All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

vitamins minerals phytonutrients

  • Negative Effect of Vitamin Supplements

    It has become increasingly apparent in recent years that there are unintended consequences to taking vitamin supplements, and in fact there may be a net negative health effect. This is especially true for those who are healthy and don’t need vitamins, and for those who exceed the recommended dosages.

  • Vitamin B12 Cobalamin

    Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.

    No fungi, plants, nor animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Proved food sources of B12 are animal products (meat, fish, dairy products). Some research states that certain non-animal products possibly can be a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis.

    B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through a bacterial fermentation-synthesis. This synthetic B12 is used to fortify foods and sold as a dietary supplement.

    Vitamin B12 consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show pharmacological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt (chemical symbol Co). The vitamer is produced by bacteria as hydroxocobalamin, but conversion between different forms of the vitamin occurs in the body after consumption

    B12 aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. 

    Recommended daily amount: 2.4 mcg

    Example sources: fortified cereals, doenjang and chunggukjang (fermented soybeans), nori (seaweed). 

  • Red Inside Nutrient Rich Apples

    Redlove or Bloody Ploughman were bred from wild apples in their original home in Kazakhstan – many of these varieties are under threat due to forest clearance, showing how vital conservation work is for the future of our food. These apple trees have pink blossom. These apples are red inside and can contain up to twice the polyphenols and five times the healthy anthocyanins of regular light-fleshed apples.

    Once established, apples are one of the easiest fruits to grow, capable of kicking out decades of harvests for the 30 minutes it takes to plant one. Pick a sunny site with well-drained soil and make sure you keep plants evenly watered for their first year or so of growth. After that they will largely look after themselves.

  • Beta-Carotene Supplements and Cancer

    Plant foods have an important preventive influence in a population at high risk for lung cancer. However, persons who use beta-carotene supplements do not benefit from the protective compounds in plant foods.

  • B12 Supplementation Effective Sublingually and Orally

    A dose of 500 µg of cobalamin given either sublingually or orally is effective in correcting cobalamin deficiency

  • Vitamin B12 Deficiency as a Worldwide Problem

    Pernicious anemia is a common cause of megaloblastic anemia throughout the world and especially in persons of European or African descent. Dietary deficiency of vitamin B12 due to vegetarianism is increasing and causes hyperhomocysteinemia.

    The breast-fed infant of a vitamin B12–deficient mother is at risk for severe developmental abnormalities, growth failure, and anemia. Elevated methylmalonic acid and/or total homocysteine are sensitive indicators of vitamin B12–deficient diets and correlate with clinical abnormalities.

    Dietary vitamin B12 deficiency is a severe problem in the Indian subcontinent, Mexico, Central and South America, and selected areas in Africa. Dietary vitamin B12 deficiency is not prevalent in Asia, except in vegetarians. Areas for research include intermittent vitamin B12 supplement dosing and better measurements of the bioavailability of B12 in fermented vegetarian foods and algae.

  • B12 May Be Synthesized by Small Intestine Microflora

    In man, physiological amounts of vitamin are absorbed by the intrinsic factor mediated mechanism exclusively in the ileum, the third portion of the small intestine. Human faeces contain appreciable quantities of vitamin B12 or vitamin B12-like material presumably produced by bacteria in the colon, but this is unavailable to the non-coprophagic individual. However, the human small intestine also often harbours a considerable microflora and this is even more extensive in apparently healthy southern Indian subjects. We now show that at least two groups of organisms in the small bowel, Pseudomonas and Klebsiella sp., may synthesise significant amounts of the vitamin.

Charles Darwin

There is no fundamental difference between man and the higher animals in their mental faculties . . . The lower animals, like man, manifestly feel pleasure and pain, happiness, and misery.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the sugars, starches and fibers found in fruits, grains, vegetables and milk products, one of the basic food groups.

Sugar is the generalized name for sweet, short-chain, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. They are composed of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. Simple sugars are called monosaccharides and include glucose (or dextrose), fructose, and galactose. The table sugar most customarily used as food is sucrose - hydrolyses into fructose and glucose in the body. Other disaccharides include maltose and lactose. Longer chains of sugars are called oligosaccharides. 

Starch is a polymeric carbohydrate consisting of a large number of glucose units joined by glycosidic bonds. This polysaccharide is produced by most green plants as an energy store. It is the most common carbohydrate in human diets and is contained in large amounts in staple foods such as potatoes, wheat, maize (corn), rice. Pure starch is a white, tasteless and odorless powder that is insoluble in cold water or alcohol. 

Fiber is consists of non-starch polysaccharides such as arabinoxylans, cellulose, and many other plant components such as resistant starch, resistant dextrins, inulin, lignin, chitins, pectins, beta-glucans, and oligosaccharides, and are derived from plants. Dietary fibers are not digested by gastrointestinal enzymes. Soluble fiber dissolves in water, changes as it goes through the digestive tract, where it is fermented by bacteria, partially into physiologically active byproducts - healthful compounds. Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and stays intact as it moves through your digestive system, can be prebiotic and metabolically ferment in the large intestine. Dietary fibers can change absorption of other nutrients and chemicals. Some soluble plant fibers can modulate intestinal inflammation and are contrabiotic. Many types of so-called dietary fiber are not actually fibrous.

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