Article #16: The Vitamin B12 Hoax by V.V. Vetrano, B.S., D.C.
The medical profession is screaming "wolf" and we are foolishly falling for it. Physicians are constantly bombarding the country with articles telling vegetarians that they must eat animal products such as meat, fish, eggs, or milk and cheese in order to make a sufficient amount of vitamin B12. They are grouping all vegetarians together and not discriminating at all. Just because there may be some sick vegetarians who cannot absorb vitamin B12 (and this is questioned by eminent scientists), it does not follow that all vegetarians cannot absorb this vitamin. Most people who have turned to vegetarianism were sick to begin with and this sickness is the reason they changed their diets. Most of them willingly state they have been healthier since changing than ever before in their lives. One or two vegetarians may seem to be a little low in Vitamin B12 but this does not mean that all strict vegetarians are, or ever will be.
I'm surprised that Hygienists are falling for the propaganda that is purposely put out to scare people away from becoming vegetarians. It is a scientific fact that we are frugivores and the frugivorous diet has been well established scientifically. We know the Hygienic diet of fruits, nuts, and vegetables is the diet that we are supposed to live on. We will be well-nourished and more healthy if we eat only those foods to which we are constitutionally adapted.
There are so few people who live strict Hygienic lives that I can't say that anyone has superior health at the present time and in the present polluted environment. Simply because in our present polluted environment, where people are forced to overwork, very few people are living Hygienically does not mean that people cannot live Hygienically, and the fact that one or two Vegans (not Hygienic-Vegans) may be low in vitamin B12 does not mean that a strict Hygienist, living correctly in all other aspects, will lack vitamin B12.
Here is another thought: Nature puts very little vitamin B12 in foods meant for people. This should tell us something. If she put very little of this vitamin in food, it must mean that either we don't need very much, or that we must rely on bacteria to form it for us. Also, who can say how much of this vitamin is necessary? According to medical sources only one microgram a day is adequate to "cure" pernicious anemia, so the minimum requirement has been set at this level. We may not need even this much. Just because some scientists took a group of conventional people on an omnivorous diet and determined the amount of vitamin B12 in their systems, averaged that, and came up with a figure, one cannot conclude that this is the amount of B12 necessary for normal healthy Hygienists, vegetarians, and Vegans. How many times has Dr. Shelton pointed out to us that taking the averages of anything from a group of sick people means nothing? Why should an average of B12 in a lot of people eating haphazardly and gorging daily on gore, guts and garbage made of animal bodies and their secretions, scare us to death? Have we no faith in the living organism? Have we no faith in the natural scheme of things? Are we forever going to let ourselves be blown hither and thither like a feather in the wind by every two bit scientist that comes along? Have we no faith in the principles of Hygiene? We should be standing firm like a mighty oak with our roots deeply planted into the solid foundation of Hygiene that Dr. Shelton structured so well for us. Instead, we are a group of wishy-washy people, frightened to death about one case of a vegetarian lacking vitamin B12. The papers capitalized on this one case to scare people into the meat markets and vitamin shops.
I've fasted numerous cases of people with pernicious anemia who have recovered their health by turning to Hygiene. I've never seen a Hygienist who had pernicious anemia. The flesh eaters supposedly secure plenty of vitamin B12. Why do they develop pernicious anemia? They are overloaded with vitamin B12. Why couldn't they recover under medical care? They had had vitamin B12 shots, liver extract, and vitamin pills. Why did it not cure them? I'll tell you why. Simply because life and health are more than one vitamin. Life is more than two vitamins. Life and health depend on a myriad of reactions and inter-reactions of materials and influences, not just one. Supplying just one element of the physiological needs of the body won't produce superior health. It may mask symptoms sufficiently for a while to fool the physicians with the scientific minds, who believe in specific cures for specific diseases, but it never fools Nature.
We are in a world that is rapidly deteriorating. We are turning out children who are sickly and who have very little vitality. Because of the environmental pollution, they are sometimes lacking in digestive enzymes as well as one or more enzymes or hormones that are absolutely essential for health and sometimes life. You can't blame Hygiene for this deterioration. The fault lies not in Hygiene, whose principles are eternally true, but in our wrong way of living and our polluted environment. How quick we are to point the finger at Hygiene and say; "It's lacking. It must be changed. We must go forward. Hygiene must not be stifled." I do not call sticking to basic principles being stifled. If someone feels he or she is dusting antiques when upholding the principles of Natural Hygiene then he or she doesn't understand Hygiene, or he or she is looking for ways to compromise.
Instead of looking for the reasons why Hygiene may not appear to be valid, people immediately condemn Hygiene and revert back to their dirty, disease-producing omnivorous diet.
Instead of trying to prove the validity of the science of Hygiene, modern Hygienists seem to be busily engaged in trying to disprove it. With so little faith, how can we expect to grow?
Just because pollution in our environment from cars, nuclear plants, power plants, microwave stations, etc. causes some people to be born with deficiencies so they are unable to digest, absorb or utilize vitamin B12, one cannot infer that every vegetarian has this defect. Therefore, it is not true that every vegetarian needs to eat some dairy products in order to have sufficient B12.
Some Hygienists may complain that they don't have the discipline to live Hygienically in an unHygienic environment. If they develop anemia, one cannot say that Hygiene is at fault; if Hygienic principles are violated, the individual must suffer. In addition we must not overlook the fact that some people say they are living Hygienically when they are not. We must delve deeply into their life history to see whether or not they are truly carrying out a Hygienic life. Nine times out of ten they are not.
Why do people with pernicious anemia recover their health when coming to the Health School? Simply because the cause of the anemia is removed and the conditions of health are supplied and the body heals itself. Why haven't those supposed Vegans who developed vitamin B12 deficiency come for real Hygienic care instead of listening to researchers who are subsidized by the meat packing industry? Why do they think they have to take shots of vitamin B12 and resort to eating dessicated liver? Why do those who guide them assume they cannot, recover? Have they not thought of living completely Hygienically? Why do they not fast to see what the body can do before they fall prey to the vendors of medications and drugs? One reason is because they have been frightened to death and led astray by the vendors of palliatives.
I fasted one woman who had pernicious anemia and who was taking vitamin B12 and iron shots once a month. She was very sick before coming to the Health School but she recovered, not only from that trouble but from several other problems, at the same time. Why? Because disease is a unity and people don't have just one disease. When a person is toxic the whole organism begins to deteriorate, and piecemeal treatment to hide symptoms is not satisfactory. Nothing short of total Hygienic care will suffice.
Let us not forget that Dr. William Howard Hay recorded 101 cases of pernicious anemia and only eight of those cases failed to recover—and these people were dying when they arrived for his care. Although these cases were recorded fifty to seventy-five years ago, we cannot ignore them. This date points out to me that there are changing conditions in our environment. Instead of condemning and questioning the science of Hygiene, as so many people are doing today, we should be seeking the true cause of the increase in cases of pernicious anemia, if there be such an increase.
I've been warning people since 1953 that our environment is lethal and if we don't do something we won't have a race left. Cleaning up our environment is almost more important, at this stage of the game, than Hygiene. The world is analogous to the body when given a dose of medicine (poison). An emergency situation has arisen and all bodily processes must be stopped for the more immediate emergency of getting the poison out of the system. Likewise, our Earth is rapidly becoming so poisoned that emergency measures must be taken before we are all killed. The race is deteriorating so fast that it is frightening. We've got to spread Hygiene on every front before much more deterioration takes place or it may be irreversible.
It is well known that the past few generations have abused their stomachs terribly. Each generation has been sicker than the last. When people become sick they begin the Hygienic diet without first fasting or permitting the body to heal itself. Consequently if they develop a deficiency because of impaired digestion the deficiency is attributed to the vegetarian diet. Actually the deficiency is due to the abuse given the body before becoming a Hygienist. We know that sick people who have been on vitamin B12 injections for years, without much benefit, can take a fast and get well. This recovery would indicate that they still had the power to secrete the intrinsic factor. It also indicates that possibly these people were suffering with a simple gastritis and that after fasting, their inflammatory condition healed, leaving them better able to secrete the necessary enzymes for good digestion, absorption and utilization. It is a fact the anemic get well while fasting and stay well if they continue to live properly. Why they get well is due to a number of factors. The blood picture improves while fasting, though no extraneous vitamin B12 is available. Let those screaming "deficiency" explain that.
The elimination of the toxic factor while fasting is extremely important for recovery of health. Removing toxemia, which is a great inhibiting influence on both digestion and the blood-forming organs is the prime factor in recovery. Toxemia causes lowered functioning power, not only of the secreting glands of the stomach but of every organ in the body, including the blood-forming organs. Lowered functioning power of the entire gastrointestinal system hinders digestion, and causes much fermentation and putrefaction. This in turn interferes with digestion and absorption of nutriments necessary for the production of blood, and also causes the absorption of toxic products of indigestion, producing more toxemia which in turn causes even less functioning and blood-forming power. Good digestion is necessary to remove the protein with which it is combined away from vitamin B12 so it can be combined with intrinsic factor for normal absorption.
Vitamin B12 is necessary in miniscule amounts. It is needed in such small amounts it is spoken of in micrograms, not even in milligrams. Regardless of what authorities say, this much we can secure through the Hygienic diet of fruits, nuts and vegetables. When people like Adele Davis, in Let's Get Well, say that strict vegetarians who eat no animal foods should take 50 micrograms of vitamin B12 each week "while their stomach secretions are still normal," they are unduly scaring some vegetarians.
Experiments reported in Gastroenterology in 1962 lead to the belief that laboratory rats on a diet deficient in iron soon "lost their ability to absorb vitamin B12." This points out the totality of diet. Deficiencies seldom come single. There are many people with gastrointestinal problems who simply don't absorb any of their food properly. These may be lacking in vitamin B12. Again, we see that it is not the System that is wrong, but the person. Correction must be aimed at the cause of the problem, not at the modifying Hygiene. If we modified Hygiene every-time someone got sick, there would soon be no Hygiene left and we would all be back in the treating business. We don't change the Hygienic system or tell everyone who is eating Hygienically to take vitamin B12 just because there is someone who is sick and can't absorb vitamin B12 temporarily. Just because there are a few individuals, not even Hygienists, who can't absorb vitamin B12 it does not follow that everyone has to resort to taking vitamin B12 tablets or to eating yeast, or animal foods. Just because some vegetarians develop gastroenteritis from wrong ways of living, does not mean that they all do. We don't change the entire Hygienic system and diet any other time just because some people are temporarily unable to digest certain foods. We permit them to recover their health and then they are able to take all the foods that are Hygienic. In short, we aim at restoring the sick person to health so he or she can function properly in the future.
Most sources state that vegetable products show no "measurable activity" when speaking of vitamin B12 or cobalamin. "No measurable activity" does not mean that there is no vitamin B12 at all in vegetables. Best and Taylor state that: "The extrinsic factor (vitamin B12) is present in liver, beef, rice polishings, yeast and other substances rich in the vitamin B complex." They continue that: "It is also found in the intestinal contents of normal persons, as well as in the feces of patients with pernicious anemia. There is, therefore, no reason to believe that a dietary deficiency of this factor is the cause of disease." Other authorities say the same. Many scientists condemn vegetable foods as lacking in vitamin B12, but they never state that there is absolutely no vitamin B12 in vegetable foods. Indeed, they wish us to believe that it is totally lacking and this is simply not true. The Heinz Handbook of Nutrition (page 111) gives the following inadequate table but even if we ate the small amount of 100 grams of green beans, beets, carrots, and peas, even leaving out the cereal products, we would have half of our so-called minimum daily requirement of vitamin B12, providing our digestion and absorption are normal.
Vitamin B12 In Foods
Micrograms per 100-gr edible Portion
The Heinz Handbook of Nutrtion states that, "A dosage corresponding to one microgram of the crystalline vitamin per day is sufficient for maintenance of a patient with pernicious anemia. This indicates the absorption of one microgram per day meets the normal requirement for adults."
The Nutrition Almanac states that, "In nature, we find the B-complex vitamins in yeast, green vegetables, etc., but nowhere do we find a single B vitamin isolated from the rest. Natural forms of the B vitamins are preferable to the synthetic forms since the natural forms have all of the B factors, even those not yet known, plus valuable enzymes." This is just another indication that people are mistaken when they state that vegetables do not have vitamin B12 in them. Simply because it exists in such miniscule amounts that it may escape detection by present day methods, does not mean it is absent.
Best and Taylor say that all the B vitamins are grouped together because they are found together in Nature. They couldn't be separated one from the other for a long time, so they were thought to be one vitamin. He intimates that where other B vitamins are found there also will be cobalamin. "Twelve substances are grouped together because of their close association in tissues and because for a long time their separation proved most difficult: thiamine, riboflavin, nicotinic acid, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, biotin, para-aminobenzoic acid, folk acid, folinic acid, cyanocobalamin, choline, and inositol. All have been isolated in pure form, and most of them have been synthesized in the laboratory."
Another indication that vitamin B12 is in fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables containing the other B vitamins is in Rodale's book entitled The Complete Book of Vitamins (page 236). "As you know, the B complex of vitamins is called a 'complex' because, instead of being one vitamin, it has turned out to be a large number of related vitamins, which appear generally in the same foods." We need such a microscopic amount of vitamin B12, it is not understandable why he urges people to eat so much liver and other foods containing vitamin B12, when excess is not necessary for health, in fact, an excess of anything has only proved to be detrimental to health. I suppose he is assuming everyone eats refined products, drinks coffee, smokes, and takes antibiotics; these practices do produce deficiencies, as some cause the excessive utilization of the B vitamins.
Recently researchers have been coming to the conclusion that Dr. Shelton came to many years ago regarding the "Intrinsic Factor." Dr. Shelton surmised that it was poor digestion that prevented the people from absorbing vitamin B12 and that there was nothing mysterious about it and that the intrinsic factor was simply a normal supply of digestive enzymes. In other words, Castle, who discovered the Intrinsic Factor, which has never been isolated from gastric juice, was wrong in thinking that there was a particular substance in gastric juice necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.
This "particular substance" is simply good digestion. Vitamin B12 comes combined with protein. In order for the vitamin to be absorbed the protein must be split off so that the vitamin can be combined with the necessary substances, thought also to be protein. Dr. J.G. Heathcote and Dr. F.E. Mooney of St. Helena's Hospital, London, stated that, in spite of an enormous amount of work, there is very little agreement among researchers even on limited properties of the supposed intrinsic factor. They say that "it has never been isolated or identified." This is still true. They "believe, therefore, that intrinsic factor as currently understood, has no real existence per se, and that the fundamental process preceding absorption of vitamin B12 is simply one of normal degradation or digestion of animal protein." Rodale,
There are many causes of impaired digestion but suffice it to say that Hygienists should realize if they abuse their stomachs and intestines by overeating they may eventually suffer malabsorption problems.
It is well known that almonds, asparagus, beans, cashew nuts, figs, lentils, peanuts, pecans, avocado, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, collards, fresh and dried peas of all kinds; plums, raisins, walnuts (black and English), contain vitamin B1. Since all the B vitamins are usually grouped together, in all likelihood there must be some vitamin B12 in these and other vegetable foods.
One of the problems with modern Hygienists is that they are afraid to eat nuts. They are so fearful of eating an excess of nuts that they eat far too few. We took Raven Rose Haag off all dairy products at the tender age of fourteen months and fed her nuts. She did not like nut milks and would not drink them so we blended her nuts and let her eat as much of them as she desired. She may have had an excess but her health never showed it. She grew perfectly. Those of you who saw her at the convention can vouch for the fact that her rosy cheeks, happy, smiling disposition and vitality certainly does not indicate anemia. She will be three years old in October.
There is no source that states that vegetables contain absolutely no vitamin B12. The Cyclopedia of Medicine says that vegetables contain practically no vitamin B12, in contrast to their high content of folic acid. Simply because animal foods are so very high in vitamin B12 causes all researchers to underestimate the fact that vegetables do contain vitamin B12. Although vegetables do not synthesize vitamin B, the soil bacteria do, and some sources state that the bacteria make the vitamin and actually hand it over to the higher plants. All the plant has to do is absorb it.
Not until we are furnished with a reliable source of information, and not until they have tested all fruits, vegetables and nuts, can we say that Hygienic-Vegans are unable to secure a sufficient amount of vitamin B12 from their diets.
According to most nutritionists and health authorities, strict vegetarians must take pills, or eat animal foods, or suffer with a B12 deficiency and die of neurological and blood disorders. This has not been proved by scientists and in another article I will definitely show this. Vegans are not suffering from pernicious anemia and they are healthy, in fact healthier than their meat eating friends.
Some animals secure their cobalamin (vitamin B12) by eating manure which is a very rich source, because it seems to be produced by bacteria in various parts of the guts of animals. Ruminants are furnished B12 or cobalamin by microorganisms which produce it in their digestive tracts. But in poor slighted humankind, the current thought is that the vitamin B12 produced by bacteria in his gut can't be absorbed. This has been shown to be false and there are experiments that lead us to believe that cobalamin manufactured by bacteria in the intestinal tracts of primates can be absorbed.
A few years ago I wrote an article about vitamin B12 and I said that if vitamin B12 is not in fresh fruits, vegetables and nuts, and bacteria do not manufacture it where humans can absorb it, then we do not need it. The diet to which man is constitutionally adapted should furnish all the requisites of good nutrition. If it isn't present in the diet and bacteria do not produce it where it is absorbable by man, then what can we think except that we don't need it or Nature must have made a great big mistake. She neglected to take care of her most perfect creature.
We know Nature did not neglect man. I hold that the vitamin is in our foods. I also have facts which give me reason to believe that bacteria in the stomach, and in the upper and lower small intestine, produce it for us. I also believe that it is absorbed from the small intestine in humans and I have articles which show that, in at least one primate that was studied, this must take place.
You must rest assured that we do not have to resort to pills, algae or animal parts, to secure our Vitamin B12. Nature did not forget humankind. All this scare about vitamin B12 is just a big hoax and it is done purposely by newspaper and nutrition propagandists to keep people from becoming vegetarians, and to sell meat, dairy products, vitamins and sea weeds.
Eat your nuts, fruits, vegetables, and seeds in good combinations for proper digestion and absorption, all in the uncooked state, and don't take antibiotics and you can be sure that you will secure a sufficient amount of all of the B vitamins and in the proper proportion, one to the other, so that the maximum amount can be absorbed and properly utilized. Don't let yourself be pushed about by every fly-by-night "health authority" who knows nothing about Hygiene. Learn your principles and stand up for them! They are as true today as yesterday. Truth does not change.
Home > Lesson 32 - Why We Should Not Eat Meat
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