I got my blood work test result back.
First time ever I have not been anaemic since the age of 12. ( I am now 49 - that 37 years of aneamia from being under carbed - and they blamed it on the veggie lifestyle!)
However my B12 = 211 ng/L.
I asked my GP if she could give me B12 shots if necessary - she said NO.
Are you in the UK? Have you found this?
Any way around it?
I have had many similar experiences w/ docs in the US. Horrible!!
Sarah - Here are the tabs I buy - Now Foods is careful about no cross-contamination with gluten (which will eff up your system if you're HM toxic or have been pumped full of meds: http://www.amazon.com/Foods-Methyl-B-12-1000mcg-Lozenges/dp/B001F0R... Plus, Now is cheap.
It's good to buy a couple bottles, b/c I know it's easy to run out quick. - at least in my experience..
Thank you Morgan.
Sounds like you just have a rubbish GP. Shop around til you find one you are happy with.
Yes it does. I discovered raw in 2006. The journey brought me to 80/10/10 which I have been on for about two years now. Life has not been smooth and a ridiculous amount of traveling and consequently lack of ripe fruit has made this journey a jumpy one. Even so the difference I feel it amazing. It use to be like walking through treacle all the time. I am a work in progress but at least I have a bounce in my step now.
I'm in uk, my doc did not even give me the correct test for B12. My bloods showed only a sodium deficiency; although I eat huge amounts of leafy greens, I cannot match national average in a nation of processed-food consumers. She seemed as if questioning my sanity in being vegan, and was most disappointed to find no calcium deficiency after learning I'd had no dairy in 40 years! I thought it unwise to pursue the B12 issue, and am now taking Biocare B12 drops as a precaution. This on advice of Adam, who seems very well-read and knowledgeable
"Its sort of giving up"
I am a little bit concerned about your statement here. This is a little dangerous. The body isn't capable of magic; If you are deficient you need a source of the nutrient. That is like saying that you are giving up if you eat when you feel hungry. Your body needs what it needs in order to function. There is no weakness about it.
That you believe the body "should" be able to avoid artificial negates the fact that many people cannot or do not. Sitting around waiting for what we think the body 'should' do, could lead to irreversible nervous system damage.
As for supplementation being the cause of people not being able to synthesise their own...where is the evidence for that. I havent read a research paper indicating that anywhere.
Vit B12 we used to get from the soil on our veg. Now the soil has no Vit B12 left and out food it scrubbed clean. I am not sure where anyone can get Vit B1 from now. Unless it is from a bottle.
I think you are confusing your own point, and my point, to some degree here.
I am not disagreeing with your right to an opinion. And nor am I stating that I think that "lifelong dependence on supplementation" is a good idea. Or that this has anything to do with the body being able to heal itself.I wholly support your assertion that arbitrary supplementation where there is no proven deficiency is pointless at best, and potentially harmful (we don't know the long term consequences of chronic high levels of B12 yet).
However what you said was that even if you were deficient it is sort of giving up on your body to take a supplement. We need to be clear about what deficiency actually means here: Deficiency is an severely inadequate level of a nutrient within the body. It is not a disease, or a symptom that can be corrected just by the body healing itself. Healing is not some magical process that occurs arbitrarily. We need cells, tissues, organs and systems within the body to be working optimally in order to achieve healing and health. And this requires adequate nutrients. It is important to realise that deficiency states are situations of not just mild inadequacy, but of prolonged inadequacy. Usually when people present with symptoms of nutritional deficiency, there will have been subclinical (non-diagnosable) indicators that may or may not have been apparent to the individual before it became obvious that there was an inadequate supply. The body has become less functional and more compromised in its capacity to heal and thrive.
For many nutrients, we do need to look not just at correcting symptoms of deficiencies short term but of addressing underlying causes of what led to the deficiency in the first place. For many nutrients, this may require looking at excesses of certain diet and lifestyle habits, as well as stress management and other factors. As well as dietary inadequacy of certain nutrients. Usually, by taking this approach deficiences can be reversed without the need for medications. However for some nutrients, such as B12, especially on a vegan diet, the cause may be little else other than a nutritionally inadequate intake.
Of course, we might have once been able to get b12 from bacterial synthesis from unwashed organic and wild fruits and vegetables. But that is mostly theoretical (not that organic fruits and veg in the wild when unwashed may have b12, but that we can actually use and absorb this b12 adequately) and is not grounded in reality. Idealism as a philosophical approach to health will only take you so far if you are unwilling to also accept reality when it presents itself overtly.
So I was responding specifically to your implication that B12 deficiency may not be worth reaching for the supplements immediately. I would support the identification of factors which might contribute to a B12 deficiency eg. low HCl production, zinc deficiency, high protein intakes, B vitamin or magnesium deficiencies, consumption of alcohol, tobacco, caffeine, recreational drugs or certain medications, management of stress, ensuring adequate sleep, avoiding excessive exercise, avoiding excessive orgasms (for males especially). But the reality may still be that if someone is seriously deficient, a supplement may be necessary as well. This doesnt necessarily mean lifelong. But this doesn;t mean that we are 'giving up' on ourselves either. At the end of the day, if we don't consume enough and we are chronically deficient, it has to come from somewhere.
You said that you were just stating what you would do...what you really did was state what you wouldn't do, but you didn't really give any clear indication of what you might actually do instead if you were diagnosed with a B12 deficiency.
It is a little different to state that supplementation is the cause of B12 and then say that it is ok to say this without there being any evidence, and comparing this to a lfrv diet. I think we should all be clear here that there is no evidence to support a lfrv diet, other than anecdotal testimonials. We are creating the evidence where there is none, but there is a clarity that this is an experiment. We are leading the way for future generations by providing an example of what is possible dietarily, in terms of choosing conscientious foods to benefit the planet and our relationship to ourselves and the wider world.
Im not challenging your right to express your opinion. And I think you have some good points. I totally disagree with the universal "everyone should take b12 shots" idea. I don't think anyone should take shots unless there is an identified need through clinical deficiency. And many people would do well not to use shots at all and instead use sublingual supplements. I think that it is important to look at deficiency as more than just a simple nutrient in/nutrient out formula and to consider wider reaching contributory factors. I just think that implying that supplementation is 'giving up', even when there is a clinical deficiency, or is somehow synonymous with the the implication that this is a mistrust of the bodies capacity for self-healing, is misguided.
The belief that we once didn't require supplementation and still don't not an equal statement. We didn't require supplementation in the past. But there is no evidence anywhere that we were ever vegan or even frugivores in the past. There is evidence that other anthropoid primates ate a fruit based diet, but it wasn't a vegan diet. They ate insects regularly, and even carrion, as well as sometimes eggs. Although this only represented 2-3% of total calories, when we think about the volume of calories that they actually consumed (upto 4 times what most adult humans do) that is actually quite a signficant amount, and nutritionally, provides quite a different amount of B12.
The reality is that although there are some interesting insights that make it seem logical that we did consume a fruit based diet (eg. Our sweet tooth, our capacity to see and be attracted to colours, our pleasure at the smell of fruit, our disgust at the sight of carrion, blood and gore, and our deep capacity for empathy and biophilia) the reality is that there still isn't any actual evidence that we did. So we are only guessing.
As far as we know, we might always have got B12 because of animal (or insect) sources. Of course it is possible that we could have synthesised it, or that we got it from unclean produce (personally, although there is no evidence at present, I still believe that it is possible we may find evidence in the future to suggest that we were naturally fruitarian - ie. vegan and didn't eat much greens - However I accept this is complete belief, and not a fact). I think that trying to fantasise about what happened in the past is irrelevant because the reality is we will never know. All we can hope for is to create delusional beliefs which may or may not be grounded in reality, whilst convincing ourselves we are right.
I don't want the raw food movement to become a religion. I want to focus less on the beliefs and more on what is known to be true.
The reality is that when you are offerring your opinion with regards to health advice, you need to make sure it is ethical, and that it is grounded in efficacy. The point I was making was that you said that even if someone was deficient, it is giving in to take a supplement, and doubting the bodies ability to self-heal.
The reality is that lots of people - including Doug Graham - have used supplements when a B12 deficiency was proven and symptoms were not relieved, even after healthy eating of a raw food diet and lifestyle was carried out for several years.
Philosophy is lovely, but that doesn't mean it is true. Philosophy is basically fantasy and guesswork. It might sometimes be accurate, but sometimes it will not represent the whole picture. The reason that science developed as it did, is that trying to project belief, fantasy and guesswork onto everything has its limitations. We need an explicit and rigorous way of ascertaining truth.
Trying to apply philosophy to health, whilst rejecting science will only get you so far. Both science and philosphy intend to seek out the truth. So the truth should be compatible with both, not one or the other.
If you meant giving up on being natural, then this is still applying philosophy to health. It is the assumption that it is even possible to live a perfectly natural lifestyle. Or that natural parameters will be sufficient in a body damaged by highly unnatural circumstances over several generations.
I agree that we are not really in disagreement in the essence of what we are trying to say. And I still believe for the most part, that what you are saying is valid and valuable. I just disagree with the idea that we should reject supplementation when there is a clinical deficiency, if that puts someones health at risk, just because we want to be "natural".
I am just really confused by what you are saying. I don't want to argue either, since we are essentially saying similar things and I don't disagree with a lot of your points.
But I think you are creating webs that confuse what you are actually thinking: Supplements are not the same as drugs. Drugs are completely foreign chemicals to the body that don't naturally belong in the body at all. Supplements may be foreign chemicals in teh sense that we wouldn't naturally get the substances in that precise form, but we would definately get those substances - the body is used to handling them. And it does so a lot more safely and efficiently than drugs for the most part. And a lot more efficienctly than many herbs too for that matter (since you are a herb fan).
Of course, the body doesn't handle isolated nutrients exactly the same as foods, and supplements are not as good as the real thing. For the most part, I am against supplementation. But I do believe that some supplements have some necessary role for reversing complex health problems where there is a proven clinical deficiency.
I understand that you have concerns that my approach is dangerous. I do have concerns about IV/IM supplementation, and I do have concerns about arbitrary supplementation. I don't recommend everyone supplements willy-nilly. My advice on this forum has been for years: Get a blood test before you start supplement. If your levels are healthy, don't supplement. Wait for one year and see if your levels are still good. If they have dropped significantly, take a supplement. If they remain good, don't bother.
I totally support looking at a number of complex factors that contribute to B12 requirements and have actively encouraged and continue to actively encourage people to look at alternative things that may be increasing B12 requirements, preventing B12 absorption or reducing B12 loss by the body. But I am also pragmatic in that if these don't help on their own, then correcting a deficiency is better than sufferring needlessly.
The reason I point out that supplementation is not the same as drugs (necessarily, at least - sometimes they are used like drugs), is that they are for the most part safe, especially when they are taken within proven safe ranges for a short period of time. I only recommend people take therapeutic doses of any supplement (ie. doses that are safe but clinically effective at reversing a deficiency) for a maximum of 2-3 months, then get re-tested again.
Many people do not require maintenance supplementation, although I don't think it is all that harmful to take a small dose oral supplement a couple of times a week of B12.
The reality is that as far as my approach being proven by science to be dangerous, when exactly has that approach been shown to be dangerous? As far as I know, there is NO evidence to show that this approach is dangerous and plenty of evidence to state that ignoring B12 deficiency and avoiding supplementation long term when there is a deficiency can be severely dangerous. Much more so than taking a supplement.
And the reason I brought up animal products, is that although theoretically plant based sources of bacterial B12 may be present (and I believe they may be), there is still no actual evidence of this being the case, because what we see is that there are NO records of a vegan population ever having existed long term, EVER. It is entirely possible that this is because the only reliable food source of B12 is animal sources. It might not be of course, because we don't have much evidence of people consuming a fruit based diet. But the point is that we need to gather evidence to ascertain confidence in the ability to maintain health without supplementation.
I assure you, this forum, including myself, Harley and Freelee along with most hygienic doctors, at one time refused to believe that B12 supplements were healthy. Now I don't agree with the way that Harley and Freelee have gone with B12 supplements and think their use is a bit drug like. I don't agree with injections except in medical emergencies. But I do agree with the important reconsideration of supplementation. Not because I don't believe that it is possible to maintain healthy levels without supplements (I know we can, because I only started taking B12 sublingual supplements a couple of years ago and only take them a few times a year when I can remember, and because a friend of mine who ate a raw food diet for 3 years also got his bloodwork done and even despite being on medications, having high stress levels and poor sleeping patterns, he maintained extremely good B12 levels - even by japanese standards - without any supplementation). I just don't think that creating universal recommendations or generalisations are good for the sustainability of this movement. Because there have been plenty of examples, including that of Doug Graham, where people HAVE lived perfectly for a long time and still managed to get a B12 deficiency that required supplementation. And some people who have had even more serious examples of deficiencies that were not detected until complications occur. Ignoring such examples is dangerous and negligent, and something that will damage this movement.
Burying ones head in the sand and ignoring examples that don't fit in with your philsophy is not a good way to understand complex health problems and creation of health.
Just before you go, let me on the one hand say that you said exactly what I'm thinking but didn't feel sure enough yet to state openly. I hope that others will relate to your very clear message and work through the logic of the situation with a clear mind.
Further more, when anyone says "there is no evidence blah, blah, blah", in my opinion they're already wrong because with more than 2500 scientific journals in existence in the world, nobody can know every bit of evidence that exists on any given subject.
Adam's statement that there is no evidence anywhere that we were ever vegan or even frugivores in the past is blasted away by a post on this very site (http://www.30bananasaday.com/forum/topics/fundraiser-for-3rd-editio...) which leads directly to the very well researched Left In The Dark book which contains oodles of evidence showing our several million years more or less as frugivores living mainly on fruit. Adam may deny the value of the evidence but cannot deny its existence.
OK, now on to better things,
No sorry I think you need to re-read left in the dark. It is a great book and a very interesting hypothesis. Infact it is one of the most interesting and exciting theories about our current human condition as well as our historical lineage that I have read.He has done a wide breadth of reading, but let us be really really clear: It contains NO evidence that we ever ate a vegan diet. Anywhere.
Instead, Tony tries to get around this by saying that rainforests do not preserve fossils well and this may be why there is no evidence of a fruit eating tropical humanoid species (a statement which may well be true, but in itself is unaccompanied by a reference). I loved the book, but it is not an academic treatise. It is poorly referenced and largely a collection of ideas. I don't think that negates the interesting aspects of the theory. It is just that this is not "evidence" or "proof" of anything at all related to our actual history.
Go back and look at the evidence: As disappointing as it is there is NO evidence anywhere that we were ever human whilst we ate a frugivorous vegan diet. I assure you, I have tried to find it as I would love to believe that this is true. And I still believe it is a possibility that it will reveal itself to be true in the long term, if we find any additional evidence through archelogical, paleontological or anthropological research and explanation to support this. But right now, we need to be clear: The only current evidence we have that we ever ate a frugivorous diet was when we were an earlier anthropoid primate. And that was not a vegan diet.
I believe that Tony wrights theory is incredible, broad, deep and exciting. But not evidence. Just theory.
I can assure you that's not denying evidence: If you believe you have evidence (ie. academically credible research findings) that humans ever ate a frugivorous diet whilst we were humans, please send it to me. I would be more than happy to receive it. I promise you that.