To B12 or not to B12 …

Today I was offered supplements of vitamin B12, since my levels were in the lower range at my last blood test. At was tempted to take them, but I my intuition told me to do some more research first.

I began by looking at the company producing the supplements. Reading their statements about B12. They actively advocate a carnist diet as both a norm and necessity, which is disputable. Consider the fact that B12-deficiency is common regardless of diet. I don’t want to support such biased statements. Looking further, the supplement in question also contain other compounds, for example processed wood pulp. I don’t want that in my body either. There is also a magnesium salts from a fatty acid which is of unclear origin.  And the manner the B12 is produced is not specified.

So I after a bit more of research I find studies showing there are plant alternatives which are sources of active B12 [1].

And another study on Korean centenarians shows several sources of B12 [2]. According to this data table the vegetable sources with the highest degrees of B12 are in raw dried sea lettuce (84.7μg per 100 g) and laver (55.3 ~ 71.3 μg per 100 g). Compared to sardines (17.12 per 100g), raw dried sea lettuce has seven times more B12. Now, consuming fish seems even less of a necessity, the daily recommended intake of B12 is between 2.0 to 2.6, depending on the source. For example, Harvard Medical School and Health Publishing recommends 2.4 for an average adult [3].

Not only that, but intestines with an adapted flora can produce B12 [4]. This for me is the best solution, thinking long-term. If my body can get B12 directly from plant sources and then even have it directly produced in the intestines by bacteria, I’m going for it!

I also suspect the loss of B12 is related to the general health of the intestines. By keeping them healthy, I should be able to minimize any loss and even turn it around to generate a surplus.

Much people both inside and outside of mainstream media, science and medicine are victims of rigid thinking. Taking decisions and doing research based on the assumption of the human organism and species as a fixed and not an evolving concept does not lead to questioning of old assumptions and studies and keeps us stuck and stagnant.

By trusting our own judgement and connection with our bodies we can be our own best scientists and healers. Health at all stages of life should be the norm, not the exception

Sources

[1] Watanabe, Fumio et. al. Characterization and Bioavailability of B12-compounds from Edible Algae. Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology, 48, 325-331, 2002. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jnsv1973/48/5/48_5_325/_pdf/-char/en

[2] Kwak, C. S., Lee, M. S., Oh, S. I., & Park, S. C. (2010). Discovery of Novel Sources of Vitamin B12 in Traditional Korean Foods from Nutritional Surveys of Centenarians. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2010, 1-11. doi:10.1155/2010/374897. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/cggr/2010/374897

[3] https://www.health.harvard.edu/vitamins-and-supplements/getting-enough-vitamin-b12

[4] Albert, M.J. et al. Vitamin B12 synthesis by human small intestinal bacteria. Nature 283, 781-782, 21 February 1980. https://www.nature.com/articles/283781a0


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