What are the benefits of taking vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is required for red blood cell formation and good neurological function. Moreover, vitamin B12 plays an important role in the synthesis of:
- proteins, and
- for almost 100 other different substrates.
How much vitamin B12 should you take a day?
Most people need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Pregnant women need 2.6 mcg and lactating women need 2.8 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.
Most noteworthy, vitamin B12 is low in toxicity. We can consume a much higher dosage than the recommended. According to studies, even a daily dosage of 1,000 mcg is unlikely to cause any health risks.
How much vitamin B12 should you take per week?
We only need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Nowadays, you can find vitamin B12 supplements containing 500 mcg, 1000 mcg, or even 5000 mcg. You can take vitamin B12 supplements daily or weekly. If you prefer taking vitamin B12 daily, better consume tablets with the lowest dosage of vitamin B12. Remember… we only need 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. The body can easily excrete the extra vitamin B12.
Do you need vitamin B12 every day or once a week?
On the other hand, you can take vitamin B12 supplements once a week. In this case, prefer higher doses. A tablet of 5000 mcg, once a week is enough. Certainly, consult your physician. Especially, if you’re on medication. Medication might affect vitamin B12 levels.
Foods rich in vitamin B12
What foods are rich in vitamin B12? Good sources of vitamin B12 are animal products, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, cow’s milk, and dairy.
But, animal products are packed with saturated fats, and cholesterol. Most noteworthy, they may contain hormones and antibiotics, as well. You shouldn’t depend on them for your daily vitamin B12 intake.
Actually, vitamin B12 isn’t produced, neither from animals, nor plants. Only bacteria can synthesize it. Animals that eat grass, eat these bacteria, as well. Moreover, animal products may contain vitamin B12, as animals are given vitamin B12 supplements.
Vegan foods rich in vitamin B12
In older times, people drank water from wells and streams. This water was rich in vitamin B12. Nowadays we follow sanitizing methods, killing bad bacteria, as well as the bacteria that synthesize vitamin B12.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 is generally not present in plant foods. Only a few plant-based foods can provide it.
How much vitamin B12 in a tbsp of nutritional yeast?
Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast grown in molasses. You can find it as powder or as flakes. Nutritional yeast tastes cheesy and creamy. It’s part of many vegan recipes. Nutritional yeast is rich in protein and B-complex vitamins.
A tbsp of nutritional yeast contains approximately 4 mcg of vitamin B12, or 160% DV (Daily Value).
Furthermore, there are nutritional yeasts fortified with vitamin B12. Fortified nutritional yeast has approximately 7 mcg of vitamin B12 per tbsp, or 290% DV.
Finally, according to a study, vegans benefited from consuming nutritional yeast. They raised significantly vitamin B12 levels after a few months.
Therefore, you can meet the daily vitamin B12 needs, consuming nutritional yeast. Find cheap nutritional yeasts on Amazon.
Vitamin B12 content of chlorella
According to a study, consuming just a tbsp of chlorella daily helped deficient vegetarians and vegans to restore their vitamin B12 levels.
Most noteworthy, vitamin B12 in chlorella is bioavailable. Therefore, chlorella supplementation is an excellent way for vegetarians and vegans to get all the vitamin B12 they need.
Always check the nutrition facts of chlorella tablets. The vitamin B12 content may significantly differ among different chlorella tablets. Chlorella contains from 0 to 300 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g of dry weight. Due to the different production methods.
Contrary to other algae, chlorella is pretty safe for consumption. Other types of algae may contain huge amounts of iodine, making them dangerous for health. More here.
Moreover, other types of edible algae may be rich in vitamin B12, as well. For instance, dried green laver seaweed (63 mcg per 100g) and purple laver seaweed (32 mcg per 100g) are both good sources of vitamin B12. Dried purple laver is also known as nori. Additionally, nori has low iodine content. So, it’s also safe for consumption.
Is tempeh a good source of vitamin B12?
Another vegan food rich in vitamin B12 is tempeh. Although soybeans don’t contain any vitamin B12, tempeh is a good source, due to bacteria. Tempeh is produced from fermented soybeans.
Furthermore, the vitamin B12 content of tempeh may vary greatly. Tempeh may contain 0.7-8 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g. The amount of vitamin B12 highly depended on the production methods. Other fermented soybean products don’t contain any significant amounts of Vitamin B12.
Other vegan foods that contain vitamin B12
All the other vegan foods contain only traces of vitamin B12. Certainly, they can’t help us meet the daily vitamin B12 requirements.
Vegan foods that have traces of vitamin B12 are:
- various types of tea leaves (0.1–1.2 mcg per 100 gr),
- porcini mushrooms,
- parasol mushrooms,
- oyster mushrooms,
- black morels,
- black trumpet,
- golden chanterelle.
Are fortified foods good for you?
Nowadays, vitamin B12 is added in many foods. Fortified foods are good for you, as the synthetic vitamin B12 is already in free-form. Hence, it’s highly bioavailable. More than 50% is absorbed.