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Vitamin B-12

I am really worried about not receiving enough vitamin b-12 in my diet. Just wondering what other raw foodists out there do to ensure they are getting this nutrient in their diets. Most of the research I have done on b-12 has said that plant sources are unreliable ways to get b-12, and that herbivores receive b-12 from the bacteria in dirt. Also, I believe that supplements should not be taken as a well balanced diet should incorporate all essential nutrients in it. I saw a video where David Wolf said he eats ants…and Gabriel Cousins has also indicated that the dirt on produce provides b-12. Just looking for some advice…


  • Hey, carrothead. Cool name. If you check out Conscious Eating, by Gabriel Cousens, he did say that most of the vegans he tested were actually on the low side for B-12, meaning they weren’t getting optimal B-12 from their current diet. How could you know, though? The best test for B-12 status is MMA, methymalonic acid. If you check out the current issue of Living Nutrition, the classified ads (I think this is David Klein’s thing) have a kit you can send in yourself for likr $139. Then you could know where you stand personally. If it is low, or if you are in doubt, I always am in support of a B-12 supplement. However, the blue-green algaes like AFA are a source of B-12. Some nutritional yeast is a good source of B-12 (check the particular brand). There are funny stories about Victoria Boutenko about how she never washes any any any of the produce that she eats because she wants to get her B-12 through dirt/soil, etc. I personally won’t be munching any raw cacao nib/goji berry/ant trail mix any time soon. :)

  • At the moment I’m taking a B Vitamin every other day to try to keep up with my B12 but I’d like to make some Kombucha because I’ve recently heard from many sources that they have found that to be a great way to get their B Vitamins.

  • Aloe vera gel is more natural then supplements and can be added to your juices and green smoothies. It contains enough b-12 to take your worries away. You should filet the leave yourself instead of buying aloe vera gel from the store.

  • ZoeZoe Raw Newbie

    Hi Carrothead Apparently the algaes are not a good source of B12. Gabriel Cousens says why here

    Then there’s the Garden Diet family – www.thegardendiet.com Storm has been vegan for 30 plus years, doesn’t supplement and he is not b12 deficient. They get tested regularily. Nor are his kids b12 deficient, they’re all raw vegan too. I don’t think scientists could explain that, according to science they should be!

    The scientists are continually updating the b12 info as they find out more about it, it seems that the info available on this subject is always changing.

    If you are worried then take a good quality vegan supplement. Most of them are way over the recommended daily dose so you only need a nibble off a pill every now and then. Also if you’re not vegan then why not try bee pollen? I believe it has B12 in it.

  • i keep nutritional yeast in my mostly raw diet. i eat in a product called rawmesan. nutritional yeast has some b12.

  • There is B-12 in kumbucha (synergy) fermented tea. Try the Guava Goddess, it’s the best!

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    i take a supplement and shots. i’m too paranoid about getting alzheimer’s. it is such a cruel disease.

  • i take a weekly b-12 pill that devolves under my tongue (for best absorption).

  • I,ve heard the source of B12 is the bacteria in our intestines.

  • edited March 2016

    i’ve studied this issue a lot on my way to becoming a holistic nutritionist, and the conclusion that i’ve arrived is that everyone should be taking a b-12 supplement, raw or not, veg or not. our food is so sterilized nowadays that we really cannot depend on any reliable source of b-12. almost all non-animal sources contain analogs, which are not only unusable by the human body but also may supplant usable b-12. kombucha, unwashed produce, seaweed, blue-green algae and many, MANY other foods have been suggested as reliable sources of b-12 to vegans and raw foodists and they have all proven to contain analogs. they may include some usable b-12 but they usually contain just as many analogs, if not more. i really agree with gabriel cousens on this issue. if you have to supplement b-12, it’s not necessarily because your diet is insufficient; it’s because our world has changed so dramatically and we humans have not yet adapted to those changes. and i feel that a b-12 deficiency is simply not worth risking; pernicious anemia is an extremely serious disease, and its effects can be irreversible. of very serious concern is that the symptoms of a b-12 deficiency are often masked by adequate folic acid intake, so you could be suffering from pernicious anemia and not even know it, especially if you eat a lot of foods with folic acid, like greens. also, due to storage, it can take many years for a deficiency to appear.

    as for storm, gabriel cousens does point out that not everybody displays a b-12 deficiency; it depends on so many factors. he says that about 80% of long-term raw foodists who do not supplement will have a b-12 deficiency, while the other 20% will not. my theory is that their intestinal uptake is superior, which is probably a genetic issue. that would account for storm and his family. but i, for one, am not going to assume that i’ll be in the 20%. i’m not going to put myself or my children at risk for a rigid ideology that says taking a supplement is “unnatural”. animals who eat nothing but raw food eat their feces to get b-12, and i’d consider that a supplement. :)

    one important piece of information about b-12 supplements, per zoe’s comment here:

    “Most of them are way over the recommended daily dose so you only need a nibble off a pill every now and then.”

    supplements contain many thousands of times over the RDA because only about 1% of a b-12 supplement is actually used by the body. my family takes a liquid sublingual b-12 supplement that contains 16,667% of the RDA. but given the amount that is actually usable, that means that a daily dose only gets us within the range of 150% of the daily value. so nibbling on a pill to get just a little bit isn’t as useful as taking the whole thing so your body can take a useful 1%.

    sublingual b-12 supplements are the best kind to use. i use a liquid so it’s easy for my kids to take. injections are even better; many people do them at home every 3-4 months, as b-12 is stored by the body. seek methylcobalamin over cyanocobalamin. and if you’re concerned about how “natural” it is or is not to take a supplement, ask yourself what your real goal is with a raw diet. if it’s good health, then just take the damn supplement. :) you won’t suffer for taking the supplement, and it may save you a LOT of grief and terrible health problems later (which is the point of living healthily!). as cousens says:

    This is the first time in history that we can be completely successful live food vegans. What I mean by being successful is completely healthy, including no B-12 deficiency and no elevated homocysteine levels. It is my medical opinion, as a vegan since 1973 and live fooder since 1983, and as a person committed to supporting all those who choose to become healthy live food vegans, that it would be wise to incorporate some B-12 supplementation in your diet. I believe it is more natural to be healthy than it is to be anything less than that.

    peace, chandelle 

  • Wow earthmoter213, that is a fantastic post, so much information and so helpful. This is just what I was looking for!

  • earthmother213 (or anyone)—where can I get b12 injections. Also interested in finding out what brand of liquid b12 supplement you’re using with you’re family.


  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    i get my shot at the naturopath. thanks, earthmother, for stating it so well. from what i have heard from vegan docs this is imperative for better health. it is one of the only ways that vegetarians/vegans were not healthier in studies. if you are hesitant about taking unnecessary supplements, you can get your levels tested first to see if you need them.

  • you can get b12 injections from most any conventional or alternative practitioner, or you can save money and just do them yourself. you can even buy the stuff on ebay. :) it’s very simple to do. it’s a good idea to have a practitioner do it for you the first time and then from there it should be easy to do yourself (if you decide to do so). since b12 is stored, most people get injections 3-4 times a year. we use a liquid sublingual because we have young children who can’t keep a pill under their tongues. any liquid or tablet sublingual will do if it has many thousands of times over the RDA. methylcobalamin seems to be more effective than cyanocobalamin.

  • earthmother213~ Is the B12 injection IM or Sub Q? If it is IM, is it injected into the upper leg muscle or where by the individual?

  • Thanks earth mother. My acupuncturist friend referred me to a naturopath & I’ll be seeing her next week. I’m not sure about giving myself shots, but perhaps I could learn. Thanks SO much for all the info! Anyone know what other effects I might feel from taking b12?

  • many people experience an enormous energy boost from b12 injections. they’re sometimes used in weight loss and chronic fatigue therapies.

    waterbaby, b12 shots are subcutaneous. most people use the same needles as diabetics.

  • bittbitt Raw Newbie

    I get an intermuscular shot in the upper leg, AKA my butt! not sure how the over the counter ones work. I have seen a patch online but not sure if it is legit.

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