Monday, July 9, 2012

Vitamin B12 Rich Foods and Bioavailability

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that is found in animal foods such as dairy, meat and eggs. B12 helps provide energy, reduce stress and regulate and rebuild your body's DNA. Because B12 is naturally found in animal foods, most vegans will end up needing to take B12 supplement. Vitamin B12 it is also often added in supplement form to many name-brand cereals. 

It is important to remember that, even though a certain food may have a lot of b12 within it, not all of the b12 within that food is bioavailable. For example, "Eggs contain a substance that inhibits absorption in the intestines. Although each egg contains 0.6 micrograms of vitamin B12, it is only 9% available, so the effective dose from eating one egg is only roughly 0.06 micrograms. The vitamin B12 within milk, cheese, and yogurt is only 65% bioavailable. Of the 1.5 micrograms in one cup of yogurt, only .98 micrograms gets absorbed." (Link) Also, "vitamin B12 bioavailability should decrease significantly with increases in the intake of vitamin B12 per meal" (Link).

Free range eggs have much  more B12 than eggs from factory farms (Link). So while a typical egg from a factory farm might have 0.6 micrograms of B12, a free range egg might have 1.3 micrograms.

"Good sources of vitamin B12 for vegetarians are dairy products or free-range eggs...Fermentation in the manufacture of yoghurt destroys much of the B12 present. Boiling milk can also destroy much of the B12" (link).

Note: For most adults, the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day (Link)

B12 Content                  
Beef Liver 1 slice

Chicken Liver 100g

3 oz Salmon
1 large Egg
1 Organic Egg
1 Cup Cottage Cheese
1 Cup Yogurt
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
8 oz. Cup of Milk
1 Oz. Swiss Cheese
3 Oz. Chicken or Turkey
63 micrograms

21 micrograms  

2.4 micrograms
0.6 micrograms
1.3 mg - 5 mg (link)
1.6 micrograms
1.5 micrograms
1.4 micrograms
0.9 micrograms
0.9 micrograms
0.3 micrograms
60% (% goes down 
for larger servings)
60% (% goes down 
for larger servings )

For a B12 calculator, check out this awesome link Here!
For an extensive B12 bioavailability list, check out this link Here!

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