B12 and the Hallelujah Diet
This article is for everyone on a strict vegan diet,
not just for those following the Hallelujah Diet. When you finish this article,
click here to read my article on the long-term
dangers of strict vegan diets like the Hallelujah Diet.-- Chet]
much do I need?
B12 requirement is about 1-4 microgram/week for healthy adults.
happens if I don’t have B12?
of vitamin B12 leads to anemia and neurological disorders; deficiency in children
can cause profound damage, much of which is reversible. A normal level of serum
vitamin B12 does not guarantee adequacy; methylmalonic acid concentrations (either
serum or urine) are a much more reliable metabolic measure of vitamin B12 metabolism.
People following a pure vegetarian (vegan) diet are at high risk (>50%) for
metabolic vitamin B12 deficiency. Metabolic vitamin B12 deficiency can be detected
in as little as 22 months on the Hallelujah Diet. It does not take a long time.
do I get it in foods?
B12 is found in all animal products (liver, muscle flesh, eggs, and dairy products
are sources, in order from richest to poorest sources). Plant foods contain little
if any active vitamin B12; produce grown in soil fertilized with cow dung may
contain more B12 than commercially grown produce. Marine plant life (chlorella,
dulse, nori, blue-green algae, spirulina) contain analogues of vitamin B12 which
can interfere with normal cobalamin metabolism; to rely on seaweed for vitamin
B12 is to lean on a splintered stick. BarleyMax does not supply sufficient amounts
of vitamin B12 for healthy adults. Bowel flora does not make enough vitamin B12
for many healthy adults. Probiotic supplements are not a sufficient source of
vitamin B12; some products work better than others.
do I know I’m getting enough?
simple urine assay for methylmalonic acid can determine metabolic cobalamin status.
is the best supplement to use?
methylcobalamin is the best method for a person committed to a pure vegetarian
diet to obtain their vitamin B12. 1/2 of a "Bio-Active B12" tablet twice
a week should be sufficient for a healthy adult.
much do I need?
amount of vitamin B12 required is very minute. As little as 0.1-0.5 µg per day
(1-4 µg/week) is needed in a healthy adult. Stress, illness (especially involving
the central nervous system), pregnancy, lactation, and rapid growth increase needs.
The World Health Organization recommends 1 µg per day of vitamin B12. The RDA
for adults is 2.4 µg of vitamin B12 per day, 2.6 µg during pregnancy, 2.8 µg during
lactation, and proportionally less for children. Both have a significant margin
of safety built into their recommendations. Unlike other B vitamins, B12 is stored
in the liver so daily consumption is not necessary. However, the normal uptake
route of vitamin B12 is saturated very quickly so that doses larger than 5 µg
are poorly absorbed and are not more effective than smaller doses. A second uptake
route, diffusion, allows about 1% of any dose to be absorbed.
happens if I don’t consume vitamin B12?
the requirements are very low, deficiencies among vegetarians have been noted.
There are at least 10 case reports in the medical literature of infants suffering
severe neurological damage when solely breast-fed by their totally vegetarian
mothers. Most of the damage is reversible by vitamin B12 supplementation. Also,
every study of vegan communities or populations has demonstrated low vitamin B12
concentrations in 40-90 percent of the group. Since many of these studies only
measured serum cobalamin concentrations, they underestimated the number of people
with metabolic deficiencies. This includes macrobiotic communities, natural hygienists,
"living food" vegans, vegan Seventh Day Adventists, and followers of
the Hallelujah Diet. Our study revealed early signs of vitamin B12 deficiency
in 26 of the 54 people tested, after following the Hallelujah Diet for as little
as 2 to 4 years.
important facts need to be noted. First, many, if not most, vegans have impaired
vitamin B12 metabolism. This has been verified time and again in vegan groups.
Second, metabolic deficiency of vitamin B12 can be detected after as little as
22 months on the Hallelujah Diet. While serum vitamin B12 levels may still be
normal for several more years, the body, especially the central nervous system,
may be deficient at the cellular level. 83% of the people in our study with metabolic
vitamin B12 deficiency had normal levels of serum vitamin B12. These facts have
not been widely appreciated by the vegetarian community.
on the published studies and our results, adequate vitamin B12 status of vegans
cannot be taken for granted. Pregnant women, nursing mothers, infants, and small
children are particularly vulnerable to B12 shortages. Ensuring adequate B12 is
critical for normal neurological development and maintenance, with shortages resulting
in permanent damage.
of vitamin B12 leads to anemia and neurological abnormalities. Vegetarians' abundant
dietary intake of folate masks much of the anemia due to vitamin B12 deficiency.
So the first signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are neurological symptoms. These
symptoms can include parathesia, especially numbness and tingling in the hands
and feet, diminution of vibration sense and/or position sense (usually but not
always occurring first in the ankles and feet), unsteadiness, poor muscular coordination
with ataxia, moodiness, mental slowness, poor memory, confusion, agitation, and
depression. Delusions, hallucinations, and even overt psychosis (usually with
paranoid ideas) may occur. By the time vitamin B12 deficiency can be detected
clinically significant neurological damage has already occurred and an aggressive
supplementation program should be begun with methylcobalamin. Symptoms caused
by a deficiency can usually be alleviated by vitamin B12 supplementation.
vegans with a healthy bowel flora should produce B12 in their small intestine.
This may be the natural way God intended for us to receive our vitamin B12, but
our study showed that this was not a reliable and sufficient source of B12. All
people produce B12 in their colon, but this is not available for the body since
B12 is absorbed in the small intestine.
the bowel flora by using probiotic supplements (L. acidophilus, B. bifidus, etc.)
may be helpful for supplying vitamin B12. However, our study revealed that daily
use for 3 months of either of two different brands of probiotics was not sufficient
to restore people’s vitamin B12 status to normal.
do I get vitamin B12 in foods?
use of dulse, chlorella, nori, blue-green algae, spirulina, and fermented soy
products has been promoted for their plant-based vitamin B12 content. However,
when some of these products were analyzed for true cobalamin activity, they were
shown to contain almost all analogues of vitamin B12 which are not active in the
human body. In fact, some of these analogues interfere with normal cobalamin metabolism
by competitive binding, resulting in poorer vitamin B12 status. Serum vitamin
B12 levels may improve, while metabolic indicators deteriorate. Nori and spirulina
have both been shown to be ineffective at improving vitamin B12 status of children.
It is not safe to rely on marine plant life or soy products for vitamin B12.
see then, that dietary vegan sources of vitamin B12 are very sparse since plant
foods do not contain vitamin B12 in appreciable amounts. There is some evidence
that plants grown in soil fertilized with cow dung (rich in B12) contain higher
levels of B12 within the plant29. Whether the reported B12 was true cobalamin
and useful for people needs to be confirmed. Other vegan food sources include
fortified breakfast cereals, fortified vegan products, fortified nutritional yeast,
and dehydrated cereal grasses (like BarleyMax). The amount of B12 in BarleyMax
has been shown not to provide adequate amounts of B12 for mature adults’ needs.
Needs of infants and children are proportionally greater, so BarleyMax alone will
not supply sufficient vitamin B12 for a child. Nutritional yeast, (Red Star Vegetarian
Support Formula) is fortified with an adequate amount of B12 and is a good source
of other B vitamins, trace minerals, and nucleotides as well. Many vegans have
found this to be an acceptable and reliable source of vitamin B12.
is the best supplemental form of vitamin B12?
tablets or low dose sprays are the best delivery forms of B12 supplements; swallowed
tablets are not as effective. The best, most bio-available form of cobalamin appears
to be methylcobalamin30. This form of B12 (methylcobalamin) appears to be taken
up by the body and used more efficiently than the more common cyanocobalamin.
Cyanocobalamin is typically made by chemical synthesis, or by isolation from animal
products or waste. The manufacturer will report the source of the vitamin if asked.
is marketed by Enzymatic Therapy as "Bio-Active B-12" and is available
from Hallelujah Acres. "Bio-Active B-12" is made from fermented plants
and is an inexpensive, vegetarian product. 1/2 of a "Bio-Active B12"
tablet twice a week should be sufficient for a healthy adult. If I had consumed
very little vitamin B12 in the last couple of years, I would take one tablet a
day for ten days and then begin this maintenance program.
do I know I am getting enough vitamin B12?
simple urine assay can be done through the mail with the Norman Clinical Laboratory,
Inc. (Cincinnati, OH: 1-800-397-7408, www.b12.com,
$70). The urinary MMA assay is very specific for B12 and much more reliable than
a serum B12 assay31-35. If anyone has doubts about their B12 status this is the
lab test to order. Your physician can order this commonly available test for you
are many ways to get your vitamin B12 but you must get it in your diet or ensure
that your body makes it. You will not have excellent health without it.
from Chet: My
research and experience leads me to conclude that a prudent amount of clean animal
foods should be in the human diet to attain B12 and other factors probably not
yet identified. Click here for a full explanation
of my stance.
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