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analog B12 (in mushrooms for instance)... not healthy some say  RSS feed

 
Keira Oakley
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As a former vegan there was a lot of talk about b12, because, we desperately tried to find ways to get some. At some point everyone was on spirulina, seaweed, edible mushrooms etc ... because they had "lot's of B12". Then suddenly the news came saying that actually it was ANALOG B12 they contained, and they couldn't give the same nutrition as regular B12, and were actually even bad for you (to a certain degree), full of anti-nutrients for instance.
I used to love mushrooms, but that was when I was a dairy eater. Nowadays, I have no interest in mushrooms, I even avoid them... I once was in a sort of camping, we didn't have enough food, so we ate a lot of edible mushrooms that were plentiful in the area. I remember that I became sick eating them on an empty stomach. My body was clearly telling me that it didn't want that stuff, but my mind thought, this is really healthy stuff... I pushed on, got really sick, then I got the message: I understood then that this is not very nutritious food (for me anyway). (btw these were "edible" mushrooms)
 
John Saltveit
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all mushrooms should be cooked before being eaten. There are chemicals in them that need to be neutralized, and there are kinds of chitin that can't be digested unless cooked.

B12 comes from microbes in soil. We eat animals that are not as careful about consuming soil as most humans are, and therefore those animals have b12. Vegans who are not so careful about sanitizing their vegetables of the soil will also get B12 from soil microbes. A word of caution: this is yet another reason to be careful about toxins in the soil, such as pesticides, household chemicals, and synthetic fertilizers.
John S
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Keira Oakley
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There are a lot of foods that have anti-nutrients, I personally try to avoid these and I want to become more "efficient" food wise, meaning that I want to avoid food that are not packed with energy or other nutritious food. Mushrooms are not that nourishing I think. Would I have eaten berries or fruits or a grub, on an empty stomach, I would have got an instant boost.
Many mushrooms are sold in Asia for instance as a "supplement", "superfood" "medicine"... Other things like the outer skin of mangosteen, (a small tropical fruit from south east asia) are being sold and marketed as "superfood" lol! Go to asia, and this is a waste product, nobody would dream of eating that stuff, but some scientist out there has isolated some special chemical that can be marketed to westerners as "superfood". A bit similar situation with "lucuma" a fruit i south america that is fed to animals, and sold as "superfood"... Superfood seem to be (in general), something that is not that palatable, but if you look hard enough, you find isolate some molecules that can be marketed as "superfood".
Why bother with supplement and super foods, when true nutrition should be supplied by the real food you eat? For instance, eating cooked mushrooms by themselves without fat, spices, herbs and other ingredients etc, is quite boring in my opinion... But, that's just my personal view...
 
Keira Oakley
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Btw, the gut is said to produces some B12... And... one way mountain gorillas (who eat mostly leaves) try to get some, is by eating (recycling)... their poo...
B12 is one of the vitamins that we still know very little about. But it's not only in soil. Many vegans know that eating unwashed organic veg/greens/fruits can give you some B12, as the surface is said to host some of the beneficial bacteria...
 
Landon Sunrich
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Interesting, though I am not totally sure I understand completely the mechanism of various cobalimines even after reading this summary of B12 analogs at veganhealth.org. Are you saying that the b12s found in mushrooms are not active forms or are difficult to convert into an active form? I'd be interested in reading a little more on that. Of course, personal experience with edible mushrooms making you sick could definatly lead to believing that that those mushrooms where not healthy for you. Obviously they aren't! Some mushrooms, oddly enough, are digestible by some people and not by others. Personally, I generally like the taste and texture of mushrooms and think some of them are great dry sauteed more or less by their lonesome. There are some mushrooms, such as shaggy mane, which I feel an immediate flush of invigorating vitality when consuming. I find this especially true of mushroom broths and least true of dried mushrooms, though I've yet to figure out for certainty why this has been my experience. As far as B12 goes, what about nutritional yeast? Again, I'm not entirely comfortable with the 'analog' concept here, but when they list B12 on a nutrition on a label its of a form that is available to the body no? I mean otherwise its not a nutrient right? It's not cheap and it sometimes takes some looking for, but at least in my area it's cheaper and more readily available than gorilla poop.
 
Keira Oakley
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About analogues from Mercola's site:

"Why Vegans are Often Deficient in Vitamin B12

The few plant foods that are sources of B12 are actually B12 analogs. An analog is a substance that blocks the uptake of true B12, so your body's need for the nutrient actually increases."


Yeast is also said to be the wrong type. Trust me, as a long term vegan (around 8-9 yrs, but with "mistakes" once in a while, meaning that very occasionally I would eat some animal product, and I am sure that it is because that I made these "mistakes" that I could go on for such a long time lol), and not wanting to take any artificial pills etc... I became quite intent on finding a solution concerning the B12 question. I became really interested in fermentation, and even had beer !!! which I normally never drink (because it was said to be a source of yeast-b12), I mean it didn't become an obsession, but it took a lot of my time and thoughts... I have written about this problem in some other places in this site: true veganism is something artificial. In nature, even what scientists call "only fruit eating" animals such as bats or monkeys, consume in fact considerable amounts of insects, larvae, insects eggs... If you want pure veganinm, you need to grow stuff in a lab or something... I prefer what nature has to give us
 
Keira Oakley
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Btw, it's weird to see all these vegan taking all these supplements to fix their B 12 problem. It's a HUGE industry, this b 12 market: pills, patches you put on the skin... and even shooting it up lol... Yep, i know of quite a few famous fruitarians regularly shooting up B12 in their bloodstream... it can't be that healthy to be a vegan...: SOMETHING IS OBVIOUSLY MISSING.
 
Cilian St. Pierre
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as long as you're cooking the mushrooms, you should be okay. also, B12 has no know upper tolerable limit, which makes it very safe. also no known side effects.
 
Keira Oakley
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My probleme is not that I am afraid of too much b12, lol!, it's how to find natural, efficient B12 (not the analog type blocking up the real one!)... I have never wanted to take artificial supplements, I want real food .
 
Peter Ellis
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People say a great many things. People trying to sell something really say a great many things. Curiously, a Google search for b12 analogues produces much more in the realm of people trying to sell something results than it does in the realm of scientific studies addressing the subject. The research articles I came across go back to the 1950s and up to a paper presented in 2013. About a half dozen results.

Among those papers was one demonstrating that a b12 analogue has a positive effect preventing a reaction; another with some discussion of where the analogues are found in humans and in what sorts of concentrations compared to B12, how the liver processes the analogues and expels them, and indicating the need for more research to determine what effect the analogues have; and another that looked at how mammalian gut bacteria process B12 and its analogues.

A remarkably small quantity of not very conclusive research.

And a fairly high volume of people addressing the B12 deficiency problem in vegan, live and macrobiotic diets, all with a supplement to sell.

Contrasting this, I look to Paul Stymets body of research regarding the beneficial aspects of mushrooms. Granted, Paul has some products for sale. He also has been involved in quite a bit of rigorous research regarding mushrooms and their beneficial compounds.

Analogues of B12 may themselves provide beneficial effects, may be inert in our systems and may also have some negative results. Research on the subject seems to be a mixed bag. None of the research suggested that the analogues displace B12 or that they occupy so many receptors there is not room enough. The one study addressing occurrence of both in the same volume of blood indicated acceptable levels of B12 coexisting with the presence of analogue B12.

Experience of gastric distress from an incident of consuming an unidentified "edible mushroom" does not really support an argument that mushrooms are unhealthy. Beans cause gas for many people. Kidney beans should not be eaten uncooked. It is advisable to cook mushrooms before eating. It is also the case that individuals have different tolerances and different mushroom species have very different compositions.

Other than in the vegan targeted advertising, I did not find anything suggesting that B12 analogues represented any barrier to proper levels of B 12.
Humans are omnivores. Omitting portions of the diet we are evolved to eat will probably result in health problems. Best solution, keep eating the varied diet were built to eat.
 
John Saltveit
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Excellent discussion of the issue involved, Peter.

Sometimes it's really hard for people to deal with the fact that we don't really know some things. Sometimes we have to guess what is happening and what is the best decision for us to make today, because we are eating and living every day, whether the science is clear or not.
John S
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