Vitamin B12 deficiency is most common in developing countries where people have a diet that does not include enough animal products. The highest at risk group in the first world are vegans as there is no vegetable or fruit that provides B12. Plants simply do not make B12.
A study by the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey found that almost 20% of people were borderline deficient in B12. (USA) 3.5% of these were non-vegans over the age of 50.
B12 is stored in the liver and can last for years, being used as required but when that reserve is gone deficiency quickly sets in. It’s a water-soluble vitamin and any excess is excreted in the urine. If you take B12 supplements the excess in your urine will cause it to be a neon yellow or green color. If your urine does not glow you needed the supplement.
Lack of B12 causes very gradual brain deterioration, which shows as fatigue, memory loss and depression. Over a period of years psychosis and mania may develop.
The deterioration and damage is irreversible, and the condition is thought to account for a high number of the brain-damaged children in the developing world.
Children need far more B12 than adults as they are growing so rapidly. Breast fed babies can become seriously deficient even if their mother only has a mild deficiency.
- • Meat
- • Dairy
- • Eggs
Hypocobalaminemia is a devastating disease and doctors recommend supplements for ANYONE who even might be deficient or heading in that direction due to a vegan diet.
In the event of a collapse millions of currently healthy people in the first nations will have their supply of B12 cut off. From that point they will be relying on the reserves stored in their liver.
Many of us have either lost or never had, the ability to rear our own fowl and livestock. Having access to either meat, dairy or eggs will be absolutely essential after any form of collapse or during any crisis that lasts longer than a year.
Children and infants simply must have regular amounts of B12 in their diet to prevent degenerative brain disease.
How long supplements will last in storage is open to debate but even if they lose a good deal of their efficiency over time they are still useful to have if you are in doubt over your ability to keep meat, eggs and dairy in your diet.
Canned, dehydrated, and freeze dried products will still provide B12 and should be stockpiled in bulk if you will not be rearing your own fowl or livestock.
Lizzie Bennett retired from her job as a senior operating department practitioner in the UK earlier this year. Her field was trauma and accident and emergency and she has served on major catastrophe teams around the UK. Lizzie publishes Underground Medic on the topic of preparedness.