Obviously to those enlightened health care professionals who understand the role of vitamins and minerals, this commonly spoken phrase is of course a completely ridiculous statement.
To those of us who suffer from B12 deficiency it’s infuriating to be told this by someone who studied long and hard to become a doctor.
The mere fact that some of our doctors haven’t a clue about the very foundation of all human and animal life is astounding.
I learnt about vitamins and minerals at school and how important they are, it appears that for some doctors this childhood learning may constitute their entire education on nutrition – we really are stuffed if our particular GP happened to be ill that week.
Sadly it seems that even some of our newly qualified doctors replace their old knowledge with the following ridiculous ideas-
Vitamin B12 = Broccoli
Vitamin B12 injections = Placebo
Vitamin B12 deficient patient = Lazy, whiny, hypochondriac requiring antidepressants and a thorough dressing down.
Vets, in contrast, are taught properly on this subject and know when an animal is deficient. How strange it must seem to vets that some doctors try to treat this condition with antidepressants.
A placebo is ‘a substance that has no therapeutic effect’ or an ‘innocuous or inert medicine’.
Food is ‘any substance containing essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals’, or ‘a nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink or that plants absorb in order to maintain life and growth’.
B12 is essentially food, we starve without food, quite quickly as it happens.
‘Starve – to suffer or die, suffering or death caused by lack of food’ Our cells starve without B12.
Quite simply – we need food everyday to sustain a healthy life, we need all vitamins and minerals regularly to maintain optimum health. We cannot survive if we eat just once every three months so why do some doctors think we can manage on any vitamin if we were only able to access it once every three months?
Vitamins are food, they are essential to life, accessing vitamin B12 is very complex so injections are required unless the deficiency is diet related.
The text below is taken from NHS Choices – Thankfully, nowhere, does it say ‘Vitamin B12 is a placebo’. It’s a shame it is misleading and incomplete in parts. I have taken the liberty of adding some improvements in BOLD CAPS.
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly. Most people should get all the nutrients they need by eating a varied and balanced diet. HOWEVER, IF YOU CANNOT ABSORB B12, YOU WILL REQUIRE HYDROXOCOBALAMIN INJECTIONS FOR LIFE IN ORDER TO ACCESS THIS VITAMIN. If you choose to take vitamin and mineral supplements, be aware that taking too many or taking them for too long can cause harmful effects. THERE IS NO KNOWN TOXICITY OF VITAMIN B12, IN FACT HYDROXOCOBALAMIN IS SAFELY USED IN LARGE QUANTITIES AS TREATMENT FOR CYANIDE POISONING.
Some people may need to take vitamin and mineral supplements. For information on who could benefit from supplements, see Do I need vitamin supplements?
The pages in this section contain advice and information about vitamins, minerals and trace elements essential for health, including:
▪ what they do
▪ how much you need
▪ what happens if you have too much
▪ safety advice about supplements
For information about nutrition for children, see vitamins for children.
What are vitamins?
There are two types of vitamins: fat-soluble and water-soluble.
Fat-soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods such as animal fats, including butter and lard, vegetable oils, dairy foods, liver and oily fish.
While your body needs these vitamins every day to work properly, you do not need to eat foods containing them every day.
This is because your body stores these vitamins in your liver and fatty tissues for future use. These stores can build up so they are there when you need them. However, if you have much more than you need, fat-soluble vitamins can be harmful.
Fat-soluble vitamins are:
▪ vitamin A
▪ vitamin D
▪ vitamin E
▪ vitamin K
Water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body, so you need to have them more frequently. BINGO! REMEMBER – WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS ARE NOT STORED IN THE BODY SO YOU NEED TO HAVE THEM MORE FREQUENTLY!
If you have more than you need, your body gets rid of the extra vitamins when you urinate. As the body does not store water-soluble vitamins, these vitamins are generally not harmful. However, this does not mean that all large amounts are necessarily harmless.
Water-soluble vitamins are found in fruit, vegetables and grains. HANG ON A MINUTE, VITAMIN B12 IS WATER SOLUBLE AND IS ONLY AVAILABLE FROM ANIMAL PRODUCTS!
Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they can be destroyed by heat or by being exposed to the air. They can also be lost in water used for cooking. This means that by cooking foods, especially boiling them, we lose many of these vitamins. The best way to keep as many of the water-soluble vitamins as possible is to steam or grill foods, rather than boil them.
Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C, the B vitamins and folic acid. (Folate should be the term used here it is Vitamin B9. Folic acid is synthetic and not found in nature.)
I hope this clarifies the situation!