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Thread: B12 in mung bean/lentil sprouts?

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Question B12 in mung bean/lentil sprouts?

    i hope it's ok to start a new thread here, i couldn't find this question already....

    i have a sprouting kit, and in the instructions it gives the nutritional values of various sprouts. it claims that mung bean sprouts and lentil sprouts are good sources of vitamin B12. is there any truth in this?

    thanks
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Can you quote what they say, and do they have an internet site? It would be interesting to check their sources...
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    Question

    the sprouting kit is from BioSnacky, a European company who have a website at www.bioforce.de which seems to be entirely in German and also www.avogel.ch which is in partly in English but doesn't seem to provide any relevant information. the instructions that come with the sprouting kit tells you how long to soak your beans and the health properties of each type, and amongst other things mentions that mung and lentil sprouts are good sources of B12, but don't give sources for this information.

    i am aware, as someone pointed out to me via PM, the Vegan Society's official stance is that fortified products and supplements are the only reliable source of B12. however i thought the point of this forum section was to discuss possible alternative plant sources
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    for info, all the instruction booklet says is "Lentil sprouts contain, among other things, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, plenty of vitamins C and E, iron, manganese, sodium, niacin, phosphorus and zinc." it says mung bean sprouts "contain, among other things, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, plenty of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus."
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Quote Gorilla
    i am aware, as someone pointed out to me via PM, the Vegan Society's official stance is that fortified products and supplements are the only reliable source of B12.
    B12 fortified food is known to contain B12 analogues. The same people who recommend fortified food (containing B12 analogues) warns us against B12 analogues in plants - amd doesn't even seem to want to discuss the issue.

    I thought the point of this forum section was to discuss possible alternative plant sources
    You're right, the 'Vitamin B12 in plants'-subforum exists for only that reason: the exchange and provide information about possible B12 sources in plants, soil and water.
    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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    Quote Gorilla
    for info, all the instruction booklet says is "Lentil sprouts contain, among other things, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B6, B12, plenty of vitamins C and E, iron, manganese, sodium, niacin, phosphorus and zinc." it says mung bean sprouts "contain, among other things, vitamins A, B1, B2, B3, B12, plenty of iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus."
    If I had more time and money, I'd definitely invest in finding out more about the 'B12 analogue'-issue - and in performing real, non-biased tests on bio-available B12 in plants and water.

    The problem with internet is that an assumption easily can look like fact, because people keep quoting each other. A statement like 'there is no reliable B12 in plants' will appear as a fact, if people see it mentioned often enough.

    Since I haven't tested B12 levels in eg. lentil sprouts my self, I can't tell you the answer. What I can tell you, is that the three test labs that perform B12 I have been in touch with, in three different European countries can't tell you either, because the only method they use for testing B12 in plants, is to heat it up to something like 138 degrees (C) first, which means that what they test and what you probably eat has got very different B12 levels. Sprouts that are heated to above boiling temperature isn't a sprout any more, it's not raw food at all.

    Back in the 60's and 70's, when the macrobiotic diet was popular, lots of people trusted that eg. seaweed/algae, tempeh and miso contained enough active B12 (and surprisngly few reported signs of B12 deficiency). In the 80's and 90's 'everybody' trusted that the B12 to be found in plants was only non-usable, inactive B12 analogues, and B12 analogues always were causing harm if consumed (and surprisingly many started to feel that they were lacking B12). Today, more and more people seem to realize that...

    1) we need more tests on B12 in plants
    2) B12 analogues is found in both multivitamins, plants, fortified food and animal products
    3) A combination of active B12 and inactive B12 analogues has been documented to be able to cure B12 deficiency
    4) The homocysteine-hysteria represented by some authorities ("the only way to reduce homocysteine is to take B12 supplements" or "I don't care what others still discuss, but base my opinions on an assumption that high homocysteine probablyis the cause of heart disease, and not an effect) seem to calm down. Most people seem to accept that things are a little more complex than that. And many people wonder why there are less cases of heart disease among vegetarians and vegans have, who have higher homocysteine levels than meat eaters.

    I'm not saying that high homocysteine levels are good, or that nobody needs B12 supplements.

    Compared with the high number of vegans who have never taken supplements for a long period of time (many years), and the very low number of vegans who have actually had any symptoms of B12 deficiency, many people find it very likely that either...

    1) ...there must be more bio-avaliable B12 in plants that people have thought
    2) ...humans might need less B12 than eg. the 1 mcg/2mcg/2.40mcg/3mcg daily that have been suggested. Maybe Victor Herbert was right, and that we don't need more than 0.1-0.25mcg pr day, unless we already have a homocystiene problem (which according to Herbert can be cured by taking 100mcg daily).
    3) ...vegans need less B12 than non-vegans, since they avoid animal products and often live a much more healthy life than non-vegans, AND eat a much more healthy diet.

    Or, in worst case, water, air and soil is so polluted that even healthy vegans need to take supplements eg. after some years of a plant based diet.

    My humble suggestion is that all people, vegans or not, should monitor their B12, MMA and homocysteine levels.

    But I'm sorry that neither or any vegan institution I know of can offer some reliable test results on uncooked, fresh, organic food.

    Neither can I provide documentation on the health status of people who have been vegans all their lives. The studies I know of, normally show that people who have been vegan for some years, have much better results than people people who have been meat eaters all their lives. Since vegans who have been vegans only for a little part of their life are much more healthy than meat eaters, I assume that people who have been vegans all their lives will show even better results than those who eg. have been eating meat for 25 years and vegan food for 5.

    Oopps, that was a bit off topic.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

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    gorillagorilla Gorilla's Avatar
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    thanks Korn, i'm still kind of confused about B12 and will be seeing my doctor in a few days to request a B12 test, and take it from there.
    'The word gorilla was derived from the Greek word Gorillai (a "tribe of hairy women")'

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