[box type="info" align="aligncenter" class="" width=""]What's really going on with B12. Continuing the conversation in regards to Paleo vs Vegetarian and the vital need for B12.
Plants cannot produce vitamin B12 but neither can animals, or fungi for that matter. Only certain bacteria can produce it; we can't even synthesize it well in a lab. The soil bacteria called Rhizobia that fixes nitrogen after being taken in by plant root nodules make it. Herbivores get their B12 from eating the plants that contain those bacteria. Carnivores get their B12 by consuming herbivores. Once in the animal gut, the bacteria can proliferate and the nutrient is manufactured in the large intestine. Unfortunately, it isn't absorbed there as such absorption takes place in the small intestine. Therefore the majority of what is made appears in animal feces, including that of insects. It then makes it way onto the external surfaces of plants and into springs and streams carrying animal excrement.
So .... it's our hygienic world where we really wash the heck out of plants, process the crap out of water/etc, thus removing the B12. Similarly our water supplies are treated to remove bacteria. Pesticides, herbicides and other chemicals used to treat our modern mass produced produce reduces the amount of this bacteria that can grow in our soils. So the fact that whole-food plant-based diets are devoid of B12 is not based on the need to eat animal products but on good hygiene and bad farming practices.
-this is a vote for organic, in that bugs are allows to leave "nutrients" on the plant surfaces
-this is also a vote for organic as if you don't WASH THE HECK out of the potato for instance, the skin will have B12 on it
-your gut flora needs to be healthy to process/absorb your nutrients
-there is a "not-small" portion of the population that genetically cannot absorb B12, they lack an intrinsic factor which causes pernicious anemia[/box]
B12 deficiency is a silent epidemic with serious consequences to your health.
In fact, reports from the USDA show B12 deficiency may be more widespread than thought, with at least 40% of the population being severely deficient in Vitamin B12.
Did you know your ability to absorb vitamin B12 gradually decreases with age?
As troubling as it sounds, it can get worse...
Combine advancing age with certain prescription medications (i.e. for heartburn) and a lack of meat in your diet (especially true for vegetarians or vegans) and you could find yourself sorely lacking vitamin B12.
So how do you know if you’re deficient?
The following symptoms are signals ...
Frequent bouts of dizziness or vertigo often signal B12 stores are low. For instance, you may experience a feeling of wobbles when you get up too fast from a sitting position.
You may also feel dangerously dizzy walking up or down stairs.
Sure, we all get those occasional “brain farts.” However, chronic forgetfulness may indicate a deeper medical issue.
Many patients suffering B12 deficiency often jump to the conclusion they have early onset dementia or Alzheimer’s, especially in their senior years.
3. Unexplained Fatigue
Ever had a good night’s sleep followed by a day of yawning and dragging your feet?
If that constant fatigue continues for days and weeks, it may be the result of B12 deficiency.
Researchers from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found those who felt zapped of energy even though they get plenty of zzzzz's may be struggling with low B12 levels.
It’s due to a lack of red blood cell production... one of B12’s responsibilities… meaning oxygen transport to your organs is lacking, causing extreme fatigue.
4. Vision Issues
No, there isn’t something in your eye causing the spotting, blurred and double vision.
Low B12 stores can lead to vision changes and actually damaged vision. Causing even retinal damage if blood vessels in the eye become blocked.
That means you may experience light sensitivity, blurred or double vision, tracers or shadows, which all result from damage to the optic nerve.
5. Pins and Needles
It’s common to experience pins and needles if you sit cross-legged for far too long.
However, pins and needles (or the feeling of numbness) throughout the body when you haven’t compressed any part of your body, can indicate a B12 issue.
Numbness or the feeling of electric shock waves can be the result of nerve damage in B12 deficient patients. All leading back to poor red blood cell production from a lack of B12.
When you notice persistent health issues like these, you may want to consider a quality B12 supplement.Read More »