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Greg Scott

request for opinions on some food items

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[Note: I've moved this thread from the "Chit Chat" forum to "CR Practice", since it has useful information about food choice and supplements for CR practitioners. Thanks for starting it Greg! --Dean]

 

I adhere to a low-fat vegan regimen.

 

I'm looking for opinions on the advisability of taking the foods listed below.

 

An example would be:

 

- tempeh (for B12)

 

possible response: recent studies indicate it might not be a good choice - some vegans who consumed plenty of tempeh were found to have low B12 levels. Food X (e.g. fortified yeast flakes) might be a better choice.

 

 

Here is the list:

 

- yeast flakes (for B12, since they are grown on a substrate with B12), e.g. Bob's Red Mill Yeast Flakes

- brewer's yeast (for the variety of B vitamins other than B12)

- flaxseed meal (for omega 3)

- wheat bran

- wheat germ

 

I'm actually hoping that some members who know much more about nutrition than I do will advise me that some of these are really not necessary.

 

The exception is the yeast flakes, since I don't know of a vegan alternative except capsules.

 

Thank you.

Edited by Dean Pomerleau
Edited to add note about moving thread from Chit Chat

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Hi Xophist!

 

I adhere to a low-fat vegan regimen.

 

Good choice, IMO  :)xyz.

 

 

I'm looking for opinions on the advisability of taking the foods listed below.

An example would be:

- tempeh (for B12)

possible response: recent studies indicate it might not be a good choice - some vegans who consumed plenty of tempeh were found to have low B12 levels. Food X (e.g. fortified yeast flakes) might be a better choice.

 

Good response. I trust that you aren't relying on tempeh for your B12.  Too many vegans (presumably not you) try to get cute with unproven sources of B12, and end up hurting themselves and giving veganism a black eye in the process...

 

- yeast flakes (for B12, since they are grown on a substrate with B12), e.g. Bob's Red Mill Yeast Flakes
- brewer's yeast (for the variety of B vitamins other than B12)
- flaxseed meal (for omega 3)
- wheat bran
- wheat germ

 

You can get B12 from yeast flakes, but at least for Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Yeast, you might as well just take a pill. Here is the label from the BRM Yeast Flakes package:

BRM-00546-9.jpg

Notice under the ingredients section, all of the B vitamins are listed as separate ingredients from the "dried yeast". In other words, it appears that it isn't that the yeast is "grown on a nutritional substrate" containing B12 and therefore has incorporated it into their tiny yeasty bodies, but that the B12 (along with the other B-vitamins) have been added to the processed flakes as an explicit ingredients. At least that seems like what the package is telling us.

 

Perhaps I'm impugning him unfairly (and if so, someone please correct me), but it looks to me like good ol' Bob may be pulling a fast one, preying on people who prefer to think they are getting their nutrients via "natural", whole foods rather than supplements, by fortifying his flakes with supplemental B12. This is analogous to an average mom thinking she is serving her child a healthy breakfast of Honey Bunches of Oats w/ Real Strawberries!, based on all those vitamins and minerals on the label, when she is really just feeding her kid processed grains and sugar, mixed with a crushed up multivitamin, and then shaped into little donuts :)xyz

 

Even if I'm wrong, and the B12 and other B-vitamins in Bob's yeast have been incorporated into the yeast organisms themselves as many people suggest/believe, it seems rather pointless to me. Is it really worth it to buy expensive yeast that has been explicitly pumped up with supplemental B12, just so you can have the satisfaction of thinking you're getting all your nutrients from "natural", whole food sources, rather than just taking the supplemental B12 directly yourself in pill form?  Maybe there could be a benefit for absorption, but I don't see anyone arguing that.

 

From my perspective, it is similar to "Omega-3 eggs". If someone is going to eat eggs anyway (which obviously you aren't, as a vegan), then fine - he/she can pay more if they want to in order to get some small amount of omega-3 from eggs laid by chickens fed flax meal. But why not spare the chicken middleman (and the concomitant cruelty), by just eating the flax meal directly?

 

Speaking of which, flax meal is a fine food and a very good choice for keeping your omega-6:omega-3 ratio in balance (e.g. 3:1), although it is much better to grind your own flax seeds into meal for improved freshness, since flax meal is very perishable.

 

Brewer's yeast (for B-vitamins and protein), wheat bran (for fiber if you need extra) and wheat germ (for B-vitamins and protein) are fine foods too IMO, if they help you fill in holes in your nutrition discovered through tracking it via CRON-o-meter or some similar tool. Like flax meal, wheat germ is pretty perishable, so best to keep it in the fridge or freezer and consume it quickly.

 

Were those the sort of opinions you were looking for?  :)xyz

 

--Dean

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Hi Xophist!

Whoops, I forgot to append my real name (Greg).

 

 

You can get B12 from yeast flakes, but at least for Bob's Red Mill Nutritional Yeast, you might as well just take a pill.

 

<snip>

At this point, based on your response, I am strongly inclined to discontinue yeast flakes. Can you recommend a vegan B12 product? The best would be something available on Amazon, and second best is something commonly available at the supermarket. Last time I looked the pills/capsules were shockingly expensive. It looked much cheaper to go with yeast flakes.

 

 

Speaking of which, flax meal is a fine food and a very good choice for keeping your omega-6:omega-3 ratio in balance (e.g. 3:1), although it is much better to grind your own flax seeds into meal for improved freshness, since flax meal is very perishable.

I haven't noticed any changes in the flax meal stored in the refridgerator, so I'll stay with the lazy method.

 

 

Brewer's yeast (for B-vitamins and protein), wheat bran (for fiber if you need extra) and wheat germ (for B-vitamins and protein) are fine foods too IMO, if they help you fill in holes in your nutrition discovered through tracking it via CRON-o-meter or some similar tool. Like flax meal, wheat germ is pretty perishable, so best to keep it in the fridge or freezer and consume it quickly.

I've had no trouble with brewer's yeast, wheat germ, or wheat bran going bad, but I view them as supplements for variety and might discontinue use when my current stock is used up.

 

 

Were those the sort of opinions you were looking for?  :)xyz

 

--Dean

Yes! Your reply exceeded my expectations.

 

Thank you.

 

--

greg

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Greg,

 

Here is the vegan B12 supplement I buy from Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-B-12-100mcg-Solgar-Tabs/dp/B00020IANC

 

At 100mcg, it is the smallest dose I can find. I nibble about 1/6th of a tablet per day, and that gives me about 16mcg/day, or about 700% of the RDA (2.4mcg/day), which is about right for a once-daily bolus dose. See this vegan society link for details ("at least 10mcg of B12 per day if taken as single dose"):

 

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/vitamin-b12-your-key-facts

 

At 1/6th tablet per day, the 100-tablet bottle will last almost two years. At less than $6/bottle, that's got to be a lot cheaper than eating fortified yeast flakes for your B12!

 

--Dean

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The Solgar formulation is cobalamin. There's a whole community of people who look at their "methylation SNPs" (not just the people connected to Yasko, who seem a bit cultish) and argue that the methylated form of cobalamin is a better choice, esp. if one has certain allelic variants of the relevant SNPs. This notion has 1) complicated but plausible mechanisms behind it, but 2) essentially no (as far as I've seen; haven't looked too closely) clinical evidence behind it.

 

Just wanted to note that, in case anyone wants to dig into the topic.

 

Zeta

 

P.S. Feel free to move this to a separate thread if anyone wants to discuss this further.

Edited by Zeta

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Greg,

 

Here is the vegan B12 supplement I buy from Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-B-12-100mcg-Solgar-Tabs/dp/B00020IANC

 

At 100mcg, it is the smallest dose I can find. I nibble about 1/6th of a tablet per day, and that gives me about 16mcg/day, or about 700% of the RDA (2.4mcg/day), which is about right for a once-daily bolus dose. See this vegan society link for details ("at least 10mcg of B12 per day if taken as single dose"):

 

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/vitamin-b12-your-key-facts

 

At 1/6th tablet per day, the 100-tablet bottle will last almost two years. At less than $6/bottle, that's got to be a lot cheaper than eating fortified yeast flakes for your B12!

 

--Dean

Thanks Dean.

 

I've ordered the B12 supplement, and will stop buying the yeast flakes.

 

I plan to discontinue the use of the other foods listed in the original post, except for flaxseed meal.

 

The last time I purchased the Bob's Red Mill flaxseed meal, it was $20 for 128oz (32-Ounce (Pack of 4)).

 

--

greg

Edited by xophist

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Greg,

 

Here is the vegan B12 supplement I buy from Amazon:

 

http://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-B-12-100mcg-Solgar-Tabs/dp/B00020IANC

 

At 100mcg, it is the smallest dose I can find. I nibble about 1/6th of a tablet per day, and that gives me about 16mcg/day, or about 700% of the RDA (2.4mcg/day), which is about right for a once-daily bolus dose. See this vegan society link for details ("at least 10mcg of B12 per day if taken as single dose"):

 

https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-health/vitamins-minerals-and-nutrients/vitamin-b12-your-key-facts

 

At 1/6th tablet per day, the 100-tablet bottle will last almost two years. At less than $6/bottle, that's got to be a lot cheaper than eating fortified yeast flakes for your B12!

 

--Dean

 

Last spring I discovered to have a very low B12 and therefore for about two months I took daily 25 mcg (1/2 tablet  50 mcg). After this action,  the B12 level returned in the normal range.

So I decided to use pills of another brand, also because the 50 mcg tablet had some sweetener , and in the last two month I am using pill  of 2.5 mcg . I follow an almost vegan diet (usually I eat fish once a week) and thought that taking a 2.5 mcg pill of B12 was more than enough.

Do you know the reason of "at least 10mcg of B12 per day if taken as single dose" ? Unfortunately the 100 mcg solgar tablet seems to be not available in Italy.

thanks! 

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Do you know the reason of "at least 10mcg of B12 per day if taken as single dose" ? Unfortunately the 100 mcg solgar tablet seems to be not available in Italy.

thanks! 

 

 

Yes - apparently absorption drops precipitously for any more than about 3 mcg of B12 in a single dose, so you need to take your 2.5 mcg twice a day, or take >=4 of them in a single dose to ensure you're absorbing enough to maintain your B12 level.

 

--Dean

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It may be worth noting that my understanding is that:

 

A.  Blood B12 is a far from perfect measure of B12 deficiency/adequacy.

 

B.  Homocysteine along with methyl malonic acid is a far more reliable to way to test for this.

 

C.  In Japan some people with blood B12 of 300 (in US units) have been found to be deficient B12 when tested as in 'B.' above.

 

D.  Now in Japan 400 (in US units) is the lowest blood level of B12 considered as assuring B12 adequacy.

  

E.  My blood B12 was once measured at 125.  No one said anything at the time, but after being tested for it and supplementing tiny amounts daily, people later told me they had been seriously wondering if I might be getting alzheimers.  I, of course, was blissfully unaware of this.  Taking tiny amounts daily raised my blood level to over 500 over a period of several months.  People then felt safe mentioning it to me!

 

It is strange that people are happy to tell you how well you look when you really don't need to know.  But are reticent about mentioning it when you are exhibiting obvious symptoms, and it might be really important to do something.  On a previous occasion - 45 years ago - I overheard someone saying how ill I looked to a friend of theirs behind my back.  I laughed to myself, thinking that was ridiculous as I felt wonderful, was jogging daily and eating a low calorie, low fat diet.  But ten days later my appendix ruptured, giving only a few hours notice!

 

[Right now I am 'in transit' and will be for a while.  So I cannot provide links and other sources for this, but I assume verification can be found at Google, PubMed, etc..]

 

Rodney.

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