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Thread: Confused about B12

  1. #1

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    Default Confused about B12

    Hello,


    I've been feeling dizzy/light headed for about a day now, constantly. Obviously this isn't normal and I was worried it may be related to low B12.

    Now after doing some research online I'm feeling a bit confused. What the hell is the 'intrinsic factor'?

    What do I need to make sure I'm eating to ensure that B12 is properly digested? Iron? Can anyone answer this question?

    I've been looking but I can't seem to find any answer that actually give you an answer!

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    Are you sure you haven't just got a cold/flu? I've been feeling light headed for several days now.

    If you're worried about nutrition and its affecting your health I'd speak to your doctor and ask about being referred to a nutritionist.
    Last edited by Mr Flibble; Dec 7th, 2009 at 11:26 AM.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  3. #3
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    Hi, people get dizzy/light headed for many reasons, and the only way to find out if you lack B12 is to take some tests. It's true that while vegans have healthier levels of several nutrients, we often have lower levels of B12 than others (for reasons discussed in various threads), but it doesn't seem that this would affect much you anyway, since you just became a vegan. But many meat eaters and vegetarians have low B12 levels, so if you are worried, my suggestion is to take a test.

    Instrinsic factor is a (glyco)protein that is needed for B12 absorption. "In the UK, the most common cause of B12 deficiency is a lack of intrinsic factor." (Link).

    What do I need to make sure I'm eating to ensure that B12 is properly digested?
    First of all, you need... B12! And you need real, bioavailable B12, not inactive B12 "analogues". Where do you get your B12 from?

    Furthermore, you need to have a healthy calsium level. Calcium needs vitamin D for absorption, so you need to have a good vit. D level as well, which we won't get from the sun in northern parts of the world at this time of the year (check our vitamin D and calcium threads if you want to know more about this).

    It's is to blame everything on B12 as a vegan, but the truth is that only circa 1% of the population have good levels of all the nutrients they need, so your dizziness could have many reasons. I'm not a doctor or nutritionist, and one can't give advice about such matters on forums anyway (other than on a very general level), so if I were you, I'd check what nutrients you possibly are missing. If you miss any nutrients (and again - most people do), you probably have brought a deficiency with you over from your pre-vegan days... I know of people who have been vegans for several years (even without taking supplements) who haven't had the symptoms you have, so your recent swicth to a vegan diet as such isn't the problem, but you if you eat healthier (eg. use less sugar), you may just have some transition symptoms.

    Iron deficiency can cause B12 deficiency, but I know of at least one case where someone thought she had a B12 problem, and it wasn't B12 levels that caused these symptoms, it was the iron levels. Iron is easy to get enough of as a vegan, but it doesn't happen on it's own accord - so check out our iron threads!

    Most of all - whatever B12 intake you have, please pay attention to how many "B12 killers" you are exposed to, which could be anything from sugar, coffee, tobacco, vaccines, contraception pills, fluoride, medicine, stress and much more. Good luck!
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  4. #4

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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    Hi,

    Thank you for the replies! Very helpful
    I eat marmite as my source of B12.

  5. #5
    told me to Mr Flibble's Avatar
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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    Marmite is produced by Unilever, who many vegans avoid due to animal testing.
    "Mr Flibble - forum corruptor of innocents!!" - Hemlock

  6. #6
    baffled harpy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    ...but there are alternatives to Marmite, such as Natex, which is also fortified with B12.

    I sometimes pop the odd Veg 1 tablet (from the Vegan Society) as well as eating fortified yeast extract.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Confused about B12

    If you are eating enough marmite for it to cover your daily allowance in B12, you're probably eating too much salt... last time I checked you had to cain loads of marmite per day to insure the daily allowance

    Anyway my advice to you is: since you're eating fortified foods, might as well take a pill which is the same thing, only in a different form...

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