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How Serious is Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

How Serious is Vitamin B-12 Deficiency?

Yesterday (June 18, 2012), I returned from an eight-day trip to Hawaii during which time I spoke to two very passionate groups of people who were members of Hawaiian Vegetarian societies on Oahu and Maui. During that trip the subject of Vitamin B-12 supplementation often came up, and I promised to provide additional detail regarding my own thoughts on the matter.

B-12 supplementation is a very, very, very serious question most often posed by pitiful pundits who, by the way, happen to be selling B-12 products which Are manufactured by a New Jersey company named BASF. This company gathers the raw B-12 from the inner intestines and feces of freshly slaughtered bovines and porcines (which is what gives B-12 supplements their exquisite taste and essence).

The October issue of the European Review of Medicine and Pharmacological Science (2011 Oct;15(10):1176-81) found absolutely no correlation exists between vitamin B12 and quality of life in healthy young adults.

Researchers tested 359 healthy college students between the ages of 18 and 30 for their Vitamin B-12 blood levels and then tested each subject on two different medical scales, the Physical Summary (PCS) and the Mental Component Summary (MCS). Their quality of life (QOL) was then quantified on a test developed by Abbott Labs; the IMx system.

Scientists concluded:

"We conclude that no correlation exists between B12 levels and QOL scores among young adult healthy populations."

The problem with B-12 assessments is that Vitamin B-12 is produced by bacterial action and is not stored in the blood where it is measured; B-12 is stored in the liver.

Furthermore, the test currently in use to detect so-called deficiencies is poorly designed.

In the March 2012 issue of the Annals of Clinical Biochemistry, researchers confirmed that the traditional test for B12 deficiency is flawed due to the poor sensitivity of the currently used methylmalonic acid assay. Instead, they determined that a new assay which relies upon holotranscobalamin should be adopted in clinical assessments. This conclusion was made after comparing both assays on blood samples from 360 human subjects.

Many vegetarian writers, doctors, and scientists believe that Vitamin B-12 supplements are critical to the health of vegans. I believe this to be pure nonsense.

When the subject is B-12 deficiency, T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, has made these six points:

"Contrary to the most recent U.S. Dietary Guidelines, B12 can be found in plants."

"Organically grown plants contain higher levels of B12 than plants grown non-organically with chemical fertilizers."

"Plant roots are able to absorb certain vitamins produced by soil microorganisms, thus suggesting that plants grown in healthy soil, full of microflora and microfauna, are more nutritious."

"Vegans - and anyone else - should be able to obtain B12 by consuming organically grown produce."

"Evidence that plants obtain vitamins from the soil has been available for several decades."

"I can say with some confidence that time will tell quite a different story than the one we've been hearing."

Yesterday (June 13, 2011), TMZ reported that "Lack of vitamin B-12 can make you feel very weak and it's hard to get in most vegetable sources."

I always thought that TMZ (a celebrity gossip website) stood for "The Mad Zombies" but I was wrong. It actually stands for that narrow zone in Hollywood in which local celebrity gossip news can be filmed and then sent to studio post production in order to appear on the evening news. Sadly, the Vitamin B-12 blurb appeared yesterday.

Many vegetarian writers, doctors, and scientists believe that Vitamin B-12 supplements are critical to the health of vegans. I believe this to be pure nonsense.

I get more than a dozen inquiries each week regarding Vitamin B-12 needs. Please circulate this column which should end the debate regarding the need for expensive and useless B-12 supplements.

In 1996, Victor Herbert determined that Vitamin B-12 deficiency is rare among vegans, even though most do not take supplemental B-12. His landmark work was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, vol. 59, pp. 1213S-1222S. Herbert wrote: "To a great extent, B-12 is recycled from liver bile in the digestive system...The enterohepatic circulation of vitamin B-12 is very important in vitamin B-12 economy and homeostasis...bodies reabsorb 3-5 mcg of bile vitamin B-12. Because of this, an efficient enterohepatic circulation keeps the adult vegan, who eats very little vitamin B-12, from developing B-12 deficiency disease..."

Despite real science, the B-12 myth continues. If you feel that you must eat B-12 (which is produced by bacterial action), then buy organic carrots and be sure to eat the unwashed roots. Washing will kill the bacteria, rich with Vitamin B-12. If you dislike carrots, consider the Biblical Song of Solomon. If the Song of Solomon inspires you, then you will most certainly be in good hands.

(May God bless those wise prophets who without microscopes or chemical laboratories were divinely inspired to write about nature's most sensual source of Vitamin B-12.)

**********FROM: The Song of Solomon**********

"Thy plants are an orchard of pomegranates, with pleasant fruits; camphor, with spikenard, spikenard and saffron; calamus and cinnamon, with all trees of frankincense; myrrh and aloes, with all the chief spices...A fountain of gardens, a well of living waters, and streams from Lebanon. Awake, O north wind; and come, thou south; blow upon my garden, that the spices thereof may flow out. Let my beloved come into his garden, and eat his pleasant fruits. Open to me, my love, my dove, my undefiled: for my head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops of the night.

My beloved is gone down into his garden, to the beds of spices, to feed in the gardens, and to gather lilies. I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine: he feedeth among the lilies.

I went down into the garden of nuts to see the fruits of the valley, and to see whether the vine flourished and the pomegranates budded. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O love, for delights!

And the roof of thy mouth like the best wine for my beloved, that goeth down sweetly, causing the lips of those that are asleep to speak. I am my beloved's, and his desire is toward me.

Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine flourish, whether the tender grape appear, and the pomegranates bud forth: there will I give thee my love. I would cause thee to drink of spiced wine of the juice of my pomegranate."

Without embarrassment, this is a subject that needs to be discussed. I am past the point of being disgusted by know- it-all vegetarian and vegan nutritionists and dieticians who believe that one must take artificial supplements derived from cow intestines, containing Vitamin B-12 in order to maintain good health. The fact that vegans have B-12 in their bloodstreams is evidence enough that we're somehow obtaining it. Low dose, high dose, it really doesn't matter. Fact is that we need just a few micrograms of B-12, and a five-year supply is stored in the average human liver. That fact alone negates the scare tactics of those who criticize the pure vegan diet, or dispense supplements as a part of their self-sustaining practices.

Vegan blood contains some B-12. In that, there is no debate. Vegan semen and vaginal secretions contain many times more Vitamin B-12 than does human blood.

The solution? Make love. Enjoy oral sex. The ingestion of sexual body secretions from your significant other will insure good health for you through a Biblically-endorsed version of vegan nutrition.

In addition to the usual frogs, snails, and puppy dogs tails, what are little boys made of? What exactly is in semen? Ten percent of semen consists of sperm cells, up to 500 million per ejaculate. It takes only one sperm cell to fertilize an egg. I often wonder why the other 499,999 are necessary. What constitutes the other 90% of semen? In addition to enormous amounts of vitamins, enzymes, and amino acids, semen contains up to 20 times the level of Vitamin B-12 as does human blood serum. Vaginal fluids contain a similar makeup, rich in B-12.

Scientists were aware of this information decades ago, but had no socially-tactful means to transmit this information to the lay person. (Yes, I know, you simply adore my use of the English language).

As early as March of 1984, Carmel Bernstein and a team of investigators published evidence in the Journal of Clinical Investigations (73;3, Vitamin B-12 in human seminal plasma) revealing that blood has one-tenth the amount of B-12 as does male semen.

Eight years later, the Scandanavian Journal of Clinical Laboratory Investigations (Hansen, 1992 Nov;52(7):647-52) determined that B-12 levels in human semen run as high as 20 times that of blood. Similar amounts of B-12 have been found in vaginal secretions.

Many humans, enamored by the artificial chemicals contained in soaps, perfumes, and colognes have an aversion to oral sex because of the taste or smell. Can such a dislike of natural body odors ever be justified? Absolutely.

Long ago, in the days before artificial modern-day perfumes and deodorants were used to mask human odors, people enjoyed body smells. Don Juan would keep handkerchiefs under his armpits and wave them in front of ladies' noses. That action was designed to bring them to arousal from his own natural essences and bouquet which contained pheromones, chemicals containing natural sexual messengers that communicate instinctual feelings shared by all mammals. Truth revealed: Why does a male dog mount and hump a human female leg, thrusting his pelvis as if in the act of copulation? It's not because he smells your puppy, ladies. It's because he smells your very own pheromones which trigger a genetically pre-determined fixed action pattern in Fido's brain.

On to the olfactory bouquet from your own essences.

Dairy farmers know that if their cows eat onions or garlic less than 30 minutes before milking, those powerfully offensive smells will be included in their body secretions which are then transmitted to their milk. A similar event occurs with human body fluids. You are what you eat. Deer know when meat-eating humans walk into the woods. Vegans have a way with denizens of the forest. Vegans do not eat other living creatures. Deer can tell by human smells. So can dogs and other mammals possessing keener olfactory senses than humans.

For many years, non dairy-using Japanese people called Americans "butter-people," for the rancid smell that would seep out of our pores. I can smell butter people. I am amazed at the number of people calling themselves vegan who are actually dairy users. I can smell the aftermath of pizza 24 hours after a vegan eats one by his or her offensive odor. The mozzarella turns rancid from within. Its smell lingers on a user's breath. Milk the cow and get the garlic or onion milk. Milk the human and get Kentucky-fried chicken essence.

Humans who eat meat ingest large amounts of sulfur-based amino acids. That is one of the qualities of meat protein. The sulfur becomes a part of their own smell and taste. Eat large amounts of methionine and you'll taste quite rancid.

I have met many vegans who relate anecdotal evidence of how other vegans make better lovers because they "taste better." Where are Masters and Johnson when you need them? The good that comes from this column will result in two lovers enjoying a large meal of fresh pineapple before their next bout of foreplay. Gourmets and epicurians of the world, unite. Your next dose of love will contain the best vitamin pill in the world. Was it Mary Poppins who sang, "Just a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down"?

So, remember -- for B-12, make love, and do so in good taste.

"A lot of the fun lies in trying to penetrate the mystery; and this is best done by saying over the lines to yourself again and again, till they pass through the stage of sounding like nonsense, and finally return to a full sense that had at first escaped notice." - Anthony Hecht

Robert Cohen

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