Let’s talk about an important area of controversy: the Vitamin B-12 Controversy! Do you need a supplement? A lot of raw food leaders seem to think not. My advice four many years has been the same: because vitamin
B12 is such a key vitamin, and that the jury is still not completely
out on whether vegans absolutely need it or now, it is better to take
the supplement as an insurance policy.
plays a key role in brain function and the nervous system. Vitamin B12 is made by bacteria and cannot be manufactured by
plants or animals.
The lack of
Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and other parts of the body. Our stores of vitamin B12 can be depleted depending on how much we can absorb, how much is present in the diet, and how much is secreted or
used up every day.
The symptoms of a deficiency may include:
We obtain vitamin B12 from bacteria, either directly through bacteria producing the vitamin in our own digestive track, or through animal products that contain it, or through supplementations. Many common processed foods are fortified with vitamin B12.
You can also get a B12 analogue in plants. It was often recommended for vegans to consume certain plants or seaweed containing vitamin B12. However, it turns out that this B12 is an analogous form and can compete
with real vitamin B12 by blocking receptors in the body for the
absorption of the body’s own B12. Therefore, the consensus among all
vegan organizations is that plant foods cannot be considered a source of
vitamin B12, and in many cases some B12-rich foods such as seaweed or
spirulina can inhibit B12 metabolism and precipitate a deficiency.
All major vegan organizations and doctors recommend consuming foods fortified with vitamin B12, such as soy milk.
Because these foods are not commonly eaten on a raw food diet, the vitamin B12 supplementation issue is a very legitimate question.
Dr. Graham advises us that most B12 deficiencies are in meat eaters and not vegans. The body can produce its own vitamin B12 supplies. As
long as we take care of our digestive track and our overall health, we
should be okay. Graham recognizes the potential dangers of a B12
deficiency and claims that the best thing might be to take care of your
health, monitor how you feel, and if a situation should arise where you
need supplementation, you should certainly take a supplement.
My problem with this approach is that once a person realizes that they have a
serious symptoms. If the deficiency is not taken care of promptly,
certain neurological damage are irreversible.
Not everyone is able to carefully monitor their health all the time, and someone might not realize they have a deficiency before their health is already compromised. They might be attributing their symptom to something else entirely, delaying the necessary steps that must be taken.
As mentioned before, the physiology of vitamin B12 is extremely complex and that’s why it’s a common modern deficiency. We don’t hear a lot of anyone suffering from scurvy or other
as you ate some fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C.
But for B12, there are many factors that can affect absorption and precipitate a deficiency. We also do not know for sure whether humans are designed to function on vitamin B12 produced in our guts or whether our body would normally get its vitamin B12 requirements from small amounts of animal products we may have eaten in our long history.
Children and pregnant women are even more vulnerable to a vitamin B12 deficiency.
For all those reasons combined, my recommendation remains to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
The needs for vitamin B12 are fairly low, and a supplement contains much more than we need, but because very little is actually absorbed, it is recommended to take a supplement containing 5 to 10 micrograms daily or take one containing 2000 micrograms once a week. Recent research
shows that it doesn’t matter if the supplement is sublingual or not.
Choose a brand you can trust.