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Thread: a vegan's b12 deficiency

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default a vegan's b12 deficiency

    Last night on a TV commercial channel, there was an episode of a 'health' program where several people were tested for their health. There was a heavy meat eater, a woman who had a proportion of meat plus vegies, there was a vegetarian, and a vegan. The tests revealed that the heavy meat eater had a high cholesterol reading but was otherwise ok, the other omni and the vegie had great readings, but the vegan had extremely low b12. It was really annoying that the guy they chose as the vegan was a pretty extreme raw vegan. And the conclusion by the health person was that the heavy meat eater should trim the fat and take smaller meals, the omni and the vegie were just perfect, but the vegan should see his medico about the low b12, after all, she said, you can only get b12 from meat, so he has to decide if he is willing to take some meat to overcome the consequences of such low b12, such as anaemia.
    Eve

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    Cookie Monster RachelJune's Avatar
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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    That's ridiculous! We all know a good balanced vegan diet can provide B12.

    In fact, even my doctor agrees! I asked him to test me for B12 recently when I had to have a blood test. He knew I was vegan and yet still quizzed me as to why I would be concerned about my B12 levels. Anyway, he wrote to me recently with the results and apparently mine is in the healthy range. And I haven't eaten meat for 10 years!!

    It's maddening, because programmes like that give the omni public totally misleading info about the vegan diet.
    "Born on the same planet, Covered by the same skies..."

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    Quote eve View Post
    Last night on a TV commercial channel, there was an episode of a 'health' program where several people were tested for their health. There was a heavy meat eater, a woman who had a proportion of meat plus vegies, there was a vegetarian, and a vegan. The tests revealed that the heavy meat eater had a high cholesterol reading but was otherwise ok, the other omni and the vegie had great readings, but the vegan had extremely low b12. It was really annoying that the guy they chose as the vegan was a pretty extreme raw vegan. And the conclusion by the health person was that the heavy meat eater should trim the fat and take smaller meals, the omni and the vegie were just perfect, but the vegan should see his medico about the low b12, after all, she said, you can only get b12 from meat, so he has to decide if he is willing to take some meat to overcome the consequences of such low b12, such as anaemia.

    This is a typical Blind Leading The Blind-case.

    People forget that we live in a world where humans, food, soil and water are constantly exposed to B12-killers. [0],[1]. Because we do, people who consume more B12 then they normally would need, will have 'normal' B12 levels, because their 'overdosing' on B12 will compensate for reduced B12-levels they otherwise may have experienced due to unnatural state the planet is in.

    If the soil is B12 depleted, and the water (and air) contains stuff that destroys B12, and the food we eat isn't fresh, eating raw or organic plant food may not be enough - even if people avoid B12 killers like coffee, sugar, alcohol and contraception pills.

    All examples involving one person pr. group is also so far from being scientific they can be - drawing conclusions on such a group would make just as much sense as saying that smoking isn't unhealthy because my uncle is smoking and he isn't sick.

    Information like this isn't only not scientific, it's also potentially dangerous, because, using what you write, Eve, as an example...

    a) It may cause heavy meat eaters to think that their diet will become healthy if they only trim the fact and take smaller meals, which obviously ignores facts about phytochemicals, antioxidants, links between animal products and a number of common health issues etc.
    b) It may cause omnis to believe that eating omni/lacto-veg food is safe, while we've all seen that statistics proven what normal omnis experience in terms of heart disease, cancer and many other diet-related health problems - including a number of nutrient deficiencies. [2]
    c) It may cause lacto-vegetarians to eg. believe that they are safe, or safer than eg. vegans, while it's a known fact that B12 deficiency occurs in all groups. Some deficiencies occur more often in omnis than among vegans and lacto-veggies, while others, like B12 deficiencies, occur more often among vegans and lacto-vegetarians.
    d) It may cause people to falsely believe that one can get B12 comes from meat / only from animal products, which is wrong. [3] [4].



    I can see only one good side effect of such study, namely that vegans who ignore their health may get a wake up call and learn that we, like everyone else, need to make sure we eat a varied diet, get the nutrients we need, and - like everybody else - take action if we miss up on essential nutrients.

    [0] B12 in soil - and soil depletion of nutrients
    [1] B12-killers: 50 reasons why anyone could develop a B12 deficiency
    [2] Nutrient deficiencies among meat eaters
    [3] Where exactly does Vitamin B12 come from?
    [4] B12 in plants?

    [Most of our regular members may have seen the threads above before - I only add them because we have so many visitors who are not members and maybe aren't even vegans...]

    B12 occurs naturally in nature, comes from natural bacterial/micro-organisms, is found in soil, water, (some) plants, some fermented foods and supplements NOT based on animal products - and a well prepared producer of a TV program like this should ideally have known this.

    The question isn't if B12 exist only in meat; we know this isn't the case, it's about the balance between bio-available B12 and passive B12 analogues in (vegan and non-vegan) food, it's about whether we're able to distinguish between the two, it's about how much a B12 a healthy person actually needs and most of all, about the unconvenient truth that the Earth isn't in the shape it used to be.

    Some people still seem to think that humans, water, soil and plants on a planet that's in bad shape won't suffer from it's lack of ecological balance.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    Quote RachelJune View Post
    That's ridiculous! We all know a good balanced vegan diet can provide B12.
    ...or, at least most of us agree that a balanced vegan diet would have provided enough of everything we need in a 'natural world'.

    Even in today's world, where everything we see and touch and drink and eat is exposed to all kinds of unnatural substances, electro-magnetic fields and other radiation, air pollution and so on, a number of vegans have still shown that one can live on a vegan diet alone without supplements of any kind for years without experiencing any kind of health problems.

    A non-vegan would say that deficiencies may develop without showing any symptoms before non-reversible damage has happened, and while this may be true - and there's no reason whatsoever to play games with our health - many people start eating vegan for health reasons alone, and some non-vegans eat vegan for a while just to get in better shape and clean up their system.

    It's kind of ironic that it's so important for some people to try to prove that eating vegan isn't healthy...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    I totally agree with what you write Korn, and I was very well aware how unscientific the 'scientists' were. It is so frustrating to see examples like this because we are outside the mainstream, and mainstream people believe that what is presented is correct. I was particularly annoyed because I've known the vegetarian in question for years; he is the president (or something) of the Vegetarian Society in NSW where I used to live. I spoke on the phone with Sienna of Vegan Voice who also watched the program, and she could scarcely believe that the vege in question still consumes eggs and dairy after so many years. Sienna is writing a letter of complaint to the program because of the misleading nature of the program.
    Eve

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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    Yes I saw the program too. I knew the Vegan diet would get the 'bagging' - makes you wonder if they chose that guy on purpose.

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    I eve's Avatar
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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    I'm sure they did - he has boasted about never having taken b12 supplements.
    Eve

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    Default Re: a vegan's b12 deficiency

    I saw that episode. That program is notorious for using extremely small samples. Not very representative of the general population. My mother couldn't wait to inform me of the 'proof' that a vegan diet is unhealthy! There are a lot of people who consume animal products who have low B12 levels. They failed to advise of the cholesterol levels etc which would probably have been within a healthy range.

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