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B12 in the raw

koolieaidedkoolieaided Raw Newbie

I heard that b-12 is in miso soup and natto, both are techniqually not raw, but because they are fermented they have the enmzyes needed which is the reason most eat raw. If that is the case, I would rather eat miso and b-12 then having to take those nasty b-12 vitamins….yuck. Have any of you heard about this?


  • I have read that some believe miso and seaweed have B12, but I have read a lot about B12 and the consensus is that there is no reliable source of B12 for vegans. It is believed that the great apes get their B12 from insects (either eaten on purpose or on the leaves of plants) or unwashed roots, which contain B12-producing bacteria. Here’s the low-down on B12: only bacteria make it. Ruminants like cows have bacteria in their rumens that make B12. We have bacteria in our colon that make B12, but it is too far down in our digestive tract for us to absorb. The bottom line: every vegan needs to take a B12 supplement. This is very important, because B12 is vital to the function of our nervous system, as well as other things like the production of folate. For more info, try reading the wikipedia entry on B12, it is excellent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B12

    So why do you think B12 vitamins are nasty? I use a spray that I got from veganessentials.com. It tastes fine, and it’s pretty cheap too.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    Klamath Lake Wild Blue Green Algae. It’s expensive, but all the benefits are totally worth it.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    because this question comes up a lot i have started compiling a list of articles on my blog

    every time someone posts some sort of evidence on this question, i put it in my list.

    there are 4 articles under “the b-12 question” on the left that present different views on it. this is NOT a black and white issue. many long term raw foodists do NOT take supplements.

  • germin8germin8 Raw Master

    Is it possible that the method used to measure B-12 could not measure the microscopic amounts that really are in food? Afterall, we only need a minute amount. They probably developed equipment that can measure it now… well, so I’ve been told.

    Good news is… comfrey and cabbage have B-12. Well, according to Living Cuisine book.

  • Kombucha tea (did I spell it right?) has about 20% B-12 in it. I get Synergy brand; Guava Goddess. Hope this helps.

  • RawKidChefRawKidChef Raw Newbie

    I’m still going to recommend Wild Blue Green Algae.

  • WinonaWinona Raw Newbie

    I have to stress that pianissima is correct in saying that this is not black and white – there are many views on B12. some raw foodists say that we don’t need to take B12 supplements – and many long term living foodists don’t take supplements.

    I personally agree with Storm from thegardendiet blog

  • anngoingrawanngoingraw Raw Newbie

    Well, I really have not the answer to this question. But as far as I know B12 can be found in Rejuvelac (since it is cultured). You can drink it, or use it in recipes.

  • Yeah, it’s true that frugivorous apes do consume insects which would provide them with B-12. I saw a David Wolfe video where he said he eats ants sometimes to get it. I’ve heard a lot of conflicting views on this matter but if it worries you, and you’re not keen on eating insects, just take a supplement.

  • If you want to take a supplement for B12, I would aagree with RawKidChef and take Klamath Lake Wild Blue Green Algae, or possibly now and then use nutritional yeast which gives a cheesy taste to food. The need for B12 is so minute you wouldn’t take it on a daily basis.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie
    DO YOUR RESEARCH!!! So many points about B12 are being debated and studied including…
    • Do we need it from outside sources if we are living clean enough? (our bodies do produce B12 after all)
    • Is it the lack of B12 in our diet, or the lack of ‘Intrinsic Factor’ in our guts that is the problem?
    • Can we get B12 from plant sources? (some say there is no B12 in plants, some say it’s the wrong kind of B12)
    • Does adding B12 to our bodies even work? (some say algae and spirulina actually reduce our bodies B12 and B12 fortified foods don’t have the right type for us to use)
    • and more…

    If you are worried about it, that is probably worse for you than anything at this point. If you are, take a nibble off a B12 tablet once or twice a year so you can sleep better. They say that’s all you need. Also you can start a garden and poo on your soil. This how it’s meant to be anyway.

    Where do Elephants, Horses, Cows, Gorillas get their B12?

    Lovebows, Chris

  • sweetpeasweetpea Raw Newbie

    I take a supplement for peace of mind and my partner doesn’t weed out the creepy crawlies that end up in his smoothie!


  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    chris—where i can read about the lack of “intrinsic factor”? or could you explain?

  • Shazzie is coming out with a new book this summer about children eating raw. She strongly recommends a B12 supplement for growing children, plus a couple of other things.

    Here are some links that might help explain the “intrinsic factor”...

    Preview book and start to read somewhere around page 282 and 283…


    Gabriel Cousens speaks about B-12


    Dr. Jonathan Wright mentions B-12


  • Chris -

    I too… would appreciate reading more information on this subject from you. Your opinions and thoughts are always so well informed.

    I recently read an article on animals and B12 but cannot remember where. I thought I saved it on my computer, but cannot find it. It was a very intriguing article. I hope I can find it again.

  • Actually, if we only want to eat organic raw vegan, we wouldn’t eat any vitamins, minerals and/or supplements because generally they are cooked and manufactured to DEATH! Can you imagine what is done to food to get it down to a tiny pill? We eat raw to give our bodies what it needs that can’t be obtained with cooked. Pills don’t grow in a garden.

  • itouristitourist Raw Newbie

    I don’t take supplements.

    I remember seeing one of those Discovery Channel Mystery Diagnosis shows where one lady was getting dizzy and sick for a couple of years. Nobody could diagnose her. Then I believe she became incapacitated. It turned out she had a B12 deficiency. Nobody would have thought about the deficiency because she was a meat eater. Well, something in her body caused the B12 problem, not lack of B12 in her environment.

  • pianissimapianissima Raw Newbie

    —>sunny7.1: “Can you imagine what is done to food to get it down to a tiny pill?”


    simplyraw—thanks for the literature. =)

  • Where I work, they sell unprocessed Nori (it looks like the stuff you’d see on one of those colon cleanse sites :/). According to the nutrition panel, 1/3c provides 61% B-12. Does anyone know anything about that? I’m not sure whether or not to believe it.

  • chriscarltonchriscarlton Raw Newbie

    Intrinsic Factor is said to be needed for us to absorb orally acquired B12 in our lower guts. Some say it just improves absorption, some say we can also take on o.a. B12 another way, but they aren’t that clear what that way is.

    I do normally like to wade through all the information I can and then decide what I believe, but on this one I have to say… I haven’t got a clue. There is so many different sides to this I finally gave up.

    I decided to get tested (MMA test of the urine) Blood tests are useless we now know. They sent me a kit. (sounded good over the phone) When the kit arrived I found that it involved me fasting and then eating a cup of what looked like laundry powder and then collecting my urine.

    I never could bring myself to eat the powder so didn’t ever get tested. I went with Zoe’s idea and just had a nibble off of a B12 pill from NutriSun??? once a week for about a month. If you take it all at once you just pass most of it, and the pills were like 8000 times (not kidding) the dietary requirement.

    I know that 100% Raw Vegans who are self fertilizing their own food do NOT get deficient. This has been proven more than once and is evidenced by Storm, Jinjee and their 5 children. I also know that we store B12 for 5 years. I did my nibble thing last year and I hope to be growing all my own food very soon, so hopefully that will do it for me.

    I hope this helps! Lovebows, Chris

  • Chris – Thanks!

    It is always nice to hear thoughts from someone else, that are similar to your own. Makes you feel like you are on the right path. But it is like you said, Research and do what Resonates right for you. Thanks for Sharing!

  • koolieaidedkoolieaided Raw Newbie

    Have you guys heard of the vitaman code. There is a b-12 supplement that is completely raw.

    I think Jordan Rubin created it and Paul Nisson was supporting it.


  • Something to remember: Vitamin b-12 deficiency takes years (even a decade or more) to show symptoms some times. That would make we take "long time raw foodists" statistics with a grain of salt (sea salt maybe). How long is their long time?

    People definately have the right to trust that their bodies will make B-12 where they can absorb it and not take a supplement. But, personally, I wouldn't take the chance and would take a supplement. Or at least get the test done every so many years.

    My Mom has B-12 problems and she eats meat and dairy (not ONLY a vegan issue).

    If it were a child in question- give them the supplement. If I have the urge to experiement with B-12 theories I wouldn't do it on my child.

  • I take a shot of B12 every month and I hate it. They say it gives you energy but it puts me asleep, I really don't get anything from it. B12 is water soluable, if we take to much we pee it out. When you take it look at your urine if it's bright yellow you are taking to much.

    When I worked at the doctors office and people would come in for drug testing, we would check for b12 because they would take it after detoxing from drugs to make their urine yellow. Nice trick but it didn't work because we knew.

    This month i'm not taking my shot just to see what happens, i'm feeling so good on this life style (hate calling it a diet because it something i'm doing to live) that i don't want to screw it up. i love all the fruit and veggies that i eat, don't eat to much fat because it slows me down.

    I agree with Chris about Storm and others I read about. Storm has been on raw for a long time and he looks great. Doesn't look like he's in his 60's. I wish I could look like that.

    take care

    God bless

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