There has been so much controversy about Vegans having a vitamin B12 deficiency that I thought I would go to the sources of information myself and determine what was true and what was not true. I secured an article about Vegans at the University of Texas Medical School library, at San Antonio, and when I read “Haematological Studies on Vegans,” the article most often quoted by so-called health “authorities” showing that Vegans are deficient in vitamin B12, I was flabergasted.
It does not say that Vegans are deficient in vitamin B12 at all. The tests did not show that these people were suffering from anemia. “The blood counts and films were normal in all the Vegans and no subject had a haemoglobin concentration below the lower limit of normality.”
Vegan Males Actually Had More Haemoglobin Than Conventional Men On An Omnivorous Diet
“Although within the normal range, male (but not female) Vegans had lower values for erythrocyte counts and higher values for mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin than their controls.” This simply means that the red blood cell count was normal in male and female Vegans, but lower in Vegan males than in the control group. It also means that the haemoglobin in Vegan males was higher than in the meat eating controls, showing that their red blood cells could carry more oxygen than the omnivorous controls. Also their mean corpuscular volume was higher. The quote follows:
“Although the blood films were normal, a number of statistically significant differences were noted between the Vegans and their omnivore controls: in the male but not the female Vegans the mean values for erythrocyte count and packed cell volume were lower (R<0.01 and R<0.05) and the mean values for mean corpuscular haemoglobin and mean corpuscular volume were higher (both P<0.01) regardless of whether they were taking vitamin B12 supplements or not: the mean values for serum vitamin B12 concentration was lower in the Vegans not taking vitamin B12 supplements (P<0.01) and in those using foods supplemented with the vitamin (P<0.0l) but not in those taking vitamin B12 tablets; the mean value for serum folate was much higher in the Vegans (P<0.01); the mean erythrocyte folate concentration tended to be higher (P<0.05) in the Vegans not taking vitamin B12 supplements.”
The Blood Count And Films Of The Vegan Subjects Were Essentially Normal
In their discussion of these facts the scientists state that “the blood counts and films of the Vegan subjects were essentially normal, in agreement with Hardinge and Stare (1954a) West and Ellis (1966) and Ellis and Montegriffo (1970).
The findings that male but not female Vegans tended to have lower values for erythrocyte counts and higher values for mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular haemoglobin are novel.” The researchers do not know what to think of this. They can’t understand why a vegetarian can have more hemoglobin than a flesh eater.
Female Vegans Were Not Weak: Their Physical Activity Was Considered Normal
”Cotes, Dabbs, Hall, McDonald, Miller, Mumford & Saunders (1970) found no difference between the physiological response to exercise of female Caucasian Vegans and omnivores; no similar studies of male Caucasion Vegans appear to have been made and would be of interest.”
None Of The Vegan Subjects Studied Had Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Actually the Vegans had normal erythrocyte folate concentration, which indicates no B12 deficiency. “The finding of lower serum vitamin B12 and higher serum folate values in Vegans is in agreement with previous reports (West & Ellis, 1966; Ellis & Montegriffo, 1970). Erythrocyte folate concentrations in Vegans do not appear to have been previously reported.
The level of serum folate is often increased in patients with untreated pernicious anemia, while the erythrocyte folate concentration is abnormally low (Chanarin, 1969) apparently because vitamin B12 is necessary for the uptake of folate into the erythrocyte (Nutrition Reviews, 1975) In this study none of the Vegan subjects had an abnormally low erythrocyte folate concentration; this would suggest: first, that none of the subjects was suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency and, second, that the high serum folate concentrations found in many of the Vegan subjects were due to high dietary intakes of folate. This might explain why megaloblastic anemia was not encountered in our Vegan subjects.”
No Vegan Subjects Had A Serum Vitamin B12 Concentration Indicative Of Deficiency (less than 80 ng/l WHO 1968)
Who says that the Vegans were lacking in vitamin B12? Even those Vegans who were not taking supplements or foods supplemented with vitamin B12 had what is considered normal serum levels of vitamin B12. All their blood cells were normally structured, not overly large or undersized. “No subject had a haemoglobin value below the lower limit of normality (13.0 ng/l for males, WHO 1968; 11.5 ng/l for females, Chanarin 1969).
No subject had a serum vitamin B12 concentration indicative of deficiency (less than 80 ng/l WHO 1968) or a serum folate level less than 2.5 ug/l. There was no evidence of macrocytosis or, microcytosis, no polysegmented neutrophils were seen and all the blood films were normochromic when examined.”
It is really pathetic and downright dishonest when newspaper reporters take half information and misinformation and spread actual lies to the public. These Vegans proved to be healthy in all ways despite not being strict Hygienists. It would be interesting to have a study of Vegan-Hygienists who live on all uncooked foods.
There appears to be some disagreement among the researchers. Rose (1976) claimed that megaloblastic anemia is a predictable consequence of the Vegan dietary habits adopted in Britain. But the findings failed to show it. “Vitamin B12 is a product of microbial synthesis and is not found in plant foods (Lester Smith, 1965) and therefore should be absent from Vegan diets.”
If it was absent from Vegan diets, then why did they not develop anemia? Why did Hardinge and Stare (1945a), West & Ellis (1966), and Ellis & Montegriffo (1970) fail to find “any clinical or haematological evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency in their studies of Caucasian Vegans, although the serum concentrations of some of their subjects indicated deficiency.” They were not sick. Perhaps absorption was not quite up to par in some of them.
However, they were not anemic. Perhaps what is considered normal vitamin B12 serum levels is too high. Vegetarians not smoking and not drinking coffee don’t require as much vitamin B12 as a conventional person who continually poisons himself or herself.
All The Vegans Were Healthy
“All the Vegan and omnivore subjects seemed healthy when studied. The Vegan subjects had been on the diet for an average of seven years (range: six months—30 years).
Six Healthy Subjects Were Breast-Fed By Vegan Mothers
The propaganda that every Vegan mother is lacking in vitamin B12 is sheer nonsense. Vegan mothers can nurse their babies as well as any omnivore and probably even better if they ate more raw foods and nuts. “Six subjects had been born of and breast-fed by Vegan mothers and weaned and reared on a Vegan diet. None of the Vegan subjects admitted eating meat, fish, eggs, milk products, or any other foods of animal origin.”
Some of the Vegans were taking food supplements containing vitamin B12 and some were taking vitamin B12 tablets but the important fact is that those not doing so came out just as well in the tests as those using supplements, “…ten subjects were taking neither tablets nor foods supplemented with the vitamin.
The mean serum vitamin B12 concentration was higher in those Vegans taking vitamin B12 tablets than those using foods supplemented with the vitamin (421+70 ng/l (mean ± SE) compared with 253 ± 19; P<0.05). Four of the ten subjects who were not taking vitamin B12 supplements had normal serum levels of the vitamin (greater than 180 ng/l): their vitamin B12 values were 200, 230, 220 and 235 ng/l, and they had been on the diet for 2, 6, 3 and 4 years respectively.”
If vitamin B12 is not in their diet then they are getting it from somewhere. It is probably in their diet and also being manufactured by their own microbial flora in their intestinal tracts. They are probably absorbing it very well.
Conclusion: The Present Study Finds No Lack Of Vitamin B12 In Vegans.
“Vitamin B12 is the vitamin most likely to be deficient in Vegan and occasionally vegetarian diets. The present study has provided no evidence of pathologically low values of vitamin B12 in the serum of Vegans. In twenty-four of the subjects this could be attributed to their taking vitamin supplements or foods supplemented with the vitamin. There were, however, ten subjects who did not take supplements and it was, therefore, surprising that these subjects did not show evidence of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Some Vegans may obtain the vitamin through the accidental ingestion of insects or from micro-organisms, that produce the vitamin in their food or as a result of poor personal hygiene. Alternatively, some Vegans may be able to absorb vitamin B12 which has been synthesized by their own, micro flora.” This is the usual way B12 is made. Recent evidence strongly points to the fact that primates absorb vitamin B12 manufactured by bacteria in their own intestines.
Researchers denigrate and insult people if people don’t respond the way they should to their current theories and hypotheses. To state that Vegans are dirty and that they don’t wash their vegetables well, and that their hygiene is poor is mudslinging. Vegans are among the thinking population.
They are every bit as clean as omnivorous people, if not cleaner, because they probably realize that cleanliness is a part of a healthful program and many of them are thinking of health as well as of kindness to animals and people. I am sure that Vegans are absorbing some vitamin B12 that is synthesized by their intestinal flora.
Diagnosis Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency And Disease Found In Vegans Is Questioned Even By Authorities
I do not doubt the above subheading one bit. The conventional meat-eating scientists are so anxious to find something wrong with vegetarians that they blind themselves. The study I read intimates that the former diagnoses of blood and neurological disorders among Vegans were not very convincing.
“A few cases of vitamin B12 deficiency, sometimes resulting in neurological symptoms, have been reported in Caucasian Vegans apparently due to dietary deficiency (Badenoch, 1952; Wokes et al. 1955; Smith, 1962; Hines, 1966; Verjaal & Timmermans-van den Bos, 1967; Winawer, Strieff & Zamcheck, 1967; Ledbetter & del Pozo, 1969; Misra & Fallofield, 1971.
The results provided by Badenoch (1952), Wokes et al. (1955) and Smith (1962) are incomplete and their diagnoses of sub-acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord due to vitamin B12 deficiency are not convincing (Pallis & Lewis, 1974). However, this and other studies (Hardinge & Stare, 1954a; West & Ellis, 1966; Ellis & Montegriffo, 1970; Armstrong, Davies, Nichol, Van Merwyk & Larword, 1954) failed to find symptoms attributable to a dietary deficiency of vitamin B12. This would suggest that dietary vitamin B12 deficiency is rare among Vegans. “
So you see, it was all a hoax. The second group of scientists did not confirm the findings of the first group of scientists. Flesh eating people, on a diet of refined carbohydrates suffer with the most cases of pernicious anemia. I am sure that if statistics were made of all vegetarians, one would find more cases are found in flesh eating individuals than in the vegetarians. One would probably also find that the vegetarians were healthier on the whole than flesh eaters.
Never Believe The Final Conclusions Of A Flesh Eating Scientist
Always read the fine print. Never believe the conclusions of flesh eating scientists. This is exactly how
and why ordinary news media all tell lies. Reporters take one sentence from a research paper and enlarge and elaborate on this and make a wild tale that would cause you to believe that all vegetarians, and especially Vegans, are deficient in vitamin B12. This simply has not been proved.
After saying that the Vegans were normal, the scientists who presented the present study have the gall to say: “However, as there is a possibility of developing symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency, Vegans should supplement their diets with the vitamin.”
It Was Actually Found That The Vegans Were Healthier Than The Omnivore Controls And Less Prone To Cancer
The researchers won’t actually come out and say it but they state that the Vegans would probably be less prone to ischaemic heart disease. The researchers do condescend to say that the Vegan diet will only probably promote normal blood formation, after showing that it definitely DOES in their study. They are so afraid to actually admit anything that it is shameful.
They prove that the diet is good but they can’t accept it. It is too foreign to their flesh eating minds, or they don’t want their backers to think they are swayed by their findings less the subsidies be withdrawn and they lose their jobs. Consequently they keep playing down their actual findings. The last paragraph of their conclusions follows.
“The health of Caucasian Vegans appears to differ little from that of omnivores (Hardinge & Stare, 1954a; Ellis & Montegriffo, 1970; Ellis, West & Saunders, 1976; Sanders, 1977). Pregnancy in Caucasian Vegans and the health of children reared on Vegan diets appear to be essentially normal (Thomas, Ellis & Diggory, 1977; Mumford & Ellis, unpublished observations; Sanders, 1977).
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Caucasian Vegans tend to have lower concentrations of serum cholesterol and triglicerides and less body fat than omnivores (Hardinge & Stare, 1954b; Sanders, 1977) which suggest that they may be less prone to ischaemic heart disease than omnivores, and according to Aries, Crowther, Drasar, Hill & Ellis, (1971), Caucasian Vegans are probably less susceptible to cancer of the colon than omnivores.
The Vegan diet appears to be adequate provided it comprises a mixture of unrefined cereals, pulses, nuts, fruits and vegetables and is supplemented with vitamin B12 and D; such a diet will generally promote normal blood formation.”
I can’t believe it. After proving that the diets of Vegans not taking vitamin B12 supplements were normal, they still advise that Vegans take supplements. I guess they can’t believe their own facts and figures. What a pity! They might learn something if they could open their minds.