Although animal and dairy products are a source of vitamin B12, the natural soil microbes and bacteria found on wild food, unwashed garden plants, in earthy soil and also those supplied by plant fermentation, are typically adequate to supply some vitamin B12 needs. The natural microbes and bacteria in the soil need to be duplicated and colonize in our intestinal tract for optimal absorption of nutrients and elimination of waste without excessive fermentation or internal putrefaction. Vitamin B12 is produced by these natural microbes and bacteria as they colonize the intestines. The best source of these organisms is wild, unwashed food.
Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin) represents a family of compounds that contain cobalt. Vitamin B12 helps maintain the myelin sheaths that insulate the nerve fibers. Problems with vitamin B12 absorption and assimilation can result in nerve degeneration. A vitamin B12 deficiency, when in conjunction with a folate deficiency (due to a lack of green-leafy vegetables), can also cause pernicious anemia.
A problem with the formation of vitamin B12 occurs when there is a sterilization that happens between the picking of the fruit or vegetable and the moment it reaches one's mouth. Sterile environments are unnatural. The soil microbes and bacteria that grow on raw fruits and vegetables need to be duplicated in the intestinal tract for the proper assimilation of vitamin B12 to take place. Dr. Victor Herbert described in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (1988, vol.48, p. 852-858) the experiences of Dr. James Halsted who traveled to Persia to study a colony of Iranian vegans who did not experience any vitamin B12 defiçiencies. He found that their naturally fertilized vegetables were eaten without being carefully washed. He discovered that strict vegetarians who do not practice thorough hand washing or vegetable cleaning may be untroubled by a vitamin B12 deficiency.
Studies have shown that those eating a typical diet of animal products actually require more vitamin B12 than those who do not eat animal products. This is because the typical diet leads to digestive atrophy. Because vitamin B12 is peptide bound in animal products and must be enzymatically cleaved from the peptide bonds to be absorbed, a weakening of all gastric enzyme secretions (due to poor nutrition) causes an inability to efficiently extract vitamin B12 from external food. Raw-food vegans with powerful digestion, actually get more vitamin B12 by reabsorption from the bile (liver secretions into the duodenum) than they do from external food.
The vitamin B12 standards recommended based on studies of the average cooked-food consumer are 0.0000001 ounces (3-4 micrograms) per day.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens, a long-term raw-food vegetarian, has included aAn excellent discussion of vitamin B12 in his book Conscious Eating and on the internet. Dr. Cousens feels that a vitamin B12 deficiency, which is rare is typically caused by a lack of absorption in the intestinal tract or a dietary lack of the vitamin. He states that vegetarian and meat-eating pregnant and lactating women alike seem to be susceptible to a vitamin B12 deficiency. He states that macrobioticists and fruitarians may also be susceptible. I have found that individuals who have damaged their digestive system with a high-protein diet are susceptible as well. A link seems to be present between weak digestion and vitamin B12 assimilation.
Getting some soil microbes into your body is very important. By ingesting soil-born organisms, you maintain an enormous reservoir of un-coded antibodies ready to transform specific pathogens... Iron metabolic challenges are solved by living the way Nature intended, occasionally eating a little dirt..”
Roots, such as burdock root, have been shown to contain levels of B12 absorbed from soil organisms up to 0.5 mm into the outer skin.