Happy Birthday to my grandson, Cooper James Hicks, 8 years old today!
Almost every week, I hear from someone who is concerned about certain vitamins that may be missing in a diet without meat and dairy. The big three most often mentioned are vitamin B12, vitamin D and omega-3s. And it was Dr. Michael Greger’s recent video on B12 deficiency that inspired this post today.
We covered all four of the “vitamins & minerals of concern” in our book and ended with the simple advice of Dr. Campbell: take a regular B12 supplement, take a little D if you don’t get enough routine exposure to the sun and get your omega-3s from plant foods such as flaxseeds and walnuts. For the latter, it seems that the ratio of omega-3s to omega-6s might be more important than the amount of the omega-3s. And when one begins eating lots of whole plant foods while eliminating meat and dairy, that ratio tends to take care of itself.
As for calcium, every single plant that I have ever checked has calcium in it. Eat a lot of whole plants and, as with protein, you’ll get all the calcium you need. Since beginning this blog about seven months ago, I have blogged about vitamins several times; for your convenience, I have provided links to each of them. Later in this post, I will provide you with a link to a 2-minute video by Dr. Greger on B12.
Dr. Greger on B12, during the week leading up to the “Last Heart Attack” special on CNN.
So on one hand, there’s the possibility of eliminating the greatest killer in our country, which decimates the lives and families of more than 100,000 Americans every year, at an annual cost in the hundreds of billions. But, on the other hand, we risk vitamin what deficiency? Are the defenders of the status quo seriously trying to stack a documented cure for heart disease (not to mention the reversal of diabetes, obesity, and hypertension) against some obscure B vitamin?
It’s true, plants don’t make B12. Animals don’t make it either. B12 is made by microbes that blanket the earth. These bacteria grow in the guts of animals, which is why their bodies and products can be a source of this vitamin. Our herbivore primate cousins get all they need ingesting bugs, dirt, and feces and we may once have gotten all we needed by drinking out of mountain streams or well water. But now we chlorinate our water supply to kill off any bugs. So we don’t get a lot of B12 in our water anymore, but we don’t get a lot of cholera either—that’s a good thing!
Make no mistake: vitamin B12 is important. But so is keeping our perspective, given the millions who are crippled and die from the onslaught of chronic disease that could be prevented,stopped, and reversed with a B12-fortified, plant-based diet.
Provided here for your convenience: Dr. Michael Greger on B12 deficiency
Note that this video is just one of a series of B12 videos recently produced by Dr. Greger. He is now adding one new video every day on his new site at nutritionfacts.org; You should take a look and bookmark this great new resource. One more thing, I recently posted another blog featuring Dr. Greger — on the topic of Alzheimer’s.
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—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at HealthyEatingHealthyWorld.com
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