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Posts Tagged ‘food sources of vitamin B12’

What about Vegan Vitamin B12?

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012



The richest food sources of vitamin B12 come from meat, fish, and milk sources.  Some vegan vitamin B12 sources are available, but for maximum vitamin B12 benefits, you would have to eat a lot of tofu to get close to 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week.  How can you avoid vitamin B12 deficiency on a vegan diet?


Are you getting enough vitamin B12?

The RDA for vitamin B12 is minimal- only a few mcg of B12 per day.  However, according to various scientific studies, people who receive doses upwards of 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per week reported experiencing increased stamina, mental focus, and feelings of wellbeing.

Non-vegan sources of vitamin B12:

Clams: One 3-ounce serving of cooked clams contains 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12. 

Liver: After clams, liver is the richest source of vitamin B12.  A 3-ounce serving of cooked lamb liver contains a whopping 72.8 mcg of vitamin B12. 

Fish eggs: A 3-ounce serving of whitefish caviar provides 56.4 mcg of vitamin B12.

Mackerel: Mackerel has 19 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams.


Vegan sources of vitamin B12:

Soymilk: An 8-ounce cup of soymilk provides a mere 2 mcg of vitamin B12, give or take.

Tofu: A typical serving of tofu provides 1.86 mcg of vitamin B12.

Marmite: Yeast spreads contain 0.5 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100 grams, or 0.03 per teaspoon.


Are you at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency?

There are many ways to get vitamin B12 deficiency, but they generally boil down to this:

Either you don’t eat enough foods that have vitamin B12, or you eat plenty of fish and meat, but you’re not digesting the B12.

On Becoming Vegan: Avoiding Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Others

Soy milk, fortified with B12

Reasons for not digesting vitamin B12

If your body is unable to digest vitamin B12 naturally from food, then you are at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency, even if you eat plenty of clams. 

Your only option is to supplement with vitamin B12 for life.

Factors that inhibit vitamin B12 absorption include:

  • Autoimmune disorder (Crohn’s disease, fibromyalgia, celiac disease)
  • Lack of intrinsic factor (a hormone necessary for digesting vitamin B12)
  • Drug interaction (metformin, PPIs)
  • Gastrointestinal surgery (gastric bypass)
  • Alcoholism
  • Old age

Getting extra vitamin B12

If you don’t have B12 deficiency, but you want to boost stamina, maintain a healthy weight, or enhance cognitive functioning by increasing vitamin B12 levels, then your choices are:

  • Become a seafood lover, or
  • Supplement with vitamin B12 for life.

Which B12 supplements are available?

There are different kinds of B12 vitamins, some of which require a doctor’s prescription.

  • Vitamin B12 shots: If diagnosed with vitamin B12 deficiency or pernicious anemia, then your doctor might prescribe 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 injections per week, or as needed.  A prescription is required, and many patients find that their fatigue symptoms return before the next scheduled vitamin B12 shot.
  • Sublingual vitamin B12: Vitamin B12 tablets that dissolve under the tongue are available with or without prescription.  Vitamin B12 pills are not efficient ways to access vitamin B12, and they often require you to take 3 doses throughout the day. 

    Side effects of sublingual vitamin B12 may include burning sensations on tongue and unpleasant taste.

Please tell us…

How do you get your vitamin B12- from supplements in pill form, vitamin B12 shots, or otherwise?

We’d love to hear from you- please feel free to leave your comments!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about vitamin B12 and vegan diet:

Natalie Portman Chooses B12 over Veganism

Are Vegans in France Responsible for Breast-fed Baby’s Death?

Benefits and Sources of Vitamin B12, and How to Avoid Deficiency


Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12 Health Professional Fact Sheet


andrewasmith, freepik, Benson Kua

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

Monday, February 20th, 2012



If you suffer from Crohn’s disease, then check your vitamin B12 levels often.  One side effect of Crohn’s is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency, in addition to Crohn’s symptoms like stomach cramping, diarrhea, and vomiting.

Not surprisingly, there are several reasons why vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with Crohn’s disease.  Here are the four top reasons to check your vitamin B12 levels if you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

1- Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease, sometimes called ileitis, is an illness of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract that damages the bottommost part of the small intestinal, the terminal ileum.  Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include chronic diarrhea caused by swelling of the small intestine, excruciating stomach cramps caused by intestinal strictures, fever, weight loss, and rectal bleeding.

The ileum is an important part of your digestive system for vitamin B12 absorption- without it, your body would be unable to extract vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and dispense it into your blood supply.  

If Crohn’s disease has caused irreparable inflammation of your terminal ileum, you are at high risk for symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Short-term memory loss
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Unclear thinking, or “brain fog”
  • Muscular twitching
  • Painful tingling and numbness in hands and feet
  • Sore, red tongue
  • Burning mouth sensations
  • Frequent clumsiness and stumbling

Once vitamin B12 deficiency is diagnosed, you may choose to take vitamin B12 shots, which are only available upon prescription.

2- Crohn’s disease medications

Whenever digestive disorders are present, vitamin B12 levels are low.  Certain medicines used to treat Crohn’s disease may cause symptoms that typically interfere with vitamin B12 absorption, such as diarrhea, vomiting, and acid reflux. 

These medications often include anti-inflammatory drugs such as mesalamine medicines and immune system suppressors, such as Methotrexate (Rheumatrex).

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Only vitamin B12 supplements that bypass the digestive system can provide the benefits of vitamin B12.

Left untreated, pernicious anemia from B12 deficiency can cause neurological damage, osteoporosis, and in extreme cases, death.

3- Gastrointestinal (GI) surgery

FOUR REASONS TO CHECK YOUR VITAMIN B12 LEVELS WITH CROHN’S DISEASE, B12 PATCHAny GI surgery that involves removal or reduction of the ileum results in vitamin B12 deficiency.  In Crohn’s disease, resection surgeries such as ileostomy necessitate lifelong supplementation of prescribed vitamin B12 shots.

Similarly, gastric bypass patients can no longer digest vitamin B12 in the stomach, and must get vitamin B12 injections indefinitely.

Sometimes, even routine vitamin B12 shots don’t provide full relief from  B12 deficiency symptoms like fatigue, depression, nerve pain, and brain fog. 

In such cases, many opt for nonprescription OTC vitamin B12 for extra energy and mental stamina between vitamin B12 jabs.

4- Crohn’s and diet

People suffering from IBD (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis) are required to follow restrictive diets excluding many foods that may irritate the digestive system.  Fruits and vegetables that are uncooked may be red flag items, in addition to food sources of vitamin B12, such as meat, poultry, fish, milk, and eggs.

Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder

Additionally, stomachaches, nausea, and diarrhea make it hard for Crohn’s disease sufferers to eat nutritious, filling meals.  As a result, people with Crohn’s often suffer from excess weight loss and malnourishment.

One of the leading types of malnourishment today is pernicious anemia from vitamin B12 deficiency.

Besides Crohn’s disease patients, other people at risk for vitamin B12 deficiency are:

  • Diabetics on metformin
  • GERD patients using protein pump inhibitors (PPIs)
  • Patients with secondary gastrointestinal symptoms, such as fibromyalgia, celiac disease, autism, or migraine sufferers
  • Gastric bypass patients
  • Elderly individuals
  • Alcoholics
  • Vegans

Please tell us…

Are you a Crohn’s disease patient?  If so, what vitamin B12 supplements do you use?

Please tell us if you have found this article helpful and informative.  As always, we welcome your comments!

Spread the love…

Please share this article with your friends, family, or anybody you care about!

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency and Crohn’s disease:

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle


Crohn’s Disease – National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse

Crohn’s Disease- MayoClinic.com


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