Actually, I did my thesis work on B12 requirements in baby pigs and the only way we could ever produce a B12 requirement in those pigs was to put the dams on a low or almost no B12 intake and then take the pigs away from the dam almost immediately after birth and put them on a vitamin B12-free diet and then we could produce a deficiency and, as a matter of fact, we produced it very quickly.
But if we let them have the colostrum milk for even four or five days, it just went a long time to ever produce a B12 deficiency.
PARTICIPANT: I would like to comment that there is some data that I think has appeared in the literature now by Doris Calloway and colleagues who were involved in a three-country study—Mexico, Kenya, and Egypt—and were looking at growth and other performance parameters in children.
They appeared to be finding an impact of animal protein intake per day in terms of the growth and development of these young children and they are looking very hard at trying to get data on the actual B12 content of these diets.
It is a possibility, since these populations tend to be very much on a vegetarian type of program—very little meat in these poorer populations—that you are seeing some of it (vitamin B12 deficiency) in the military.
But then again, I think it is highly unlikely that we would see a B12 deficiency as it relates to that.
PARTICIPANT: Just maybe one other comment. Haven't there been some reported vitamin D deficiencies in Middle Eastern countries in which women, in fact, have very little skin exposure to the sun?
I mean, it is a complicating factor. In a desert environment, many people have kind of an ironic effect of D deficiency because their skin doesn't see the sun.
PARTICIPANT: I seem to recall reading some comments to that but I don't know of any specific literature.
DR. EVANS: We are in the process of conducting some studies in vitamin D deficiencies in older people but vitamin D deficiency is very present. They don't drink milk and they don't see the sun very much and it may be associated with a profound muscle weakness due to a calcium metabolism problem.
DR. CLARKSON: There might also be vitamin D deficiencies in some athlete groups like dancers who don't drink milk, because quite a few of them do have a low consumption of milk and they do not spend much time in the sunlight.
PARTICIPANT: I was going to ask a question, and this relates to the microorganisms in the GI tract and the vitamin C. I wonder, has anyone