Friday, January 11, 2013

Book Review: COULD IT BE B12?

Could It Be B12?: An Epidemic of Misdiagnoses

I'm glad I read this, and I read the whole thing. And while I learned a lot from the book, I can't give it more than three stars simply because the writing was so over-the-top fanatical. Surely not every ailment on the face of the earth can be caused by a B12 deficiency ... okay, maybe the authors didn't say that exactly, but close.

I was also surprised to read on page 4, "B12 is produced in the gut of animals, it's also the only vitamin that you can't obtain from plants or sunlight. Plants don't need B12, so they don't produce or store it. To obtain B12 from your diet, you need to eat meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, or food fortified with B12..."

So, I'm still researching that concept. According to, "Vitamin B12 is found in algae, peas, clover, alfalfa, mustard..." and "Foods fortified with vitamin B12 (as cyanocobalamin) may be a potential problem if cooked."

But Pacholok writes, "...several plants that some supplement manufacturers claim are high in B12, such as spirulina and tempeh, actually contain "pseudo-B12" analogues that block the uptake of the real vitamin, sometimes causing dangerous deficiencies" (page 4).

I also really take issue with any person that places blame (of any sort) with mothers who are well intentioned doing the best they can to care for the well-being of their children. Maybe I misread or misunderstood, but Pacholok writes, "Vegetarian and vegan mothers also are the most likely to breastfeed for long periods of time, which puts nursing children at high risk of B12 deficiency if the mothers don't supplement their diets correctly. Children can be severely crippled by B12 deficiency..." (page 95).

The extremist language used in the book was certainly a turn-off, but I can't deny the potentially useful and life-changing information in this book. If you are suffering from any physical ailment, it might be worth your time to consider whether or not you are deficient in vitamin B12 and give this book a read.

Also, be aware that the authors really beat it into the reader’s head that getting a “typical” blood test for B12 deficiency is not good enough. They go on and on and on about the reasons, but just so you know, if you’re going to be tested, you need the other tests recommended by the authors.

And, if you want to supplement your diet with B12 … I’ve done the research for you (well, I did it for me, but I’ll share the info with you).

A supplement needs to be a SUBLINGUAL B12 tablet that has 1000-2000 mcg of B12 in it and it needs to be made from either hydroxocobalamin  or  methylcobalamin. Many vitamins that are mass produced use the less expensive form of B12 made from cyanocobalamin which uses Cyanide. Why put that in your body?

If you're not getting B12 shots, then you need to take a sublingual B12. A sublingual is placed under your tongue and you let it dissolve there. The blood vessels under your tongue absorb the vitamin directly into your blood stream, so the vitamin doesn’t have to go through your digestive system before “maybe” being absorbed.

Before reading this book, I had been taking oral B12 tablets made from the cyanocobalamin with minimal results. So now I’ve purchased new B12 vitamins – sublingual hydroxocobalamin 2000mcg. And, I’ll let you know if they make a difference for me.

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