Vitamin B12 Breakthrough for more complete Vegetarian and Vegan diets

Vitamin B12 (known as cobalamin) is an essential dietary component but vegetarians are more prone to B12 deficiency as plants neither make nor require this nutrient.

But now a team, led by Professor Martin Warren at the University’s School of Biosciences, has proved that common garden cress can indeed take up cobalamin.

The amount of B12 absorbed by garden cress is dependent on the amount present in the growth medium, and the Kent team was able to confirm B12 uptake by showing that the nutrient ends up in the leaf.

I can’t wait for the silly money and marketers to grab this and run.

Read the source article here.

 

Vegan Diet, Subnormal Vitamin B-12 Status and Cardiovascular Health

Abstract

Vegetarian diets have been associated with atherosclerosis protection, with healthier atherosclerosis risk profiles, as well as lower prevalence of, and mortality from, ischemic heart disease and stroke. However, there are few data concerning the possible cardiovascular effects of a vegan diet (with no meat, dairy or egg products). Vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians; this can be partially alleviated by taking dairy/egg products in lact-ovo-vegetarians. However, metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is highly prevalent in vegetarians in Australia, Germany, Italy and Austria, and in vegans (80%) in Hong Kong and India, where vegans rarely take vitamin B-12 fortified food or vitamin B-12 supplements. Similar deficiencies exist in northern Chinese rural communities consuming inadequate meat, egg or dairy products due to poverty or dietary habits. Vascular studies have demonstrated impaired arterial endothelial function and increased carotid intima-media thickness as atherosclerosis surrogates in such metabolic vitamin B-12 deficient populations, but not in lactovegetarians in China. Vitamin B-12 supplementation has a favourable impact on these vascular surrogates in Hong Kong vegans and in underprivileged communities in northern rural China. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 status is thus potentially beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency in vegans, and possibly for prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.

Conclusions

Metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency is prevalent in vegetarians and, in particular, in vegans. Those subjects with normal or relatively high salt intake may be associated with unhealthy early vascular changes in function and structure, which have not been well documented in the past. In individuals with subnormal vitamin B-12 status, vitamin B-12 supplementation may significantly improve such vascular changes. Regular monitoring of vitamin B-12 profile may thus be beneficial for early detection and treatment of metabolic vitamin B-12 deficiency, and possibly prevention of atherosclerosis-related diseases.

You can download a copy of the full study at this link.

It’s not easy to overcome confirmation bias.  So my research often takes me to studies and articles that challenge my firmest held beliefs.  This literature review study does confirm one of my longest held beliefs.  Some of the sickest people I see are the shoppers in health food stores.

Take some B-12.  Or as this study demonstrates get your B-12  from dairy, meat, and fish and shellfish.

 

Justice Department Slaps Supplement Maker With Criminal Charges

These supplements have been linked to dozens adverse health events reported to the FDA such as increased blood pressure, racing heart, liver damage, stroke, seizure and death. During 2014, the agency issued seven recalls and more than 30 public notifications about these products. It also maintains an online list of tainted weight-loss products.

Source: Justice Department Slaps Supplement Maker With Criminal Charges

“Sorry, this dude’s not Preferred.”

“But he’s a good friend, healthy, works out all the time>”

“Does he pump iron?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Does he take any supplements?”

“I don’t know, why?”

“Because his liver enzymes are abnormal and if he’s taking anything tell him to stop.”

“Do you think…”

“I’m not a doctor.”