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Thread: How many B12 deficient vegans?

  1. #1
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default How many B12 deficient vegans?

    http://www.lef.org/magazine/mag2000/...ort_b12_3.html :
    A new study from Tufts University reports that B12 supplements are the most important source of vitamin B12 for Americans. Those taking supplements or eating cereal supplemented with B12, are half as likely to be B12 deficient than those who donít. Meat, the primary source of B12 for Americans, is not as good a source. This is probably due to problems in digestion and prescription drugs that interfere with the absorption of B12 when itís attached to proteins such as meat. Cooking may also affect the vitamin B12 content of meat.

    B12 deficiency has gotten so bad in America that the RDA has been increased from 2.0 micrograms a day to 2.4. Itís not only older people who are deficient these days. The Tufts study looked at the children of people who took part in the original Framingham heart study. They were stunned to see that in one generation, B12 deficiency in kids had caught up to the generation before. Pizza, one of the foods evaluated, is apparently not a good source of vitamin B12.

    Vegetarians continue to be at risk. The only non-animal sources of B12 presently known are some types of seaweed and fermented foods such as tempeh. Forty percent of participants in one study and almost 50% in another (vegan) study were B12 (and iron) deficient. This may have consequences for immunity. In a study from Japan, B12 deficiency caused serious changes in immunity, including lower natural killer cell activity and skewed T-cell balance. Natural killer cells are important for destroying viruses and cancer. Abnormal T-cell balances show up in autoimmune diseases and HIV infection.
    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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    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    From http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=diet&dbid=6
    Vegans must pay attention to their intake of vitamin B12 since this vitamin occurs primarily in animal foods, and its deficiency can cause a variety of irreversible neurological problems. A study published in 1999 involving 245 Australian Seventh-day Adventist ministers evaluated the vitamin B12 status of lactovo-vegetarianns and vegans who were not taking vitamin B12 supplements. Seventy three percent of the participants had low serum vitamin B12 concentrations. (Hovkin, 1999) Interestingly, vitamin B12 cannot be made by animals or plants, but only by microorganisms, like bacteria.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  3. #3

    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    My partner Neil has regular blood check ups, as he has had a kidney transplant. (He was born with spina bifida and this caused renal failure.) Neil has been vegan for fifteen, sixteen years now, and veggie for one year before that. His B12 is absolutely fine.

    Don't know about mine. I have scarring in my large intestine, because before I was vegan I had serious ulcerative colitis. I should get myself tested.

    My son is a life long vegan, and has supplemented milks, yeast extract etc. He has been tested once and was fine.

    My Granny went vegan in 1945, and had eleven children, breast feeding for almost thirty years. When she was in her sixties she was involved in a road traffic accident, and the doctors insisted she be tested. Her bones knitted up perfectly, and she was walking within six months. The surgeon said that her bones were like those of a woman pre menopause. He also said that her iron levels and B12 were fine. He was somewhat astonished.

    So far from supplementing, she didn't even know the word vegan for over forty years. She must have got her b12 from earth in the vegetables she grew, and the fresh spring water that she would drink.

  4. #4
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    Thanks, Mary.

    From http://www.all-creatures.org/mhvs/nl-2005-wi-b12.html
    [At least one major study found that B12 deficiency is common, yet few of those studied complained of symptoms or were diagnosed with B12 deficiency or its more drastic complication, pernicious anemia. Vegans may have an elevated risk of B12 deficiency, but the degree of this risk has yet to be determined.


    In fact, what we know about health and veganism is more certain regarding heart disease, stroke and high blood pressure. We know surely that people who eat an abundance of animal products are at higher risk of heart disease, stroke and other diseases affecting the blood vessels including high blood pressure.


    Dr. William Castelli, the physician in charge of the largest heart disease study in the United States, the Framingham Heart study, looked at the impact of diet and came out solidly on the side of vegetarians. He wrote, ďVegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country... they have a fraction of our heart attack rate and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate.Ē
    There are a number of studies that show that vegans are lower in B12 than meat eaters. I also likely that healthy vegans need less than average meat eaters.
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  5. #5

    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    I think that many reports on B12 deficiency are from the meat industry. I know quite a few vegans from the Punjab, including one family which has been vegan for at least three generations. They have no problem with B12. The woman my age, in her thirties, was tested by her doctor during her pregnancy, and she is fine, as are all her children. Her mother was also tested, and had a low but healthy level. As for irreversable brain damage, the Grandmother snorted at the doctor derisively and said "how come I speak seven languages then?"

    She is a funny lady. She speaks Hindi, Gujurati, Punjabi (I can't remember the other Asian language she speaks!) English, French and Spanish. She is fluent enough that she can make puns and word play at least in the ones of those that I speak.

    Her grand children are also polyglots.

    Her husband on the other hand is a quiet man, and gets a little bit embarassed by his wife. She tends to walk into butchers' shops, and start removing the carcasses. When the butchers try to stop her she tells them that she is taking the animals off for a decent burial, and that they should go home and repent of their crimes. I remember a teenage boy who had just started working for the butcher crying outside the shop one day after she had been in, because he had suddenly realised that the meat was animal flesh. Took a bit for the penny to drop... But at least it did. I asked him if he wanted to go veggie or vegan, and he said he did. But then people say these things - he stopped working at the butchers though.

    The first time I met this lady she was being pushed around on the street, again for removing carcasses. I actually thought she was shop lifting meat, and although I went to help her (little old woman being bullied by four men) my first thought was that she should know better, being Hindu, than to eat meat. It was only later I found out she was burying them.

    She has been banned from the Manda shopping centre. Last time I saw her she was running down the road after some kid who had thrown a stone at a cat. You would all like her. She's one of my heroes! As her husband says, "bonkers", but still a lovely woman. When I am old and allowed to be crazy I am going to follow in her footsteps.

  6. #6
    Ex-admin Korn's Avatar
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    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    Quote Realfood Mary
    I know quite a few vegans from the Punjab, including one family which has been vegan for at least three generations. They have no problem with B12. The woman my age, in her thirties, was tested by her doctor during her pregnancy, and she is fine, as are all her children. Her mother was also tested, and had a low but healthy level. As for irreversable brain damage, the Grandmother snorted at the doctor derisively and said "how come I speak seven languages then?"


    There are a number of stories like hers. Here's one I saw at an Australian site:
    [...]I don?t take any supplements, fortified food or vitamins and never have in all the years of being vegetarian and then vegan (about 35 years). My father who was a strict vegan for forty years and ate very simply eating no processed foods and therefore no vitamin fortified food at all lived very healthily until eighty seven, (he had a fall, broke his hip and died through the effect of the anesthetic, not through ill health as such).
    The sad thing is that I don't think I've seen one single study on vegans that are not exposed to B12-reducing elements, or on people who have been vegans their entire lives.

    Did this family from Punjab ever take supplements?
    I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.

  7. #7

    Default Re: How many B12 deficient vegans?

    Actually they don't, although the kids are very fond of fortified soya yoghurts, so that would supplement them. The grandmother makes her own rice milk.

    Mary

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