If B12 is produced by bacteria, why can't they just isolate the bacteria like they do with other probiotics so people can take them instead of actual Vitamin B12? No one makes a fuss at all about supplementing their diets with probiotics if they have been through a course of antibiotic drugs, or are battling yeast infections. If the modern lifestyle kills these beneficial bacteria, needing to replace them is crucial for everyone, not just vegans. Having a colony of B12-producing bacteria inside your gut that is harmed by the pollutants in the environment, and needing to replace it when this happens, is no different for meat eaters than it is for vegans, and I would rather consume beneficial bacteria than corpses OR tablets. Its no different than a doctor recommending a source of Lactobacillus (usually from yogurt, but it doesn't have to be) after a patient has had a course of antibiotics.
Yes, there are things about nature that are not good. Other things about it are good.
B12 is produced by bacteria that live in the small intestine, but b12 absorbed only by the stomach. Simply having the bacteria flourishing in your intestine, is not enough to supply you with vitamin b12. Unless you have been recently taking antibiotics, you probably have b12-producing bacteria flourishing in your small intestine. But it won't do you much good unless you somehow get that b12 that they produced, into your stomach.
Last edited by soilman; Mar 16th, 2010 at 11:54 PM.
Our ancestors have - throughout history - had periods where there were no other choices than either to consume animal products or die. I'm thinking of volcanic winters/the ground covered with ash, ice age, draught, hunger catastrophes and so on. Our bodies reduced ability to synthesize and reabsorb B12 could be a natural result of an increased and ongoing intake of external B12.
Lack of healthy B12/cobalt levels in water and soil (and therefore plants) - and all the other, external reasons that we may not get all the B12 nature 'intended' to give us (pollution, pharmaceuticals, pesiticides, antibiotics, mercury, nitrous oxide from cars and all that) may not be the only reason vegans and many others need to pay extra attention to B12.
Maybe our bodies detect that too much B12 isn't good for us? Even if that would be the case, reduced B12 reabsorbation/synthesiz doesn't have to do with this, but only that we through generations have been consuming so much B12 that we don't need to keep rebsorbing/synthesizing our own. Therefore, that process may - through evolution - simply have been "downgraded", for the same reason that our muscles, if they are not in use, are weakened. Body parts we don't need may also gradually disappear in the evolutionary process.
I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.
I haven't read the entire entry, but the semen bit is all quite interesting.
I take a B12, D and multi-vitamin as well, I do believe our bodies make as many vitamins and enzyme co-factors that we really need. As long as our bodies get a good intake of carbs, proteins and fats (I'm obviously seriously simplifying it), I really do believe you can sustain yourself. It may not be an extremely healthy, but you'd survive. I really just take the B12 for energy and to maintain a good metabolism. However, if it's available in a cruelty-free form, why not take it? (Beware the gelatin capsules though)
Vitamin B12 helps in DNA synthesis and a deficiency in it and sometimes the lack of the intrinsic factor, haptocorrin (necessary to be absorbed by the small intestine), causes anemia.
I appreciate the concern for what's 'natural' and things like that, but isn't the vegan lifestyle about taking new leaps and considering things that weren't in the past (i.e., the animal's welfare)? I do believe that humans ate meat in pre-historic times (at the very least) - but that's for a different time, different thread. Let's face it, our lifestyle isn't the easiest and if you don't scrutinize what you're eating, it can sometimes lead to illnesses or other health problems. Looking at things now, however, we have these items available, it is healthy to take vitamins and supplements (to a point) in place of consuming it from our foods. Evolve and don't be stuck in the past, eat vegan!
Should life be measured by quantity or quality? We don't have to compromise a long, healthful life, to live it compassionately. Isn't this compassion and empathy the reason we turned vegan anyway?
I take a B12, D and multi-vitamin as well, I do believe our bodies make as many vitamins and enzyme co-factors that we really need. As long as our bodies get a good intake of carbs, proteins and fats (I'm obviously seriously simplifying it), I really do believe you can sustain yourself. It may not be an extremely healthy, but you'd survive.
Since we want to be healthy, and not only survive, it's important to be aware of which nutrients we would lack on a plant based diet - in such a 'denaturalized' environment as we live in (air, soil, water etc)... because otherwise, maybe we actually wouldn't survive - or be healthy. The same goes for meat eaters: they also need to make sure they get the nutrients they need in order to avoid serious health problems.
I really just take the B12 for energy and to maintain a good metabolism. However, if it's available in a cruelty-free form, why not take it?
There's no particular reason not to take B12 (unless we're talking about too high amounts), but I guess the main topics (related to this thread) are:
Does it matter if it's natural or not?
If it's not 'natural', does it matter how 'nature-friendly' something is?
Do vegans actually need to supplement with B12 - or: do vegans need to take more supplements than non-vegans?
How many plants have been measured in a reliable way - a way that shows proper info about the active B12 vs. inactive B12 analogue ratio - and where is that list?
Don't get this wrong, but in a way it doesn't really matter much what the current, relatively low amount of vegans think about natural or not. In order to understand why the ninenty-something percent of all people who are not vegans think, we need to look at their viewpoints on 'vegan' vs. 'natural' vs. 'B12'. There isn't much 'natural' about the diet these people live on: factory animals get supplements, are killed by machines, and wouldn't even exist (in the amounts we are talking about) if they wouldn't have been mass "produced" in factory farms.
But many meat eaters still have a glorified view on an ideal way of living 'naturally', which includes consuming some amounts of meat and fish etc. from wild animals. They believe that by living this way, they'd get B12 naturally from the animal products they consumed - while vegans other vegetarians wouldn't. That's why they think that eating animal products is a better solution than not doing it.
They don't really care if some vegans think that natural doesn't matter or not. They continue to eat animal products because they think it's a more 'natural' choice for humans, based on the idea that these animal products contain higher amounts of bioavailable B12 (they usually think 'the more B12, the better') some of them even base their assumption on vegan sources. Many of them assume that they wold lack a lot of nutrients in their life - not only B12 - if they's go vegan.
I think the topic is interesting because it seems that B12 actually occurs naturally in sea water, river water, soil and plants - at least B12 seems to have been available in non-animal soruces in healthy amounts in not-too-distant the past - bioavailable for humans who would eat fresh, organic plants and drink fresh, non-chlorified water. If this is the case - and I think we can say with more than 90% confidence that this is a valid assumption - the whole "is eating a omnivorous diet 'more natural' than living on a vegan diet' discussion is already over.
The ironic thing is of course that many omnivores who question if a vegan diet is natural usually don't even try to strive for a natural diet or life style - they're only interested in how natural our lifestyle is.
Let's face it, our lifestyle isn't the easiest and if you don't scrutinize what you're eating, it can sometimes lead to illnesses or other health problems.
I think our lifestyle is easy, and I know many non-vegans who actually want to become vegans, but admit that they're hooked on old habits. I really think habits as such represent much more of a problem than the idea that a vegan lifestyle isn't easy... and the idea that vegans risks becoming deficient in more nutrients than non-vegans is an old myth (check this thread). The fact that many well informed people start to eat vegan for health reasons alone doesn't go very well along with the idea that vegans risk more serious health problems than others. Many non-vegans now accept that we have a lifestyle that most likely is a lot more healthy than theirs - partially because so many (non-vegan) health professionals now state that it is.
We could possible deny using any supplements and go hunting for nutrients in woods, jungles, rivers, get them from bark, leaves; plants that aren't commercially available where we live etc. - and spend a lot of time on making sure we only eat fresh, organic produce (B12 levels are reduced over time)... but personally, I don't do that. I probably wouldn't do it even if a dozen, major scientific studies would be published, confirming that I could be 100% certain that I'd get enough of all the nutrients humans need by living that way.
It's just too time consuming, or maybe I'm too lazy. I think nobody discussing 'natural' on this forum suggest that only consuming non-cultivated, natural produce is right /everything else is wrong, let alone that everything that "occurs in nature" is healthy for us. We know this isn't true.
We don't have to compromise a long, healthful life, to live it compassionately.
I will not eat anything that walks, swims, flies, runs, skips, hops or crawls.
This is VERY interesting but I'd reach the opposite conclusion.
Do NOT waste B12 with masturbation and too much sex,
in nature we wouldn't do it half as often as we do in fact.
So what I learn from what you said is
that people who masturbate a lot or have a lot of sex are probably more
at risk of losing a lot of B12..
vegetarian_cat, Mother nature wouldn't have made sex bad for us like that it doesn't make sense. B12 must be created in the fluids from bacteria. Also yu don't need to "do it" that much to get all you need because we only need a tiny bit. Also, referring back to the time when we wouldn't have "done it" that much, in that time we would also have been less hygienic. Less hygiene = more bacteria=more vitamin B12.
Romac's post just confirmed what I've always thought. I was going to post my theory and then I read that and now I know it's fact.
Firstly, I would like to state that I'm a prude and don't like discussing such things, and I'm sorry if any of this comes across as coarse.
I always wondered what the true biological purpose of oral sex was (apart from bonding etc), and then when I went vegan I realised that it must be a source of B12. I mean why do most people seem to have the urge to do something seemingly so unhygienic? What is mother nature's reason for giving vegan's a more pleasant taste? What is the purpose of putting body hair in an area that is likely to get dirty? Why do people often get the urge to taste themselves during masturbation?
I am absolutely sure that the vegan way is the way forward for the human race and that's what nature intended for us. That, and that there is a biological reason for everything are my fundamental beliefs and basis for my theories and thoughts. How could the vegan diet possibly be so perfect health-wise, spiritually and morally, and be consistantly good in every way then have one little flaw with B12? It doesn't make sense and I strongly believe this sexual fluids are the natural source. I've never heard an example of a vegan getting a B12 deficiency anyway.
The only potential problem with this theory is how children get B12. in the wild they would be breast-fed until age 5 or 6, which would be their initial source. Children are less hygienic than adults and would probably get some B12 from being generally dirty. also most children masturbate but are told not to by their parents. In the wild they would have probably masturbated then tasted their own fluids, because children are curious like that.
Another thing I suspect is that female ejaculation fluid will contain more than the lubrication fluid.
I wish authors of vegan nutrition books would put this in their books. It's only because it's a sensitive topic.