B12, Bacteria and GMOs

Illustration of Good Bacteria at work
Good Bacteria at Work

In August, 2012, I discovered through a tweet on Twitter that all vitamin B12 originates with micro-organisms. I was surprised. To see if it was true I searched Google for reputable research. I, after all, had long believed that vitamin B12 came from “meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy.” That’s what experts have said, even experts like our government.

Turns out, Twitter was right. All vitamin B12 comes from bacteria ~ bacteria in the air, soil and sea. Some seaweed has vitamin 12 in it (because of bacteria). Apparently, to detect B12 in foods the test must contain intrinsic factor.

Our bodies can’t use the vitamin B12 that’s in food we eat if our gastrointestinal system lacks gastric acid.

Illustration - gastric acid releasing vitamin B12 from food
Illustration of gastric acid releasing vitamin B12 from protein in food

Nor can our bodis use the vitamin B12 in food if our gastrointestinal system lacks intrinsic factor that is made in a healthy stomach by its parietal cells.

Illustration - Intrinsic Factor making vitamin B12 available for absorption
Illustration by Karen Kline of a healthy stomach with Intrinsic Factor making vitamin B12 available for absorption

Because it’s rather complicated, I drew the illustrations above. I didn’t draw anything to do with bacteria because I didn’t know about that aspect. I still need to draw h.pylori stopping stomach acid production and interfering with parietal cells that make intrinsic factor in a healthy stomach.

Quite honestly, I was amazed that the “bacteria” thing hadn’t been a basic starting point in the masses of research I’d read. I wondered about bacteria and vitamin B12 and wondered if my B12 deficiency was connected to the fact I’d been sick a lot as a child: pneumonia and appendicitis attacks at the same time, repeatedly. My doctor had wanted to take my appendix out but with pneumonia I wouldn’t be able to breathe well under anesthesia. So, he had the hospital give me penicillin shots. When there was hardly a place left to give me another, I got hives. I had huge welts all over my body. My doctor said I’d become allergic to penicillin and that to continue giving it to me, which he said had to be done, they’d have to mix it with a sulfa drug. And, with that I continued having shots.

Finally, a day came, months later, when I was pretty well. A date was set for an appendectomy. The surgery went well. That night a nurse who checked on me discovered that my bed was soaked with blood. I had to be rushed back to surgery, and was given vitamin K. Apparently I was too low on vitamin K for my blood to clot properly. Years later when I had my tonsils out, same thing: lots of bleeding.

It was decades later that I read Know Your Nutrition by Linda Clark and learned that if someone is given sulfa drugs it interferes with their ability to get vitamin K.

Know Your Nutrition by Linda Clark
Know Your Nutrition has an updated cover today, but the same great information inside

Now, I see through my research that vitamin K, like vitamin B12, requires micro-organisms or “good bacteria” in order for our bodies to be able to absorb it. When we use antibiotics or things like Sulfa drugs, we kill the good bacteria. At the same time we make things more hospitable to bad bacteria, like h.pylori.

I began to wonder if GMO corn and GMO soy in my food was killing bacteria I need in order to get B12 from the food I eat.

I decided to run a test, and cut corn, soy and all GMOs out of my diet. At the same time I stopped using Methylcobalamin lozenges to see if organic food alone, without anything in it to kill the good bacteria, would keep my B12 level healthy.

Sure enough. So far it’s been over a month without a Methylcobalamin lozenge, and I have small but clearly visible moons coming back on my fingernails. Happiness. The Methylcobalamin was costing over $60/mo because of how much I need to keep from having peripheral neuropathy pain.
NOW Methy B12

.Methyl-B12 1,000 mcg 100 lozenges

2/9/2014 ~ It turns out I can’t completely stop using Methylcobalamin lozenges. Without any I begin to get peripheral neuropathy pain again. But one or two 5mg lozenges a day seems to work perfectly. Prior to cutting out GMOs I had to use 5 to 6 of the 5mg lozenges a day. So, there is a distinct advantage, in terms of B12 health, to cutting GMOs out of your daily meals and snacks.

5/31/2014 ~ I failed to appreciate that over winter I wasn’t getting any B12 from microorganisms on my garden veggies, since I was primarily eating canned veg that had been scrubbed, or at least rinsed clean of dust and dirt from their growing environment.

Now that I’ve begun to have collards, celery, onions and Indian spinach from my garden I have fewer instances of peripheral neuropathy, even when I forget to use methylcobalamin lozenges. Next winter I have to remember to compensate for the lack of B12 creating microorganisms in canned vegetables.

7/1/2016 ~ I learned today that most wheat crops in the United States are sprayed with Glyphosate (as in Monsanto’s RoundUp) prior to harvest. After watching a video on Twitter that showed sprayed wheat in contrast to the unsprayed grass right next to it, I googled desiccated wheat and found an informative, revealing article. Watch video. Read article.

Basically, GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms) are created to use with RoundUp and its Glyphosate. It’s the glyphosate that we want to avoid because of the effects it’s been shown to have on our health. GMO labeling is meant to identify products containing glyphosate. But, no one talks about Glyphosate sprayed on wheat because there’s no genetic modification involved. The silence on the subject seems incredibly insidious to me.  Insidious: causing harm in a way that is gradual or not easily noticed.

Take a look at a chart contrasting the nutrition in GMO vs non-GMO foods. View chart.

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B12, Bacteria and GMOs
Article Name
B12, Bacteria and GMOs
All vitamin B12 comes from microorganisms, or "good bacteria". Without them in your digestive system vitamin B12 cannot be released from food, nor absorbed
Publisher Name
Health Boundaries
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