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Julie  Stachowiak, Ph.D.

Vegetarians with MS May Need Vitamin B12

By January 9, 2012

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In my latest post, Are You a Vegetarian with Multiple Sclerosis?, I discussed wanting to eat less meat overall, but being restricted by the guidelines of the Best Bet Diet.

Writing this post reminded me that vegetarians, especially vegans, often need to take supplements of vitamin B12. Studies have shown that people with MS have a higher rate of vitamin B12 deficiency than the general population, probably due to a problem with binding and transport of this vitamin.

Logic would tell us that if someone is both living with MS and restricting foods containing B-12 (primarily eggs, seafood and meat), that their chances of being deficient in vitamin B12 would have to be pretty good, or at least much higher than most other people.

If you are a person with MS who is also a vegetarian/vegan, consider getting your vitamin B12 levels checked. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, headache, and memory loss. We all have our share of MS symptoms, many of which are the same as those of B12 deficiency. Wouldn't it be great to find out that a little vitamin pill could make us feel even a little better?

It should also be noted that Solu-Medrol can lower vitamin B12 levels, so it might be worth getting levels checked if you were just treated for a relapse, as well.

Have you ever had your vitamin B12 levels checked? What led you to do this? What were the results? Do any of you take a regular vitamin B12 supplement? Share your experiences and tips in the comments section below.

Read the full article: Vitamin B12 and Multiple Sclerosis


Comments
January 10, 2012 at 6:19 pm
(1) Diet Watch says:

GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN B-12 – ALL VEGETARIAN & VEGAN:

1. Ovo & Lacto Vegetarian Foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc)
2. Breakfast Cereals, Raisin Bran, Total, bran flakes, etc many cereals have it.
3. White Button Mushrooms (look up: Agaricus bisporus. Confirmed Vegan source of B12.)
4. Shiitake & Crimini Mushrooms (These are a 100% vegan source of genuine non-analog B12)
5. Purple Laver (it’s a sea weed, very popular in Japan and Korea, Confirmed source of B12 in plants)
6. Soy Milk (soy is not bad, it’s good. ‘soy is evil & dangerous’ articles found to be an ‘internet hoax’)
7. Red Star Brewers Yeast (available in healthfood stores. it contains vitamin B12)
8. Supplements (contain all b vitamins, as in “B-complex”)
9. B12 pills, in any supermarket or store shelves, like Naturemade, etc.
10. Sublingual vegan b12 (sub-lingual means “put under your tongue”)
11. B-12 Shots (From your Doctor)
12. Being ‘outdoors’, gardening, around soil and dirt, around B12 bacteria which is all over the place.

Vitamin B-12 does NOT come from MEAT (!) – Important for all to know that, because thousands of false information sites, chat posts, and fallacious messageboards are going around repeating the fallacious bit ‘B12 is ONLY found in meat’ and ‘B12 is ONLY found in animal products’. These are false. One more time. Those are scientifically, biologically, and medically found to be fallacious statements. B-12 is NOT only found in meat. B-12 is not even produced by meat or cows. Vitamin B-12 is produced by…BACTERIA. And these (good) bacteria are EVERYWHERE in nature. They are in the air, on plants, in the dirt, live in soil, on your face right now, all over your hands, everywhere. B-12 is available in nature. It’s simply that nowadays in modern times we wash our face, shower, disinfect our hands with purell, spray pesticides on our fruits and vegetables, and shop at a store instead of eating plants from a garden. B12 bacteria would live in that dirt, and if you ate those gardened vegetables or fruits like in ancient history they’d probably have a little bit of that soil and hence that bacteria still on it. But nowadays we don’t. And the only reason B12 is in meat at all is because the cow and its meat are contaminated with that bacteria. That’s all. Meat doesn’t actually produce or originate it at all.

January 10, 2012 at 6:20 pm
(2) Diet Watch says:

GOOD SOURCES OF VITAMIN B-12 – ALL VEGETARIAN & VEGAN:

1. Ovo & Lacto Vegetarian Foods (milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, etc)
2. Breakfast Cereals, Raisin Bran, Total, bran flakes, etc many cereals have it.
3. White Button Mushrooms (look up: Agaricus bisporus. Confirmed Vegan source of B12.)
4. Shiitake & Crimini Mushrooms (These are a 100% vegan source of genuine non-analog B12)
5. Purple Laver (it’s a sea weed, very popular in Japan and Korea, Confirmed source of B12 in plants)
6. Soy Milk (soy is not bad, it’s good. ‘soy is evil & dangerous’ articles found to be an ‘internet hoax’)
7. Red Star Brewers Yeast (available in healthfood stores. it contains vitamin B12)
8. Supplements (contain all b vitamins, as in “B-complex”)
9. B12 pills, in any supermarket or store shelves, like Naturemade, etc.
10. Sublingual vegan b12 (sub-lingual means “put under your tongue”)
11. B-12 Shots (From your Doctor)
12. Being ‘outdoors’, gardening, around soil and dirt, around B12 bacteria which is all over the place.

January 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm
(3) Diet Watch says:

Here’s what to keep in mind:

-If you ever see anyone attempting to post that B12 is ‘ONLY in meat’ or ‘ONLY available in animal products’ that is scientifically wrong. Don’t believe it. That person is either insufficiently educated on the topic and latest science, or they saw it on some outdated stale institutional site, or they are parroting false information they saw on some blog, or they are posting it intentionally even though they full well know it’s wrong because they are doing it for the meat lobby. It’s false. Still thousands of sites, too many to fix them all, contain and spread that false B12 myth. Even vegan sites have gotten duped by it.

-Vegan B12 is now confirmed. That being said, you can STILL take a B12 supplement IF you want! There’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong with taking a supplement if you so choose, but it is out of convenience, not necessity. In other words, if you simply dont want to eat shiitake, purple laver, white button mushrooms, brewers yeast, raisin bran, or soy milk that day. Maybe you don’t like the taste of it or something, maybe you do. That’s fine. Take the supplement. It’s not a problem. The only person it’s a problem for, is the person who is out there working for the meat lobby who is attempting to wedge your use of a supplements to erroneously insinuate that your diet, or vegetarian or vegan diets are ‘not natural’ because you can ‘only get b12 from meat, and vegetarians are all deficient’(which is false). These individuals are attempting to convince people to eat meat products which their benefactors are pushing, but have been linked to cancer, and worse. They attempt to thwart dieters, mothers with children, etc, saying certain diets aren’t ‘natural’ because B12 is ‘only in meat’–Well the science shows B12 is NOT only in meat, so these individuals are exposed as stating false information. In fact, it’s cattle that are given SUPPLEMENTS! Yes, that’s right. These same individuals have been buying B12 supplements from Cattle Feed Supply stores and have putting it into the cow’s feed. Because cows (and hence the meat) can be Vitamin B-12 deficient. It means THEY are also taking supplements while telling You that you shouldn’t. Their steak is doctored up with all manner of B12, A, D, iodine, etc supplements. So these individuals are the pot calling the kettle black. The difference to know, however, is that if YOU take a vegan B12 supplement, that’s the kind from a store, and pharmacuticalgrade meant for humans. A meat-eater has been ingesting B-12 supplements all this time too, but theirs may have come from a Livestock supply yard. In other words, their meat and steak is imbued with animal quality or PET-GRADE B12 supplements. Therefore the vegan is getting it fresher, and in human quality form. Not pet-grade. So by all means, you can aim to obtain your vegan or vegetarian B12 from foods, but also there’s nothing wrong if you’d like to add a little extra with some occasional supplements. Especially if there is a condition where you may need extra.

SUMMARY: GENUINE HUMAN FORM B-12 IS NOW CONFIRMED IN 100% VEGAN & PLANT SOURCES.

AND BY THE WAY CONTRARY TO THE “VEGETARIANS MAY BE DEFICIENT” POSTS, 40% OF MEAT-EATERS TESTED AS B12 DEFICIENT.

January 10, 2012 at 6:46 pm
(4) Diet Watch says:

-
SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF VEGAN SOURCE B-12:

“..Chromatography of both laver extracts shows that non-coenzyme forms (hydroxo and cyano forms) of vitamin B(12) predominate in both dried lavers..results indicate that the dried lavers (nori) are a most excellent source of vitamin B(12) among edible seaweeds, especially for strict vegetarians.”

http://www.mendeley.com/research/dried-green-purple-lavers-nori-contain-substantial-amounts-biologically-active-vitamin-b12-less-dietary-iodine-relative-other-edible-seaweeds/

Please copy & save these references, because surer than not, someone is going to falsely purport that vegans can’t get B-12 and use the ‘its only in meat’ line, so retain this in order to stop them from perpetuating that medically false meat B12 hoax.

This is scientific confirmation that Vegans can indeed obtain b12. In high quantities. It’s not analog form. Not pseudovitamin B12, and genuine human form, affirmed in a fully vegetarian and vegan source.

January 10, 2012 at 6:53 pm
(5) Diet Watch says:

AGAIN. MORE SCIENTIFIC VEGAN VITAMIN B12 PROOF:

For anyone attempting to say vegan source B12 doesn’t contribute to B-12 status, such as Norris, or other incorrect confounders.

QUOTE: “In conclusion, several plant-origin foods including seaweed, soybean-fermented foods, and kimchi, may contribute significantly to good vitamin B12 status..”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2895704/

January 10, 2012 at 6:57 pm
(6) Diet Watch says:

ONCE AGAIN MORE SCIENTIFIC PROOF OF 100% VEGAN B12:

To anyone attempting to falsely print that all plant source vitamin B12 is merely ‘pseudovitamin’ b12. Or watch for these hoaxers using the term ‘analog’ as in ‘analog form’. This is not inactive ‘analog’ form. Observe as follows:

“thin layer chromatography-bioautogram analysis indicated that all Korean laver products tested contain true vitamin B12, but not inactive corrinoid compounds.”

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19256490

January 10, 2012 at 7:06 pm
(7) Diet Watch says:

AND YET STILL MORE PROOF OF VEGETARIAN & VEGAN SOURCE VITAMIN B-12:

PROOF: SCIENTIFIC ARTICLE:
“Vitamin B12 the Active Corrinoid Produced in Cultivated White Button Mushrooms (Agaricus bisporus)”

PROOF QUOTE: “High concentrations of vitamin B12 were..detected in.. flush mushrooms including cups and flats.”-The Journal of Agriculture & Food Chemistry.

PROOF LINK: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/jf9010966

OR, PUT “Vitamin B12 the Active Corrinoid Produced in Cultivated White Button Mushrooms” in GOOGLE and view the scientific proof.

Again: Vitamin B-12 isn’t even originated by meat, or animal products anyway, Vitamin B-12 is created by Bacteria. That bacteria can be found anywhere, including on plants. Not just in meat. It simply means the meat animal had the bacteria contaminating it. What this means is that this B-12 producing (good) bacteria can also be present in and on non-animal, and plant-based foods. And that means vegan sources. The only thing any individual can do now is to go round arguing quantity, not presence. (For example ‘it’ll take you 7 cups to eat enough, etc. But that is also debunked, as someone could easily eat the skins off the peels–the highest concentrated part–and have to ingest merely half-a-cup, or less. And meat-eaters already do this, cutting part of something out and insisting that makes it a good source of a nutrient-for example, a liver is not eating a whole cow, they’ve cut pieces of it that are known to contain higher concentrations and then claim meat is a ‘rich source’ of it. So a tinier amount of mushroom outer peels will have even more in it. A rich source.) Vitamin B-12 is now proven fully available in rich quantities, not only on a vegetarian diet, but also on a pure vegan diet.

LABORATORY PROOF: “Concentrations of vitamin B12 [were] detected in [MUSHROOMS] outer peel than in cap, stalk, or flesh, suggesting that the vitamin B12 is probably bacteria-derived. “-Results of Research by the Centre for Plant and Food Science, College of Health and Sciences.

Also note you may not claim that it is ‘merely’ inactive pseudovitamin B-12. That would also be a false statement. Laboratory spectrography now confirms this is the fully active non-pseudovitamin human form, in high concentrations, in purely vegan sources.

THIS IS NOT THE ANALOG FORM!

QUOTE: “Mass spectrometry showed mass spectra identical to those of the standard vitamin B12…NOT of the pseudovitamin B12, an inactive corrinoid in humans.” -JOURNAL OF FOOD CHEMISTRY of the ACS.

Vitamin B12 is NOT ‘only present in meat’, it’s not ‘only in animal products’. B12 is now scientifically confirmed in vegetarian & vegan diets. It’s available in high concentrations, it’s in ordinary available foods, it’s authentic genuine form, it’s not analog form, it’s not pseudovitamin form, and it’s found to improve B12 status in humans. You can aim to obtain it via food, but there’s nothing wrong with taking a supplement too, or if you have a health situation or reduced absorbability where you need extra.

Please save this information so that you can refer to it in case anyone approaches with a false B12 only in meat hoax argument which is now known false.

(Note: the author of the MS article is fine. They did not heretofore state the hoax.)

January 11, 2012 at 2:23 pm
(8) tessa says:

I am not a vegan. i try to eat small amounts of animal meat/products. drink mainly soy milk because i like it. i eat a lot of Lavar ( seaweeds) because I like them. I have had diagnosed ms at least 10 years. am 56 and I am very B12 deficient. so take 1cc subcu every week. I was also really low on my D, and other B’s. i love to garden but cannot do much now. but was deficient when grew my own organics. so, I feel its the disease/genetics not the other mentioned diet stuff for my case anyway. I am also not on any dmods nor have I been for about 2 years. ms appears stable. my mind is definitely better with the regular B12 injections. its still an ms mind, but it is better.

January 11, 2012 at 6:33 pm
(9) Tamara says:

Had MS since 1997.I had a schillings test for Vit. B12 absorption several years ago. Found that I can absorb it through my gut. I take a 1000mcg daily orally.

January 11, 2012 at 6:41 pm
(10) Lori says:

I have been a quasi-veg for over 30 years (I don’t eat meat, but I eat & love fish). Eating lots of fresh veggies & fruit has always been a priority. I was diagnosed with MS 4.5 years ago, I’m 56, and it’s beating me up pretty well. But, I’ve never considered changing my eating habits – that’s the most positive thing I do for myself. I have increased the supplements I take with B vitamins being at the top of the list. It seems that all of the MS diets overlap to a degree – avoiding gluten, sugar, dairy , meat, beans & beefing up on greens & specific veggies. I feel best when I stay away from processed foods, sugars & eat plenty of veg’s. I do eat beans,but not alot.
I feel strongly that our overall health has everythinng to do with our diets. I wish my doc’s would give that more credibility.
I’ve never had my B vitamin level checked – that’s the next thing on my list.

January 12, 2012 at 1:10 pm
(11) Shiela says:

Here is a short article claiming that Multiple Sclerosis patients do not metabolize the Vit B they do get as much as healthy people.
and also claims there is a difference in their ability to retain water soluable Vit B-12 as opposed to Vit-B -tannate.

http://ebm.rsmjournals.com/content/103/1/180.abstract

January 13, 2012 at 8:20 pm
(12) Jerry Amos says:

Balanced Vegan is very complete with a couple exceptions, vitamin B12 which is in the soil but our food is washed. Also this far from the equator we need Vitamin D3, for MS patients like our son 5,000 IU as described in “Overcoming Multiple Sclerosis” by Prof. George Jelinek who also advocates cold water fish a couple times a week for the polyunsaturated fats which help cells to be flexible and less inflammatory. Prof. Jelinek, an MS patient himself, also makes note of Dr. Roy Swank’s success with a vegan type diet with patients surviving 50 years and counting. Our son, 43, came down with serious classic MS symptoms last February, verified lesions with MRI, has been on Glatiramer and vegan plus fish, B12, Omega3, D3 with gradual recovery. He’s back to work 5 days and can bicycle partway to work, and kayak inlets (he’s on the Australian coast) on weekends. Headaches require some fancy medication. Heat can be a problem too.

March 18, 2014 at 4:33 pm
(13) http://youtube.com/ says:

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