For last week’s book excerpt from the Energy Drink Guide, we talked about what vitamin B6 does. This week, we move into the Vitamin B12 chapter. Before we can talk about what B12 does, we have to talk about where it comes from…bacteria!
Did you know ALL B12 comes from bacterial fermentation?
Vitamin B12 can be found in food sources like meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy because the animals are the vessel for this bacterial fermentation. Plants don’t make B12, and they only provide B12 if they’ve been contaminated with soil that contains it (e.g. from the animal gut to the poop to the soil to the plant).
Certain natural vitamins are superior to their synthetic counterparts, and vice versa — remember when we talked about synthetic vs natural folate and the bling rings? But with vitamin B12, all B12 compounds are made through fermentation of bacteria, fungi, or algae.
Whether this fermentation occurs in the stomach of a cow or in a lab doesn’t affect the active structure or function of the vitamin.
Okay, phew – so B12 comes from bacteria…and that’s fine…
…But we’re not done with the fear-mongering.
DO NOT PANIC if you come across a website that suggests synthetic B12 is poison because it’s cyanide. The association is irrelevant, just like the association between Chloride and SODIUM Chloride. The context makes all the difference. Furthermore, the dosage makes the difference between a poison and a cure (paraphrasing the Father of Toxicology, Paracelsus).
To learn more about B12 and the other B-vitamins, stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide (now on Audible!!!).
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