Vitamin B12 Deficiencies in Vegans – Breaking the Myth
What do all of these diseases have in common?
- Alzheimer’s, dementia, cognitive decline and memory loss (collectively referred to as “aging”)
- Multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological disorders
- Mental illness (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, psychosis)
- Cardiovascular disease
- Learning or developmental disorders in kids
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Autoimmune disease and immune dysregulation
- Male and female infertility
Answer: they can all mimic the signs and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Data from the Tufts University Framingham Offspring Study suggest that 40 percent of people between the ages of 26 and 83 have plasma B12 levels in the low normal range – a range at which many experience neurological symptoms. B12 deficiency causes several other problems, including fatigue, lethargy, weakness, memory loss and neurological and psychiatric problems.
B12 vitamin is important and essential for growth, production and regeneration of red blood cells A good amount of people develop B12 deficiencies over time. The speculation revolving around B12 deficiency is that it is the most prevalent in the vegan community. This is not the truth. In reality, more meat eaters have B12 deficiencies than vegans. The reason why the whole B12 scare took place was because it was really the only thing the media could find that could possibly be perceived as a negative about a vegan diet, so they quickly jumped all over it and created unnecessary concern and worry. This stress, and this anxiety itself, may even be causing a decrease in B12 levels.
In the book, Nutritional Evaluation of Food Processing, Dr. Robert S. Harris and Dr. Endel Karmas state that B12 is stable to heat in neutral solution if pure, but is destroyed when heated in alkaline or acid media in crude preparations, as in foodstuffs. This means that cooked meat is not an efficient source of B12. This is not just a vegetarian’s dilemma.
We develop B12 deficiencies by creating them for ourselves. As long as we are at an optimal level of health and our bodies are functioning properly there is no reason why we should not naturally produce enough B12. Fermentation from starches, and endotoxic toxemia from endotoxins in meat and other animal-based foods that survive cooking and stomach acids, deplete our B12. The consumption of alcohol depletes levels as well. Cooked food will destroy the production of B12 that occurs in the mouth. The use of processed soy products, such as meat replacements and tofu, may also deplete our levels of B12. Because B12 is created from bacteria, we need to make sure we are getting vegan probiotics in our diet. This will help to regenerate the natural bacterial flora which manufacture different B vitamins and synthesize other vitamins and nutrients in the body.
B12 is only available from bacterial production. It is not made by plants or animals. It is the intestinal flora, and our healthy bacteria that create B12 in our bodies. When people eat meat, the harmful endotoxins play a role in wiping out the good bacteria that would otherwise produce B12, and when people take antibiotics, the good bacteria are also killed off.
Meat is thought to be a good source of B12 because animals have more bacteria growing in them. The problem is that this bacterium is of little use after the animals are slaughtered and cooked, and the dead flesh is ingested into the human body. Much of the B12 present in these animals turns out to be B13 analogues, which appear as B12 in animals but have no benefit to humans.
Just as meat eaters develop B12 deficiencies from their poor food choices, vegans and vegetarians who develop B12 deficiency are in most cases the ones who still believe they need excess protein and resort to either overloading on protein supplements, or replacing meat with soy proteins and soy products, which may alter their natural production of B12.
If you have developed a B12 deficiency and you believe supplementation will help, by all means go for it. Be sure to look out for extra ingredients that may be added. Always go organic when you do use B12 and make sure the label says it is a vegetarian product. Many supplements come in capsules that are made out of gelatin, which is derived from a variety of substances including cows and pork. You may also want to add vegan probiotics to increase intestinal flora.
From The Raw Cure by Jesse Jacoby
3 Responses to “Vitamin B12 Deficiencies in Vegans – Breaking the Myth”
Very informative! Thanks for the info. 🙂
You’re very welcome Lesli, my pleasure! 🙂
[…] B12 is really important too, and said to be essential when it comes to hair growth. Most people, whether vegan or not, are deficient in B12. For this reason, I recommend a raw vegan b12 supplement. I believe Dr. Gabriel Cousens makes and […]