Vitamin B12 is also called cobalamin. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins are those vitamins which do not store in the body. The water-soluble vitamin should be taken daily through food source or medicines. The body has a limited capacity to keep most of the b-group vitamins (except b12, which are stored in the liver).
Function of vitamin b12
- Helps in cells growth
- Metabolism Process
- Helps to keep nerve tissues healthy
- Good for brain function
- Helps in production of red blood cells
- Helps make DNA
- Prevent from megaloblastic anemia
Storage of vitamin B12
Vitamin b12 stores in liver up to 4 to 5 years. Excess level of vitamin b12 excrete in urine.
Natural source of vitamin b12
- Meat (beef, liver and chicken)
- Chlorella liver lamb
- mussels (clams)
- Pasture grass fed
- Cremini mushrooms (brown)
- Fermented old rice
- Purple laver
- Shitake mushroom
- Notional yeast
- Fortified cereals
Vitamin B12 Test
- Collect 3 to 5 ml blood in red top, green top or gel tube
- Centrifuge and use serum for test
Causes of Increased Cobalamin in Blood
- Liver problem (hepatitis, cirrhosis)
- Kidney problem
Deficiency Symptoms of Vitamin B12
- Blurred vision
- Mood swings
- High temperature
- Messed up hand-eye
- Pale skin
- Tingling sensation
- Stomach problems
- Weight loss
- Decreased reasoning
Vitamin B12 Supplement
Should vegan take the supplement with vitamin b12 in the modern sterilized world? Yes, vegans are at a greater risk of getting a vitamin b12 deficiency than the rest of the population. So they absolutely should take vitamin b12 supplements. It is cheap ass insurance, but in no way is this a fundamental flaw of the vegan diet for many reasons, including how cobalamin was ubiquitous in bacteria-rich pre-industrial times.
How a truly healthy human gut can produce and utilize its cobalamin in the small intestine, how 40% of people are taking vitamin supplements anyway, and also how other deficiencies are rampant among the rest of the population.
Well looking at the U.S., for example, where 95% of people eat meat, about 10% of people have a vitamin b6 deficiency. A single banana, about 40% of your daily need, not a vegan issue. And when looking at vitamin c, about 6% of the U.S. Is deficient.
Well, a single orange will give you as much as you need. And a whopping 96% of people in the U.S. Do not get the daily recommended amount of fibre, which is not hard on a vegan diet, and it’s associated with diseases like heart disease, diabetes and colon cancer. And back on subject, 2%-4% of the U.S. Is b12 deficient anyway.
Where Does Cobalamin Come?
Where does vitamin b12 come? Bacteria are the only ones that can make vitamin b12. Animals do not make vitamin b12 and guess what, if you are eating meat you are, in a sense likely supplementing because 90% of the world’s cobalamin supplements are now given to animals.
So, you can take that cobalamin supplement, feed it to an animal, and then pay someone to kill that animal and then eat its dead body, or you can take a b12 supplement directly. And people that supplement with cobalamin have much higher levels than the rest of the population that a vegan supplementing will probably have higher levels than a meat-eater that does not supplement but going beyond supplementing.
This brings up the question: where did low meat cultures like the tarahumara get their b12? They only ate 2% of their total calories as meat, so how were they getting it? What most people don’t know is that untreated water and soil have b12.
But we treat our water and use that water to triple wash our vegetables. We also take that soil and add so many chemical fertilizers to it that it reduces bacterial diversity and turns into dirt. Looking at nature, herbivores like elephants get a portion of their b12 from eating soil, and early humans likely did as well.
But is it enough? This study shows that spinach and other vegetables that are fertilized with manure can have considerable amount of b12. But that’s if they are unwashed, and that’s not necessarily in all soil. That’s just from cow poop. But what about water, is untreated water really enough to do the job?
Vitamin b12 in water
Well the FAO and the who both say to be on the safe side, you need an RDA of about two mcg per day, and the minimal amount to prevent deficiency is about 0.1-0.5 mcg per day. This study measured pond water and found that the b12 levels range from 0.1-2.0
Mcg per litre. And since the institute of medicine recommends that you drink about 3 litres of water per day, you can easily reach three times the recommended daily amount or 12-60 times the minimum required amount by drinking pond water.
But it’s not limited to pond water, allegedly the yarra river in Australia, which is safe to drink, has twice the level of recommended b12 in it per litre, according to an Adventist scientist named matt Steele. But these high levels aren’t necessarily everywhere. Going back to the Tarahumara and looking at this study, it is clear that they did get a large portion of their b12 from untreated water.
Still, areas in Mexico that were tested were likely more down around an average of 0.05 mcg per litre. So they probably barely would reach their daily requirement just based off that. But it doesn’t stop at soil and water.