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 Some anti B12 ideas

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Posts : 1279
Join date : 2009-07-26
Age : 51
Location : UK

PostSubject: Some anti B12 ideas   Tue Aug 24, 2010 7:02 am

Recently I've come across quite a few anti B12 supplementation articles from a Dr Vivian V. Vetrano (who is actually a chiropractor & is alleged to have caused the death of at least one person due to extreme fasting protocols - see here for details ).
There several pages popping up written, or based upon their ideas.
First of all it is accepted nutritional advice that you do need an external source of B12 - be that from bacterial residue left on food, from some foods that may have active forms of B12 in them (not analogues) or from a pill.
When I read stuff like this I usually jump to the references - if they are writing about nutrition - especially on a controversial issue like this that could cause irreversible damage you'd like to see serious studies - there are very many studies about the effects of low B12 - there is also some proof that any bacteria that produces B12 in the intestine is useless as it needs to bond with 'intrinsic factor' in the stomach to be of any use (you can also assimilate B12 directly through the modified lymph ducts in the mouth). As I suspected when you look at these pages they are either unreferenced or reference books (books are not peer-reviewed, they are simply the ideas of people. I could write a book suggesting that eating stones off of Brighton beach will help you achieve perfect physical health - it wouldn't be correct, but as it's a book I can write what I like. A book doesn't have to be looked at & made sure its method & conclusions are correct, a peer reviewed study does). Books are NOT evidence, studies are not proof in themselves, but at least point to a possible answer. There is ample proof that B12 deficiency does exist, that it is very, very bad for you & if you do not correct it the damage can become irreversible. I always insist anyone (meat eater, veggie, vegan or other) take B12, the pills are cheap & safe.
I hope everyone on here takes the time to check up on B12 if they haven't been taking it - Check out our good friend Jack Norris RD about B12 or the vegan society's ideas about B12, or go to any qualified nutritionist, or doctor & ask (you can search online as well). As the science stands right now there is no question that you need to take B12, I personally take it everyday & I recommend you take it at least twice a week (pills are so cheap a daily pill is worth it).
Anyway that's my rant. For the pages that caused me to get so heated feel free to read this, this & this ...but bear in mind this person is wrong as the science stands right now, don't risk your health on the ideas of someone who already appears to be willing to sacrifice peoples lives to their ideas in the past. Yes, often ideas sound compelling, but without any proof, they are just that, an idea. The science so far points to there being B12 deficiency, it also points to that level being much higher in the plant eating population. Taking a pill has shown to make B12 levels rise to a safe level...yes there may be a person who hasn't had an obvious source of B12 for 70 years..but they are an oddity, not the norm. Taking a pill does no harm & will probably help you a lot in the longer term, & all for a few pennies, so just do it!
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Posts : 1279
Join date : 2009-07-26
Age : 51
Location : UK

PostSubject: Re: Some anti B12 ideas   Tue Aug 24, 2010 2:11 pm

Talk about people thinking the same here's a bit by Jack Norris RD (mentioned above) about the same articles I was annoyed about - this really is a coincidence I did not see this article until this second - one of those weird things that just happen at the same time!!!
You can read the full text here

Quote :

Response to: Vegan Vitamin B12 Deficiency is a Myth

On Saturday, August 21, published an article by Cindy Jones-Shoeman, Vegan Vitamin B12 Deficiency is a Myth.

The article starts out by saying that “nothing could be further from the truth” than the idea that vegans can suffer a B12 deficiency from their diet.

The article by Jones-Shoeman appears to be a rehashing of an old article (apparently from 2004 or earlier) by Vivian Vetrano, “Rethinking & Clarifying the Vitamin B12 Issue” which appears on the Rest of Your Life Retreat website:
Although Vetrano’s article is one of the most fanciful stories I’ve ever read about vitamin B12, it is rather detailed and I will only respond to the excerpts from the Jones-Shoeman article:

“According to Dr. Vivian V. Vetrano, vitamin B12 actually comes from coenzymes, which are already present in bacteria found on the human body (in and around the mouth, for example).”

Vitamin B12 does not come from co-enzymes, it is a co-enzyme. Bacteria do produce vitamin B12, but there is no proof that bacteria living in most people’s mouths produce active vitamin B12 or produce it in amounts large enough that it could prevent B12 deficiency. This is underlined by the fact that many vegans develop full-blown vitamin B12 deficiency, and in some cases permanent neurological damage, as can be seen here: In addition to those cases in the scientific journals, I have known many people who have suffered from B12 deficiency and cured it by supplementing with cyanocobalamin (the most stable form of vitamin B12).

About a dozen studies have correlated low vitamin B12 levels in vegans with elevated homocysteine levels. Elevated homocysteine levels have been linked to early death, primarily from cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s Disease. More details on that are at

“In fact, vitamin B12 deficiency is often, according to Dr. Vetrano, a symptom of a larger problem; that is, it’s not caused from a poor diet but rather from deficiency diseases…”

While it is true that about 2% of the population has trouble absorbing vitamin B12, the vast majority of problems that have been seen in vegans have been caused by a low B12 intake, not from absorption problems.

“Vitamin B12 deficiency due to a vegan diet is simply a lie that finally needs to be put to rest.”

Unfortunately, this could not be further from the truth. The most common, serious damage that results from vitamin B12 deficiency is when a pregnant vegan who does not supplement has a baby who also does not get any B12 supplementation. Typically, around 6 months of age, the infant’s growth and neurological development ceases and then begins to regress. In many cases, such infants have sustained permanent brain damage.

Vitamin B12 deficiency among vegans is real and is not something to be flippant about. It is so important that a number of vegan health professionals and organizations have endorsed an open letter to the vegan community, What Every Vegan Should Know about Vitamin B12 ( This letter has been signed by The Vegan Society (UK), Vegan Outreach, and many members of the International Vegetarian Union science group
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