/nutri...amins/b12.htm). Since there seem to be a strong link between salt intake and potassium, and potassium balance and B12, it wouldn't surprise me if a link between B12 and salt intake would be documented at some point...

    You may have to supplement B12, unless you include certain fermented foods like tempeh in your diet.
    There are various studies on B12 and tempeh: some tempeh contains B12, and some does not. Since B12 is produced by bacteria/microorganisms, tempeh produced in a very anti-bacterial environment is known to contain no or little bioavailable B12...

    I think humans are 'meant to' eat plants, and that we in the ideal world are not 'meant to' eat supplements, But we are not living in an 'ideal world'... Still, I wouldn't rely on tempeh for B12...

    Why does (some) tempeh contain B12?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    Quote Mr Pearcore
    B12 was always fine, and I havent ate animal products for around 6 years or so now. Just after giving up salt, I get low B12. But never before.
    It could also be that you had built up B12 reserves while eating animal products, and that they now have been 'emptied'... Did you use sea salt?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic food (& cobalt)

    Emptied after 6 or 7 years? they were always fine before, they never decreased each year.

    I used any salt.
    I don't need no make-up, I've got real scars.

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    Question Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Animals with cobalt deficiency develop symptoms that are similar to B12 deficiency symptoms. According to this site, 'Ruminants grazing in cobalt-deficient areas show loss of appetite, reduced growth, and loss in body weight, followed by emaciation, anemia, and eventually death.'

    I've read that the only way to consume B12 for humans is by consuming B12, but there is also a certain degree of B12-synthesis in human intestines.

    I've also seen sources that list cobalt levels in vegetables, like radish, snap beans, onions, cabbage, mushrooms, apricots, sea vegetables, beet greens, buckwheat, dulse, figs, goldenseal, Irish moss, kelp, kidney, lettuce, pau d'Arco, sarsaparilla, spinach, watercress... one site ( http://www.3.waisays.com/nutrients.htm ) writes that 'cobalt is absorbed through vitamin B12 in fish and egg yolk (or other animal food), but dried apricot s, hazelnuts and walnuts contain cobalt too'.

    Who knows more about this?
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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic, B12 vs. cobalt

    The Wolfe Clinic sells 'Theta Cobalt', "Angstrom size particles the way nature intended".

    They write:
    Cobalt is an essential mineral although the body only needs a small amount. Cobalt is stored in red blood cells with smaller amounts in the kidney, liver, pancreas and spleen. Research indicates that cobalt helps with the repair of the myelin sheath, increases the effectiveness of glucose transport from the blood into body cells (pernicious anemia), and the building of red blood cells (increases the assimilation of iron). Cobalt is an important agent of vitamin B-12, it increases the bodyís ability to absorb vitamin B-12. Cobalt stimulates many enzymes of the body and normalizes the performance of other body cells. Because of its low absorption rate and high excretion rate, cobalt toxicity is not common but excess can lead to enlargement of the thyroid gland.
    I don't understand their slogan 'Angstrom size particles the way nature intended'.
    Someone, please enlighten me...
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  32. #32
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    Default Re: Organic vs. non-organic, B12 vs. cobalt

    Here's another comment about cobalt vs. B12 deficiency, from http://www.saltinstitute.org/47r.html :


    Cobalt deficiency has not been demonstrated in non-ruminant animals. In a few instances where cobalt has created some response, it is assumed that the diet lacked vitamin B12. It should be indicated, however, that non-ruminants also synthesize a limited amount of vitamin B12 in their digestive tract. How much is absorbed is not known, but vitamin B12 would be available in the feces for animals that practice coprophagy. Horses have thrived on pastures so low in cobalt that cattle and sheep confined to them soon waste and die. The utilization of cobalt by the microbial flora in the rabbit is much more efficient than in ruminants. The absorption of vitamin B12 by rabbits is very efficient (88). There is some evidence that cobalt may have a sparing action on zinc in zinc deficiency in pigs (92).


    If the diet of non-ruminants is adequate in vitamin B12, there is no evidence to indicate a need for cobalt. It is possible, however, that if dietary vitamin B12 is limiting, a need for cobalt for intestinal synthesis of B12 will be of some importance with non-ruminant animals. All-plant diets contain little or no vitamin B12. Therefore, non-ruminant animals consuming all-plant diets would need some dietary cobalt in order to enable their microflora to synthesize vitamin B12. This fact causes many producers of non-ruminants to supplement diets with 0.1 ppm cobalt just in case the diet might not supply all the vitamin B12 required (87, 92, 93, 95, 141). Therefore, in practice, trace mineralized salt that provides cobalt, which is needed by ruminants, is also used for non-ruminant animals. This eliminates the need for manufacturing a separate trace mineralized salt for non-ruminants that does not contain cobalt. Moreover, the presence of cobalt provides some insurance in case the non-ruminant diet is lacking sufficient vitamin B12.
    The question is, could any of this apply to humans as well?
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  33. #33
    Jo1234
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    What will happen if i get no B12?

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    it gets manufactured in your gut.
    Eve

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    i read an article, I think it was in the latest vegetarian society mag (aust) and some was saying that cobalt is just floating around in the atmosphere and we;re breathing it in

    antony

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Quote Jo1234
    What will happen if i get no B12?
    This link might help. Many vegan foods are fortified with B12, alternatively there are supplements designed for vegans. B12 is stored well so as the article points out, if you had plenty and then stop consuming it, it can be years before you actually become deficient.
    http://www.nhsdirect.nhs.uk/he.asp?ArticleID=42

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    Default B12 and lack of cobalt

    http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-pr...ml/cobalt.html :

    Cobalt is found in the earth's crust at 0.001-0.002 percent and is found in cobalite, linnacite, smaltite, and erythrite (Merck, 1989). It is a by-product from nickel, copper, silver, lead, and iron ore refining. Green, leafy vegetables may contain concentrations as great as 0.5 milligrams per kilogram of dry weight (HSDB, 1991).
    (Note: that's milligrams, not micrograms.)

    http://www.coloradomining.org/materials.html :
    How might people be exposed to cobalt?
    People are commonly exposed to small amounts of cobalt naturally present in the air they breathe, the water they drink, and the foods they eat. For example, leafy green vegetables are a natural source of cobalt in peopleís diets. Industrial workers may breathe cobalt dust or fumes, or touch substances that contain cobalt.
    http://www.thecdi.com/cdi/images/doc...nal%20food.pdf :
    What foods in Cobalt found in?

    Research suggests that the top three food groups for Co in the human diet are: milk and dairy
    products, which account for approximately 32% of the total Co intake; fish and crustaceans,
    which account for approximately 20%, and condiments, sugar and oils, which account for
    about 16%. One investigation of specific foods (Leblanc et al., 2004) found that chocolate
    contains the highest level of Co, with molluscs and crustaceans, and dried fruit and nuts also
    containing the high levels in comparison to other foods.



    http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-1376 :
    Cobalt, though widely dispersed, makes up only 0.001 percent of the Earth's crust. It is found in small quantities in terrestrial and meteoritic native nickel-iron, in the Sun and stellar atmospheres, and combined with other elements in natural waters, in nodules beneath the oceans, in soils, in plants and animals, and in such minerals as cobaltite, linnaeite, skutterudite, smaltite, heterogenite, and erythrite. Traces of cobalt are present in many ores of iron, nickel, copper, silver, manganese, zinc, and arsenic, from which it is often recovered as a by-product.


    http://www.championtrees.org/yarrow/tob12.htm :
    Mark Mead reports Mn, like nickel, forms B12 analogue, and is causing widespread soil depletion of cobalt.

    From Vitamin B12 and cobalt



    THE B12-COBALT CONNECTION
    by Mark Mead & John Mann
    reprinted from SOLSTICE magazine #34, Feb. '90

    B12 is the only vitamin synthesized solely by certain
    microorganisms -- many of which are abundant in soil. And the only
    vitamin containing a trace element: cobalt. B12 owes its chemical
    name -- cobalamin -- to the cobalt at the center of its molecular
    structure. Humans and all vertebrates require cobalt, though it's
    assimilated only in the form of B12.

    Cobalt is important in the plant world. Bacteria on root nodules
    of legumes (beans, alfalfa, clover) require cobalt (and other trace
    elements) to synthesize B12 and fix nitrogen from air. Soybeans grown
    without cobalt are severely retarded in growth and exhibit severe
    nitrogen deficiency, leading to death in about one of four plants.
    Adding only a few ounces of cobalt per acre can resolve deficiency
    symptoms in ten to 21 days.

    Cobalt deficiency is far more dramatic in animals, particularly
    ruminants (cattle, deer, camels, and sheep) grazing on deficient
    pasture. These animals obtain all their B12 from their gut bacteria,
    but only if bacteria are provided cobalt salts from pasture. Legumes
    with less than 80 parts per billion (ppb) cobalt can't meet ruminant
    B12 needs. Under deficient conditions, calves and lambs thrive and
    grow normally for a few months as they draw on B12 reserves in liver
    and other tissue, but soon exhibit gradual loss of appetite and
    failure to grow, followed by anemia, rapid weight loss and finally
    death. Marginally deficient pastures cause birth of weak lambs and
    calves that don't survive long. These symptoms mirror B12 deficiency
    in human infants.

    To prevent or alleviate cobalt-B12 deficiency, farmers routinely
    add cobalt to animal feeds or salt licks. Some fertilize pastures
    with cobalt-enriched fertilizers; others opt for periodic quick- fix
    B12 injections. With any of these measures, all symptoms are reversed
    and B12 in milk and colostrum dramatically increases.

    The implication for humans subsisting on vegetarian diets are
    profound. B12 synthesis by indigenous bacteria is known to occur
    naturally in the human small intestine, primary site of B12
    absorption. As long as gut bacteria have cobalt and certain other
    nutrients, they produce B12. In principle then, internal B12
    synthesis could fufill our needs without any B12 provided by diet.

    But if cobalt in our diet is on the wane, perhaps the problem
    isn't so much lack of B12-synthesizing intestinal flora as lack of
    cobalt, the element with which bacteria weave their magic. The
    burning question then is: how cobalt deficient is our soil?

    Stalking the Wild Cobalt

    Investigating soil-cobalt links, we sought perspectives of two
    researchers: an expert in agricultural chemistry, another in
    nutrition.

    Dan Reeter, chief researcher at Bio-Systems Labs in Salida, CO,
    is creating one of the world's most comprehensive computer facilities
    for soil biology testing. Reeter, whose lab has served agricultural
    industry for over 40 years, told us:

    "I can say with certainty there's a decline of soil cobalt.
    Confirm this for yourself. Simply to pick any Ag magazine -- they all
    push cobalt supplements, spurred by B12-poor condition of crops."

    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
    TB12,' 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."

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Here's a link to another (heated, albeit interesting) discussion about this topic: Got milk? You've got problems

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Here's another link to an article describing that the mineral that will suffer most when processing whole wheat grain into white flour is cobalt. 89% will disappear. This could indicate that cobalt is very vulnerable. Since most humans eat more processed/dried/cooked/stored food than fresh food (eg more flour than fresh wheat grains), we get too little cobalt. This again would probably influence our ability to manufacture B12. (Look here: Does a healthy body manufacture B12?)

    For those of you who haven't read all the posts above: The B12 vitamin is unique in that it contains a cobalt atom (that's why B12 is called cobalamin). So without cobalt, there will be no B12. A cobalt deficient soil will mean that cobalt/b12 levels will be low, which also will be a problem for animals who eat grass or other plants from this soil. Cobalt is added to agricultural soil/supplements are given to livestock when needed (most met eaters still believe that they are not taking any supplements when they eat meat, but in these cases they definitely are - indirectly, they are eating cobalt/cobalamin fortified animals.
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    According to this study, "Vitamin B-12–deficient pigs fed 1 mg/kg cobalt had 47% lower homocysteine concentrations in serum than the vitamin B-12–deficient group fed 0.13 mg/kg cobalt, but the vitamin B-12 status was unaffected. "

    Also:

    It can be concluded from these observations that vitamin B-12–deficiency symptoms, including an accumulation of serum homocysteine, can be attenuated by nickel and cobalt, although the mode of action of these elements seems to differ. If the effects of nickel and cobalt are indeed mediated by metabolic processes, then the relevance to human nutrition is quite plausible.
    If pigs can consume cobalt (without consuming B12/cobalamin), maybe we can too? It is said that non-ruminant animals cannot synthesize B12. Pigs pigs are non-ruminant animals, and still seem to benefit from cobalt. Maybe they don't actually synthesize B12 from the cobalt (the B12 molecule contains a cobalt atom), but use it 'as is'. Cobalt is found in green, leafy vegetables, some fruit, buckwheat, figs, cabbage and sea vegetables.

    According to this source, "Cobalt deficiency may be induced by high soil manganese, or by heavy liming of soil, which reduces the amount of cobalt available to plants. Cobalt deficiency is widespread throughout wide areas of most countries in the tropics, but is found in cool, temperate regions of Ireland and Scotland."

    (Liming is "the application of calcium to soil in various forms, including marl, chalk, limestone, or hydrated lime. This neutralises soil, improves texture, and increases activity of soil bacteria. However, oversupply may result in harm to plant life".)

    It is claimed that humans cannot absorb cobalt unless it's a part of the B12 molecule, but people who have been drinking beer with added cobalt got severe heart problems, and overexposure to cobalt is a known issue). Please post any relevant info you come across regarding the human consumption of cobalt vs. cobalamin (B12), especially if you know of studies about how absorbing cobalt from plants may - or may not - reduce or the need to consume cobalamin from plants!
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Another article about cobalt/B12:
    http://www.dcnutrition.com/Minerals/...ecordNumber=68

    Some excerpts:


    Ruminants (i.e.-cows, sheep, goats, deer, antelopes, giraffe, etc.) can use elemental cobalt, however, the microbes fermenting and digesting plant material in their first stomach (rumen) convert elemental cobalt into vitamin B12 which the animal can use.
    Intrinsic factor is a mucoprotein enzyme known as Castle's intrinsic factor and is part of normal stomach secretions.

    If a person has hypochlorhydria (low stomach acid - usually a NaCl deficiency) the intrinsic factor will not work and B12/cobalt is not absorbed - this is why doctors frequently give B12 shots to older people on salt restricted diets. Sublingual (under the tongue) and oral spray B12 is available; plant derived cobalt is very bioavailable, however, because of low salt diets and cobalt depleted soils, vegetarians frequently have B12 deficiencies.

    The B12 intrinsic factor complex is primarily absorbed in the terminal small intestine or ileum; calcium is required for the B12 to cross from the intestine into the bloodstream as well as an active participation by intestinal cells.
    There is an enterohepatic (Intestine direct to the liver) circulation of B12 that recycles B12 from bile and other intestinal secretions which explains why B12 deficiency in vegans may not appear for five to ten years.

    The maximum storage level of B12 is 2 mg, which is slowly released to the bone marrow as needed. Excess intake of B12 is shed in the urine i.e. contributing the notion of "expensive urine".

    The discovery of the essentiality of cobalt came from observing a fatal disease ("bush sickness") in cattle and sheep from Australia and New Zealand; it was observed that "bush sickness" could be successfully treated and prevented by cobalt supplements.

    Bush sickness was characterized by emaciation (unsupplemented vegans), dull stare, listless, starved look, pale mucus membranes, anorexia (loss of appetite), anemia microcytic/hypochromic) and general unthriftiness.

    In humans, a failure to absorb B12/Cobalt results in deficiency disease. This can result from a surgical removal of parts of the stomach (eliminates areas of intrinsic factor production), or surgical removal of the ileum portion of the small bowel, small intestinal diverticula, parasites (tapeworm), celiac disease (allergies to wheat gluten and cows milk albumen) and other malabsorption diseases. Pernicious anemia and demyelination of the spinal cord and large nerve trunks are classic for B12/Cobalt deficiency.

    Less than 0.07 ppm cobalt in the soil results in cobalt deficiency in animals and people who eat crops grown from those soils; 0.11 ppm cobalt in the soil prevents and cures Cobalt deficiency.

    The RDA for B12/Cobalt is 3 to 4 mcg per day. We prefer expensive urine and like 250 to 400 mcg per day, especially while preparing for pregnancy and nursing (remember a baby being nursed by a deficient mother has their deficiency extended over a long period of time and may result in serious permanent nerve damage).

    Cobalt excess in man (20 to 30 mg/day) may create erythropoiesis (increase in RBC production) with increased production of the hormone erythropoieten from the kidney. Cobalt is also a necessary co-factor for the production of thyroid hormone.

    Cobalt is a trace mineral nutrient for bacteria. Its only established role in animals is as a component of vitamin B12. Animals like ruminants (cows) that depend on bacteria for vitamin B12 require inorganic cobalt as a nutrient. Only microorganisms are capable of incorporating cobalt into vitamin B12.

    The body cannot use unattached cobalt and cobalt supplements are therefore ineffective. Though cobalt has a low order of toxicity, overdosing with cobalt could lead to goiter and over-production of red blood cells in susceptible individuals.

    Low concentrations of cobalt salts were once added to beer as an antifoaming agent. However, cobalt was incriminated in several epidemics of cardiac failure among beer drinkers. The typical American diet provides low levels of cobalt. Green leafy vegetables are the richest source, while dairy products and refined grain products are among the lowest. For example, spinach provides 0.4 to 0.6 mcg per gram, and white flour contains 0.003 mcg per gram. The oral intake of cobalt necessary to produce toxicity is many times greater than can be obtained by normal consumption of foods and beverages.

    Cobalt Physiology

    The only known function of Co is its participation in metabolism as a component of vitamin B12; thus the signs of Co deficiency are in reality signs of a shortage of the vitamin.

    Though the most important tasks of vitamin B12 concern metabolism of nucleic acids and proteins, it also functions in (1) purine and pyrimidine synthesis; (2) transfer of methyl groups; (3) formation of proteins from amino acids; and (4) carbohydrate and fat metabolism (McDowell, 1989). Vitamin B12 promotes red blood cell synthesis and maintains nervous system integrity, which are functions noticeably affected in a deficiency.


    Overall synthesis of protein is impaired in vitamin B12-deficient animals. Wagle et al. (1958) demonstrated that rats and baby pigs deprived of vitamin B12 were less able to incorporate serine, methionine, phenylalanine, and glucose into liver proteins. Impairment of protein synthesis may be the principal reason for the growth depression frequently observed in these animals (Friesecke, 1980).

  42. #42
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    This threads seems to need to be split in two... but before I do that, here some more info:
    Green, leafy vegetables contain 20-60 mcg cobalt per 100g.

    An increased intake of cobalt increases B12 concentration, improves survival rate and increases growth rate in lambs grazing cobalt-deficient pastures.
    And here's a study which suggests that animals on a corn- or barley-based diets deficient in Cobalt adversely affects their vitamin B12 status... and that supplemental Cobalt also decreased their MMA levels, meaning that the cobalt/B12 was active. This doesn't, of course, necessarily mean that we'd see the same results in a similar study on humans.

    Also, the effect of the Cobalt supplementation was stronger in the animals not on the barley based diet. Maybe this is because barley grass already/apparently contain good B12 levels, which at last should be bioavailable and active for non-human animals?
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Oh my ... This cobalt theory makes SO much sense... How come nobody mentions cobalt when talking about B12 ? After reading all this and more here and there I feel like we're on to something here.. It's soil that's depleted in cobalt and without it, we can't synthesize vit b12, so taking vit b12 supplements seems pretty absurd since our body needs cobalt in the first place.
    Also, i had heard that swimming in lake waters one day would be giving me enough b12 for 2 weeks at a time (for the water one gulps in while swimming) and i now discover there's cobalt in lake waters.. Also, there's cobalt in feces, and organic veggies are often grown in soil spread with manure.. again, more cobalt rather than more vit. b12... anyway, i'll keep reading but this is very interesting..

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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Hi vegetarian_cat, I believe the reduced of the good bacteria needed to synthesize B12 more of a problem than lack of Cobalt as such - but this is pure speculation. The general reduction of natural nutrients in soil and the way we treat water could possibly represent a problem for both Cobalt and B12.
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Comparison of the dietary cobalt intake in three different Australian diets (2004)

    "Differences in the dietary intake of cobalt were assessed for vegans, lacto-ovo-vegetarian and non-vegetarian Australians using food intake logs, and daily or average trend recall over three months. A significant decrease in cobalt intake was observed for the lacto-ovo-vegetarian population compared with the intake in vegans and omnivores. There is no RDI for cobalt, however, the cobalt intake of Australians was similar to that reported in other countries. Microflora above the terminal ileum have been shown to produce significant amounts of biologically available vitamin B12. This study was unable to demonstrate a correlation between elemental cobalt intake and serum vitamin B12 concentrations in humans, as has been shown in vitro."
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    From Changes in serum concentrations of methylmalonic acid and vitamin B12 in cobalt-supplemented ewes and their lambs on two cobalt-deficient properties.

    Supplementation of the ewe with a cobalt bullet appeared to protect the growth performance of the lamb for 90 days and influence the subsequent serum vitamin B12 response in the lamb to vitamin B12 supplementation.
    CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE:

    Supplementing ewes with cobalt bullets in late pregnancy can improve the vitamin B12 status of their lambs, and modify their response to vitamin B12 supplementation.
    This is about sheep, and not humans, but still: could this suggest that consuming more cobalt rich food (some green vegetables like broccoli and spinach, oats, some nuts etc) would affect our B12 status positively?

    More about cobalt levels in food here:

    http://www.thecdi.com/cdi/images/doc...ood_Feb_06.pdf
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Reduction of plasma homocysteine and serum methylmalonate concentrations in apparently healthy elderly subjects after treatment with folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6: a randomised trial.

    Suboptimal vitamin status is an important cause of elevated P-tHcys and S-MMA in apparently healthy elderly subjects. Oral B-vitamin therapy is an effective and convenient way to normalise P-tHcys and S-MMA.
    In other words: this study suggests that taking folic acid, B12 and B9 does normalize homocysteine and MMA levels. Hcy and MMA levels are both considered useful markers for the activity in B12 (from food or supplements).
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    Default Re: Cobalt deficiency vs. B12 deficiency

    Age-related hearing loss, methylmalonic acid, and vitamin B12 status in older adults. (PMID 18032219)

    Abstract

    Hearing loss has been associated with poor vitamin B12 status in some, but not all studies. This study examined a possible relationship between age-related hearing loss and poor B12 status in 93 older adults using different indices of B12 status. Hearing loss was defined as pure-tone average threshold > 25 decibel hearing level. Participants with methylmalonic acid (MMA) > 271 nmol/L at baseline received 1,000 g/d, and those with MMA < or = 271 nmol/L were randomly assigned to receive 0, 25, or 100 microg/d of B12. In a series of logistic regression analyses, compared with participants with normal hearing, those with impaired hearing had a significantly higher serum mean MMA concentrations in the best and the worst ears and a higher prevalence of elevated MMA (> 271 nmol/L) in the worst ear only. Thus, elevated MMA concentration may be associated with hearing loss in older adults. However, short-term B12 supplementation was unrelated to improvements in hearing status in B12-deficient individuals.
    Could the fact that hearing loss is only associated with poor B12 status in some studies - combined with that conclusion that "elevated MMA concentration may be associated with hearing loss in older adult" possibly indicate that, at least for some medical conditions, it's not the B12 level itself that's important, but the MMA level? MMA levels can be influenced in various ways - not only with B12 supplementation.
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