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Vitamin B12 supplement
josvin84 posted:

I am 60 and have been on 95% vegetarian diet for the last 10 years.
Normal advise is B12 supplements for vegetarians above the age of 50. I will have my blood tested for B12 next week and then decide.

So, have you had your B12 level tested?
Do you take any B12 supplement? Which one? How much? Why?

engineerguy responded:
Hi Josvin,

Good question. Excuse me if I get a little harsh, later down the post.

Some websites ("raw foodists"?) insist that we do not need B12 supplements on a raw food vegan diet. Dr. Fuhrman, who is vegan himself, has treated raw foodists when they run into trouble. This includes well known raw foodist TC Fry, who died of a stroke, due to high homocysteine, due to a B12 deficiency. Another raw foodist radio talk show host, developed a limp due to a B12 deficiency. Dr. Fuhrman gave him large B12 doses, which cured the limp. The talk show host told his audience that his raw food diet cured his multiple sclerosis.

The short answer is that a B12 deficiency can cause permanent damage, before a person has symptoms. Vegans with no B12 supplementation will have problems, but it may take 10 or 15 years.

We don't need much meat, fish, poultry or dairy, to fulfill our B12 requirement. For most people, being 95% vegan, would provide enough B12. However, some people may need more B12, even far more B12 than any diet could provide. We are all individuals.

Please be aware that there is a years old controversy in medical circles, about the value of B12 injections. I take no position on this controversy. My father was a physician, and my mother believed she felt much better with B12 injections. The point is that the body is very tolerant of very large doses of B12. Possibly some people need more B12, and some people may benefit from large B12 doses. I do not know, but we can assume that there is variation from person to person in B12 requirements.

My feeling is that B12 is absolutely a vitamin requirement, and there is no health benefit to trying to minimize our B12 intake to much less than typical, and trying to guess if we individually will be healthy under those circumstances.

I take Fuhrman vitamins, which contain 40 mcg of B12. This is, I believe, increased from 35mcg earlier.

Re: "Normal advise is B12 supplements for vegetarians above the age of 50."

Why on Earth would a vegetarian under 50 assume he or she can be healthy without B12? It is true that symptoms of deficiency might not occur until 10 or 15 years after being vegan, but so what? I would take such advice, to wait until after 50, to be a clue that one should never listen to that information source ever again. Really!

Fuhrman offers some supplements that are not available elsewhere. If supplements are available elsewhere, Dr. Fuhrman recommends people take those that are available elsewhere, as they would be cheaper.

This excerpt from the Fuhrman site, is quite interesting, on vitamins. Dr. Fuhrman explains why folic acid, beta carotene, copper, and others are not included in his vitamins.

Best regards, EngineerGuy
engineerguy replied to engineerguy's response:
Hi josvin,

Dr Klapper has been a vegan physician for 30 years. He has seen dozens of vegans damaged by B12 deficiency, including children. B12 deficiency damages the nerves and spinal cord, among many other things.

This link may (or may not) work.
josvin84 responded:
Thank you for the links. Here is more than enough information to think about. But first the blood test to have ? baseline figure before starting on the supplement.


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