I just received this email from Robert Bock, an NIH press officer:
Your readership may be interested in our finding appearing in Pediatrics today, which has important implications for women who consume little or no animal products. If they don’t take precautions to ensure that they have sufficient levels of Vitamin B12, these women may be at risk for having a child with a neural tube defect. Our news release on the finding, as well as a videotaped interview with one of the study authors, appears on the National Institutes of Health Web site.
Unfortunately, this piece has already spawned some craptacular reporting (thanks, Amanda) by the Telegraph. Nowhere are these risks explained in any useful way, nor does the reporter bother to say that B-12 risks are easily avoided through a cheap daily supplement. Worst of all, this piece was done by the paper’s Medical Editor. Geez. And people wonder why blogs are eating newspapers’ lunch.
The fact that such a poorly done article could get into the Telegraph is truly despair-inducing. Jack Norris would do a much better job evaluating the NIH study than I ever could: I’m betting he’ll devote a future blog entry to it.
If there’s one thing I hate about running Vegan.com, it’s that I’m constantly having to nag people to take their B-12 and DHA. This is really important stuff, and I know that 98 percent of vegans nod their heads in agreement yet somehow keep putting off taking these supplements.
I’ve put a link to some super-discounted B-12 alongside this blog entry. Whether you buy it through Vegan.com or not is beside the point. But please, just get some vegan B-12 and take it every day.