Vitamin B12 Sources

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Average daily recommended dietary amounts of Vitamin B12 for an adult is 6 µg per day (approx).

Vitamin B12 is produced by bacteria and micro organisms. Meat, meat, poultry, fish and milk are full of bacteria because they are decaying substances and so these foods have plenty of B12.

For vegetarians,  Milk is the only fresh source of Vitamin B12.

The Food Sources of Vitamin B12 :

  1. 1 cup (250 ml approx) low fat milk provides 15-18% of the Daily Value (DV) of Vitamin B12
  2. 100 g of curd / low fat yoghurt gives 10% of DV
  3. 1 large whole, hard boiled egg gives 10% of DV
  4. 1 serving of Breakfast Cereals fortified with Vitamin B12 gives 25% of DV

Absorption of Vitamin B12 :

Healthy adults generally absorb 50% of the vitamin contained in foods.

The absorption of vitamin B12 from eggs appears to be relatively low at a rate of less than 9%.

However, the vitamin B12 from meat, poultry and fish is estimated to be absorbed at a rate of 42% to 61%.

The vitamin B12contained in milk is estimated to be the most bioavailable, with approximately 51% to 79% absorption.

Furthermore, a Quebec study conducted on pigs showed that the intestinal absorption of vitamin B12 from milk was higher than that of the synthetic form of vitamin B12most commonly used in supplements.

In this study, pigs were used as a model since their digestive system shares many similarities with that of humans in terms of anatomy, physiology, absorption and metabolism.

Consequently, milk and milk products are an excellent food source of vitamin B12, and daily consumption can aid in the prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency.

The Surprise Element : “Where does Vitamin B12 come from?”

In the working labour class  / poor people who are living on a diet predominantly based on foods of vegetable origin. The consumption of Milk and Milk products by them is very very less due to cost factor. Still the deficiency of Vitamin B12 is per se not widespread in these classes. From where they get Vitamin B12 is Not Clear.

  • B12 has been reported in well water ( 0.1 microgram per litre) [358], rain water [359], and in numerous lakes and oceans [129]. In a more natural world, vitamin B12 could be naturally available to vegans in the form of organic fruits and vegetables straight off the farm, pond water, river water or other natural drinking water etc. Nature always made provisions for us to get enough of vitamin B12 in the most natural and cruelty-free ways.
  • Another theory is : The poor hygienic conditions enables bacterial contamination which provides small quantities of B12 .
  • It’s very important for you to grasp that in our modern food supply B12 is found MOSTLY in animal products. Well, contrary to what some think, the cow does not actually make the B12, but the bacteria in its gut does.Vitamin B12 is made in bacteria that lives in the soil/dirt.

    When a cow chomps on grass, she eats the vitamin B12-enriched soil which allows the bacteria in the cow’s gut to make use of the B12 thereby imparting the animal with B12.

    And those ancestors of ours who were able to thrive on a plant-based diet without adding any Vegan Vitamin B12 supplements? Well, they were getting their food directly out of the ground still covered in soil — soil which they were never quite able to completely remove. (And it was not required to do so ! as they were not spraying  pesticides/chemicals on food to protect it, those day)

    Our food today is usually very clean by the time it makes it to our stores, and then we further clean it in our own kitchen . Goodbye Vitamin B12. Since most of us don’t like the taste of dirt and the food has a cover of sprayed pesticides

  • But in Western Rajasthan’s Desert, where drinking water itself is a not available sufficiently the question of using water to wash foods does not arise. In fact the utensils are never washed/ cleaned with water, instead, they are cleaned with soil only. Thus soil is consumed in a hidden way.

  • Animals on the other hand have no problem eating dirt, so that is how they obtain their B12.
  • Now, the only reason people who eat meat toget Vitamin B12 is because they are getting it through the animals digested and absorbed B12. AKA your B12 consumption is from what a dead animal consumed.

Organic Farming :

  • Plant uptake of B12 from the soil, especially from soil fertilized with manure (like Cow Dung) , could provide some B12 for humans eating the plants, and may be why some vegans, who do not supplement with B12, do not develop B12 deficiency. When B12 analogues are placed in the soil, plants can absorb them.
  • The consumption of plant foods grown in soil fertilized with human manure (occasionally called “night soil”) used without being washed thoroughly,  also provide adequate B-12, as human feces contain active vitamin B12.
  • * Vitamin B12 is made by microor- ganisms found in the soil and by microorganisms in the intestines of animals, including our own. The amount made in our intestines is not adequately absorbed, so it is recommended that we consume B12in food. Research has convincingly shown that plants grown in healthy soil that has a good concentration of vitamin B12 will readily absorb this nutri- ent.lO However, plants grown in “lifeless” soil (non-organic soil) may be deficient in vitamin B12. In the United States, most of our agriculture takes place on relatively lifeless soil, decimated from years of unnatural pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer use. So the plants grown in this soil and sold in our supermarkets lack B12. In addition, we live in such a sanitized world that we rarely come into direct contact with the soil- borne microorganisms that produce B . At one point in our history, we got B12 from vegetables that hadn’t been scoured of all soil. Therefore, it is not unreasonable to assume that modern Americans who eat highly cleansed plant products and no animal products are unlikely to get enough vitamin B

    Though our society’s obsession with nutrient supplements seriously detracts from other, far more important nutrition information, this is not to say that supplements should always be avoided. It is estimated that we hold a three-year store of vitamin B12 in our bodies. If you do not eat any animal products for three years or more, or are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should consider taking a small B12 supplement on occasion, or going to the doctor annually to check your blood levels of B vitamins and homocysteine. Likewise, if you never get sunshine exposure, especially during the winter months, you might want to take a vitamin D supplement. I would recommend taking the smallest dose you can find and making more of an effort to get outside.

    I call these supplements “separation from nature pills,” because a healthy diet of fresh, organic plant-based foods grown in rich soil and a lifestyle that regularly takes you outdoors is the best answer to these issues. Returning to our natural way of life in this small way provides innumerable other benefits, as well. 

Well / Lake Water / Sea Water : are abundant source of vitamin B12

Some Tradition Recipes Rich of Vitamin B12

  • In Southern India : Within the plant world, sea plants (like kelp), nutritional yeasts, and fermented plant foods (like tempeh, miso, tofu, idli , dosa, kimchi, sauerkraut, rejeuvelac, natto) are the most commonly consumed food sources of vitamin B12.
  • In Northern / Western India : The food made by fermentation like Jalebi (जलेबी),  Raabadi ( राबडी) ( of  Maize / Bajra / Millet in Summer) , Kanji Vada, Sookhi Roti, Ker / Tainti Achaar ( केर /कैर/टेंटी अचार) , dries chapati / roti / bread ( सूखी रोटी) are good traditional food recipes of  Vitamin B12 which are now  on the verge of extinction.


* The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet… by T. Colin Campbell