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Thread: "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth"

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth"

    Here's an article trying to address some of the vegan/B12 myths and 'myths' out there.

    It's interesting, but unfortunately seems to nourish some myths as well (like most B12 articles tend to do), eg. when he writes about how you can "ensure that your body is getting the Vitamin B12 it needs".

    http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Benefi...yth&id=1764318
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth

    Aye, an interesting article Korn.

    The idea that wheat products may inhibit B12 absorption is a new on to me.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth

    Yes, there's some interesting stuff there.

    But here are some of the parts I don't like:

    "It has also been reported that vitamin B12 is present in wild fruits and wild and home-grown plant foods," (2)."
    The "2" is just a reference to another article which doesn't list any sources. Gina Shaw

    "Raw food guru and author, David Wolfe, believes that the natural soil microbes and bacteria found on wild plant foods and unwashed garden plants are typically adequate to supply our B12 requirements (5)."
    There are, as far as I know, no studies which compares B12 levels in washed and unwashed plants (as you and I have talked about earlier)....


    "Include nutrient dense algae, such as Spirulina and Marine Phytoplankton, into your daily diet. Both are part plant, part microbe and may contain vitamin B12."
    "May contain" doesn't really match "how can you ensure that your body is getting the Vitamin B12 it needs?"

    "I hope that this has cleared up some of the confusion regarding a popular vegetarian myth, that of B12 deficiency."
    With all due respect, he probably nourishes as many myths as he clears up, and... I also believe that it's articles like this which makes it difficult for people to respect and understand that some of us are trying to figure out what the scientific basis is for assuming that humans living a less denaturalized life would get enough B12 more or less automatically from non-animal sources, say, a few hundred years ago (or even today). Based on all the books and articles I've read about B12, I'm almost certain that we would get more than enough B12 from non-animal sources if we ate and drank the right stuff some centuries ago - but that's very, very different from claiming that we can 'ensure' that we'll get enough B12 from home-grown plants or from something which 'may' contain B12.

    The article also ignores everything which has been written about inactive B12 analogues the last few decades.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Bad Buddhist Clueless Git's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth

    'Lo again Korn

    ".. how can you ensure that your body is getting the Vitamin B12 it needs?"
    I can give one (it's a two parter, mind) absolutely definitive answer to that ..

    If one long term meat eater has ever suffered B12 deficiency then sufficient B12 is NOT ensured by the eating of meat.

    If one long term vegan has ever NOT suffered B12 deficiency then sufficient B12 can clearly be found in a totaly meat free diet.

    To the best of my knowledge both of the above conditions can easily be proven to have been met. For the purpose of debunking any "Meat = suffficient B12 / No meat = insufficient B12" arguments I think that is the best, for now, that we as vegans can do.

    Have to agree with you that every scientific fact we can establish to add to the above empirical evidence is VERY important though.
    All done in the best possible taste ...

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: "The Benefits of Eating a Plant-Based Diet - The Vitamin B12 Deficiency Myth


    If one long term vegan has ever NOT suffered B12 deficiency then sufficient B12 can clearly be found in a totaly meat free diet.
    Hi again, I've discussed this a few times, including with vegan/pro-vegan MDs, and various arguments have come up, including one about genetic differences (this one wasn't backed up by any research though).

    I guess you know by now that I think that it's very likely that vegans living a 'natural' life in a world that wasn't as denaturalized as ours most likely would get more than enough B12 from non-animal sources. But - to comment your quote above - re. that long term vegan you mention: even if he hasn't had anything animal derived for years (or even decades), he may have gotten it from water. Or he may have had extremely high B12 levels stored in his body before he went vegan. Or have good levels due to a better B12 recycle function in his particular body. Or maybe the B12 synthesis in his intestines works in a slightly different way from how it works most other people... and so on.

    Or he may actually have gotten the B12 it needed from his diet, but that, as such, doesn't ensure (quote, my emphasis: ) "that your body is getting the Vitamin B12 it needs". Maybe you or I would eat the same diet as he does, but have different amounts of exposure to all those B12 'killers' - pollution, stress, lack of sleep, medicine and so on. Getting the B12 one needs is only part of it - being able to absorb it and utilize it is just as important.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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