I had a Facebook discussion the other day about b12 levels. One lady was saying that she went back to eating animal products to improve her b12 levels. She basically said that ‘since she has been vegan her b12 levels have plummeted’. I questioned her further and asked did she have a b12 test prior to going vegan that we could compare the current results to ~ she continually avoided my question and it soon became clear she had none. Why didn’t she have tests? Well because b12 deficiency is unfortunately a *very* uncommon test for Dr’s to perform. Therefore these individuals cannot, with any credibility, say that a Vegan diet left them b12 deficient. Of course we must have previous test results to compare to.
Another individual asked why the “true” diet for humans doesn’t rebuild the person in questions b12 levels and bring them back to health. This is a fair enough question so I thought I would go into it in detail…
Of course we can heal so much on a HCRV lifestyle but, within reason. It’s important to understand that adopting a high carb raw vegan lifestyle (after years of ill health) is not a panacea for all our past bodily abuses. It’s not that black and white. It’s quite funny, some people expect that if you chop off your hand while following a high carb raw vegan lifestyle ~ that it will grow back, and if it doesn’t then it’s the fault of the lifestyle! lol. Of course some damage is irreversible.
Damage done prior to a Vegan/HCRV lifestyle>>
* We are holistic beings and there are *many* other factors to take into consideration in addition to what we eat. Firstly there is no ‘true diet’ for humans but there IS a ‘true lifestyle’, which of course encompasses the ideal diet. On a side note, I know of some individuals who have called themselves a HCRV and at the same time, have been anorexic and taking recreational drugs on the weekend. Many of us have come from terrible health-destroying lifestyles and some unwittingly expect HCRV to totally reverse time.
Personally I came to HCRV from a past of drug abuse, antibiotic (anti-life) use, anorexia, bulimia, somewhat SAD eating, various operations etc, all of which can destroy (potentially permanently) the bodies ability to produce the intrinsic factor which is necessary to absorb b12. I have healed MANY of my problems in just the past 4.5 years. However, just as we can permanently scar our external body ~ with the wrong lifestyles/various operations etc, we are quite proficient at scarring and compromising the function of our internal body as well. Some individuals may be able to absorb b12 again, some may not. From my understanding, when most cells are regenerated they will maintain the existing structure. During mitosis the *original* chromosomal data is not reconstructed but the cell is duplicated (like with scar cells). Regeneration does not always mean the damaged cell goes back and matches the original code of the DNA. Sometimes epithelial cells of the GI tract are destroyed and gastric atrophy results. Destruction of the mucosa leads to damage to villi and crypts. Over time epithelial cells of the mucosa begin to atrophy and then metaplasia *abnormal change in the nature of the tissue* can occur. This damage impairs absorptive and epithelial regenerative functions within the affected areas. Also If there is no presence of basement membrane then replacement of epithelial cells (found in GI and on skin) through Mitosis will not happen.
Soil depletion and modern living>>
* I’m sure you will agree that living in today’s modern society is far from the true lifestyle nature designed for us. Unfortunately I can’t live fully as nature intended and pick every bit of my fruit from the tree or pull my greens fresh from the soil every time. This would be IDEAL of course but not achievable for most. We live in a sterile polluted environment where our food is scrubbed (generally with chemicals) ‘clean’ of any soil and b12 possibility. To worsen the situation ~ the soil quality has been terribly depleted of cobalt and phosphorus over the years, due to modern cattle farming that removes these vital elements from the soil. We require cobalt (it is only assimilated by the body in the form of vitamin B12). Out of all the vitamins known, Vitamin B-12 (Cobalamin) is the only vitamin that contains a mineral ~ cobalt, hence the name. In theory we should be able to convert sufficient amounts of B12 to meet our needs without any dietary intake however if cobalt is lacking from the soil (which it is apparently from about 60% of our soil) then b12 cannot form correctly (it is essential to the chemical makeup of b12, without cobalt ~ b12 isn’t b12). So as HCRV’s our absorption *may* be top notch but missing the vital element ~ Cobalt and b12.
See the factors mounting up?
A tufts University Study in Boston found that not only was low B-12 levels common in the entire population but 39% of Americans were actually b12 deficient. Even though these individuals were eating as much as 3 times the recommended daily intake. There was also a large scale Framingham Offspring Study that found nearly 40% of participants between the ages of 26-83 had low b12 levels ~ a level in which some people experience neurological symptoms. Scary. Again vegans and vegetarians are routinely tested but people eating animal bits and pieces are not. When they are, then the truth comes out that b12 deficiency is not at all exclusive to a plant-centred lifestyle like ‘they’ would have you believe.
BUT the people with deficiencies are SAD eaters!!>>
*Of course people eating SAD processed diets certainly aren’t helping their health situation. that’s true. However, if this was the only cause for their deficiency (which it isn’t) then we wouldn’t find a lack of b12 rife throughout individuals eating ‘whole food’ unprocessed, moderate to high meat-centred diets. For example; I have friends who have been eating “healthy” raw animal products every day for many, many years (the closest diet to healthy *if* eating animal products). A few of them eat what most refer to as, “A raw paleo diet” ~ no processed or cooked foods, and significant amounts of animal products. Ironically, one friend who has been following the lifestyle for at least 10 years, showed me his b12 level just a week ago ~ 220. Same as what it was years earlier. This is low and he does NOT have a deficiency of raw animal substances in his diet. The level should be over 500 according to the World’s leading authorities on Vitamin b12 deficiency (Japan even has a minimum cut off of 550 and they have one of the lowest rates of dementia in the World). On a side note ~ there is little ‘life force’ is a piece of tortured flesh but there’s plenty of ‘death force’ in the form of the animals fear ~ adrenaline. Not to mention ~ uric acid, cholesterol, saturated fat, pathogenic bacteria and carcinogenic benzopyrenes
BUT animal sources restore b12 production!>>
It’s simply not true or else we wouldn’t see the deficiencies we do in animal eaters of all persuasions. Unfortunately some people (even Dr’s receiving kickbacks) continue to listen to, and parrot the Meat and Dairy Industry recommendations. They would have you believe you need to eat animals for b12, when on the contrary in excess of 99% of those who are b12 deficient are actually eating carcass, bovine secretion and chicken menses. The problem is that people eating these animal substances have not *ever* been routinely (or accurately) tested for b12 deficiency. However, (from M & D Industry education) if you say you’re a vegan, they jump on you straight away with a b12 test! Clever Industry persuasion. Which then of course makes Vegans/Vegetarians appear to be the most deficient. Fortunately this is changing and recently more animal eaters are being tested and honestly, the results have been alarming. Inaccurate testing measures and a lack of Dr training about the importance of b12 is a source of frustration for many experts in the field. Serum B12 (the standard test) can and does fail to detect a deficiency. Urinary MMA and Homocysteine tests need to be taken as well to rule out a deficiency.
Factors affecting absorption of b12>>
* To add to the insult for cooked fooders, much of the b12 ingested is rendered useless due to it being a heat-sensitive vitamin. It’s been reported that as much as 89% of the vitamin is destroyed on cooking. That is HUGE but even considering this fact, as stated earlier, the raw meat eaters STILL have consistently low b12 levels. If some b12 does ‘get through’ most people then cannot absorb or utilise. This makes for a lot of deficiencies. If the intrinsic factor is impaired or missing, B12 production and absorption will not take place, no matter how much is in your meat, seafood, dairy, and eggs. In our modern society, this means just about everyone may be deficient. Every second person has gastrointestinal issues of some sort being ~ Crohn’s, IBS, celiac disease. These malabsorption issues are brought about by a vast number of factors including poor diets high in vitamin-blocking fat and animal products, recreational/ prescription drug use, antacid use, any surgery (including dental) that exposes us to nitrous oxide (an anaesthetic used for operations), alcoholism, pernicious anemia, autoimmune disorders. The list goes on. Basically you are likely to have compromised absorption and be b12 deficient if you have ever had an operation (including dental work), eaten the Standard Western Diet, taken drugs of any sort, or have an inherited weakness. Birth control pills are also a common culprit in depleting B12 stores and compromising absorption. The dangers of b12 deficiency should be taken very seriously. I will discuss it in my next blog.
I have more to say on the topic regarding accurate testing, the dangers of deficiency, purity, supplementation, and b12 resources. I will also share my own personal story and results taking b12 supplementation…