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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not vegan yet but other than trace amounts of dairy I'm eating a vegan diet. I drink soy milk every day, eat b12 fortified cereal at least a few times a week, and I'm sure I get it in other sources that I'm not aware of. The thing is I have read a lot of conflicting information about b12. Basically it ranges from vegan doctors and dietitians saying that products fortified with b12 or supplements are all you need to other, also seemingly reliable, sources saying that this is not "real" b12 but b12 analogues and that without real b12 from animal sources you will develop a host of terrible problems. I'm not really looking for anecdotes like "my friend was a vegan for 30 years and is fine"...I'm sure there are lots of stories like this and I don't doubt them at all but I would really love to read something from a unbiased (if this is possible) scientific source about the effectiveness of vegan b12 sources.
 

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Jack Norris R.D. is a cofounder of Vegan Outreach and a registered dietitian. He went back to school to college to specifically become a dietitian to help vegans find reliable nutrition information. He regularly keeps up with research and is currently writing a nutrition book with Vesanto Melina R.D., who has written several books.

He has the best writings on vitamin b-12 freely available, all backed up by citations to medical research. You aren't going to get better than this:

http://veganhealth.org/articles/vitaminb12

FWIW, you are already taking b-12 supplements. The soy milk and cereal you are eating gets it b-12 from supplements. The only difference is one supplement is ground into fine powder and mixed with good and the others are formed into tablets. Vegan doctors and dietitians would love to point people toward food sources, but modern processing that makes food safe to eat also removes much of the b-12. These professionals aren't being biased. The only biases I've seen in regards to vitamin b-12 are idealistic people who refuse to believe they need to take a supplement, because they believe that everything good is natural, everything natural is good and supplement aren't "natural".
 

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>because they believe that everything good is natural, everything natural is good and supplement aren't "natural".

Well I guess technically if you wanted natural b12 you could eat poop, but I don't think that tootpaste is too natural, so that might damage your social life.
 

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B12 isn't an animal product, it's manufactured by bacteria. There's nothing inherent about flesh (or eggs or milk) and B12. Animals need B12 as much as we do. Sure, some food sources contain B12 analogues, but that's beside the point. Supplements and fortified foods contain the vitamin in a bioavailable form, and I'd like to point out that it's not a 'synthetic' form of B12: supplements are made from B12 harvested from bacterial cultures. That's how it's made, not by plants and most certainly not by animals. That's the 'real' B12.

I think we've all heard stories ought these elusive veg*ns who got horribly sick, but, hey, I never met any and I also know plenty of meat-eaters who got horribly sick. Guess meat isn't a cure-all after all. Plus, the negative health effect of meat eating are well documented.
 

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Even farm animals are injected with B12... Nowadays nothing is natural. :/
I don't understand how getting B12 from an animal that was injected with b12 in the first place is considered natural; might as well inject it to yourself directly.
The problem is some people have problem in vitamin absorption especially B12. That's why the best B12 supplement are those strips that you put on your tongue and dissolve or chewing gum. It saves your digestive system the hassle to break up the pills and macromolecules.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dividedsky View Post

The thing is I have read a lot of conflicting information about b12.
Welcome to the study of nutrition.
There is a lot of conflicting information about every nutrient or diet because the science is young and there simply isn't a ton of data.

So how do you make decisions? Here's what you do:
1) base your beliefs on the opinions that have the most sound science backing them up
and
2) weigh harms.

Plenty of studies show that vegans are generally healthier than nonvegans. They live just as long or longer than nonvegans. There isn't any credible evidence to suggest that vegans are disproportionately deficient in any nutrients in any significant amount and/or any so-called deficiencies that vegans might be more prone to don't seems to seriously impact their overall health and lifespans. That's why the ADA says this:
Quote:
It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.
http://www.eatright.org/about/content.aspx?id=8357

And why the USDA says this: "Vegetarian diets can meet all the recommendations for nutrients." And by vegetarian, they mean to include all types of vegetaianism included veganism.
http://www.mypyramid.gov/tips_resour...ian_diets.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks all. I feel better about this now.
 
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