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Thread: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    Here's a strange, but not totally uncommon theory regarding why vegans who don't take supplements do not develop a B12 deficiency.

    Human faeces can contain significant B12. A study has shown that a group of Iranian vegans obtained adequate B12 from unwashed vegetables which had been fertilised with human manure. Faecal contamination of vegetables and other plant foods can make a significant contribution to dietary needs, particularly in areas where hygiene standards may be low. This may be responsible for the lack of aneamia due to B12 deficiency in vegan communities in developing countries.
    I wonder where this... anal fixation comes from? How was this myth about human faeces as a usable B12 source created?

    First of all, this Iranian study on vegans apparently doesn't exist. There is a study, but these people weren't vegans....

    We know that not only does the B12 in faeces represent a very small part of the stools, but only a small part (circa 5%) of this B12 is active B12. According to Victor Herbert and others, "24-hr human stool contains only about 5 g of cobalamin but about 100 g of apparent analogues". First of all; these people tend to suggest that B12 analogues always will block the absorption of active B12. There is no evidence for this, but if they would have been right, NO B12 would have been absorbed from their stools. The poor 5 mcg would have lost the fight against the massive 100 mcg of analogues.

    If those who think that the digestive systems of healthy humans are capable of differentiating between true, active B12 and inactive analogues are right, there would be another dilemma, namely that even if we consume 5 mcg B12, we don't absorb 5 mcg B12.

    It has been said that if you eat something containing B12 only once a day, it should contain at least 10 mcg B12 in order to provide you with the B12 you need (I could say a lot about this, but won't do this right now! ) .


    Back to the "faecal contamination of vegetables and other plant foods" as a "significant" B12 contribution... The numbers above shows that even if we would be able to absorb every all the 5 mcg B12 in humans stools (by eating everything that came out of our bottoms), the portion would have been too small if such a 'meal' was eaten once pr. day. In order to get those 10 mcg this way, one human would need the stools of two persons daily.

    I've seen these theories about getting 'faeceal B12' from improper hand washing and unwashed vegetables several times, and it's somewhat fascinating that these people believe in what they write! It doesn't help to mix stools with other dirt (like the pieces of soil on unwashed carrots) either, because the same principles apply to soil: B12 only represents only a tiny part of the soil (circa 1 mcg B12/100g)... and this B12 probably consists of a mixture of active and passive B12. Plus (again): we only absorb some of the B12 we consume.

    Proper or improper handwashing: one would probably have to eat just as much stools or soil as one ate food to get sufficient B12 from non-food sources.

    Some claim that we would get enough B12 from dirt and bugs present in foods. In another silly thought experiment, I figured out (in an equally non-scientific manner) that one would have to eat an average of 480 billion insects daily to get enough B12. I don't know what's worst, really, 480 billion bugs or 1 kg stools/soil mixture pr. day...

    The somewhat sad thing about all this is that some people simply have decided that B12 does not exist in plants, and that if people get B12 from plants, it must be from insect droppings or dirt. I spoke on the phone a few years ago with a guy involved in testing B12 levels in algae, and he seemed disappointed he had found B12 in his studies, and wanted to convince me that the B12 actually didn't come from the algae, but from insects in the lake they took the algae from. I don't know why people are doing these tests if they have decided that they won't trust the results they get...

  2. #2
    Karma Junkie vava's Avatar
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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    I wonder if the mechanisms within our bodies for fighting the fecal matter i.e. white cells or antibodies produce B12 as a by product, whilst clearing up the fecal invaders?

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    Haniska's Avatar
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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    Wow, I had totally bought into that too. *brushes teeth*
    it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble

  4. #4
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    You're not alone, Haniska. You'll find several vegan sites contributing to spread the bugs/stool/dirt/handwashing myth. Many of these suffer from some kind of woddyallenish* complex about not trusting any research that supports what they believe in, with an ugly side effect: they believe in lots of the myths that have been presented from 'the other side'.



    *"I don't want to belong to any club that will accept me as a member."

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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    Quote Korn View Post
    I wonder where this... anal fixation comes from? How was this myth about human faeces as usable B12 source created?
    I think this theory is just a load of old crap

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    Robert Howes Robert Howes's Avatar
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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    How much pond water per day would a vegan need to drink to get enough B12?
    ***
    Bob

  7. #7
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The myth about B12, dirt and stools

    Quote Robert Howes View Post
    How much pond water per day would a vegan need to drink to get enough B12?
    ***
    Bob
    There's a thread about B12 in water here.

    http://stronglifts.com/how-much-wate...u-drink-daily/
    Nutritionists recommend 8 eight-ounce glasses of water a day. This guideline is for the Average Joe eating 1500-2000 kcal a day, basic caloric needs for the average sedentary person who does not gain weight.

    8 eight-ounce glasses equals 1,9 liter. So the basic rule is 1 liter water per 1000 calories.

  8. #8
    *live*&*let*live
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    Red face New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    I was going through the internet searching for suggestions for foods for different vitamins/minerals etc. I stumbled across this from the vegetarian society on a potential source of B12....if you fancy it that is.....

    Human faeces can contain significant B12. A study has shown that a group of Iranian vegans obtained adequate B12 from unwashed vegetables which had been fertilised with human manure. Faecal contamination of vegetables and other plant foods can make a significant contribution to dietary needs, particularly in areas where hygiene standards may be low. This may be responsible for the lack of aneamia due to B12 deficiency in vegan communities in developing countries.

    YUMM YUMM!! Anyone?!

    Last edited by Korn; Jul 19th, 2009 at 11:14 PM. Reason: This was the first post in a similar thread

  9. #9
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Quote *live*&*let*live View Post
    I was going through the internet searching for suggestions for foods for different vitamins/minerals etc. I stumbled across this from the vegetarian society on a potential source of B12....if you fancy it that is.....



    YUMM YUMM!! Anyone?!

    I think I'll pass....

  10. #10
    *live*&*let*live
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Awwww go on, go on, go on wit ya, you know you want tooooo

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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    LOL!


    Sounds so yumcious!

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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    I think they call that "night soil." I've heard of this before - still pretty nuts though!

  13. #13
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    I'm not understanding this thread. If I've got it right, unless we eat vegan organic vegetables (and how many people do?), then the vegetables we eat will have been grown using animal manure. We tend to wash the latter vegetables, so removing any animal manure residue and presumably, any traces of vitamin B12. If we wanted to ingest vitamin B12, then why not wash these vegetables less scrupulously? Or is there something 'extra nutritious' about human poo when used as a fertiliser? I imagine that legislation in this country prevents the use of human faeces for fertiliser, whereas other countries may not have such laws?

    leedsveg

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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Don't be obtuse, LV... Lots of vegans are into coprophagia, didn't you know? I thought it was common knowledge??

  15. #15
    leedsveg
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Quote fiamma View Post
    Don't be obtuse, LV... Lots of vegans are into coprophagia, didn't you know? I thought it was common knowledge??
    So can we expect a new DVD from the Vegan Society entitled--(roll of drums)--

    'Close Encounters of the Turd Kind'?


    leedsveg


    (I'll get my coat......)

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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....


  17. #17
    *live*&*let*live
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    I don't understand why they are 'pooing' out B12 anyway if they are vegan?! :smile:

  18. #18
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Quote leedsveg View Post
    So can we expect a new DVD from the Vegan Society entitled--(roll of drums)--

    'Close Encounters of the Turd Kind'?


    leedsveg


    (I'll get my coat......)

    ^ why have you pulled?.....Who with? ^

  19. #19

    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    It's like how they claim unwashed organic foods could be a source for B12, suggesting the B12 is on the surface not in the fruit/veg. The apple tree in my garden probably has all kinds of bug-related goo on the fruit. There's probably residue of bird poo on there that the rain might have washed off, but might not be visible.

    If I wash the apple, I'd be washing that off.

    I guess the more sanitized your life, the less exposure you have to B12, whether vegan or not

  20. #20
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: New source of B12 if you fancy.....

    Quote loveganism View Post
    There's probably residue of bird poo on there that the rain might have washed off, but might not be visible.

    If I wash the apple, I'd be washing that off.
    Hi, I just merged this thread with an older thread about the same topic. Please have a look at the last part of the first post in this (merged) thread...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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