Saturday, October 6, 2007

Sublingual Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is always an issue for vegans. I have always believe there is a plant source of vitamin B12, but due to the limited research on the Plant Kingdom for vitamin B12, it's not surprising to hear people say vitamin B12 is only found in animal products (even though it's actually from a bacteria source). Some vegans claim that by eating unclean food you will be able to get your vitamin B12 and vegans do not need extra supplement. Still, I thought it's best not to toy with this, afterall it's your health, play safe and get a supplement or fortified foods.

Vitamin B12 supplement can be taken orally or injected. Some people have problems absorbing B12 due to a lack of intrinsic factor, but I have recently come across the sublingual way of eating B12 which will bypass the gastrointestinal tract and diffuses into the bloodstream directly. This is done by placing vitamin B12 under the tongue.

Here is the research study done on the sublingual method which I took from

Delpre & Stark (1999, Israel) studied patients with B12 deficiency to see if B12 can be absorbed by holding a tablet under the tongue, known as sublingual. The theory behind sublingual is that the mucous membranes under the tongue are efficient at absorbing certain molecules, particularly if combined with something fat soluble such as a cyclodextrin. 5 patients had pernicious anemia, 7 were vegetarians, and 2 had Crohn's disease (which can prevent the absorption of B12 in the ileum). The patients held two 1000 µg B12 tablets (equaling 2,000 µg/day), made by Solgar, under their tongues for 30 minutes until completely dissolved. This was done for 7 to 12 days. Average serum B12 levels went from 127.9 ± 42.6 to 515.7 ± 235. All patients' serum B12 normalized. There were no side effects and all patients preferred this to injections. Unfortunately, Delpre & Stark did not include a control group who chewed the B12 tablets, so there is no way to know if taking the tablets sublingually was more effective than chewing and swallowing them.


Jackie said...

I have been on Solgar Vegan B12 for years and they appear to work as my brain is still operating LOL

Unfortunately I hear the company has been taken over by a company that tests on animals so now looking for an alternative source.

Travegan said...

Actually the yucky story is that you could get the B12 by eating your own faeces. Eww. I've been relying on Marmite instead, but as I eat less bread in China I eat less Marmite also and probably am not getting high enough amounts now.

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

I eat marmite because of the B12 and add to the rice or congee and mixed well.

Or add a teaspoon to a cup of hot water and drink it.

I am not use to having it on bread :)

Veggie Bun said...

Does hot water alter the B12 in marmite? Coz ppl usually advice not to overcook veggies.. is it the same for marmite?

btw, i take One-a-day multivitamin & minerals from Ocean health.. not sure whether they do animal testing but they labeled the bottle "vegetarian formula"

dreamy said...

There are some online vegan companies selling B12 Jackie.

Yea I don't like MArmite on bread too, in fact I don't really like marmite, even though it's much better with hot water I still dislike it's taste.

Hmm I don't think supplements are tested? Or maybe I am wrong. I don't think B12 can be altered by heat. The heat can destroy vitamin C though, maybe that's why not to cook veggies for too long.

Crystal @ Blog*Spot said...

Should be ok, i guess. It is stated on the marmite - "... mixed with porridge or dissolved in hot water as a soup base. Use it as flavouring to your favourite dishes ..."

I'm thinking of using marmite instead of vegetarian oyster sauce in dishes, but can only use small amount and using soy sauce to mask the taste.

dreamy said...

Yes its really salty and I don't like it's taste too.. I think it's a love it or hate it thing :)

Edanator said...

I wouldn't rely solely on Marmite for B12. Buy sublingual pills from a vegan store, instead. The Deva ones taste great, it's like having candy! And, unlike the supplement stores in Sg, they don't cost a fortune and do not have other, potentially harmful, stuff added.

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