What foods contain cobalamin

Vitamin B12 - food with a high content

Vitamin B12 - foods on the menu

Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in large quantities in the body, preferably in the liver. Nevertheless, you should regularly take in vitamin B12 through food. According to the German Nutrition Society (DGE), the estimated daily intake depends, among other things, on age. For example, adolescents aged 15 and over and adults should consume four micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. We recommend 4.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day during pregnancy and 5.5 micrograms per day for breastfeeding.

With a balanced, varied diet, it is generally not a problem to meet the vitamin B12 requirement. But it becomes more difficult for people who do not eat foods of animal origin. This is because relevant vitamin B12 deposits are practically only found in animal products.

Vitamin B12 - food for vegans and vegetarians

Food of plant origin may contain traces of vitamin B12 after bacterial fermentation. These include, for example, sauerkraut and beer. In addition, seaweed such as nori and shiitake mushrooms provide fluctuating amounts of vitamin B12. These foods are the only natural sources of vitamin B12 for vegans. In addition, it is not certain whether and how well the body can utilize the vitamin in these products. According to current knowledge, it is therefore not possible to meet the vitamin B12 requirement with a purely plant-based diet. Vegetarians who at least eat eggs and dairy products are more likely to get enough vitamin B12 if they plan their diet carefully.

Vitamin B12 occurrence

So what foods contain vitamin B12? The short answer: good sources of vitamin B12 are animal products such as meat, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products. In all other foods, the vitamin B12 content is low or fluctuating strongly, or the usability is not guaranteed.

Details on the vitamin B12 occurrence in selected foods can be found in the following vitamin B12 foods table:

This is how you meet your needs for vitamin B12

Which foods contain sufficient amounts of vitamin B12 to meet the average daily requirement? The answer to this question is fortunately easy, because although the occurrence of vitamin B12 in the food itself is not very high, it is still sufficient to meet the equally low daily requirement. The recommended amount of around four micrograms per day (for adolescents aged 15 and over and adults) is, for example, in:

  • 10 grams of liver
  • 40 grams of herring
  • 100 grams of saithe or salmon
  • 100 grams of camembert

Vitamin B12: Food Storage and Processing Instructions

Heat and long storage times are toxic to vitamin B12. Food that contains the vitamin in relevant quantities should therefore be prepared as freshly and gently as possible. Heavy searing of liver, for example, is therefore unfavorable with regard to the vitamin B12 content.

Are vitamin B12 supplements necessary and useful?

The highest levels of vitamin B12 are found in foods of animal origin. The mixed diet of animal and vegetable products, which is common in our latitudes, usually ensures a sufficient supply of vitamin B12. Food supplements or drugs with this vitamin are only necessary if someone develops a deficiency due to illness (for example in the case of chronic intestinal inflammation).

The vitamin B12 supply for vegans is generally problematic because they eat a purely plant-based diet. The German Nutrition Society recommends that you take a vitamin B12 preparation over the long term.

Vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish or seafood, but at least eat eggs and dairy products, should pay close attention to their diet in order to get enough vitamin B12. In times of increased need (e.g. during pregnancy), taking a vitamin B12 preparation can be useful - in addition to consuming foods containing vitamin B12. It is best to discuss this with a doctor. He can use a blood test to determine how well the body is supplied with vitamin B12.

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