Foods Containing B12

Foods containing B12 393Famously, the foods containing vitamin B12 are dairy, eggs, fish, seafood, and meat. What isn’t well known is that vitamin B12 originates exclusively with microorganisms, that is, bacteria. So, Asian black tea that is fermented with certain bacteria contains Methylcobalamin ~ the active form of vitamin B12.

Mushrooms, some seaweed, soil, in fact almost everything around us contains the bacteria that originates B12.

On the other hand, cereals like Fruit and Fiber contain B12 only because it has been added in the commercial cyanocobalamin form.

 

Foods Containing Vitamin B12

FoodsMicrograms (μg)
per serving
Dairy
Yogurt, low fat, 1 cup
MacDonald's Parfait
Milk, 1 cup
Milk, 2%
1.4
0.3
0.9
0.89
Dairy ~ Cheeses, 7 oz.
Blue
Brie
Camembert
Cheddar
Colby

Cottage
Cream cheese
Edam
Feta
Gjetost

Goat, soft and semi soft
Monterey
Mozzarella (whole milk)
Muenster
Parmesan, dry grated

Pasteurized American
Provolone
Ricotta
Roquefort
Swiss - Emmental

Tilsit
Velveeta
0.2
4.0
3.2
1.1
1.1

1.4
0.6
3.0
2.5
5.5

0.1
1.1
2.6
1.9
2.3

1.1
1.9
0.8
0.5
4.4

3.6
~~
Eggs
Egg, whole, hard boiled, 10.6
Fish ~
Salmon ~ 4 oz.
Atlantic wild, cooked
Atlantic Farmed,cooked
Chinook, wild, cooked
Chinook, wild, smoked, (lox), regular

Chum/Dog Salmon, cooked
Chum/Dog Salmon, canned
Coho, wild, cooked
Coho, farmed, cooked

pink, canned with bone
Salmon, sockeye, cooked
Salmon, sockeye, canned
nuggets
3.4
3.3
3.24
2.66

3.97
4.98
5.67
3.6

5
6.56
6.25
2.4
Other Fish
Cod, , Pacific, fillet, baked/broiled
Haddock, , cooked, 3 ounces
Halibut, , baked/broiled
Sardines
Snapper, baked, 4 oz.

Sole, 1 fillet
Trout, , rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces
Tuna, canned in water, drained , 3 oz
1.18
1.2
1.55
8.0
3.97

3.2
5.4
1
Seafood
Clams, breaded & fried, ¾ cup
Mollusks, clams, etc., steamed, 3 ounces
Scallops
Shrimp, mixed species, steamed/boiled 4 oz.
1.1
84.1
2
0.6
Meat
Beef, tenderloin 4 oz.
Beef, top sirloin, lean, choice, broiled, 3 ounces 2
Beef, liver, braised, 1 slice
Calves liver, 4 oz.
Chicken, roasted, ½ breast

Emu, steak, ground or fillet
Fast Food, Cheeseburger, double patty & bun
Fast Food, Taco, 1 large
Ostrich
Pork, ham, 3 oz

Rabbit, wild, cooked, stewed
Squirrel, cooked, roasted
Turkey, dark meat, 5 oz.
Turkey, white meat
Venison, 4 oz.
2.92
2.4
47.9
41.39
0.3

6.75
6.44
0.6
6.51
1.9

1.6
6.51
0.51
0.22
3.6
Cereal (Breakfast)
Fortified, ¾ cup 66.0

Note: The unit of measurement in the list above is a microgram.

The unit in the list below is ppb – parts per billion. ppm – parts per million – is the usual.

Foods less famous for B12parts per billion
Barley Grass (100 grams powdered)
White Button Mushrooms
Shiitake Mushrooms
Crimini Mushrooms
Tempe: fermented soy bean cake, 3 oz.

Miso: fermented rice, barley or soybeans per 100 g
Batabata-cha, per 100 g of dry weight
Grain, flour, cereals: approx.

Atlantic Wakame
Dulse
Irish Moss
Nori
Sea Lettuce
80.00
00.02
00.02
00.02
00.02-1.2

00.20
00.50

00.50
00.60
00.40
00.20
00.60

Because the B12 content is so low in the foods less famous for containing B12, it is important to recognize that the content may vary greatly depending on where the food was grown.

Batabata-cha ~ A Fermented Japanese Black Tea

A Japanese fermented black tea (Batabata-cha) contained a considerable amount of vitamin B(12) (456 +/- 39 ng per 100 g dry tea leaves and 2.0 +/- 0.3 ng per 100 mL of tea drink). A corrinoid compound was partially purified and characterized from the tea leaves. The patterns of the purified compound by the silica gel 60 thin-layer chromatography and C18 reversed phased high-performance liquid chromatography were identical to those of authentic vitamin B(12).

When 20 week old vitamin B(12) deficient rats, which excreted substantial amounts (about 250 mg/day) of methylmalonic acid in urine as an index of vitamin B(12) deficiency, were fed the tea drink (50 mL/day, 1 ng of vitamin B(12)) for 6 weeks, urinary methylmalonic acid excretion (169 +/- 29 mg/day) of the tea drink-supplemented 26 week old rats decreased significantly relative to that (250 +/- 32 mg/day) of the deficient rats.

The results indicate that the vitamin B(12) found in the fermented black tea is bioavailable in mammals.

J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Feb 25;52(4):909-11. Characterization of corrinoid compounds from a Japanese black tea (Batabata-cha) fermented by bacteria. Kittaka-Katsura H, Ebara S, Watanabe F, Nakano Y. Source: Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyoto Women’s University, Kyoto 605-8501, Japan.

Soy fermented with Lactobacillus bacteria makes vitamin B12 rich beverage

In view of the the fact that soy is a popular food (sadly much U.S. grown soy is GMO) and the fact that soy itself contains no vitamin B12, researchers fermented soy using Lactobacillus reuteri CRL 1098, a bacteria which is known to produce an active form of vitamin B12. The resulting soymilk beverage was fed to some animals (pregnant females and their offspring), and not to similar animals in the control group. 

At the end of the trials, females and their corresponding offspring were sacrificed and studied. The researchers found that drinking the fermented soymilk prevented the development of all symptoms associated with nutritional B12 deficiency both in females their offspring. Soybean-based functional food with vitamin B12-producing lactic acid bacteria by Verónica Molina, Marta Médici, Graciela Font de Valdez, and María Pía Taranto. Journal of Functional Foods, 2012. Read more.

You can easily add B12 producing bacteria to the yogurt you make.

It’s easy to make yogurt, which in itself contains vitamin B12. You can increase the amount of vitamin B12 in the yogurt you make quite easily by adding a bit of Ermental cheese while preparing your yogurt mix. The yogurt tastes good, not cheesy. Yogurt and Vitamin B12 ~ Read more.

B12 Status in Long-term Vegans

Rauma et al. (1995, Finland) examined the B12 status in long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet called the “living food diet”…The 16 vegans consuming nori and/or chlorella seaweeds had serum B12 levels twice as high as the 5 vegans not using these seaweeds. Rauma et al. concluded that some seaweeds consumed in large amounts can supply adequate amounts of bioavailable B12. However, they also thought the high levels of iodine in the seaweeds would be detrimental over time. Vitamin B-12 status of long-term adherents of a strict uncooked vegan diet, Rauma, 1995

An indication of low vitamin B12

One indication that you might be significantly low on vitamin B12 is the appearance of lines or ridges on your fingernails, and the disappearance of the moons at the bottoms of your fingernails.

There are many common things, not to mention stress, which reduce the amount of B12 you get from your food. Some of these things also deplete the B12 you have stored in your body. (For your body to work properly you need B12 in all of your muscle tissue, according to the neurologist I was seeing when my B12 problem was first diagnosed.)

There are two forms of Vitamin B12 commonly available for purchase. It’s a good idea to learn to distinguish between them, since one form, Methylcobalamin, is the active form of B12 and acts both more quickly and more efficiently, the other is Cyanocobalamin. You will be able to find Methylcobalamin at your health food store. Be sure to buy Methylcobalamin — it gives far better results than the form which is simply labeled “B12″.

Because there is so little B12 in foods, (there’s more than enough if you aren’t under a lot of stress, I don’t want to give the wrong impression) I’m going to talk about the amount to take. 1,000 mcg (micrograms) is the same as 1mg. Dissolving a 1mg Methylcobalamin lozenge under your tongue every day for a month is the same as having a B12 shot a month. A 5mg Methylcobalamin lozenge dissolved under your tongue every day for a month will equal 5 B12 shots a month.

So, How much Methylcobalamin to use?

Let me give you an idea of how much B12 is generally prescribed by doctors: replacement therapy typically begins with a shot a day for a week or two, followed by a shot every week for a few weeks, after which there is a shot a month, generally for life, for “maintenance.”

To equal a shot a day, you would need to dissolve 30 mg a day of Methylcobalamin lozenges under your tongue. That would be 6 of the 5 mg lozenges a day.

To equal ten shots every two weeks, you would need to dissolve 4 of the 5mg Methylcobalamin lozenges under your tongue every day for a month.

Just to be clear, it appears that once there is a B12 deficiency, the amount of B12 needed to recover is not available from food.

It was when I was having a shot a day that my peripheral neuropathy went away.

4 thoughts on “Foods Containing B12

  1. Reply M McConnell Jul 6, 2014 6:45 pm

    I was reading that you received a shot a day for your periferal neuropathy. How many days did it take? i have just been diagnosed after 4 long painful years. i would like to be able to tell my dr how long it took for you. just to have some perspective. Thank you

  2. Reply Karen Jul 7, 2014 11:12 am

    Hi Mary Pat,
    I don’t think doctors are even remotely interested in things people find on the internet. In fact a lot of people have told me that telling their doctors about things like that has made the doctor Less helpful.

    The holistic doctor that gave me the prescription for 12 bottles of cyanocobalamin, each containing enough for 30 shots, wrote me the prescription months before I began using it. I thought she’d made a mistake because I’d never heard about shots being that frequent.

    When I had tetanus I began using the prescription. I kept track of the results in my Tetanus Journal. I don’t remember exactly how long it took for the peripheral neuropathy to go totally away. I’m sure it was several weeks. I don’t remember if it was a few months, or longer, or less than several months. Tetanus Journal ~ Read more.

    I do know that last year when I stopped eating GMOs and began eating veg out of my garden without washing them, since cobalamin comes from microorganisms in the air, ground, etc. I began using far fewer methylcobalamin lozenges. It was fine, too. Except that last winter I forgot that I wasn’t eating out of my garden, but rather, cans. So I should have begun using more lozenges. I didn’t. Pretty soon the neuropathy came back. Intensely painful burning, particularly on my right thigh.

    Over the last month I’ve been using 3 to 5 lozenges a day with the result that the burning happens only infrequently, and usually when there’s something stressful precipitating it.

    I feel sure that your peripheral neuropathy will go away.

    Karen Kline

  3. Reply Jo Oct 19, 2014 9:45 am

    I have high b12 levels. .. 1350…what can I do to reduce this level and what if any are the negative effects of such a high level

  4. Reply Karen Nov 28, 2014 10:30 am

    Hi Jo,

    1350 as a B12 level sounds high because in the US many labs and doctors accept 180 as normal.

    In Japan the lowest normal is 500-550 because levels lower than that are shown to be accompanied by some loss of mental abilities. What is a Healthy B12 Level? http://www.health-boundaries.com/what-is-a-healthy-b12-level/

    The holistic M.D. I went to said she liked to keep her patients at 1200, no lower. When she gave me a prescription for a shot a day I didn’t use the prescription for a long time, thinking it must have been an error. But, when I did use it pain from nerve damage I’d been told was permanent, went away.

    What you probably need to be looking at is whether or not you still have symptoms of low vitamin B12.

    Thank you for taking the time to write a comment.

    Karen Kline

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