[Edit: This post is a collection of earlier posts on B12 and spirulina from "Veganforum 1".]
Korn Posted: Mar 7 2004, 11:21 PM
From http://220.127.116.11/search?q=cache...hl=en&ie=UTF-8 :
"Assays of vitamin B-12 in Spirulina Pacifica using the standard US Pharmacopeia (USP) method to measure total corrinoids reveals an average activity of about 7 micrograms per 3 grams of Spirulina (one serving size). Using the O. malhamensis assay in parallel to specifically measure human-active cobalamins the assay exhibits an average activity of 2.5 micrograms per 3 grams of Spirulina. These figures demonstrate that about 36% of the total corrinoid vitamin B-12 activity in Spirulina is human active. An additional non-dietary source of low amounts of absorbable vitamin B-12 may be obtained from bacteria in the small intestine of humans (Albert, 1980). Spirulina is not an animal source, but rather a vegetarian source of cobalamin B-12 amongst many other nutrients and antioxidant carotenoids. Normal healthy vegetarians should be able to attain sufficient levels of cobalamin to fulfill their requirements with a few serving sizes daily. As before, those with metabolic defects or absorption difficulties should always consult medical advice and monitor their condition closely".
I don't know much about spirulina myself, but I wonder if anyone can comment on the above quote? I've seen a lot of conflicting info on 'true' vs 'analogue' B12 in spirulina...
globesetter Posted: Mar 8 2004, 10:10 AM
Korn Posted: Mar 22 2004, 04:31 PMI have also read conflicting info about spirulina, and so am no thoroughly confused.
Based on the articles you«ve been quoting on the site, Korn, it seems that spirulina is a better source of B12 than multivitamins ( because of absorption?)
Sorry I don«t have anything to contribute to the discussion, but your articles are better researched and have better sources than any articles I have been able to find.
Any spirulina experts in here?
phillip888 Posted: Mar 25 2004, 11:26 PM
Well, I'm not an expert otherwise I'd be trying to create super B12 spirulina, but simply put, spirulina is an organism that is, in some ways similar to bacteria that create B12 in the soil, but it's actually an evolutionary branch-off. It's called a micro-algae or blue-green algae. It's basically something that isn't bacteria but isn't algae, think of it as plant based bacteria. The same formation of B12 can take place in spirulina as a B12 (culture) laboratory vat. The primary issue with spirulina is that it's usually grown for protein, EFAs, and anti-oxidants(like chlorophyll, not for B12 production. This means that without cobalt explicitly added to the growth pond(which is usually not the case) another B12 'analog' is formed. Now some manufacturers claim human form B12 is in their spirulina product. In order for this to be true, they would have to add cobalt solutions to their growth ponds.
The bad side of spirulina is the same as bacteria, contamination and mutation. Spirulina, like bacteria, can mutate to a pathogen, or toxic compound producing form in one generation. Any spirulina farmer has to test batches for this with every harvest, making home spirulina harvesting just about impossible (well, unless you're willing to take some risks).
The reason you hear conflicting information is simple. Not all spirulina makes cobalamin because of a lack of useable cobalt. That's why you see vegan pages saying it's not a dependable source, they don't know (or don't have the resources) to look at every brand and source.
Oh, and the only B12 that is 100% human useable is made by chemists in a lab. You will not find it in the wild.
Korn Posted: Mar 26 2004, 01:18 AM
Thanks, Philip. I don't know if you have read about the experiment where they tried to cure B12 deficiency with B12 extracted from human faeces, and the B12 they managed to extract actually was reported to cure the deficiency, even if it contained 95% inactive B12 analogues, in other words only 5% active cobalamin. There has also been reports on analogues in fortified food. And in multivitamin supplements, due to the contact with copper/iron. If it is correct that processes in healthy human beings actually distinguish between active B12 and the inactive analogues, it doesn't seem that it really is a problem that B12 are not 100% 'human useable' It surprises me that some 'experts' seem to claim that all B12 in plants is useless 'because it contains B12 analogues'...
Anyway, do you know what functions the B12 analogues in our bodies perform?
phillip888 Posted: Mar 26 2004, 11:28 PM
Robin Posted: Mar 31 2004, 01:58 AMI've heard of the B12 extraction from human waste before, but never found any papers. I'll have to check it out again. I've been looking for a simple home B12 production solution for a while(that's why I know about spirulina). Currently you can't really do anything B12 related without expensive lab equipment and a controlled environment.
I'm guessing that our body doesn't block cobalamin absorbtion just because B12 analogs are absorbed. I've yet to find any scientific reasoning or proof for that idea, but I see it written everywhere. I can't imagine that the human body does anything special with B12 analogs, but I have no idea really. Considering the current knowledge of B12, analogs may very well be needed too. It's not like they didn't exist before, and they're as abundant or more so than cobalamin and it's derivatives. Evolution is based on environment, so it makes sense that our body can at least pass the B12 analogs that have been present since day one...
Korn Posted: Mar 14 2004, 01:33 PMQUOTE (Korn @ Mar 22 2004, 04:31 PM)
Any spirulina experts in here?
This is a very good source for earthrise spirulina and chlorella: http://www.holistikum.de
Pfizer Pharmacia has a swedish site called www.b12.brist.com ('brist' = deficiency).
If you happen to read a Scandinavian language you might order pamphlets and a couple of books on B12, homocystein etc from this site. In one of them, 'Folat, vitamin B12 och graviditet', they state that inactive B12 analogues can be created from contact with copper, iron and vitamin C. They also write that Americans studies have shown that multivitamins, that often contain trace minerals in addition to vitamin C, often contains B12 analogues. Additionally, they state that American scientists warns people against B12 in multivitamin supplements.
If you look around, Pfizer might have sites in other languages too.
This link ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov:80/entre...&itool=iconpmc ) contains some interesting info.
"Presence and formation of cobalamin analogues in multivitamin-mineral pills.
Kondo H, Binder MJ, Kolhouse JF, Smythe WR, Podell ER, Allen RH.
Because the origin of cobalamin (vitamin B12) analogues in animal chows and animal and human blood and tissues is unknown, we investigated the possibility that multivitamin interactions might convert cobalamin to cobalamin analogues. We homogenized three popular multivitamin-mineral pills in water, incubated them at 37 degrees C for 2 h, and isolated the cobalamin. Using paper chromatography we observed that 20-90% of the cobalamin was present as cobalamin analogues. Studies using CN-[57Co]cobalamin showed that these analogues were formed due to the concerted action of vitamin C, thiamine, and copper on CN-cobalamin. These cobalamin analogues are absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract of mice and either fail to stimulate or actually inhibit cobalamin-dependent enzymes when injected parenterally. We conclude that CN-cobalamin can be converted to potentially harmful cobalamin analogues by multivitamin-mineral interactions and that these interactions may be responsible for the presence of cobalamin analogues in animal chows and animal and human blood and tissues."