Monday, January 24, 2011

The critical veg issue of Vitamin B12 (1)

A B12 artcile extracted from
PCRM's quarterly mag
Good Medicine
The Vitamin B12 issue among the vegetarian circle is not a news anymore,
but it is worrying that many veg are still under/mis-informed
about Vitamin B12.

Every now and then I come across vegetarians/vegans
facing the crisis of B12 deficiency unknowingly
(ie totally unaware of B12 issue).
It's even more worrying when I sometimes encounter
B12-deficiency-prone vegs who think that
they have taken enough care on their B12 intake.
(ie mistaken of the source of B12)

This is actually quite a risky issue to be taken lightly,
as it affects the basic health and life quality of a veg,
and may consequently affect the image of veg community as whole.

Hence would like to share
some simplified but important concepts of Vit B12 here,
in the hope of raising sufficient awareness among the vegs and
and clarifying some mis-information about B12:

What is B12?

- B12 is an essential vitamin, under Vit B family,
which is not synthesized by our body (in significant amount),
for maintence of our bodily metabolism (ie day to day body functions).

- the uptake of viable amount of Vit B12 has be from external source
(via food or via limited internal gut flora)

Why do we need B12?

- B12 plays multiple important roles in our basic bodily functions,
in collaboration with B6, and B9 and other co-factors.
e.g. nervous system maintenance, blood cell formation and body mass building

- when our body is lack of B12, our nerves will suffer from irreversible damage
(ie permanent and incurable), leading to inefficient brain functions and stress handling.

- because B12 is quite efficiently recycled in our body (except diseased cases),
a new veg will not observe much effect from gradual B12 deprivation within the first 4-5 years.
In other words, B12 will only drop to critical level after 4-5 years later,
if a person stop B12 intake from today..

- before the 4-5 years "due date", a B12-deficient individual
may also suffer from anemia (because blood formation is affected),
but it's not easy to pin point at B12, because it could be iron deficiency too.

- there are some veg after going through a long time veg diet that is lack of B12
who seem to be unable to put on body mass (lean protein mass),
no matter how much protein-rich food he/she takes in and how hard he/she trains.
This is also because the lack of blood nourishment and
participation of B12 in protein anabolism. be continued

Well regards,
Kee Yew

{Learning Holistic Wellness for Wisdom and Compassion}

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