Vitamin B12: The Fly in the Vegan Ointment

Vegans love to claim that you can get all the nutrition you need from plants. But the truth is that there are some nutrients that are hard to process or impossible to get from a plant-only diet without supplementing. The most important one is B12.

From OpenAi :Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that is required for several important functions in the body. Some of the key reasons why we need vitamin B12 include:

  1. Production of red blood cells: Vitamin B12 is essential for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout the body. A lack of vitamin B12 can lead to a condition called anemia, which can cause fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.
  2. Nerve function: Vitamin B12 is necessary for the proper functioning of the nervous system. It helps to protect the protective covering (myelin) around nerve fibers, and is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are chemicals that transmit signals between nerve cells.
  3. DNA synthesis: Vitamin B12 is involved in the synthesis of DNA, the genetic material that controls the growth and division of cells.
  4. Mental health: Vitamin B12 has been linked to mental health and mood, and a deficiency in this nutrient has been associated with depression and cognitive decline in older adults.
  5. Heart health: Some studies have suggested that vitamin B12 may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease by lowering levels of homocysteine, an amino acid that can damage blood vessels.

It’s important to get enough vitamin B12 to maintain good health. Good sources of vitamin B12 include meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, and fortified foods such as some types of breakfast cereal and plant-based milks. Vegans and vegetarians may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement, as this nutrient is found almost exclusively in animal-derived foods.

The source of B12 in supplements can vary, but it is commonly derived from bacteria or yeast. Some vegetarian and vegan B12 supplements are made from bacteria grown on cultures, while others are made from fermented yeasts. Some B12 supplements are also made from animal sources, such as liver or kidney.”

Wait? Bacteria and yeast are alive, aren’t they? Yes. So how can vegans take B12 supplements?

According to OpenAi: Bacteria and yeast are microorganisms that are classified as living things. They are single-celled organisms that possess all the characteristics of life, including the ability to grow, reproduce, and respond to their environment.

Therefore, vegans are eating a living organism, although they argue that it is okay because it’s not ‘sentient’, when they take B12 supplements.

OpenAi says:

The discovery of Vitamin B12 dates back to the late 1920s and early 1930s. The vitamin was first isolated from liver extracts in 1948 by American biochemist Roger J. Williams, who named it “cobalamin.”

However, the first commercial production of Vitamin B12 as a dietary supplement did not occur until the late 1940s, following the discovery of its structure and the development of methods for synthesizing the vitamin in the laboratory.

Since then, Vitamin B12 supplements have become widely available and are commonly used to treat B12 deficiency, which can cause a variety of health problems, including fatigue, weakness, anemia, nerve damage, and cognitive impairment. The production of B12 supplements has also become more sophisticated, with the development of different forms of the vitamin, such as methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin, to meet the varying needs of different individuals.

So this means that until the 1940s, humans needed to eat meat to be healthy.

It is possible that this is an epigenetic change in our metabolism resulting from dietary changes over thousands of years. In other words, because people have relied on meat for so long, now our bodies need more B12. Or it could be that people naturally got enough bacteria and/or yeast in their less processed, less clean food before the industrial age. But for now, all we know is that meat is the one source of an essential nutrient, which knocks a big hole in the vegan argument that humans should not eat animals. The argument that bacteria are not sentient is simply convenient for them. (Note that I do not have any trouble eating meat.)

Thoughts on veganism as a dogma? What do you think of using OpenAi as a source for blogs? Have you tried it? https://chat.openai.com/chat

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20 comments

  1. 1. Veganism is a dogma.

    2. There are many types of veganism, and it is not limited to one type of diet.

    3. Veganism is a dogma because it is easier to argue against than it is to support.

    4. There is no scientific evidence that justifies veganism.

  2. Interesting article. It sounds like you have heard of reduced salt Vegemite => https://www.amazon.com/Vegemite-Salt-Reduced-235gm/dp/B07H48HMZT.

    There are various reasons for being a vegetarian. I have brother who eats vegan because his wife has Alzheimer’s, and he thinks it will help her. I doubt he worries much about the ethics of eating meat. I doubt it has ever occurred to him to worry about bacteria or yeast. Darned if there aren’t some articles out there on the Internet, however. People are weird.

    There are tons of aged and fermented products that use bacteria and yeast in their production. Even fresh fruit will have bacteria and yeast on them. We have bacteria in our intestines, and we could survive without that bacteria.

    Are bacteria and yeast animals or plants. Taxonomy is altogether arbitrary, but there is a point where we are guessing. Bacteria straddle the zone between animals and plants.

    Yeast is fungus. So, it isn’t exactly animal, and it is not a plant…

    If we have to eat something, eating bacteria and yeast is just about as harmless as it gets. The issue is whether what we eat is good for us, and that depend. Not a good idea to try to eat some kinds of bacteria and yeast..

  3. Last time I checked beef and chicken livers were not sentient, either. 🥴
    And like my brother says, “if God did not want us to eat animals, why’d He make them out of meat? 😂

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