Top 5 Foods That Help You Fight Coronavirus


Despite our best efforts, we may not be able to prevent getting the novel (new) SARS coronavirus that leads to COVID-19. The good news is, it’s a lot like the common flu and for most healthy people, recovery is quick and it’s not a big deal.  The bad news is, it spreads easily, it has at least 10 times the mortality rate of the regular flu, and we don’t have a vaccine yet.

So, if you are immunocompromised, older, working with the sick, or just interested in boosting your immune system, you might be interested to know about a study back in 2005 that found that the presence of nitric oxide significantly inhibited the replication cycle of SARS coronavirus. In other words, nitric oxide disrupts the virus’ ability to grow.

What Is Nitric Oxide?

Nitric oxide is used by the body for cell signaling, blood vessel dilation to promote better blood flow and there’s evidence that it helps lower blood pressure and improve brain function. How can we get more nitric oxide? We can boost our nitric oxide simply by the foods we eat.

Top 5 Nitric Oxide Sources

Here are the top 5 sources of plant-based nitric oxide, so you can better defend against coronavirus if it ever enters your body. Why wait for a man-made vaccine when we can have, as Hippocrates put it, “food be [our] medicine.”

  1. Beetroot Juice – Beets are the king of raising nitric oxide levels. Beets have a lot of nitrates, which the body converts to nitric oxide. According to one study, consuming a beetroot juice supplement raised nitric oxide levels in the subjects by 21% in 45 minutes. Another study showed drinking just 3.4 ounces of beetroot juice every day significantly raised nitric oxide levels in men and women. 3.4 ounces is about what TSA lets you take on the plane for carry-on liquids so it’s definitely not much.
  2. Garlic – Maybe this is why people have taken garlic for colds for centuries. Garlic boosts levels of nitric oxide by activating nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme involved in the conversion of nitric oxide from the amino acid L-arginine. So if you’re taking arginine supplements, garlic will help turn more of it into nitric oxide. One study showed that aged garlic extract temporarily increased blood nitric oxide levels by up to 40% within an hour and another study found that aged garlic extract also helped maximize nitric oxide absorption by the body.
  3. Leafy Greens – Green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, arugula, and celery are packed with nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in your body. One study found that regularly eating green leafy vegetables was associated with healthy levels of nitric oxide in the body so this is the single best way to keep elevated levels of nitric oxide in your body. Time to start eating more salads!
  4. Citrus Fruits – Or anything high in vitamin C. But of course oranges, lemons, limes and grapefruit are all excellent sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a critical role in health and raises levels of nitric oxide by increasing its bioavailability and maximizing absorption. Research also shows that it may increase levels of nitric oxide synthase, the enzyme necessary for the production of nitric oxide.
  5. Nuts and Seeds – Almonds, cashews, walnuts, chia seed, flax seed, pumpkin seed, and sunflower seeds have a lot of arginine, a type of amino acid that assists in the production of nitric oxide. Research suggests that getting arginine from foods like nuts and seeds in your diet can help increase nitric oxide levels in your body. For example, a large study involving 2,771 people showed that a higher intake of arginine-rich foods was associated with higher levels of nitric oxide in the blood. Another study found that supplementing with arginine increased levels of nitric oxide after just two weeks.

Now here’s our natural drug disclaimer (just like the one’s on TV). Warning: Eating more of the foods listed in our Top 5 Foods to Fight Coronavirus is not only going to help with coronavirus, but elevated nitric oxide levels may lower your blood pressure, improve circulation, and improve mental cognition.

Effects of weight-control on Typ 2 Diabetes








Diabetes Type 2 is a common and widespread disease and it is clearly related to overweight and obesity. The clinical manifestation of diabetes is also related to age. While only 2-3% of people under the age of 50 are afflicted, the prevalence of diabetes is rising continually with the progress of age. At an age of over 70 years, almost 20% are afflicted. So if we speak of a typical Person with diabetes, we think of an elderly person with long-time overweight. But in the last decades also younger people showed an increasing prevalence of diabetes. This may be due to an incline of obesity in our society and due to altered eating habits and less activity today.

While patients with diabetes often suffer under symptoms like chronic fatigue, polyuria and an increase of their thirst, diabetes itself can lead to other secondary illnesses in the long run. It weakens the immune-systems and makes the afflicted person more susceptible for systemic and local infections. It reduces the body’s capacity of healing, so that often time’s chronic wounds are prevalent. Furthermore Diabetes multiplies the risk of developing severe illnesses like stroke, heart-attack, kidney-failure and blindness.

This makes clear how essential it is, to treat the disease well and prevent further damage to the body. While older people often are treated with pills and if necessary also with insulin, especially younger people should be encouraged to change their lifestyle which can improve and in some cases even reverse their diabetes.

A recent study in England addressed the question, to what extend the loosing of weight can influence the diabetes. For this study they recruited 149 people at an age between 20 and 65 and a Body-Mass-Index between 27 and 45 that were diagnosed with non – Insulin – dependent Diabetes in the last 6 years. They gave them a special Formula-low-calorie-Diet which helped them to loose weight. Afterwards they got support in not gaining weight again. The participants of the study got no Diabetes-Medication at all. The results are astonishing: After 1 year 7% of 89 Persons that lost 0-5 kg decreased their diabetes, but already 34% of 56 Persons that had lost 5-10 kg completely reversed their diabetes! 28 people that lost 10-15 kg, 57% of them reversed their diabetes and with the 36 people that lost over 15 kg even 86% of them diabetes was completely reversed. The interesting thing was, that these effects were the same no matter how high the starting-level of obesity was. For example a person that lost from 130 to 115 kg had the same positive effects like a person that lost from 110 to 95 kg.

Altogether almost half of the participants of the study did not only reverse their diabetes, they also felt much better and gained more quality in life.  These results are really encouraging and they shall activate us to motivate Patients in their efforts to adapt to a healthy lifestyle. We should support them in losing weight which by itself can lead to an improvement or even a reverse of diabetes. It will make them feel much better and prevent the emergency of secondary diseases. All together it is the healthiest, cheapest and most natural medication we can offer. Patients should be taught that it is worth it to take responsibility for your life and become active.


Source: Lean MEJ, et al. Durability of a primary care-led weight-management intervention for remission of type 2 diabetes: 2-year results of the DiRECT open-label, cluster-randomised trial. Lancet Diabetes Endocrinol 2019;7:344–55.


By Faith Alone – Effects of Faith in a Loving God on the Human Body and Soul

Effects of faith

Does your faith impact not only your thinking, but also your mental and physical health? Several studies have examined the question, how faith influences our health. Professor Harold Koenig is leading the Centre for the Study of Religion/Spirituality and Health in Durham, North-Carolina. In a meta-study he and his team collected more than 1.200 scientific articles that were published after 1871 and that analysed the connection between faith and health*. 80% of the studies dealt with the question how faith afflicts the soul. He found out, that in most cases believers had a better psychological health compared to none-believers. The majority of believers could handle disappointments better, had a higher self-esteem and more confidence, and were more optimistic. To trust in a higher power can relieve the soul. Even if a person was affected by psychological illnesses, faith in God helped to deal with the situation. 70% of 444 studies showed, that faith can ease depression and can provide help for anxiety-disorders. In addition, believers were more likely to succeed in overcoming addictions than non-believers. With God at their side it was easier for patients to become free from alcohol than without him. So far the vast majority of the studies showed the positive effects of Christian faith on mental health. But Koenig also found out, that believers have advantages concerning their physical health. People who were believers had a lower blood-pressure, a better immune system, less heart diseases and – they lived longer. This was shown in over 82 studies! So this huge meta-study of 1200 studies showed significant positive effects of faith on human health – mental and physical health.

So even from a “worldly perspective” it is beneficial to believe in an almighty, loving God who is in control of our life. And beyond that, how much more hope and confidence brings the thought about God‘s promise to be with us and to provide a new heaven and a new earth for us.

But you may say “Wait a minute” – didn‘t Herold Koenig just speak of the effects of faith in general, no matter what you believe in? Does it matter, what I believe in?

The nature of faith

Nowadays many people think, that it doesn‘t matter what you believe, as long as you believe something. But is this really true? Let me give you an illustration: Imagine you are standing at the shore of a frozen lake and you want to cross the lake to get to the other side. The ice is only very thin, but your faith is very big! You have no doubt, that you can cross that lake and you feel very good about it! You are 100% sure, that you will make it and so you start running across the thin ice – but you don’t get very far until you crash through the ice and sink into the water. Now imagine you are standing at the shore of a frozen lake one more time, but this time it had been colder and the ice is two meters thick. But you are very fearful. You have only little faith. You don’t know if the ice will carry you. You can’t imagine how in the world you shall cross this lake. With trembling knees you put one foot in front of the other and you are sweating and praying to reach the other side. It almost seems like a miracle to you, that you finally crossed the lake and reached the other shore. – But the truth is: The ice was so thick, you could have crossed the lake in an 70 tons Abrams M1A2-battle-tank without any problem! So we see, that it does make a difference, what we trust in. It is important to build our faith on the truth and that is why Jesus said, that if we study his teachings, we will discover the truth and the truth will set us free. So faith and truth must be united. Jesus said, he is the one who shows the truth and he is the truth.

So, how does Jesus describe the essence of faith that he asks us to have?

Characteristics of biblical faith

At one point, when his disciples were struggling with disappointment and discouragement, Jesus told them very plainly: “I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Mt 18:4)

So Jesus said, if you have faith, nothing that you ask will be impossible for you. If it is God‘s will, he can even move mountains for us! So biblical faith is believing in the utter power of God and his possibility to act in our lives! But what is special about the faith Jesus wants us to have? You have to believe in something, that you can’t see right now. The mountain is there. It is as big and as steady as before, but you believe that God can move this mountain. Additionally, you haven’t ever heard of something like this before! You believe in something, you can’t see now. The book of Hebrews gives us a definition of faith that expresses this fact. Hebrews 11:1 says: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” And in verse 6 it says: “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe, that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.”

So the nature of faith is, that we put our trust in the promises of God, although we cannot see their fulfilling today! It is like walking with your eyes closed, but hand in hand with a person that you trust. Even though you can’t see the way that is ahead of you, you trust in your companion, and that he is leading you right as he is telling you where to go. As we look back on our experiences with God and on how we took little steps of faith, we can win confidence for the future, although it may be unclear to us. But God has promised, that he will lead us to the end. In Hebrews it also says very clearly, “that anyone who comes to God, must believe, that he exists and that he will reward the ones, who earnestly seek him.” Of course, it only makes sense to believe, if we are sure, that God exists, but the text says, that it is equally important, that we believe in a God who is good and who will reward the ones that seek him. Many people are not sure, if God is good or not, but it is essential to believe in a gracious and loving God! We have the promise, that if we seek, we will find him (Mt 7:7). If we search for truth with all our heart, we will find it! Jesus said, God is like a father who is waiting for us to come home and for this reason he was willing to give his most precious gift for us.

But what does this faith in God‘s promises look like? How does it influence our lives?

Examples of faith

I am so glad, that there are many examples of people in the bible that show us how to grow in faith. We can read many exciting stories, that tell us the experiences, the fortitude and the weaknesses of men and women of faith, and that show how gracious God was with those people and how he led them in their lives. We will notice, that their challenges were in essence oftentimes very similar to ours and that they gave us an example from which we can learn many lessons for our own lives.

One of those examples is Joseph. First he was sold as a slave to Egypt and then he was put into prison because of his loyalty to God and to his master. Surely, it wouldn‘t have been easy for me, if I had been in his position. But the real test came, when the cupbearer in prison promised Joseph to help him to get out of prison as soon as he was free – but then nothing happened. Joseph had to wait in prison for two more years. I‘m sure, that this was a very hard test of faith. Probably Joseph was tempted to give up. I would have asked myself: Why does nothing happen? But Joseph didn’t lose his faith! And God rewarded his loyalty. After many years of endurance, none other than the pharaoh himself called him out of prison and Joseph found himself to become the second most powerful man in Egypt! We also see, that Joseph‘s character changed throughout his life for the good through endurance and trust in God’s guidance, and that God prepared him through all the years for the work he wanted him to do. There are many other examples of faith in the bible: David, who was fighting Goliath, the giant, with just a slingshot and five stones. Or Daniel‘s three friends, who were rather willing to be thrown into the oven, than to worship the golden image of Nebukadnezar. But in the fire Jesus was with them and only their chains burned up. I‘m sure most of you will remember a person in the bible, that is a shining example of faith for you personally.

One outstanding example for me is the widow, that was willing to give her last bread to the prophet Elijah, although she and her son had nothing left for themselves. And even though she only knew very little about God, God rewarded her faith and worked a miracle: bread and oil in her house multiplied from that day on and God provided for her needs. But before this happened, she was tested whether she was willing to give the last thing she had to God. For me this is a good example of living faith. God can only put something into our hands, if we are willing to let go and open our hands first. Only then God can refill them. If the widow hadn’t given Elijah her last bread, probably no miracle would have taken place. If the disciples hadn’t decided to follow Jesus and leave their work and family, they wouldn’t have changed like they did. I think faith always requires to put our life into God’s hand no matter what and to take the risk to obey him.

The greatest example of such faith is found in the life of Jesus. His whole life was a ministry for God and mankind. I am especially astonished by the scene in Gethsemane, when Jesus prayed three times: “My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Mt 26:39). Jesus was terrified when he thought of the sacrifice that he was about to bring, especially that the sin of the whole world should be laid upon him. But he was putting the will of his father first, entrusting his own life entirely to him! Even though his feelings were totally contrary, he was willing to do his father‘s will and to trust him, that his way is the best. I think this simple prayer shows what faith in summary is like – submitting our will to God‘s will:  “Father your will be done!” A modern author puts it this way: “Faith means, to lay our plans into God‘s hands” (EGW).  – Are we willing to do that today?

We have been looking at the benefits of faith for body and soul at the beginning of this article. As I write I can even feel the benefit of thinking about the principles of biblical faith. It is encouraging to see, that the people in the bible also started with little steps of faith and that their faith grew through persistence, despite of the personal weaknesses they had. And so it is with us: by acting out faith it will grow and show its positive effects in our lives today.


* Harold G. Koenig, “Religion, Spirituality, and Health: The Research and Clinical Implications”, ISRN Psychiatry Volume 2012, Article ID 278730, 33 pages


Beer Phytoestrogens

The Most Potent Phytoestrogen is in Beer

Image Credit: Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Why do alcoholic men develop so-called man boobs and other feminine traits? We know estrogens produce feminization, and our liver clears estrogens from the body. As such, the original theory was that alcohol-induced liver damage led to the retention of excess estrogens. The problem was that when researchers measured estrogen levels, they weren’t elevated. What’s more, even those with cirrhosis of the liver appeared to clear estrogens from the body normally, and men’s testicles started shrinking even before serious liver disease developed.

So, alternative explanations were considered. If it’s not due to estrogens produced endogenously, meaning within the body, maybe alcoholics are being exposed to “exogenous estrogenic substances from dietary sources”—perhaps from phytoestrogens in the plants that alcoholic beverages are made from. The discovery that plants could contain hormonal compounds was made back in 1951 by two Australian chemists charged with finding out the cause of an “epidemic of infertility in sheep that was ravaging their nation’s wool industry.” It took them ten years, but they finally figured out the cause: a compound called genistein, present in a type of clover, and the same phytoestrogen found in soybeans.

You can read about the dreaded clover disease on scare-mongering websites, but you’ll note they never talk about the difference in dose. To get as much as the sheep were getting from clover, you’d have to drink more than 1,000 cartons of soymilk a day or eat more than 8,000 soy burgers or about 800 pounds of tofu a day.

This is not to say you can’t overdo it. There are two case reports in the medical literature that describe feminizing effects associated with eating as few as 14 to 20 servings of soy foods a day. But at reasonable doses, or even considerably higher than the one or two servings a day Asian men eat, soy phytoestrogens do not exert feminizing effects on men.

So, back in 1951, we realized plant compounds could be estrogenic. Two German researchers realized that perhaps that’s why women who handle hops start menstruating, and, indeed, they found estrogenic activity in hops, which is the bittering agent used to make beer. They found trace amounts of the soy phytoestrogens, but in such tiny quantities that beer would not be expected to have an estrogenic effect. In 1999, however, a potent phytoestrogen called 8-prenylnaringenin was discovered in hops, which I discuss in my video The Most Potent Phytoestrogen Is in Beer. In fact, it’s the most potent phytoestrogen found to date, fifty times more potent than the genistein in soy, “provid[ing] an obvious explanation for the menstrual disturbances in female hop workers in the past.” Today, we have machines to pick our hops, so our only exposure is likely via beer consumption, but the levels in beer were found to be so low that they shouldn’t cause any concern.

Then in 2001, a study on a hops-containing “dietary supplement for breast enhancement” raised the concern that another phytoestrogen in hops called isoxanthohumol might be biotransformed by our liver into the more potent 8-PN, which would greatly augment the estrogenic effect of hops. This study was conducted on mice, though. Thankfully, a study using human estrogen receptors found no such liver transformation, so all seemed fine…until 2005. “[T] he liver is not the only transformation site inside the human body.” The human colon contains trillions of microorganisms with enormous metabolic potential. It’s like a whole separate organ within our body, with a hundred livers’ worth of metabolizing power. So, let’s effectively mix some beer with some poop and see what happens.

Indeed, up to a 90 percent conversion was achieved. Up to then, “the concentration of 8-PN in beer was considered too low to affect human health. However, these results show that the activity of the intestinal microbial community could more than 10-fold increase the exposure concentration.” This can explain why you can detect 8-PN in the urine of beer-drinkers for days: Their gut bacteria keep churning it out. Obviously, the amount of straight 8-PN in beer is not the only source of estrogen effects given this conversion. So, a decade ago, the question remained: Might drinking too much beer cause estrogenic effects and feminize men? See my video What Are the Effects of the Hops Phytoestrogen in Beer? for the update.


Endurance-training but not resistance-training is keeping our cells young

As the days are getting longer and warmer, more and more people feel attracted to go out and enjoy nature. You can also see more people out there bicycling or jogging and it seems that together with nature our drive to sports is awakening. The positive effects of sport are widely known. Activity is strengthening our cardiovascular system and it is able to prevent us from many kinds of various diseases. People who are doing sport are healthier, more balanced and live longer than people who are not active.

Just recently I was reading an article about the effects of sport on our cells that was very interesting to me. Professor Laufs from the University of Leipzig in Germany was examining the effects of different types of sport on the cells of our body and he found out, that it makes a great difference, what kind of sport we are doing! If you want to do sport, you have principally two choices: Either you can do endurance-training like swimming, running or cycling, or you can do resistance-training, and strengthen your muscles. You would typically do this with dumbbells or other fitness-devices in a gym. It was astonishing to me, that Professor Laufs found out, that endurance-training had a much greater benefit on the health of our cells, than resistance-training!  

Professor Laufs and his team were examining 266 inactive young people and putting them basically into 3 different groups. The first group was starting with endurance-training (running) 3 times a week, the second group was doing resistance-training (pumping iron) 3 times a week and the third group was continuing their inactive lifestyle from before. After six months blood-examinations were taken from the participants and their Leukocytes were examined for length of telomeres in the cell nucleus. Now Professor Laufs found out, that the length of telomeres in the “running-group” was increased, while resistance-training did not show these effects! But what does this mean?

The DNA contains our genetic information in the cell nucleus. It is packed in 46 Chromosomes. Now each Chromosome is “protected and sealed” by a special cap on each end, which is called “telomere”. The problem is, that this cap is shortening with each replication of the cell and that this shortening of telomeres is viewed to be an important mechanism of cellular aging. But there is one enzyme in our body, called “Telomerase” that can reverse this shortening of Telomeres. Now Professor Laufs found out, that the length of Telomeres and the activity of Telomerase was increased in the “running-group” compared to the “inactivity-group”, but that resistance-training (pumping) did not show the same effects! That means, that endurance-training like running, cycling or swimming has an outstanding potential of keeping our cells young!

To my knowledge this was for the first time, that it could have been scientifically shown, that sport can keep our cells young on a molecular level! The reason for the increased activity of telomerase in the running-group may be due to an increased level of nitric-oxide in the blood-vessels during endurance-training, which is acting like a hormone and providing different cellular changes. You can say, that we are made for moving outside and that by doing so, we can do our part for “healthy aging”. It was very interesting to me also, that sport is not all the same, but that endurance-training seems to be more healthie for our body than resistance-training! Resistance-training can be an addition or complement to endurance-training, but it can never replace it.  Another advantage of endurance-training is, that you can easily do it outside and get an additional extra-portion of fresh air and sunlight! And you can practice it in a group together with other people! So why don’t use the warmer and brighter days of springtime to go out and do some exercise? Your cells will love it!    

Source: “Endurance but not resistance training has anti-aging effects”, European Society of Cardiology, 27.11.2018 (ESC Press Office)


Sanddorn-pflanzliche Vitamin B12 Quelle


Sanddorn ist eine der ganz wenigen pflanzlichen Vitamin B 12-Quellen

Lange Zeit ging die Ernährungsphysiologie als Wissenschaft davon aus, dass die besten Quellen für die Vitamin B12-Versorgung Nahrungsmittel tierischer Herkunft wie Milch, Leber und Fleisch seien. Sanddorn könnte die Ausnahmeerscheinung unter den Pflanzen sein. .Sanddorn kann jedoch aufgrund der Symbiose mit dem Mikroorganismus „Actinomyces“ in seinen  Samenschalen Vitamin B12-Konzentrationen bilden.
Durch eine Konzentration von bis zu 60 µg Vitamin B12 pro 100 g ist der B12-Gehalt in manchen Sanddorn-Pflanzen extrem hoch. Der Nachweis des B12-Gehaltes wurde mit dem ELISA-Test gemacht, welcher als zuverlässig gilt. Einiges spricht dafür, dass diese Analyseresultate zutreffend sind.

Vitamin B12: Versorgung bei vegetarischer und veganer Ernährung

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 wird von Mikroorganismen gebildet. Werden bei veganer Ernährung keine Nahrungsergänzungsmittel verwendet, droht schwerwiegende Unterversorgung. Vegetarisch-vegan lebende Menschen sollten ihre Vitamin-B12-Versorgung regelmäßig überprüfen lassen.


Vitamin B12 wird von Mikroorganismen gebildet

Vitamin B12 wird auch Cobalamin genannt. Cobalamine können nur von Mikroorganismen (z. B. Bakterien) gebildet werden. In manchen Lebensmitteln kommen ähnliche chemische Verbindungen vor, die als Analoga bezeichnet werden. Auch diese werden von Mikroorganismen gebildet, haben jedoch keine Vitaminfunktion für den Menschen.

Arten von Vitamin B12

Alle Cobalamine haben eine bestimmte Grundstruktur, das Corrin mit einem zentralen Kobaltatom. Vitamin B12 ist die einzige bekannte biologische Substanz, die das Spurenelement Kobalt enthält. Je nachdem, welche Moleküle an das Kobaltatom gebunden sind, unterscheidet man u. a. die folgenden Cobalaminarten:

  • Adenosyl-Cobalamin (5′-Desoxyadenosylcobalamin, Coenzym B12)
  • Methyl-Cobalamin
  • Hydroxy-Cobalamin
  • Aquo-Cobalamin
  • Cyano-Cobalamin

Die ersten vier Cobalaminarten kommen natürlicherweise vor. Cyanocobalaminist die synthetische Form, die in den meisten Vitamin-B12-Präparaten verwendet wird. Die eigentliche Vitamin-B12-Wirksamkeit entfalten Adenosyl- und Methylcobalamin. Jedoch können die anderen genannten Cobalamine im Körper in die beiden aktiven Formen umgewandelt werden. Liegen weitere Veränderungen am Corringerüst vor, wie zusätzliche Seitenketten und fehlende Komponenten, handelt es sich um inaktive Vitamin-B12-Analoga.

Funktion von Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 ist im menschlichen Körper an drei biochemischen Reaktionen beteiligt: dem Abbau der Aminosäure Homocystein, der Umwandlung von Methylmalonsäure sowie von Leucin. Vereinfacht gesagt spielt Vitamin B12 dadurch eine wichtige Rolle bei der DNA-Synthese und Zellteilung, der Blutbildung sowie der Funktion des Nervensystems (die Bedeutung der Leucinumwandlung ist bisher unklar).

Aufnahme von Vitamin B12

In vom Tier stammenden Lebensmitteln ist Vitamin B12 an Proteine gebunden. Aus diesen wird es im Magen unter Einwirkung der Magensäure herausgelöst. Nahrungsergänzungsmittel enthalten Cobalamin in freier Form. Damit das Vitamin anschließend vom Körper aufgenommen werden kann, muss es an den sogenannten „Intrinsic Factor“ gebunden werden. Dabei handelt es sich um ein Protein, das in den Zellen der Magenschleimhaut gebildet wird. Die eigentliche Aufnahme findet dann im unteren Dünndarm statt. Wird Vitamin B12 in sehr großen Mengen zugeführt, kann es aufgrund der Konzentrationsunterschiede auch ohne die Bindung an den Intrinsic Factor über den Magen-Darm-Trakt ins Blut gelangen. Der menschliche Körper verfügt über Vitamin-B12-Speicher, die gefüllt eine Reservekapazität von drei bis fünf Jahren aufweisen.

Zwar wird Vitamin B12 auch von Bakterien im menschlichen Dickdarm hergestellt. Da die Aufnahme jedoch in höheren Darmabschnitten, nämlich dem unteren Dünndarm, erfolgt, ist dieses „humane“ Cobalamin nicht nutzbar und somit auch keine Vitamin-B12-Quelle.

Vorkommen und Bioverfügbarkeit von Vitamin B12 in Lebensmitteln

In den meisten tierischen Lebensmitteln ist Vitamin B12 reichlich enthalten (Tabelle 1). Das mögliche, sehr geringe Vorkommen in Wurzel- und Knollengemüse sowie vergorenen Lebensmitteln wie Bier, Sauerkraut und fermentierten Sojaprodukten reicht nicht aus, um einen signifikanten Beitrag zur Vitamin-B12-Versorgung zu leisten. Zudem sind die von einigen Herstellern sowie in der Laienpresse behaupteten angeblichen Vitamin-B12-Gehalte dieser Lebensmittel durchweg nicht belegt. 1


Einzelne Meeresalgen, die traditionell in der asiatischen Küche verwendet werden (z. B. Nori), sowie die Süßwasser-Mikroalge Chlorella weisen in einzelnen Untersuchungen erhebliche Vitamin-B12-Mengen auf. Über die tatsächliche Nutzbarkeit des enthaltenen Vitamin B12 für den Menschen liegen jedoch bisher keine Ernährungsstudien vor. Die meisten Nahrungsergänzungsmittel auf Algenbasis enthalten ausschließlich oder überwiegend Analoga ohne Vitaminwirksamkeit.

Vitamin-B12-Gehalt verschiedener Lebensmittel 2

Lebensmittel Vitamin B12 (µg/100 g)
Rinderleber 65,0
Rindfleisch 5,0
Rotbarsch 3,8
Camembert (30 % Fett i. Tr.) 3,1
Emmentaler (45 % Fett i. Tr.) 3,0
Frischkäse, körnig 2,0
Hühnerei 1,9
Brie (50 % Fett i. Tr.) 1,7
Joghurt (3,5 % Fett i. Tr.) 0,4
Kuhmilch (3,5 % Fett i. Tr.) 0,4

Mit Vitamin B12 angereicherte Nahrungsmittel reichen nicht aus

Einige Lebensmittel werden mit Vitamin B12 angereichert. Dazu zählen verschiedene Sojaprodukte, Müsli und Cornflakes, Fruchtsäfte sowie Fleischalternativen. Vegan lebende Menschen können mit diesen pflanzlichen Lebensmitteln, abhängig vom Vitamin-B12-Gehalt, ihre Cobalaminzufuhr verbessern. In Deutschland enthalten die angereicherten Produkte jedoch meist zu geringe Vitamin-B12-Mengen, um dadurch den Tagesbedarf vollständig zu decken. Außerdem ist zu beachten, dass Bio-Produkte im Gegensatz zu konventionellen Produkten nicht mit Vitamin B12 angereichert werden dürfen. Vegane Lebensmittel aus ökologischer Erzeugung enthalten demnach kein Cobalamin.


Die Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung (DGE) empfiehlt eine tägliche Zufuhr von 3 µg Vitamin B12. 3 Ein Mangel an Cobalamin hat Störungen der Zellteilung im gesamten Organismus zur Folge. Betroffen sind vor allem Zellen, die rote Blutkörperchen bilden sowie Zellen der Mund- und Rachenschleimhäute und des Nervensystems.


Typisches Symptom des Vitamin-B12-Mangels ist eine bestimmte Form der Blutarmut, bei der die roten Blutkörperchen abnorm vergrößert sind (megaloblastäre Anämie). Charakteristische Anzeichen sind blasse Haut und Schleimhäute, Rückbildungen der Mund-, Zungen- und Darmschleimhäute mit nachfolgender Beeinträchtigung der Nährstoffaufnahme sowie unspezifische Symptome wie allgemeine Schwäche, Ermüdbarkeit und Schwindel.

Wesentlich schwerwiegender als die gestörte Blutbildung ist die zweite Symptomgruppe des Cobalaminmangels. Hier kommt es zu Schädigungen des zentralen Nervensystems, was sich in Sensibilitätsstörungen (z. B. „Ameisenkribbeln“ an Händen, Füßen und anderen Körperteilen), Appetitmangel, Schwäche von Reflexen und Bewegung, Störungen der Bewegungskoordination sowie psychiatrischen Störungen, wie Verwirrung, Halluzinationen, Gedächtnisstörungen bis hin zu Psychosen, äußern kann.

Beide Symptomgruppen können unabhängig voneinander auftreten. Das Problematische bei einer Vitamin-B12-bedingten Blutarmut ist, dass sie durch eine hohe Zufuhr von Folat – etwa bei vegetarischer oder veganer Ernährung – verzögert oder „maskiert“ werden kann, da beide Vitamine bei der Zellteilung zusammenwirken. Gleichzeitig schreiten aber die neurologischen Veränderungen fort, sodass es zu bleibenden Schäden am zentralen Nervensystem kommen kann.

Eine Unterversorgung mit Vitamin B12 führt außerdem zu erhöhten Blutkonzentrationen an Homocystein, die einen Risikofaktor für die Entstehung von Atherosklerose und Herz-Kreislauf-Erkrankungen darstellen.

Vitamin-B12-Mangel bei älteren Menschen

Im Alter bedingt ein Vitamin-B12-Mangel einen schnelleren Abfall der Gedächtnisleistungen und damit möglicherweise ein höheres Demenzrisiko. Ältere Menschen sind unabhängig von der Ernährungsweise häufiger von einem Vitamin-B12-Mangel betroffen. Ursache ist meist eine chronische Gastritis (Magenschleimhautentzündung), die dazu führt, dass weniger Magensäure gebildet wird und somit Vitamin B12 nicht ausreichend aus den Nahrungsproteinen herausgelöst werden kann.

Bestimmung der Vitamin-B12-Versorgung

Aufgrund der großen Körperspeicher kann es Jahre dauern, bis sich klinische Symptome eines Vitamin-B12-Mangels zeigen. Der Versorgungszustand mit Vitamin B12 lässt sich jedoch frühzeitig anhand von Blutanalysen bestimmen. Dabei sollten verschiedene Messwerte des Cobalaminstoffwechsels, insbesondere das Holo-Transcobalamin II (Holo-TC), untersucht werden (Tabelle 2).

Die alleinige Bestimmung des Vitamin-B12-Gehalts im Blut ist nicht geeignet, um den Versorgungszustand sicher zu beurteilen. Auch bei Personen mit Vitamin-B12-Spiegeln im unteren Referenzbereich (≥ 156-400 pmol/l) können klinische Zeichen eines Vitamin-B12-Mangels auftreten. Zudem kann auch bei normalen Vitamin-B12-Werten im Blut bereits in den Körperzellen ein funktioneller Vitamin-B12-Mangel vorliegen. Der früheste Indikator für einen Mangel sind erniedrigte Holo-TC-Werte. Dieses Transportprotein bindet Vitamin B12 und macht es den Körperzellen verfügbar.

Blutmarker zur Bestimmung der Vitamin-B12-Versorgung 4

Marker Mangel bei
Holo-Transcobalamin II (Holo-TC) < 35 pmol/l
Methylmalonylsäure (MMA) > 271 nmol/l
Homocystein > 12 μmol/l

Vitamin-B12-Versorgung bei Vegetariern und Veganern

Mit einer lakto-(ovo-)vegetarischen Ernährung kann ausreichend Vitamin B12zugeführt werden. Vegetarier nehmen mit durchschnittlich 1,7 bis 2,5 μg täglich jedoch deutlich weniger Cobalamin auf als Fleischesser (5-7 μg pro Tag). 5, 6Werden bei veganer Ernährung keine Nahrungsergänzungsmittel oder mit Vitamin B12 angereicherte Lebensmittel verwendet, liegt die rechnerische Vitamin-B12-Zufuhr bei 0 μg pro Tag.

Entsprechend weisen Veganer in vielen Studien eine unzureichende Vitamin-B12-Versorgung auf. 7, 8, 9 Aber auch viele Lakto-(Ovo-)Vegetarier sind nicht ausreichend mit Vitamin B12 versorgt. In einer Studie wiesen 65 % der lakto-(ovo-)vegetarisch und 83 % der vegan lebenden Teilnehmer einen erheblichen Cobalaminmangel auf. 10 Die Deutsche Vegan-Studie zeigte, dass mit zunehmender Dauer der veganen Ernährung die Blutkonzentrationen an Vitamin B12kontinuierlich sanken. 11

Entsprechend sollten Veganer die ausreichende Zufuhr von Vitamin B12 über angereicherte Lebensmittel und Nahrungsergänzungsmittel, z. B. Tabletten oder Tropfen, oder Vitamin-B12-Zahncreme sicherstellen. Schwangere Veganerinnenund stillende Veganerinnen sollten besonders auf eine adäquate Zufuhr achten, um die Vitamin-B12-Versorgung ihrer Kinder zu sichern.

Empfehlung der Vegan Society

  • 2–3-mal täglich mit Vitamin B12 angereicherte Lebensmittel zu essen, die insgesamt 3 μg Vitamin B12 liefern oder
  • 1-mal täglich ein Vitamin B12 Supplement mit mindestens 10 μg Vitamin B12einzunehmen oder
  • 1-mal wöchentlich ein Vitamin B12 Supplement mit 2.000 μg Vitamin B12einzunehmen


  • – Lakto-(Ovo-)Vegetarier können ihren Bedarf an Vitamin B12 durch den Verzehr von Milch, Milchprodukten und Eiern decken.
  • – Veganer können mit herkömmlichen pflanzlichen Lebensmitteln keine ausreichende Zufuhr von Vitamin B12 erreichen.
  • – Der Verzehr von fermentierten Produkten, Algen und Lebensmitteln, die mit Bodenbakterien kontaminiert sind, kann eine sichere Vitamin-B12-Versorgung nicht gewährleisten.
  • – Zur Sicherstellung einer bedarfsgerechten Vitamin-B12-Zufuhr bei veganer Ernährung ist die regelmäßige Verwendung von Nahrungsergänzungsmitteln (und/oder angereicherten Lebensmitteln) oder Vitamin-B12-Zahncremenotwendig.
  • – Veganer, aber auch Lakto-(Ovo-)Vegetarier, sollten ihre Vitamin-B12-Versorgung regelmäßig untersuchen lassen.

Dr. Markus Keller (unter Mitarbeit von Franka Schmidt)

Cover Vegetarische Ernährung - Claus Leitzmann und Markus Keller


Claus Leitzmann und Markus Keller
Vegetarische Ernährung
Ulmer 2013 (3. aktualisierte Auflage), 380 Seiten, 22,99 €
ISBN 978-3-8252-3873-5


1 Berger I (2009): Vitamin-B12-Mangel bei veganer Ernährung: Mythen und Realitäten aufgezeigt anhand einer empirischen Studie. Ibidem, Stuttgart, S. 34-55

2 Elmadfa I, Aign W, Muskat E, Fritzsche D (2007): Die große GU Nährwert Kalorien Tabelle. Neuausgabe 2006/07. Gräfe und Unzer, München

3 DGE (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Ernährung), ÖGE (Österreichische Gesellschaft für Ernährung), SGE (Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Ernährungsforschung), SVE (Schweizerische Vereinigung für Ernährung) (Hrsg) (2008): Referenzwerte für die Nährstoffzufuhr. Neuer Umschau Buchverlag, Neustadt a. d. Weinstraße, 3. korr. Nachdruck, S. 131

4 Herrmann W, Obeid R (2008): Ursachen und frühzeitige Diagnostik von Vitamin-B12-Mangel. Dtsch Arztebl 105 (40), 680-5

5 Davey GK, Spencer EA, Appleby PN, Allen NE et al. (2003): EPIC-Oxford: lifestyle characteristics and nutrient intakes in a cohort of 33 883 meat-eaters and 31 546 non meat-eaters in the UK. Public Health Nutr 6 (3), 259-69

6 Koebnick C, Hoffmann I, Dagnelie PC, Heins UA et al. (2004): Long-term ovo-lacto vegetarian diet impairs vitamin B12 status in pregnant women. J Nutr 134 (12), 3319-26

7 Krajcovicová-Kudlácková M, Blazícek P, Kopcová J, Béderová A, Babinská K (2000): Homocysteine levels in vegetarians versus omnivores. Ann Nutr Metab 44 (3), 135-8

8 Majchrzak D, Singer I, Männer M, Rust P et al. (2006): B-vitamin status and concentrations of homocysteine in Austrian omnivores, vegetarians and vegans. Ann Nutr Metab 50 (6), 485-91

9 Elmadfa I, Singer I (2009): Vitamin B12 and homocysteine status among vegetarians: a global perspective. Am J Clin Nutr 89 (5 Suppl), 1693S-1698S

10 Herrmann W, Schorr H, Obeid R, Geisel J (2003): Vitamin B12 status, particularly holotranscobalamin II and methylmalonic acid concentrations, and hyperhomocysteinemia in vegetarians. Am J Clin Nutr 78 (1), 131-6

11 Hahn A, Waldmann A (2004): Gesund mit reiner Pflanzenkost? Unimagazin Hannover, Forschungsmagazin der Universität Hannover 1/2, 6-9

Bildquelle: / hisks

Neu entdeckte Substanz hemmt Wachstum von Krebsgeschwulsten

Einer der Rädelsführer beim ungehemmten Wachstum von Krebszellen ist ein Eiweißstoff namens “Myc”. Innsbrucker Forscher haben nun in einem internationalen Team bei einer groß angelegten “Suchaktion” eine neue Substanz gefunden, die seine Aktivitäten stört und damit das Tumorwachstum im Maus-Modell stoppt. Die Studie wurde aktuell in der Fachzeitschrift “PNAS” veröffentlicht.

Myc reguliert in gesunden Zellen, wie oft wachstumsfördernde und -hemmende Gene vom Erbgut abgelesen werden. Bei fast allen Krebsarten beim Menschen ist seine Aktivität erhöht, was das Wachstum und die Vermehrung der Tumorzellen beschleunigt. Darum werden große Anstrengungen unternommen, um Myc in Krebszellen zu hemmen, erklärte Klaus Bister vom Institut für Biochemie der Universität Innsbruck im Gespräch mit der APA.

Vielversprechende Substanz gefunden

Die Forscher unter der Leitung von Peter Vogt und Kim Janda vom Scripps Research Institute in Kalifornien (USA) suchten Substanzen, die verhindern, dass Myc mit seinem Partner “Max” zusammenkommt, um gemeinsam an festgelegte Stellen im Erbgut anzudocken und bestimmte Zielgene zu aktivieren. Unter Hunderten Substanzen, die in einer “Molekül-Bibliothek” zur Verfügung standen, fanden sie vier, die die Bindung von Myc, Max und der Ziel-DNA störten. Die vielversprechendste namens “KJ-Pyr-9″ untersuchten sie genauer.

Stoppt Verbindung mit gefährlichem Eiweißstoff

Dabei fanden sie heraus, dass KJ-Pyr-9 tatsächlich die “Myc-Max-Liaison” behindert und die Zielgene bei Zugabe dieser Substanz nicht länger hoch-reguliert waren. Sie konnte auch verhindern, dass tierische Zellen im Laborexperiment durch gesteigerte Myc-Aktivität zu Krebszellen transformiert wurden.

Tumorzellen hörten auf zu wachsen

Schließlich gelang es ihnen, mit KJ-Pyr-9 das Wachstum menschlicher Tumorzellen zu stoppen: Krebsgeschwulste, die in Mäusen nach der Injektion von menschlichen Brustkrebszellen wucherten, hörten am achten Tag der Behandlung mit KJ-Pyr-9 auf zu wachsen.

Source: VOL.AT