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Thread: The B12 research collection

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default The B12 research collection

    If you come across research on the net or elsewhere that tries to document information about plants, vegans and B12, please post the URL here with (at least) an excerpt of the text (unless it is copyrighted). I t doesn't matter what the conclusions are or if you agree in them, this thread is just meant to reflect the info that is available out there. Thanks!

    I'll start....

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entre...&dopt=Abstract :

    Serum vitamin B12 levels in young vegans who eat brown rice.

    Suzuki H.

    Department of Internal Medicine, Social Insurance Institute of Nagahori, Clinic, Osaka, Japan.

    A nutritional analysis was conducted on the dietary intake of a group of 6 vegan children aged 7 to 14 who had been living on a vegan diet including brown rice for from 4 to 10 years, and on that of an age-matched control group. In addition, their serum vitamin B12 levels and other data (red blood cell count, hematocrit, hemoglobin, etc.) were determined in the laboratory. In vegans' diets, 2-4 g of nori (dried laver), which contained B12, were consumed daily. Not a single case of symptoms due to B12 deficiency was found. There were no statistically significant differences between the two groups with respect to any of the examination data, including B12 levels (p < 0.05). Therefore, consumption of nori may keep vegans from suffering B12 deficiency.

    PMID: 8926531 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    Last edited by Korn; Jul 12th, 2004 at 12:21 PM.
    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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    From http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entre...&dopt=Abstract :

    Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1999 Nov;69(6):412-8. Related Articles, Links

    Bioavailability of dried asakusanori (porphyra tenera) as a source of Cobalamin (Vitamin B12).
    Yamada K, Yamada Y, Fukuda M, Yamada S.
    Department of Liberal Arts and Sciences, School of Health Sciences, Sapporo Medical University, Japan.
    We have already reported that raw nori (Porphyra tenera) contains cobalamin (Cbl) but not Cbl analogues (J. Nutr. Sci. Vitaminol., 42, 497, 1996). It seems, therefore, that it is an excellent natural vegetable source of Cbl. On the other hand, it has been reported that the Cbl nutritional status of vegetarian children deteriorated as estimated by the hematological index, mean corpuscular volume (MCV), after they had dried nori as a source of Cbl. Such a discrepancy between raw and dried nori as a source of Cbl led us to investigate whether Cbl in dried nori had different properties from that in raw nori. We found that contents of Cbl homologues determined by a bioassay method in both raw and dried nori were similar. The urinary methylmalonic acid excretion increased when human female volunteers were given 40 g of dried nori daily during the test period. On the other hand, the urinary methylmalonic acid excretion did not change when volunteers were daily given 320 g of raw nori, which was equivalent to 40 g of the dried one on the basis of dehydrated weight, during the test period. By paper chromatography, 65% of the Cbl homologues were found to be comprised of Cbl analogues in dried nori, while 73% of the Cbl homologues in the raw nori were genuine Cbl. These results were confirmed by the finding that the bioassay method gave higher values for Cbl homologues than those obtained by a competitive binding assay method using an intrinsic factor as a Cbl-binding protein. Our present data demonstrated that Cbl in raw nori can be changed into harmful Cbl analogues by the drying process.
    PMID: 10642899 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    Default Victor Herbert's articles on B12

    Here are some selected articles and letters written by dr Victor Herbert, renowned vitamin B12 expert. Please visit www.victorherbert.com for more articles on B12 (see CV and articles section).

    Herbert V: Vitamin B12: plant sources, requirements, and assay. Am J Clin Nutr 1988;48:852-858

    Herbert V. Vegan diets are lethal. (submitted on 5/3/99 as Letter to the Editor). New York Times.

    Herbert V. 0.4 mg folate supplements are desirable provided they contain 25 or more µg vitamin B12 and contain no folate-and vitamin B12-destroying redox agents like vitamin C and iron. FASEB J 1996;19(3):A464. (Presented at "Experimental Biology '96", April 14-17, 1996, in Washington, DC).

    Herbert V. Vitamin B12. In: Ziegler EE, Filer LJ, Eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition (7th Edition), Chapter 20. Washington, DC, International Life Sciences Institute (ILSI) Press, 1996:191-205 (ISBN 0-944398-72-3).

    Allen L, Herbert V. Vitamin B12. In: Freeland-Graves J, Ed. Nutrient Summaries, 1996.

    Herbert V. Anti-hyperhomocysteinemic supplemental folic acid and vitamin B12 are significantly destroyed in gastric juice if co-ingested with supplemental vitamin C and iron. Blood 1996; 88(10, Suppl 1):492a (Abstract #1957).

    Herbert V, Bigaouette J. Petition to the Food & Drug Administration “That the FDA require a minimum of 25 mcg crystalline vitamin B12 fortification per 100 g food wherever there is food fortification with pteroylglutamic acid (PGA; synthetic folic acid).” FAXed and mailed to Dockets Management Branch, FDA, August 26, 1996. FDA Docket No. 96P-0349/CP 1 filed 9/26/96.

    Herbert V. Folate supplementation and the risk of masking vitamin B12 deficiency. JAMA, Letter to the Editor (in response to Brantigan et al., Folate supplementation and the risk of masking vitamin B12 deficiency). JAMA 1997;277:880-881.

    Herbert V. Vitamin B12 and folic acid supplementation. Reply to Oakley. Am J Clin Nutr 1997; 66: 1479-81.

    Flynn, MA, Herbert V. Atherogenesis and the homocysteine-folate cobalamin triad. JAMA 1997 (Letter to Editor in response to Graham et al. “Plasma homocysteine as a risk factor for vascular disease.” JAMA 1997:277:1775-1781).

    Herbert V, Flynn MA, Nolph GA, Krause G. ~50% of “healthy” American elderly have low serum transcobalamin, diagnosing reduced vitamin B12 absorption; 60% also have high serum homocysteine; none have low red cell folate: All elderly should get 25-100 Fg oral free crystalline vitamin B12 daily as food fortificant or supplement. 2nd International Conference on Homocysteine Metabolism, April 26-29, 1998. Nijmegen University, Netherlands. Netherlands J Med. Sci. , 1998; 52 (Suppl) : 58.

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    Default Seaweed as a possible B12 source - debate

    Pieter C. Dagnelie, Comments on the Paper by Rauma et al. (1995) J. Nutr. 1997 127: 379

    Donald R. Davis, Comments on the Paper by Rauma et al. (1995) J. Nutr. 1997 127: 378

    Anna-Liisa Rauma, Hannu Mykkänen, Riitta Törrönen, and Osmo Hänninen, Reply to the Letters of Davis and Dagnelie. J. Nutr. 1997 127: 380

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    Aok C Antony, Vegetarianism and vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) deficiency. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol. 78, No. 1, 3-6, July 2003

    Clearly, recommendations for supplementation of vitamin B-12 are not that easily implemented, as witnessed by the continued documentation of probable vitamin B-12 deficiency among vegetarians described in this issue of the Journal. Nevertheless, the data are compelling, and they indicate that vegetarians should routinely take cobalamin or vitamin B-12 supplements, which in their generic form are relatively inexpensive. In developing countries, other formidable problems were incurred in attempts to implement a program of supplementation of other vitamins (50). Yet the lack of a comprehensive initiative to protect vegetarians from vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to a whole generation of cobalamin-deficient children (and adults) who are incapable of making good decisions because of the additional burden of neurologic deficits induced by cobalamin deficiency. The international nutrition community must take up the challenge posed by this body of evidence and enact practical steps to ensure parity in the vitamin B-12 status of vegetarians and omnivores.

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    Herrmann W, Schorr H, Obeid R, Geisel J. Vitamin B-12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr. 2003 Jul;78(1):131-6.

    Vegan subjects and, to a lesser degree, subjects in the LV-LOV group had metabolic features indicating vitamin B-12 deficiency that led to a substantial increase in total homocysteine concentrations. Vitamin B-12 status should be monitored in vegetarians. Health aspects of vegetarianism should be considered in the light of possible damaging effects arising from vitamin B-12 deficiency and hyperhomocysteinemia.

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    Krajcovicova-Kudlackova M, Blazicek P, Sebekova K, Valachovicova M. Therapy of hyperhomocysteinemia with vitamin B12. Ceska Slov Farm. 2002 Nov;51(6):310-2. Slovak.

    Obeid R, Geisel J, Schorr H, Hubner U, Herrmann W. Related, The impact of vegetarianism on some haematological parameters. Eur J Haematol. 2002 Nov-Dec;69(5-6):275-9.

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    Bissoli L, Di Francesco V, Ballarin A, Mandragona R, Trespidi R, Brocco G, Caruso B, Bosello O, Zamboni M. Effect of vegetarian diet on homocysteine levels. Ann Nutr Metab. 2002;46(2):73-9.

    Vegetarian subjects presented significantly higher tHcy levels, higher prevalence of hyperhomocysteinemia, and lower serum vitamin B(12) levels than controls.

    Herrmann W, Schorr H, Purschwitz K, Rassoul F, Richter V. Total homocysteine, vitamin B(12), and total antioxidant status in vegetarians. Clin Chem. 2001 Jun;47(6):1094-101.

    [T]he importance of supplements, especially vitamin B12, to compensate for the adverse effects of certain vegetarian diets should be considered.

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    Bar-Sella P, Rakover Y, Ratner D. Vitamin B12 and folate levels in long-term vegans. Isr J Med Sci. 1990 Jun;26(6):309-12.

    Vitamin B12 levels among the vegans were generally lower than in a control population. Most of the vegans had vitamin B12 values less than 200 pg/ml. RBC folate levels were normal but serum folate levels among the vegans were higher than among the controls. None of the vegans had any hematologic evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency, however four of them had neurologic complaints. Long-standing vegans should be monitored for vitamin B12 levels.

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    Dong A, Scott SC. Serum vitamin B12 and blood cell values in vegetarians.
    Ann Nutr Metab. 1982;26(4):209-16.

    Among subjects who did not supplement their diets with vitamin B12 or multiple vitamin tablets, 92% of the vegans (total vegetarians), 64% of the lactovegetarians, 47% of the lacto-ovovegetarians and 20% of the semivegetarians had serum vitamin B12 levels less than 200 pg/ml (normal = 200-900 pg/ml). However, their complete blood count values did not deviate greatly from those found for nonvegetarians, even though some had been vegans or lactovegetarians for over 10 years.

    Abdulla M, Andersson I, Asp NG, Berthelsen K, Birkhed D, Dencker I, Johansson CG, Jagerstad M, Kolar K, Nair BM, Nilsson-Ehle P, Norden A, Rassner S, Akesson B, Ockerman PA. Nutrient intake and health status of vegans. Chemical analyses of diets using the duplicate portion sampling technique. Am J Clin Nutr. 1981 Nov;34(11):2464-77.

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    Jack Norris' review of scientific and medical papers on B12 "Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?".

    Conclusion: Can a Natural Diet Require Supplements?

    The longer a vegan does not supplement with B12, the lower their active B12 levels will drop, increasing their homocysteine levels. It is unlikely that most (or possibly any) vegans can achieve optimal health for a considerable length of time without supplementing with B12.

    In Western society today, it is easy to ensure an adequate B12 intake. Vegans who supplement with B12 can have superior B12 status to non-vegetarians who do not supplement. In fact, the Food and Nutrition Board says that all people (not just vegans) over age 50 should "meet their RDA mainly by consuming foods fortified with B12 or a B12-containing supplement."

    I would encourage vegan advocates to make achieving superior B12 status for all vegans one of our goals. As such, all new vegans should be told to ensure an adequate supply of B12 by the people or organizations who encourage them to change their diet.

    Some vegans wrote me after reading earlier versions of Vitamin B12: Are You Getting It?, saying that by implying vegans need to take a supplement, I am portraying the vegan diet as unnatural. One person said, "All the vegans I know are healthy and they neither take vitamin B12 supplements nor eat foods fortified with vitamin B12."

    As pointed out earlier, it is true that many vegans do not supplement with B12 and remain apparently healthy for many years. These vegans normally have no idea what their homocysteine levels are, nor what chronic diseases such elevated levels might be causing. They also do not know if they are suffering from unnoticeable nerve damage. You are taking a big chance by assuming you have transcended a need for a typical B12 intake.

    Is the vegan diet natural?

    Whether any prehistoric humans were vegan cannot be concluded from the research presented here. But in the interest of disclosure, and because knowledge and truth can only help the vegan cause, I recommend an article that examines the subject of the naturalness of a vegan diet: Comparative Anatomy and Physiology Brought Up to Date: Are Humans Natural Frugivores/Vegetarians, or Omnivores/Faunivores? by Tom Billings. After an extensive review of the research, Billings concludes that humans are not naturally vegetarians or vegans. Despite this, he says:

    "I am both pro-vegetarian and pro-[eating raw foods as a large portion of the diet]. Readers should be aware that I am a long-time vegetarian (since 1970), a former long-time (8+ years) fruitarian (also a former vegan),... However, I am definitely not a promoter of, or a "missionary" for, any specific diet. In reality, I am tired of seeing raw and [vegan/vegetarian] diets promoted in negative ways by extremists whose hostile and dishonest behavior is a betrayal of the positive moral principles that are supposedly at the heart of veg*ism."

    He continues:

    "You really don’t need the naturalness claim to be a veg*n! That is, moral/spiritual reasons alone are adequate to justify following a veg*n diet (assuming the diet works for you, of course). Further, if the motivation for your diet is moral and/or spiritual, then you will want the basis of your diet to be honest as well as compassionate. In that case, ditching the false myths of naturalness presents no problems; indeed, ditching false myths means that you are ditching a burden."

    Readers may also be interested in the article Humans are Omnivores, adapted from a talk by John McArdle, PhD (originally published in the May/June 1991 edition of the Vegetarian Journal).

    Whose Diet is Really Natural?

    The suffering endured by the majority of animals raised in contemporary animal agriculture far outweighs any desire of mine to eat the same as my prehistoric ancestors. But, even if the animals’ suffering were of no consequence, these assumptions are dubious:

    There is one prehistoric or natural diet.
    This diet can reasonably be approximated today.
    This diet is optimal for human health in today’s world.

    Today’s commercial plant foods and meats are different than the foods available in prehistoric times. We eat hybrids of plants and we feed foods to animals that they would not normally eat. We keep them confined so that they do not exercise. We cook animal products to make them palatable and to kill pathogens. We cook vegetable foods that would otherwise be inedible. The U.S. food supply is routinely fortified with a host of vitamins and minerals (such as vitamin D in milk), and most people who turn to what they consider to be a more natural diet as adults have often benefited from this supplementation.

    The Medical Community: Future of Research on Vegans

    Some vegans dislike the medical community. By refusing to accept the scientific evidence in favor of the need to supplement with B12, the vegans who dislike the medical community are providing a steady flow of vegans with poor health for the medical community to study. If you do not like the medical community, the best thing you can do is ensure that you do not develop B12 deficiency and will never be used by them to say that a vegan diet is unhealthy.

    I tend not to believe that medicine is one big conspiracy against veganism, and am glad that research has been done on vegans who do not supplement with B12. But enough is enough. I am tired of seeing study after study looking at vegans who do not supplement with B12. It is the vegan community’s responsibility to stop this flow of research subjects. When a researcher decides to do a study looking at the various health problems of vegans who do not supplement their diets with B12, it would be best if they simply could not find any.

    Encourage New Vegans to Concern Themselves with B12 Supplements

    All vegan advocates should be made aware of the symptoms of B12 deficiency (with the realization that elevated homocysteine levels occur long before these symptoms are noticeable). As pointed out earlier (in the section Transcobalamin II under Blood B12 Level: Not a Reliable Measure of B12 Adequacy), adequate transport of B12 to the tissues may considerably slow after B12 intake significantly decreases. Some people who try a vegan diet may already have low B12 levels or hampered absorption mechanisms. Some of these factors could cause a new vegan to feel badly and go back to eating animal products. Therefore, it is prudent for new vegans to follow the Recommendations. This will prevent any potential lapse in adequate B12 delivery to tissues.

    Daily or Weekly Supplementation?

    Throughout human history, people have ingested B12 on a daily basis, and most often throughout the day. This has given people a steady supply of B12 to their tissues (above that which is reabsorbed through the enterohepatic circulation). While there is no research on whether a vegan is better off taking B12 on a daily vs. weekly basis, I would err on the side of caution and supplement daily.

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    Just another B12 link - I don't necessarily think that all of the info is accurate but don't have the info to support or deny it.
    http://www.yourhealthbase.com/vitamin_B12.html#menu

    Including this discussion into the public forum as requested...

    An immunologist friend suggests that all B12 comes from bacterial production and that any found in plants is from organic fertilizers - manure. I was curious to know if bacteria can survive between the mycelium in the mushroom fruiting body or whether it is the hyphae themselves producing the B12 - or then again, transporting it from soil/substrate absorbtion in association with local bacteria.

    There are 'archaebacteria' that cannot be cultivated invitro; I am wondering whether these may be ones producing the B12.
    "if compassion is extreme, then call me an extremist"

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: The B12 research collection

    Hi, I just moved the posts about Victor Herbert as a reliable soruce of B12 info over here. This link also contains some comments on the B12 propaganda above.

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