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I have been a vegetarian for 6.5 years, a vegan for 5 years, raw for 2.5 years and 80-10-10 for exactly two years now, so I thought it was time to check my blood levels again. It's not a very extensive test, but the results were fine except for two values: b12 and folic acid. 


B12 values were really low: 86 pmol/L, compared with 0.30 nmol/L (which is I believe 300pmol/L) almost exactly two years ago. The reference range here in the Netherlands is 130 - 700. Even though the value is clearly on the very low side, my doctor wasn't worried. According to her, the absorption of b12 in the cells was fine. I don't know how she came to this conclusion, since I did not speak to her personally.


Folic acid was 33.2 nmol/L, which is outside of the reference range of  5.1 to 31.1 here in The Netherlands.


The other values were all within normal range. My iron had actually improved a lot compared with my earlier test.


My own feelings about the folic acid and b12:

-I'm not going to worry about the folic acid, since I'm not taking any supplements. I guess the folic acid must be coming from all the fruits and veggies. 

-I'm going to worry about the b12 though. I will ask for b12 injections.


Any thoughts or suggestions?


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Great news.  Please let us know in three months if the sublinguals have helped.
Thanks! Will do!

Do you think any of this is creditable? http://www.pamrotella.com/health/b12.html

Mostly but rather sweeping on hair loss being scurvy.

I would say there are better resources.

We must remember that b12 deficiency is very common in society. 



Do some supps to bring your levels up over 550- what the Japanese use as a minimum.

My housemate eats more raw organic animal stuff than anyone I know and he has a very low b12 level. Its a safe vitamin to use. Use it and live right.


Ive heard many people like Daniel Vitalis say 'See! You have a low b12 level! this proves a vegan diet is dangerous!' Yet if we look at the studies of the general population we see b12 issues rife across the board. Its a bit like a car driver saying 'Look! A cyclist got killed last month! That proves cycling is dangerou!' The cyclist can either stop cycling or say 'Yeah and a few motorists got killed unfortunately too so that proves driving cars is dangerous...'


Expecting good b12 levels in such a polluted society is a big ask IMHO.

The only blood value concerning B12 that is conclusive solely is HTC II (Holotranscobalamin II). Usual B12 level checks only show how much B12 there is in total which means that most of it can only be used by liver cells, but the HTC II-value shows how much is available for all cells (=bioactive form). If the HTC II level is okay, low B12 serum levels can be neglected, which I guess is the fact in your case ("According to her, the absorption of b12 in the cells was fine").

The usual B12 level check also requires at least homocysteine and mma tested as parameters. HTC II can go alone.


I advise to keep an eye on the matter and check every three or at least six months HTC II.


EDIT: I agree with DR.

Thanks DR and Amir. I have no issues at all with taking b12 supplements. I'm curious if I will see the difference between low and high values.

So, after three months of taking sublingual b12 in the form of hydroxycobalamin, I did a blood test again. B12 rose from 86pmol/L to 578 pmol/L, which is great. Advised range in The Netherlands is 130 till 700. 


But to be honest, don't feel much of a difference.....


For the Dutch readers: I used "Recovery Power" from Bloem Gezondheids Producten, available at De Tuinen. 

4 tablets daily of 10 mg each. 1 tablet is apparently 400,000% of the RDA. But according to the package, was allowed to take 4 each day.

Thats JUST above the minimum in Japan so if you were a Japanese forum member you'd still be in the 'red zone'. Id get on the shots cos they DEFINITELY work. A rise in serum b12 doesnt mean much as lowering homocystein/Urinary MMA.


Do a course of injections and then see how your running times go.

No it's not just above the minimum.  We have a unit conversion problem.  578 pmol/L is 795 pg/ml.  The Japan standard is 550 pg/ml.


Even if it was just above the standard, he raised his level from very low to current level in three months, and they will keep rising.  His tests have shown that sublinguals work for him. Injections are not necessary in this case.


It would be nice to know his MMA or homocysteine levels, but I bet they are fine now. I raised my B12 levels to only 350 pg/ml (started at Dutchie's low level but did not take megadoses like he did) and homocysteine dropped from high to normal levels.

He, thanks! Good to hear.



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