Rethinking & Clarifying the B12 Issue
By Dr Vivian V. Vetrano
There is no such thing as a B12 deficiency, even in 100% raw vegan food eaters. They do not have to eat dirt, animal products, or take pills to secure coenzymes of B12. Bacteria in the intestinal tract make it for us, and the metabolically usable and necessary forms of coenzyme B12 are contained in unprocessed, fresh natural plant foods, particularly in nuts and seeds. The real problem in so-called B12 deficiency is a failure of digestion and absorption of foods, rather than a deficiency of the vitamin itself.
Vitamin B12 coenzymes are found in nuts and seeds as well as in many common greens, fruits, and many vegetables. If we ate 100 grams of green beans, beets, carrots, and peas we would have half of our so-called daily minimum requirement of Vitamin B12 coenzymes providing our digestion and absorption are normal. From Rodale’s The Complete Book of Vitamins, page 236 we find the following clarification: “As you know, the B complex of vitamins is called a ‘complex’ because, instead of being one vitamin, it has turned out to be a large number of related vitamins, which appear generally in the same foods.”
A little publicized source of active Vitamin B12 coenzymes is from bacteria in the mouth, around the teeth, in the nasopharynx, around the tonsils and in the tonsilar crypts, in the folds at the base of the tongue, and in the upper bronchial tree. This source alone will supply sufficient quantities of Vitamin B12 coenzymes for the very small requirement of total vegetarians, especially considering that their needs for this vitamin are not as great as for those on conventional diets.
I have studied the Vitamin B12 issue thoroughly, and have learned that biochemists, neutraceutical scientists, and many writers mistakenly use the term Vitamin B12 for cyanocobalamin, THAT IS NOT USABLE BY THE BODY BUT which is in all vitamin B12 supplements. When speaking of Vitamin B12 they are referring to the semisynthetic Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) that initially was contaminated with poisonous cyanide during its chemical extraction from animal tissues.
In summary, vegans and raw fooders all have sufficient amounts of coenzyme B12 in their diets, and FROM THAT produced in their bodies. The most common basic cause of a natural cobalamin deficiency is a failure to digest, absorb and utilize the various cobalamins from food and from the intestinal tract as in the case of gastritis or gastroenteritis. The cause of malabsorption is commonly a gastrointestinal disorder and this was known by pathologists way back in the l800s. In this case, one’s lifestyle must be assessed and brought into unison with the needs of the living organism.
Furthermore, absorption of the natural B12 coenzymes can take place in the mouth, throat, esophagus, bronchial tubes and even in the upper small intestines, as well as all along the intestinal tract. This does not involve the complex enzyme mechanism for absorption (intrinsic factor) in the small intestine as required by cyanocobalamin. The coenzymes are absorbed by diffusion by mucuous membranes.
I don’t know what to make of this article. It’s disturbing to think that I’m putting cyanide into my body by taking a B vitamin.
However, Dr. Vetrano is right when she says that cyanocobalamin is used as B12 in most vitamins on the market today. Looking at my “Stress M” vitamin (a B complex with synergistic nutrients to aid in stress management), it lists B12 and then in parentheses it says “as cyanocobalamin.” Same thing with my sister’s multi-vitamin. Cyanocobalamin is used for B12.
While searching, I came across another interesting article on the B12 Hoax.
I don’t remember where I heard this, but someone once told me that “Americans have the most expensive urine in the world” because they take so many vitamins—most of which are not absorbed and utilized by the body. Controversy exists over whether raw vegans should use vitamins and supplements. I know that Paul Nison favors taking supplements while eating raw; meanwhile other raw vegans are opposed to taking supplements.