Why Do Raw Vegans Take B12 Supplements?
B12, is a water soluble Vitamin needed by humans for the proper functioning of the central nervous system, brain, as well as the healthy production of red blood cells, and DNA synthesis.
All Persons, including those who consume meat, should be equally aware of their B12 levels, noting, however, that most meats are riddled with enough bacteria ( not always killed in cooking the meat for food) to perhaps generate enough supply of the vitamin to boost the eater' s levels. That stated, due note should be made of the fact that malabsorption is a very common issue, and, can affect raw vegans as well as meat eaters. Now, because B12 deficiency is such a grave scenario, all humans must pay keen attention to their levels, at all times. In the latter centuries, this has proven a bit more challenging for vegans and somewhat more for raw vegans.
Deficiency can lead to the following :
- Weakness, fatigue, or lightheadedness
- Heart palpitations, shortness of breath
- Pale skin
- Smooth tongue
- Constipation, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or gas
- Nerve problems like numbness or tingling, muscle weakness, problems moving around/walking.
- Vision loss
- Mental problems like depression, memory loss, or behavioral changes
If Raw Veganism Is Natural, Why Supplement?
It is not Raw Veganism which is untoward in any way, in my view as far as attaining B12 naturally is concerned. However, the manner in which we have 'sterilized' our environment, rendering it rather void of the friendly bacteria which help us to be and remain healthy is what seems more unnatural to me.
Since the advent of The Industrial Revolution, ( 18th Cen ), we have had an influx of what would characterize ‘civilized living': fast paced living. More convenient living, shopping, mobility and traveling options, have all changed. This has included sterilization of food sources, affecting much of the plant based foods and much of the soil in which they are planted/sown. As such, we have seen an exponential rise in pasteurization processes. Pasteurization is a process which kills living enzymes found in live/raw foods. These factors, therefore, set the stage for two things to occur; they being:
Uncontrollable infestations where protective mechanisms would normally prevail. –Exposure of the environment to chemical treatments often lead to microscopic life die out. Micro organisms are responsible for nutrients which in itself fosters a healthy earth space for plants and other organisms.
B Soils leached of valuable nutrients – When soils are void of friendly organisms which aid in the conversion of elements to nutrients, over time even the chemical makeup and Ph become incompatible for the same elements and said organisms to exist. With further man-made chemical interruptions, the same soil becomes foreign territory for say, B12 promoting bacteria, and possibly a compound as simple as nitrogen. Nitrogen is essential for healthy plant growth, ensuring not only the physical integrity of the plant( whilst reinforcing its ability to withstand weathering and other external intrusions) but also the nutrient capacity of the plant food.
Likewise, this is the case for naturally occurring streams, rivers etc. with say the practice of chlorination and other chemical treatments to make our space clean.
In summary, as a raw vegan( or not), to avoid deficiency of this vital Vitamin, check levels and supplement if necessary.
Jan P. López