Vitamin B12 – foods high in content
Vitamin B12 is involved in a number of processes in the body: It is required for cell division and also for blood and nerve formation. It is therefore important that you regularly eat foods containing vitamin B12. Find out here where the vitamin is contained and why vegans are better off taking dietary supplements.
These foods contain vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in large quantities in the body – primarily in the liver. Nevertheless, it is important to regularly ingest vitamin B12 through food.
You can find out more about vitamin B12 here.
Vitamin B12 is only found in relevant amounts in animal products, i.e., in
- dairy products
Conversely, this means that all other products contain little or no B12. Scientists have also discovered vitamin B12 in plant foods such as seaweed or shiitake mushrooms. But the problem is: There are different B12 vitamins. Whether the herbal variant can be utilized by the human body has not yet been clarified. It is therefore also referred to as a “pseudo-vitamin”.
Thanks to bacterial fermentation, sauerkraut and beer contain traces of the usable vitamin. However, this is not enough to cover daily needs. So what foods contain vitamin B12? One thing is certain: plant products are not on the list of foods containing vitamin B12, but animal products are.
Vitamin B12 deposits
If you want to eat healthily, foods with a lot of vitamin B12 play an important role. The following vitamin B12 food table gives you a good overview:
How to meet your vitamin B12 needs
According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the estimated daily intake depends, among other things, on age. In addition, women have an increased vitamin B12 requirement per day during pregnancy and breastfeeding. The following recommendations apply:
- Infants (0 to 4 months): 0.5 micrograms per day
- Infants (4 to 12 months): 1.4 micrograms per day
- Children (1 to 4 years): 1.5 micrograms per day
- Children (4 to 7 years): 2.0 micrograms per day
- Children (7 to 10 years): 2.5 micrograms per day
- Children (10 to 13 years): 3.5 micrograms per day
- Adolescents from 13 years and adults: 4 micrograms per day
- during pregnancy: 4.5 micrograms per day
- while breastfeeding: 5.5 micrograms per day
These values are based on the assumption that small amounts of vitamin B12 are ingested through food several times a day. With a balanced, varied diet, it is generally not a problem to cover your daily needs. The recommended amount for adults of around four micrograms per day can be found in:
- 10 grams of liver
- 40 grams of herring
- 100 grams of pollock or salmon
- 100 grams of camembert
Important: Heat – for example in the form of strong frying – and long storage times are poison for vitamin B12. Food that contains the vitamin in relevant quantities should therefore be prepared as freshly and gently as possible.
Vitamin B12: Vegans and vegetarians should keep this in mind!
Vegetarians have a good chance of getting enough vitamin B12 if they plan their diet carefully. Examples of vegetarian vitamin B12 foods are eggs and dairy products.
Fresh vegetables and fruit, whole grains, legumes, nuts and high-quality oils are regularly on the menu for vegans. As a result, they absorb sufficient protein, vitamins and minerals. According to current knowledge, however, it is not possible to cover the vitamin B12 requirement with a purely plant-based diet.
Even if manufacturers of vegan milk and yoghurt alternatives are increasingly addressing this issue and sometimes artificially add vitamin B12 to products, the following applies: If you eat vegan, you should take a vitamin B12 supplement and regularly check your B12 value with your doctor permit. He can use a blood test to determine how well the body is supplied with the vitamin.
When are vitamin B12 supplements necessary and useful?
The German Society for Nutrition not only recommends vegans to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Even in times of increased need, for example during pregnancy, the additional intake may make sense. It is best to discuss this with a doctor.
For everyone else, the following applies: Dietary supplements or medication with vitamin B12 are only necessary if someone develops a deficiency due to illness – for example in the case of chronic intestinal inflammation. If absorption via the intestine is disturbed, vitamin B12 capsules are no longer sufficient.
An acute deficiency must be treated with injections into the muscles. These injections are very stressful, especially for children. Therefore, scientists are investigating to what extent special nasal sprays could compensate for a vitamin B12 deficiency.
The researchers have already had promising results for adults: the nasal spray proved to be safe and served its purpose. The focus is now on investigations with children. A Dutch research team showed in a study in 2019 that the spray also works in children. However, due to the small number of participants (ten children), the results are not yet representative.
In conclusion, Vitamin B-12 plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health and well-being, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is no exception. As our lifestyles evolve and dietary preferences change, it is essential to recognize the importance of ensuring sufficient Vitamin B-12 intake. In the UAE, where dietary habits may vary due to cultural diversity, it is crucial to raise awareness about the significance of this vital nutrient. By incorporating Vitamin B-12-rich foods into our diets or considering supplements, we can support our energy levels, enhance brain function, and promote a healthy nervous system. Let’s prioritize our health by understanding the value of Vitamin B-12 and making informed choices to maintain optimal well-being. #VitaminB12 #HealthAndWellness