Vitamin B12 in food

Vitamin B12 in food

Currently there is a wide range of ways to eat and there are more and more preferences in diets in which vitamin B12is not taken into account in foods, recommending reducing your intake, such as meat, eggs and dairy.

On the net there are very varied opinions about each modality, but perhaps what stands out most is the doubt of whether or not to take vitamin B12 when moving to a vegetarian or vegan diet.

You will find all kinds of arguments with studies, essays and especially nutritionists, specialists who claim to have helped thousands of people advising both to take this vitamin and not to take it.

It is difficult to reach a clear conclusion, in the end you do not know if it is better to take B12 supplements or not, from my point of view, all opinions can be partly right, when you treat a person for an ailment and offer any change in diet, there is immediately a positive reaction in the short term.

My opinion

After doing this research I think it is not worth risking, vitamin B12 in supplements is natural,you can choose if you take it every day, once or twice a week, once a month, it adapts easily, there is no danger of overdose, it accumulates in the liver and if you do not have a deficit, you avoid future problems.

We live too intoxicated because of a modified diet, full of pesticides, additives, hormoned meat and milk, products full of sugars, saturated fats and many more things that hide us, first we have to cleanse the body of all this, then have a lively, nutritious and ecologically sourced diet so that our intestines can return to manufacture vitamin B12 naturally.

I think that there are few privileged people who can self-factory the quality B12, for the rest where I include myself, better to take a supplement whether you are vegetarian, vegan, flexiterian, raw vegan, omnivore, at this point in the world food management, we all suffer from vitamin deficiency.

List of foods with more vitamin b12

Find out which foods contain vitamin B12 in this table.

The Recommended Daily Intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg for adults and children aged 4 years and older (FDA).

Find out which foods contain vitamin B12 in this table
vitamin b12 in foodAmount of B12 (mcg/100g)
Cooked clams (shellless)17,0
Enriched soy drink0,4
Enriched breakfast cereals0,6
Boiled spinach0,0
Cooked chicken egg1,2
Raw chicken egg2,5
Veal liver71,0
Skim milk0,2
Whole milk0,3
Semi-skimmed milk0,4
Fortified nutritional yeast44,0
Wholemeal bread0,0
Cabrales cheese1,5
Camembert cheese2,6
Cheddar cheese0,5
Emmental cheese2,2
Feta cheese1,7
Fresh cheese0,7
Gouda cheese1,7
Parmesan cheese1,5
Grated cheese2,0
Semi-cured cheese1,5
Minced beef2,4
Enriched soy yogurt0,4
Skimmed yogurt0,4
Greek yogurt0,2
Natural yogurt0,3

Vitamin B12 what it is for

Here we explain vitamin B12 for which it serves, it is a necessary nutrient for everyone whatever the type of diet, since it has basic functions in our body and deficiency can lead to anemias and neurological alterations.

Which foods have vitamin b12:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Fish
  • Fortified cereals
  • Nutritional yeasts
The bioavailability of this vitamin is three times higher when we eat dairy than when we eat meat or fish, and is 50% higher in supplements than taking foods that contain it.

B12 is responsible for converting Homocysteine (a substance that the body generates and that in excess can be toxic) into Methionine, if there is a lack of B12 it can be a risk factor when blood clots form with danger of suffering thrombi.

B12 is responsible for building myelin, a wrapper that covers the nerves of the central nervous system, if this coating breaks down due to lack of the vitamin and the nerves are exposed, it can lead to diseases such as multiple sclerosis.

Vitamin B12 is stored in the liver between 2 and 5 years,and its deficiency manifests itself between 3 and 6 years, although there are symptoms that are shown before.

cianocobalamina vitamina B12 mon-natura

B12 deficiency and its possible causes

The main cause is due to a low consumption of foods rich in this vitamin as it can be in the diets of vegans or vegetarians, although other factors are collected.

Factors affecting vitamin B12 deficiency:

  • Celiac disease
  • Parasitosis
  • Infections
  • Pancreatitis
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Ileal disease
  • Malabsorption due to gastric problems
  • Medications that destroy the intestinal flora (Metformin, antibiotics, anti-acids)

Health problems due to lack of B12

In vegan and vegetarian diets you have to take into account taking B12 supplements to avoid major problems that affect many of the body's functions.

To control vitamin B-12 in analytical tests, its plasma and blood levels are measured, assessing as deficiency those levels that are less than 200 or 250 pg/ml

Body functions affected by lack of vitamin B12:

  • Sense organs
    • Optic atrophy
    • Lost flavor
    • Loss of smell
  • Brain
    • Psychosis
    • Delusions
    • Depression
    • Mood swings
    • Cognitive defects
    • Mental disorders
  • Central nervous system
    • Paresthesia
    • Myelopathy
    • Impotence
    • Sensitivity
    • Incontinence
    • Muscle weakness
  • Infertility
  • Blood
    • Bilirubin
    • Thrombus formation
    • Increased homocysteine
  • In children or infants
    • Seizures
    • Hyperirritability
    • Sleepy state
    • Difficulty eating
    • Developmental delay

Types of Vitamin B12 Supplements

The vitamin B12 that comes to us from the food we consume depends on many factors so that it is absorbed and stored in the liver, among them it depends on the intrinsic factor (it is a substance that is created in the wall of the stomach that accompanies vitamin B12 to the intestines to be absorbed) to be able to transform and take advantage of it.

B12 supplements transport it without the need for intrinsic factor and makes it take better advantage of it, and there is no risk of saturation, high doses can be taken without problems, since of everything we will take only 2% is absorbed.

The U.S. Vegan Union The U.S. Food and Drug Control and Drug Control and The U.S. Has Studied the Amount of B12 for Good Health, concluding that 2 doses of 1000 micrograms per week is ideal for maintenance.

The important thing is to find supplements that are sublingual or liquid so that it dissolves earlier in the mouth and better enters the body, the stomach does not dissolve vitamin B12 well by stomach acid, it is also very effective in intramuscular injection to treat more serious deficiencies.

How to take B12 supplements.

Methylcobalamin or cyanocobalamin

Two formats of vitamin B12 supplements that we can find in the market.


  • It is the most used format in vitamin B12 supplements
  • No danger of overdose
  • Affordable for being economical
  • Contains a cyanide molecule
  • It is excreted in the urine faster than methylcobalamin.
  • It is a synthetic form that is not found naturally in foods that contain vitamin B12 (meat, fish, dairy, eggs)



  • Belongs to the methyl group
  • It is the natural way of B12 that we find in sources of meat, fish, egg or dairy foods.
  • It is used in extreme cases of deficiency with pernicious anemia or in people with kidney or liver conditions due to its better absorption.
  • It is better retained in the body than cyanocobalamin
  • It does not need to be processed in the body, it is absorbed directly
  • It is also recommended to take it when there are problems sleeping, in doses of 3000 micrograms can regulate the sleep cycle

cianocobalamina vitamina B12 mon-natura

Low back pain due to lack of vitamin B12

Pain in the lower back, more than 80% of the population both young and old, suffers or will suffer from low back pain at some point in their life due in part to deficiency in b-12 levels.

Consuming liquid vitamin B12 supplements in 5000 micrograms turned out to be effective in 40% of people who were treated, eliminating pain.

There is a close relationship between lower back pain and deficiency of this vitamin.

A 2000 research study(Vitamin B12 in low back pain)that was conducted with 60 patients between the ages of 18 and 65 who had lower back pain to check safety and efficacy for health, gave B-12 supplements concluding that they are effective in relieving low back pain.

B-12 is responsible for oxygenating red blood cells, if there is a low level of this vitamin oxygen can not reach the cells and especially the cells of the nervous system that are the most delicate with the danger of suffering neurological disorders, vitamin B12 protects, repairs and regenerates the nerves, so every 8 weeks or so there are new nerve cells, it is important not to have B12 deficiency in the body.

In people suffering from hypothyroidism it is important not to have B12 deficiency, the lack of intrinsic factor in these individuals means that vitamin B12 cannot be absorbed correctly giving rise to multiple symptoms and pains.


Finally, we must bear in mind that B-12 deficiency is a health risk, from pernicious anemia disease to neurological disorders that are difficult to treat.

Taking foods rich in B-12 also does not prevent the deficit in the blood since these foods do not contain enough levels to ensure that we do not suffer anemia since the animals are fed with modified feed.