Having trouble figuring out the truth about B12... - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 03-27-2007, 09:36 PM
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Hi everyone, I was wondering if anyone had any advice about B12.

I've read articles and studies [probably not as thoroughly as I should've apparently... : p ] about vitamins and vegans... but I feel like I'm getting mixed messages about B12 and I'm not really quite sure what to do!

I try to only read stuff that I think is legitimate [not just any .com etc...] but there's only so much I guess I can figure out...

On one hand I've read some stuff by Dr. Neil Barnard who is the founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and in an interview he mentioned how one multi-vitamin should have enough B12 and we shouldn't really worry about it.

On the other hand, on veg*n websites [.org ones] I've read stuff about how the 3 year supply of B12 our body has from when we stop eating meat/dairy is false and we must be taking supplements everyday or a higher amount weekly...

Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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#2 Old 03-27-2007, 11:15 PM
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It's late here and my thoughts are a bit jumbled, so bear with me....



The 3 year thing is just a guidline - a sort of "educated guesstimation", if you will. How much B12 a person really has stored up will depend on a million and one factors, none of which I can cover right now. For this reason, some will say "you have about 3 years worth of B12 stored up" while other say that the "3 years rule" is dangerously misleading hogwash and you should start supplementing as soon as you stop eating meat/eggs.



Dr. Bernard is right, though - a good multi often will have enough B12 in it so if one is taking a good multi, they shouldn't really worry about getting enough B12. However, there are factors that will affect B12 absorption so the "shouldn't worry" part is a blanket generalization. As you know, it's impossible for doctors speaking about nutritional issues to address each and every circumstance that exists in each and every person, so they rely on broad generalizations to explain things on a basic level while leaving the specifics up to the individual's own physician.



The best thing to do IMO is supplement B12, whether in a multi or by itself. Some do this daily while some feel that weekly/bi-weekly dosing of B12 is sufficient. I know for me, I feel the best when I supplement daily/every other day so that's the schedule I stick to (I don't take a multi ATM so I'm super cautious about keeping my B12 levels nice and high).



There are a lot of very educated science heads on this board that are very knowledgeable about B12 and I'm sure one of them will come along and give much better info than I just did, but I hope I cleared a few things up for you (maybe?).
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#3 Old 03-28-2007, 12:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4EverGrounded View Post

The 3 year thing is just a guidline - a sort of "educated guesstimation", if you will. How much B12 a person really has stored up will depend on a million and one factors, none of which I can cover right now.



Quite right For example, I live with 3 other lacto-ovos and we all have different levels despite the fact that we have a very similar diet. Only two of us actually need to supplement at this stage.



My partner, who used to be in the medical profession, drilled into me that the only safe way of managing the b12 issue is to largely ignore other peoples recommendations and get a blood test done every year so that you can see exactly what is happening with your levels over a number of years. It takes the guess work out of it.



If you dont have a yearly test you might find that you're paying for supplements that you may not need or you could be the other end of the scale and have b12 levels that are so low that you need a course of b12 injections and no amount of supplementing with an oral tablet is going to get it back up to the recommended safe level that you need.
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#4 Old 03-28-2007, 11:56 AM
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I make a point of drinking Silk fortified soy milk every day, because it has loads of calcium, vitamin D, and B12. So I'm comfortable that I'm getting enough of all 3 of those nutrients, just from that. I also take a multivitamin. Better safe than sorry.



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#5 Old 03-28-2007, 12:15 PM
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I feel if we eat optimally, the naturally occuring bacteria in our gut produce all we need. We can also get some from eating wild foods. But if you are having problems with symptoms, don't eat optimally (lots of processed, cooked & artificial foods etc) or are just worried about it, supplement.
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#6 Old 03-31-2007, 08:55 AM
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That should be more than enough as it is already more than the intrisic factor needs to be saturated.

If I'm not answering quickly enough - leave a note on Twitter for @Rheumatologe
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#7 Old 03-31-2007, 04:00 PM
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The way I see it, Extra B12 isn't a bad thing and lack of B12 has terrible consequences. Err on the side of caution.



I wonder if B12 is considered something for vegans, how come so many main stream products are supplemented with B12.
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#8 Old 06-14-2007, 05:45 PM
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why use supplements? eat sea bucktorn berries!!!!! as mush b12 as liver!!!!!!!!!!
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#9 Old 06-14-2007, 05:46 PM
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why use supplements? eat sea bucktorn berries!!!!! as much b12 as liver!!!!!!!!!!
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#10 Old 06-14-2007, 05:47 PM
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Nothing will benefit human health and increase the chances for survival of life on Earth as much as the evolution to a vegetarian diet.



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#11 Old 06-15-2007, 06:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RawVeganMom View Post

I feel if we eat optimally, the naturally occuring bacteria in our gut produce all we need. We can also get some from eating wild foods. But if you are having problems with symptoms, don't eat optimally (lots of processed, cooked & artificial foods etc) or are just worried about it, supplement.



bold mine.



this is NOT TRUE. the bacteria in your gut are too low in the digestive system for you to produce any usable B12 from them.



all vegans should supplement B12.
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#12 Old 06-15-2007, 08:27 AM
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#13 Old 06-15-2007, 10:26 AM
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Seriously? I don't think we need to supplement... I'm pretty confident that as long as we eat a balanced healthy vegan diet we will be fine.

B12 comes from micro-organism, that does NOT mean b12 comes from meat and only meat and we should get all paranoid about it. I'm sure we all ingest micro-organisms without even realizing it.



That is NOT to say we should not worry about b12, we should worry about getting all our nutrients. Therefore a yearly blood test (as someone already mentioned) is probably the best way to go.
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#14 Old 06-15-2007, 10:49 AM
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Supplement! Its easy and there is no other known reliable vegan source. Vitamin B12 deficiency is serious and the damage can be permanent. It's your health, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.
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#15 Old 06-15-2007, 02:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Odalys View Post

Seriously? I don't think we need to supplement... I'm pretty confident that as long as we eat a balanced healthy vegan diet we will be fine.

Think again.



There is no food you can eat that contains a useable source of B12 (doesn't matter if it's organic, unwashed, or prayed upon) unless it has been specifically fortified with that vitamin, such as fortified nutritional yeast or fortified soy milk.
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#16 Old 06-15-2007, 03:26 PM
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Well, most people should probably be taking a good multi-vitamin for optimal health anyway, so how hard is it to take a vegan multi fortified with B12 and just rest assured that you are getting everything? Seems easy enough.
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