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Suspected deficiency cleared up with b12 supplementation but –

Discussion in 'Health' started by Nekodaiden, Aug 22, 2018.

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  1. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    Before getting into my dilemma with the data, let me first say that just shy of a year being Vegan, (Octoberish 2017 when I first started from memory) with no appreciable screw ups or cheats during this time excepting the first month (after that, some bread that had egg in it, some rice seasoning that had lactose in it, both of which were thrown out)



    - And still using alcohol fairly frequently (which may have exacerbated things)



    During the past week or so I have noticed some numbing of my fingers and tingling sensation. I sensed it might be lack of B12 so I had a look, and sure enough, it’s one of the first listed symptoms. I have a supplement but have taken it I think once in that entire time. I am taking it more now. The tingling has subsided.



    - - The Intellectual Dilemma with B12 absorption/lack of without supplementation - -



    There is a literal ton of data regarding animal products and by products and how they wreck havoc on the human digestive system, particularly in the colon, where they feed meat and animal fat eating nasty bacteria that, while providing some benefits to the host organism, also provide a whole lot of ill effects.



    On the other hand, there is evidence that B12 is made by good bacteria (the fiber munching kind) in the colon but the excuse as to why we need to supplement is that this B12 produced via the action of certain bacteria is simply wasted insofar as the human immune system goes, and just gets flushed down the toilet.



    This is the heart of the intellectual dilemma I have. I’m missing something but do not know what. The basic problem should be obvious – the ill effects of animal putrification release toxic compounds into the body, help crowd out the fiber munching kind, which can go hungry and start causing problems due to not being fed. However – when the fiber munching kind flourish, they give off Short Chain fatty acids and other beneficial compounds and even produce some B12 – but apparently all the good stuff is used but the B12 just gets dumped? Really?



    I do not like taking supplements, it says to me either my body is out of whack or God/Nature made a mistake (I don’t believe this), or (most likely) I’m just missing something. However, while I don’t know/don’t understand, I’m happy to supplement B12 because it’s worth it over going back to eating and having rotting corpses and by products mucking up my system. But it still makes me wonder what’s up.



    Any thoughts on clearing up what I see as inconsistent reckoning (as outlined above) would be helpful.



    Thanks.

    Edit: if a moderator would kindly edit my misspelled word in the title that would be appreciated, thank you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2018
  2. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    If "a" moderator? I guess you meant me, since I'm the only moderator here. lol Spelling error fixed!

    As for your dilemma, why not go get blood work done, and see where the problem actually is? It eliminates all the guessing.

    The numbness could have a number of neurological causes, aside from vitamin deficiencies. I really dislike going to the doctor, but with something like this, I would want to know the cause for sure. It's not like we live in the stone age. The answer is available, if you want to go find out.

    I don't like supplementing either, but...we know B12 is an issue for vegans, so why not B12 supplements at the very least? I use a sublingual spray, which costs about $20, and will last just over a year. I also ask my doctor for a B12 injection whenever I see him. I just want to cover my own bases here, and besides, I don't have to pay for the in-office injection. And as a result of this, my B12 levels are excellent. My vitamin D levels on the other hand could use some improvement.

    The problem with B12 is that it's also supplemented into the livestock and meat people eat. That's why meat-eater's get their B12. It's not like it's a natural source. Animals, as in livestock, don't naturally consume it like in the wild. So what I'm getting at here is meat-eater's inadvertently supplement B12, whether they know it or not. Sadly, they're probably supplementing antibiotics and hormones as well.

    The way I see it, I don't drink my water from a well, spring, or mountain streams, and I don't eat meat or wild game meats, either, so what choice did I have, if I wish to be a healthy vegan? Furthermore, low B12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage as well. For me, I'd rather not take that chance.

    I also might add that you could try increasing the amounts of foods you eat that are fortified with B12. I know that works for some people. It would probably not work for myself, as I don't consume a lot of nut milks, nutritional yeast, etc. I do a bit, but probably not enough to make a huge difference. Anyways, nothing you probably don't already know.


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  3. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm sure you've already read lots of information on B12, but I thought I'd add one last bit of info, which hopefully helps you see the light, as to why supplementing is not such a bad thing. You can fall short on B12, but it would seem that no upper limits have been set for vitamin B12 intakes, because no toxic effects have been identified. So you can't get too much of it, at least.

    By the way, doesn't vegemite have B12? I'm not sure how difficult it is to get your daily requirement of 3mcg with fortified foods.

    Read here: What every vegan should know about vitamin B12
     
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  4. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    Wow, your knowledge of the role of gut bacteria is excellent. The fact that you know that there are short-chain fatty acids is impressive. There may be some details you have wrong. but I would have to do a little fact checking on my own to make corrections. I may come back later to do that. But even if there are some details you have wrong, they are irrelevant to your question.

    So this is the little factoid that you are missing. But I gotta tell you it's surprising you don't know this. It's in the "reading material" way before short-chain fatty acids. Perhaps you missed that lecture. :)

    The bacteria that produce B12 in our guts live pretty far down in our intestines, the large intestine. But the site for the absorption of B12 is higher up in the last part of the small intestine. I think herbivores sidestep this issue with rumination. (1)

    In the FYI or TMI department, B12 absorption is not always ideal. Age and general health are the two main factors. But there are others. The reason you see B12 supplements with huge numbers is that some people just don't absorb B12 that well and the doctor prescribes a high dose. You don't need a prescription for this Extra Strenght B12, because b12 is not toxic. Also, B12 is easily stored. I think our livers can store 3 to 6 months of B12. So you can take those extra strengh B12s once a month or so.

    IMHO, B12 gets way more attention and press than it deserves. Yes, of course, it's important. But I think among healthy vegans the deficiency is pretty unusual. Almost all multivitamins contain at least 100% of the RDA. Almost all the plant milks contain 50%. There are even some breakfast cereals and breads that are fortified with it.

    You said, " I sensed it might be lack of B12". I assume you meant suspected, but still. Even if you are right, there could be an underlying cause for a B12 deficiency. Like I said earlier there are factors that affect the absorption of B12. And if you take a multi or drink plant milks, that might really worth looking into.

    And it might have nothing to do with B12. There are other conditions that cause "numbing and tingling". And nerves are nothing to screw around with. Go see your doctor.

    Final thoughts: if you don't take a multivitamin, start. There are lots of vitamin deficiencies that can crop up. I know its possible to meet every one of those RDA with a strictly vegan diet. But I don't eat that right every day. Do you?

    I take a multi. It's the DEVA Tiny Tablets. It's vegan. and it's minimalistic. It just has enough to make sure if you need a little help you get it. but not so much of the things that can cause issues in large amounts (i.e. zinc, iron, A,). It's also inexpensive. Six cents a day. Less than $20 a year. It's basically just cheap insurance.


    (1) Neither here nor there but its interesting. There are some theories that way back when our foods or hands were covered with B12 producing bacteria from manure or our own stools. or that our ancestors occasionally ate poop, Either our own or other animals. Also that maybe the site of B12 absorption or production migrated during evolution.
     
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  5. Lou
    Joyful

    Lou Active Member

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    Hey. while I was writing my long answer, Veganite beat me to the punch. I think we agree on the main points. See a doctor and take a supplement.
     
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  6. Forest Nymph
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    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    I'm sorry but I think the fact that you'll drink alcohol but not take a vitamin supplement is a bit illogical. I've never really understood the rationale behind someone using one kind of medicinal supplement but not another, particularly when B12 is necessary for life but alcohol is not (though studies show a shot of brandy does in fact help prevent shock).

    That being said, did you know the majority of the world's cobalt mining isn't going to supplement vegans or vegetarians but livestock itself? That's right, if you ate beef from cows or eggs from farm-raised chickens, your animal products still would have the benefit of B12 supplementation since there's an overall agricultural problem with soil quality resulting from intensive factory farming practices since WWII and mono-crop styles of vegetable/grain farming (rather than the diversity of a smaller farm that is more healthful for the soil quality).

    If you're vegan you're going to have to take B12, it's just a fact of life, there's a lot wrong in the 21st century that you might have been able to get away with back in 1500...say in 1500 you lived in a monastery and ate a vegan diet, you only bathed once per month, and only washed your potatoes and carrots in the purest of water without any other chemicals or soap, I would say sure, go ahead, you can be vegan without B12 (because there is evidence of "vegetarian" individuals throughout history, mostly in spiritual communities or Jain cultures, and vegetarian actually originally meant what we now call "vegan.") But it's not 1500.
     
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  7. Forest Nymph
    Wishful

    Forest Nymph Active Member

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    Oh also numbing of fingers and tingling sensation is also a symptom of carpal tunnel syndrome, just fyi, which is from overuse due to things like using a computer, not from B12.
     
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  8. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    The original Vegemite does not contain it. Low sodium version does, which I have started using.

    I also have been taking a supplement once or twice a week, and this has alleviated symptoms. No blood work done to date, but strongly suspect that this was the culprit especially as I have read that frequent alcohol usage is also paired with B12 deficiencies. Vegan or no.
     
  9. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    I went Vegan out of a deep conviction that animal foods and products are not meant for the human body. Neither are a number of other things, such as artificial sweeteners, HFCS, oils, refined sugar, protein "extracts" and so forth. Alcohol is also on that list. So I can see the argument of saying I'm not being consistent. But I am only inconsistent in action, not in the way I think. Regular alcohol consumption was a habit long before I went Vegan. It's not something I defend as healthy, or needed. It's a bad habit and I can recognize it as such without any justifications or twisting of my mind.

    B12 is an enigma to me. Aside from a little iodine, it's the only thing we need to supplement (for sure need to supplement) if someone is eating a whole food diet with enough variety. People offer explanations as to why, but I find these lacking. Sure, the cow has 4 stomachs, but a horse's intestinal system is very similar to ours, and it does not need B12. Why us? Did God screw up in this area so that we are dependent on suppliers?

    I suspect not. I think it may be something far more simple, but is just elusive.
     
  10. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    PILLS, PILLS, PILLS. I don’t like pills. I feel as though I am being conned by corporate greed. People are trying to make money from me by emphasising real or imaginary deficiencies in my diet. For example, lack of B12 will cause fatigue, give me a headache and lead to dementia or worse. Out of real fear or perhaps as an insurance policy I should stock up on those little plastic containers holding my salvation.

    I am perfectly happy enough to eat fortified foods. Supplements are added there for my benefit at very minimal extra cost. But taking an actual pill? It’s like saying to the world, “Hey, I’m vegan. My diet is rubbish. So I take all these pills.”

    My lovely old gran often said, “You have to eat a peck of dirt before you die.” And guess what is in dirt! B12. She intended the expression to be taken literally. Nowadays, in our ultra-hygienic world, the saying is generally used only metaphorically.

    Anyway, I’m now off to have a glass of tap water. We live in the wilds of Yorkshire and our water is unchlorinated and unfiltered from a spring on the moor.

    Roger.
     
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  11. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I think that as far as God's intentions or evolutionary advantages go, we were not "meant" to eat a vegan diet. We can eat a vegan diet. And we certainly choose to but it may not be optimal. Even Fuhrman says something like eating small amounts of meat is healthy.

    And that may be all there is to it.

    Look at the animals that are our closest relatives. Chimps, gorillas, orangutans, they all eat bugs. We have all seen the movies of chimps fishing for termites.

    Remember that the amount of B12 that is necessary for good health is microscopically small. Just small amounts of meat would meet our needs.

    One theory is that way before we had fire or tools we could use rocks to get the marrow out of the leftovers of big prey kills. Probably not a staple. but just enough to meet some of our needs. Another theory is that when our populations expanded they followed lake shores then rivers then ocean shorelines. Bivalves may have been a staple and could easily meet our B12 needs. Remember B12 is easily stored. You don't need daily doses. But a bowl of clams a month would easily satifsy our requirements.

    It might also explain what we know about how quickly we migrated. As soon as we depleted the nearby shellfish population we headed down river another mile. (Archeologists think that the North American continent was populated at a rate of about 5 miles a year).

    There are other theories too. Like I mentioned in my first response. we might have gotten enough B12 from the bacteria on our food or the dirt on our food. Or that how or where B12 is produced and/or absorbed has changed over our evolution.

    @Rodger. I agree with you up to a point. The corporate greed is definitely there. The gym that I go to has a free magazine, and i pick it up and read it. (hey, its free). It is full of ads for supplements. And all the articles talk about how we "need" them. The gym sells them too. Supplements are like a billion dollar industry.

    But vitamin deficiencies do exist in the first world. even (especially?) among non-vegans. Eating right is always the first and best option.

    I do take an inexpensive multi. And I also view it as cheap insurance. However, I'm starting to question if I really need it. Because it's so cheap I never really questioned it before. and I still would need to take something to make sure I get enough b12. but now i'm thinking that there may be a better alternative.
     
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  12. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    If you honestly believe you were meant to eat meat, even small amounts, why be vegan? Because it's some "morally superior position" that supersedes your base needs?

    I call bs. I would never ever be vegan if I honestly believed my physiology demanded that I eat "small amounts" of animal products. To be so would be to deny reality in favor of an ideal, like trying to fit a square into a round hole because round holes look more appealing or something. It would be like disavowing my own humanity because I have some "superior ethics" that needs to consider the animals, or the planet, or whatever - that is - the planet considered outside of human needs.

    I do not see the vegan position as one of self denial in favor of greater ethics - I see it as setting right the human condition and a realization of our place and responsibility in the world, with regards to the animals, and ourselves. If I honestly believed we needed or benefited from eating animals, my position would be different entirely. Our physical make up is nothing like an omnivore or carnivore. We are herbivores, and saying we need animals or animal byproducts in our diet is like saying we are some sort of unique hybrid ******* of an herbivore that needs some meat.

    I couldn't disagree more.
     
  13. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I don't think our positions are that far off.

    But... We are not herbivores. We might be more similar to herbivores than carnivores but by any definition you choose - we are omnivores. Just like pigs, dogs, chimps. Omnivores CAN eat meat.

    In fact, if you are looking for biological proof, you could easily settle on our need for B12.

    I wouldn't choose the words "morally superior". But I like the "supersedes our base needs" phrase.

    Collen Patrick Goudeau is sort of my vegan role model. I think she says it best.

    "Simply by virtue of the fact that what we know that we can survive – and actually THRIVE – on a plant-based diet and have no nutritional requirements for the flesh or fluids of animals — that we have no need to kill animals for our own survival, means that we need to take a hard look at our excuses for killing over 10 billion animals in this country alone every year.

    I say that I believe the real reason we kill and eat animals is simply because we can, and that’s just not good enough. Just because we can doesn’t mean we should. Just because we once did doesn’t mean we always have to. Once we know better, I think we have the obligation and responsibility to do things better?"
    -https:confused:/www.colleenpatrickgoudreau.com/just-because-we-can-do-something-doesnt-mean-we-should/
     
  14. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    Which animals get when they eat their natural diets. When they do not eat their natural diets, as in the case of factory farmed cows, they get injections of B12.

    Is the corn fed cow a natural omnivore because it needs B12 supplements to fit it's requirements?

    Where does the horse, which eats only grass or hay and has a very similar digestive system to us, get it's B12? If you fed it only corn and it was B12 deficient, would you argue it was a natural omnivore?

    Don't backtrack. Use the same argument consistently.
     
  15. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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    I really don't know if they supplement farm animals with B12. Again, I'm a little foggy on some of the science. but B12 production requires the mineral cobalt. and if the soil is depleted and lacks cobalt they might supplement with cobalt or just include B12 in the feed.

    They certainly don't supplement wildlife with B12.

    And I'm not sure about animals getting B12 from their diets. As I understand it, herbivores have b12 producing bacteria somewhere in their gut. The way I understand it omnivores and carnivores - whether or not they have that bacteria or not - get their B12 by eating herbivores. But I'm also under the impression that people have that same kind of B12 producing bacteria in our guts. And the science is just a little bit out of my reach. Something to do with stripping proteins from the B12 for it to be absorbed. But in a general sense, the issue is that our B12 producing bacteria is in our large intestine. Maybe even far down it... but the only place we can absorb the B12 is higher up in our intestines. maybe even in our small intestine. So its just how our GI system is set up that is the issue not the bacteria - but where the bacteria live and where the B12 can be absorbed.

    And Horses do not have a similar GI tract as us. Besides differences between not just sizes but relative sizes, horses have a cecum. we do not. or if we do its really small. The cecum is a sac between the small and large intestines. and it is in the cecum where most of the digestion of fiber takes place. The cecum is like a fermentation vat. this is why a horse can live on hay - and we cannot. the bacteria living in the cecum break up the cellulose they eat. and the sugar it releases provides energy for the horse. Not unlike the bacteria in our colon. But on a much bigger scale. Oh, by the way, I just looked it up. A horse's cecum can hold up to 8 gallons. (2)

    Maybe not important to this discussion but the cecum only has one opening. And if something goes wrong in the cecum it can be life-threatening to the horse. Colic. Some more bacterial digestion occurs in the horses large intestine. "approximately 45% of the horse’s digestive tract, compared to 17% of yours". (1) And very important to the digestion of fiber.

    1. https://www.understanding-horse-nutrition.com/horse-anatomy.html
    2. https://www.horsehealthproducts.com...the-cecum-key-to-your-horses-digestive-health
     
  16. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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  17. Lou
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    Lou Active Member

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  18. Veganite
    Meh

    Veganite Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Neither one of those links prove anything. The article was written by a non-vegan, PhD student. Furthermore, it was only his opinion, written out of his so-called frustration over vegans. And the Forbes article has been long since debunked. Mic The Vegan sums it up quite well.

    I'm afraid this is where we're also going to disagree. I totally agree with the actual plant-based doctor's explanation, which makes a lot of sense to me.

    I was wondering if you missed the part about the meat being disease causing? How could that possibly be natural? We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, Lou. I think Doctor Milton is spot on.




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  19. Nekodaiden

    Nekodaiden Active Member Banned

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    Meh, I feel sort as if my thread was hijacked by a nominal vegan in order to "prove" we are natural omnivores. @Lou, it doesn't matter how many stories of hero animals you post, or how much you cheer that some hunters got eaten by some animals whilst going about their exploits, or what Dr Fuhrman says.

    If you knowingly and willingly eat meat, eggs, milk or products made from them you are not practicing Veganism, period. I find it's typically the people who are sneaking in animal products here and there while calling themselves vegan that are the first to jump on the "but we're natural omnivores" bandwagon and cite b12 deficiency or cellulose metabolism as their proofs. If this is not you, I'm sorry...but you've also said elsewhere that chicken can be part of a whole foods plant based diet:


    ?? How is chicken a plant Lou? Can you plant chickens and grow them out of the ground?

    You've also said that no one can be 100% vegan:

    Sorry. Veganism is strict. The broad definition is strict. No animal products in the diet. 0. Zilch. If you eat some accidentally, no one is going to scold you for being a hypocrite. If you eat them willingly, then it says you still see animals and animal by products as food. Cheering for animals saving humans, catching bad guys or mauling hunters doesn't make you vegan - leaving them out of your diet does.


    Your definition of omnivore is a reach. Frankly, it sounds like an argument a non-vegan would use or adopt. By this definition, a cow or horse that picks up a few ants or a grasshopper now and again while grazing on grass is an “omnivore”. See! They can eat meat!

    Nope. Veganite beat me to it, but in addition to the content he provided here are some studies on a common western condition: atherosclerosis.

    Quote: Metabolism of L-carnitine by the intestinal microbiome is associated with atherosclerosis in omnivores* but not in vegetarians, supporting CAD benefits of a plant-based diet. Trimethylamine-N-oxide may cause atherosclerosis via macrophage activation. We suggest that a shift toward a plant-based diet may confer protective effects against atherosclerotic CAD by increasing endothelial protective factors in the circulation while reducing factors that are injurious to endothelial cells.

    *Omnivorous by dietary choice, not nature.

    Source: https:confused:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4315380/

    Quote: Atherosclerosis affects only herbivores. Dogs, cats, tigers, and lions can be saturated with fat and cholesterol, and atherosclerotic plaques do not develop (1, 2). The only way to produce atherosclerosis in a carnivore is to take out the thyroid gland; then, for some reason, saturated fat and cholesterol have the same effect as in herbivores.

    Source: https:confused:/www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1312295/#B1

    Your point on celluose I believe is adequately answered here, among the other points:

     
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  20. rogerjolly
    Breezy

    rogerjolly Active Member

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    Lou is one of the most prolific posters on the forum. We haven’t heard from him now in a week. Would anybody like to hazard a guess as to why that might be?

    Roger.
     
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