Meet the Vital Need of Vitamin B12: A Bit Trickier Concept

For all we know, the micro-organisms, mainly bacteria, are the only organisms capable of producing B12 vitamin. It is estimated that in our digestive canal contains between 400 and 500 different types of bacteria, capable of producing vitamin B 12. It is known that gut bacteria can produce varying amounts of (useful) biologically active version of vitamin B12. However, bacteria producing B 12 are located in the final section of the intestine, preventing the body to absorb an adequate amount of vitamins.

Animals that are recommended to provide us with vitamin B12 produce vitamin B12 in their digestive systems with the help of bacteria, and in case of plants that have not been sterilized the bacteria that produce vitamin B12 get washed away. The animals crammed in meat factories (cows, calves, pigs, chickens, turkeys, ducks, goats, sheep, fish farms, etc.) daily undergo through a holocaust (abuse, stress, toxic diet, lack of physical activity, lack fresh air and sunlight) that makes them sick mainly by the weakening of their immune system.

To solve this, instead of correcting the cause (the Holocaust), animals are routinely treated with drugs to kill microorganisms that can cause disease. Thus, these animals have a “healthy” bacterial population to produce their B12 vitamin. Its population was virtually wiped out, and when it has not been, causes genetic mutations creating new pathogenic bacterial species, which not only affect the animals but humans who consume them. In short, these animals have low levels of vitamin B12 because the bacterial population has been depleted by medications.

Non-vegetarianism is not an option for vitamin B12 deficiency

Let’s take a general case where the end user consumes meat to fulfill his/her need of vitamin B12. The animal he/she consumed was not properly fed and given medications as well. The point here is about getting natural vitamin B12 and I’m sure he/she is not getting it. The worst part is yet to come when the victim has to take synthetic vitamin B12 supplements to carry out the nutritional need. You might be thinking that how is it the worst part when the person is anyway getting the nutrients? The meat he/she had have the same drugs with which it was treated and those drugs are usually stored in the fatty tissues of the animal (animal factory are more tender because there have developed musculature, and therefore have a higher percentage of fat), and that can cause some serious damage to the body.

Our daily requirement for vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms. A person with a normal level of vitamin B12 (above 150 pg / ml measured in blood may have a store of vitamin B12 in the liver of 2 to 5 milligrams. Assuming that the person ceases to attain new vitamin B12 (from diet, environment or bacteria), very improbable, the body still has the reserves for about three years, and if his/her diet is rich in B12 vitamin then the body can maintain the equilibrium for more than 20 years without any shortcomings.

Vitamin B12 Supplements

Vegetarians, especially vegans who cannot avail vitamin B12 from animal source are advised to consume foods fortified with vitamin B 12 or regularly take supplements of B 12 to maintain adequate levels. Cyanocobalamin is just the way it appears in vitamin-tablets, while hydroxocobalamin is used in injections of B12. The tablets and capsules are available in pharmacies and health food stores. Often these pills contain animal products, such as gelatin, but if it’s a product free of animal products that are displayed on the packaging.

These are the daily amounts of vitamin B12 recommended for vegans:

  • 1.5 to 2.5 mg twice a day, food enriched with B12

  • 10-100 mg once a day as a supplement

Higher doses of 1,000 mg are not significant, since the body does not absorb. All you can do is to divide the 1.000 mg pill into 4 parts to efficiently maintain the nutritional level of your body. Always use supplements that solely contain B12 as they are the most effective. Additionally, you can consume enriched in vitamin B12 products, such as some soy foods and breakfast cereals (check package before use).

In the product package the percentage of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) provides a dose or indicated portion of vitamins and minerals used. It is within the safe limits if the daily dose of extra vitamins and mineral supplements or fortified foods contains at most the following amounts:

  • Not more than twice the RDA of vitamin A and vitamin B3;

  • No more than 3 times the RDA vitamin of B11 (folic acid);

  • Not more than 5 times the RDA of other vitamins (including vitamin B13);

It is not recommended to take more vitamins than those indicated in RDA, especially if you have ever had cancer. If you are using tablets with higher dose, you should consult your physician first.