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 Post subject: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:23 pm 
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Today I had a very "interesting" conversation. It revolved around the fact that vegans take synthetic vitamins and how this cannot be healthy for your body.

I learned that synthetic vitamins are bad for you because they are all made from petroleum (especially B Vitamins!) and that they have a different molecular structure than food vitamins, or even worse, they are different substances "very similar to vitamins but with some molecular compounds missing". I asked what compounds exactly and how these substances were called. Of course I didn't get an answer.

After a quick google search I learned that synthetic b vitamins are made "from coal tar and petro-chemicals" and vitamin b 12 "is made from ground up toxic cow livers and activated sewage sludge". Of course none of those mostly "natural" or homeopathy focussed sources can tell me what exactly they mean by petro-chemicals, in what amounts those are present, how exactly that is dangerous, etc.

I have zero knowledge about this kind of stuff and it annoyed the hell out of me that the only answer I could think of was "I think the synthetic vitamin B12 I take is safe and my body seems to absorb it because I didn't develop a deficiency yet."

Can anyone tell me more about this subject, especially about the manufacturing of synthetic vitamins and why they are safe and won't kill us even though there might be a trace of mineral oil present in the pill somewhere? I'd really love to have some solid arguments next time I am dragged into this kind of conversation. Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 3:31 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Quote:
If you are guilty of taking any of the aforementioned supplements, it's time to buy some liver, kidney, and colon detoxification, and you better educate yourself about those too, because "The Man" wants you sick and dying, not avoiding toxic vitamin imposters that are NOT ABSORBABLE by the body.


What.

Any site that says, basically, that I quoted there is what I would, in a good mood, call "Not reliable."

In a bad mood I'd call it straight-up bullshiitake, especially since they're trying to sell you their own crepe in the very same paragraph.

Time to lay down some science:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_B12#Synthesis_and_industrial_production

Quote:
Industrial production of B12 is through fermentation of selected microorganisms. Streptomyces griseus, a bacterium once thought to be a yeast, was the commercial source of vitamin B12 for many years. The species Pseudomonas denitrificans and Propionibacterium shermanii are more commonly used today. These are frequently grown under special conditions to enhance yield, and at least one company, Rhône-Poulenc of France, which has merged into Sanofi-Aventis, used genetically engineered versions of one or both of these species. Since a number of species of Propionibacterium produce no exotoxins or endotoxins and are generally regarded as safe (have been granted GRAS status) by the Food and Drug Administration of the United States, they are presently the FDA-preferred bacterial fermentation organisms for vitamin B12 production.


I think the only "activated sewage sludge" around here is being posted on naturalnews.com.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Tue Aug 14, 2012 9:03 pm 
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Naturalnews is pretty much nonsense. I saved this link for the next time someone linked to them.
They want to sell you crepe. They do it by trying to scare you with bullshiitake.
If someone presents you with "THAT WILL KILL YOU!!! FOUHODHDSOFHDOEHRER!" make them prove it with valid information.

Here is Ginny Messina on supplements. Vegan for Life also contains information about which vitamins they recommend you take. Yes, there are non-vegan vitamins but it's not impossible to find vegan ones.

There is also this.
Quote:
1. Natural News

naturalnews.com
Alexa ranked #1,000
Google PageRank 6

When Natural News began, it was basically the blog and sales portal of anti-pharmaceutical activist Mike Adams. His basic premise has always been the Big Pharma conspiracy, the idea that the medical industry secretly wants to keep everyone sick, and conspires with the food industry to make people unhealthy, all driven by a massive plot of greed to sell poisonous medicines. Adams appears to have become a protégé of Alex Jones, for he now writes on Natural News at least as many police state conspiracy articles as he does anti-science based medicine articles. They carry ads for each other on their sites as well.

Some examples of current articles on Natural News are:

New World Order: Implantable RFID chips capable of remotely killing non-compliant 'slaves' are here

Vaccines lower immunity

Fluoride means lower IQs and more mental retardation

and of course:

Jumping rope and 9/11 truth - how the sheeple have been trained to avoid unpopular truth about WTC 7

Natural News' misleading title — I see very little on the site that I would think to classify as "natural news" — and pretense of being a health resource has helped it to become an often cited and heavily read site. For its frighteningly large influence, and abysmal quality of information, it earns the #1 spot on this list.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 2:10 am 
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I know they are nonsense. I just linked to them to illustrate the arguments of the discussion I had. And for entertainment. I also own Vegan for Life and read Ginny's blog. I probably didn't make myself very clear, I just wanted to know a bit more about the claim that synthetic vitamins have a different molecular structure than food vitamins and about that petroleum stuff. Now that I think about it though the part about scaring people and trying to sell stuff is probably the best explanation there is.


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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:10 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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There's a paper out that says that fluoride actually DOES lead to mental problems... It actually looks kind of legit, too. Here's the link:

http://ehp03.niehs.nih.gov/article/info ... 0%28AOP%29

It does seem to find correlation between areas of high fluoride and lower IQs, and areas of low fluoride (but note: not NO fluoride) and higher IQs. They do say it's only a preliminary study of existing published papers (many from China), and of course correlation does not imply causation, but it's interesting to see. This is the first time I've seen actual research on it, but of course all the nutcases are now flipping their lids and being all HA HA TOLD YOU SO.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:43 am 
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Many of those studies use reference populations with water fluoridation levels on the high end of the WHO recommendations, while the "high fluoride" groups are much, much higher. Up to ten times as high. In other words: they're establishing that very high levels of fluoride in your drinking water is harmful relative to fluoridated water.

That's why it's misleading to talk about fluoride being a "dangerous neurotoxin": we need to know the dosage before we can agree or disagree with that. Water is a neurotoxin, too, if you drink enough of it.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 10:53 am 
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Here's an important quote from the study:

Quote:
Opportunities for epidemiological studies depend on the existence of comparable
population groups exposed to different levels of fluoride from drinking water. Such
circumstances are difficult to find in many industrialized countries, as fluoride concentrations in
community water are usually no higher than 1 mg/L, even when fluoride is added to water
supplies as a public health measure to reduce tooth decay. Multiple epidemiological studies of
developmental fluoride neurotoxicity were conducted in China due to the high fluoride
concentrations that are substantially above 1 mg/L in well-water in many rural communities,
although microbiologically safe water has been accessible to many rural households as a result of
the recent five-year plan (2001-2005) by the Chinese government. It is projected that all rural
residents will have access to safe public drinking water by 2020 (World Bank 2006). However,
results of the published studies have not been widely disseminated. Four studies published in
English (Li et al. 1995; Lu et al. 2000; Xiang et al. 2003; Zhao et al. 1996) were cited in a recent
report from the National Research Council (NRC 2006), while the World Health Organization
has considered only two (Li et al. 1995; Zhao et al. 1996) in its most recent monograph on
fluoride (WHO 2002).


They're looking at people whose drinking water has very high levels of fluoride, either naturally or as a result of industrial activity. The can't use industrialized countries with fluoridated drinking water, because the fluoridation levels are too low.

That won't stop Big Bulls­hit from peddling anti-fluoride nonsense, because they've been exposed to toxic levels of derp.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 11:42 am 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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Okay, I don't have a baseline for what fluoridated water actually contains and was just skimming the summary this morning.

But, yeah, I expect to get tired of hearing about this analysis pretty soon.

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 Post subject: Re: Synthetic vitamins
PostPosted: Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:14 pm 
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just mumbles wrote:
Many of those studies use reference populations with water fluoridation levels on the high end of the WHO recommendations, while the "high fluoride" groups are much, much higher. Up to ten times as high. In other words: they're establishing that very high levels of fluoride in your drinking water is harmful relative to fluoridated water.

That's why it's misleading to talk about fluoride being a "dangerous neurotoxin": we need to know the dosage before we can agree or disagree with that. Water is a neurotoxin, too, if you drink enough of it.


Yes. Another issue is confounding factors, such as lead contamination in the high fluoride water. You really have to be careful with epidemiological studies as they are never able to isolate just one variable. There may well be legitimate studies that show a potential difference between high and low fluoride groups, but don't confuse association with cause and effect. I'm sure this issue has been beaten to death in other threads.

Regarding the original post, there certainly can be chemical differences between vitamins coming from food and those from microbial or synthetic sources. You can easily google B12 and read about the various chemical forms and probably figure this out for yourself. I would caution against the urge to invalidate every ridiculous claim, though - it's not a good use of your time. The burden of proof is on the people making the claim - it is not your responsibility to disprove it.


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