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Re: [boulderandbeyondvegans] Vitamin B12 and awful experience at Vitamin Cottage

From: Laura K
Sent on: Tuesday, July 10, 2012 9:50 PM
Thanks for the message on B12. As a long-term vegan (since 1991), I have experienced first-hand how important it is for us to take B12 supplements. I did not supplement for over a decade and experienced symptoms similar to the onset of Alzheimer's including loss of memory and severe inability to concentrate and think straight. There is a lot of misinformation out there - too many vegans think they can get enough B12 from modest intake of fortified foods, or not washing their veggies too carefully. It's not enough. I hope everyone on this list who is vegan is very careful about monitoring their B12 from fortified foods (you have to eat them three or four times a day every day if they're your only source) or taking a supplement, especially women who are pregnant or nursing.

To quote Jack Norris, a vegan RD and founder of Vegan Outreach (the people who pass out vegan pamphlets at colleges, concerts, and festivals): 

"Vitamin B12 is generally found in all animal foods (except honey). Contrary to the many rumors, there are no reliable, unfortified plant sources of vitamin B12, including tempeh, seaweeds, and organic produce. One of the earliest studies conducted on vegans, from the U.K. in 1955, described significant vitamin B12 deficiency in the vegans with some suffering from nerve damage and dementia. This, as well as many case studies since then of vitamin B12 deficiency in vegans, and a great deal of other evidence detailed here, has led to the overwhelming consensus in the mainstream nutrition community, as well as among vegan health professionals, that vitamin B12 fortified foods or supplements are necessary for the optimal health of vegans, and even vegetarians in many cases. Luckily, vitamin B12 is made by bacterial fermentation such that it does not need to be obtained from animal products.

Despite this, some vegan advocates still believe that "plant foods provide all the nutrients necessary for optimal health," and do not address vitamin B12 when promoting the vegan diet. Other advocates acknowledge the need for B12, but only as an afterthought. And still others emphasize that humans need only small amounts of B12 and that it can be stored in the body for years.

While true that, at the time they become vegan, some people have enough B12 stored in their liver to prevent overt B12 deficiency for many years, people often misinterpret this to mean that you only need to consume a tiny amount once every few years. Actually, to build up such stores, it takes years of consuming B12 beyond one's daily needs (unless you are using supplements which can build up stores more quickly). Some people do not have large enough stores of B12 to be relied upon for optimal health even for short periods." -

"Many vegans are understandably skeptical of the medical and scientific community. But by refusing to accept the scientific evidence in favor of the need to supplement with B12, we provide a steady flow of vegans with health issues for the medical community to study. If you are wary of the medical community, the best thing you can do is ensure that you do not develop B12 deficiency and become one of their subjects."  -
Jack's B12 archives -


On Tue, Jul 10, 2012 at 8:52 PM, Shane Scaglione <[address removed]> wrote:
Had to share this.  So, after my noon yoga class I went to Vitamin Cottage to stock up
on groceries and pick up B-12 (I ran out and take it twice a week).  So, I do my shopping
get some produce and as I pass the tortillas, pick up coconut milk, and look at the tempeh.

There are all these signs WARNING of B12 definecy if you are a vegetarian or vegan.
That you need to take a supplement and there is a listing of all these awful things that
could happen to your nerves etc.  

As I go pick up my So Delicious Coconut Milk I glance at the eggs and dairy and there is a sign stating 
"good source of B12" and next to the daiya, tempeh, tofu.  I glance at the "meat" of organic grass fed beef w/ a sign stating
"good source of B12".  How horrified I was and was going to complain, but didn't have the time.

I went to pick up my B12 it was the Jarrow one I think, the one they had on sale wasn't even vegan had
milk product in it, but the Jarrow one was vegan and was a bit more expensive (perhaps better quality).  

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