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Vitamin B12 – foods with a high content

by Josephine Andrews
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The body needs vitamin B12 for cell division, blood formation and nerve formation. Even though the body can store the vitamin, it is important that you regularly eat foods that contain vitamin B12 . Find out where vitamin B12 is found, how best to prepare the food and why vegans should take dietary supplements.

These foods contain vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that is stored in large quantities in the body – preferably in the liver. Nevertheless, it is important to regularly ingest vitamin B12 through food.

You can find out more about vitamin B12 here

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 varies greatly, or the usability is not certain.

Foods 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 varying amounts of vitamin B12. Foods of this type are the only natural sources of vitamin B12 for vegans. However, it is not certain whether and how well the body can utilize the vitamin in these products.

Vitamin B12 deposits

So which foods contain vitamin B12? Details on the vitamin B12 occurrence in selected foods can be found in the following vitamin B12 food table:

Vitamin B12 foods Vitamin B12 content in micrograms per 100 grams
Dairy products
Brie 1,7
Camembert 3,1
Edamer 2,1
Emmental 3,1
Cow’s milk (1.5/3.5% fat ) 0,4
Grained cream cheese 1
lowfat quark 0,9
fish, marine animals
oysters 15
shrimp 1,7
Hering 8,5
mackerel 9
mussel 7,6
Seelachs 3,5
tuna 4,25
Meat, poultry, sausage
Chicken 0,4
Lammkeule (roh) 3,6
liver (raw) 39-65
veal kidney 28
Rind 2,9-5,2
Salami 3,3
pork cutlet 1
Non-alcoholic beer, malt beer Sense
chicken egg 1,9
Sauerkraut Sense

How to meet your vitamin B12 needs

According to the German Society for Nutrition (DGE), the estimated daily intake depends, among other things, on age. For example, adolescents from the age of 15 and adults should take in four micrograms of vitamin B12 per day. 4.5 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day are recommended during pregnancy and 5.5 micrograms during breastfeeding .

With a balanced, varied diet, it is generally not a problem to cover the vitamin B12 requirement. But it becomes more difficult for people who do not eat animal products. Because relevant vitamin B12 deposits are found in relevant amounts practically only in animal products.

Which foods contain enough vitamin B12 to cover the average daily requirement? Fortunately, the answer to this question is easy, because although the occurrence of vitamin B12 in the food itself is not very high, it is still sufficient to cover the daily requirement, which is also quite low.

The recommended amount of around four micrograms per day (for young people from the age of 15 and adults) is found in:

  • 10 grams of liver
  • 40 grams of herring
  • 100 grams of pollock or salmon
  • 100 Gramm Camembert

Vitamin B12: Food Storage and Processing Instructions

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

Vitamin B12: Vegans and vegetarians should keep this in mind!

Vegetarians who still eat eggs and dairy products have a good chance of getting enough vitamin B12 if their diet is carefully planned. According to current knowledge, it is not possible to meet the vitamin B12 requirement with a purely plant-based diet. Vitamin B12 supplements are therefore necessary for vegans.

When are vitamin B12 supplements necessary and useful?

A mixed diet of animal and plant products will normally provide you with sufficient vitamin B12. Dietary supplements or medication with this vitamin are only necessary if someone develops a deficiency due to illness – such as chronic intestinal inflammation.

Vitamin B12 supply is generally problematic for vegans because they eat purely plant-based foods. The German Society for Nutrition therefore recommends that you take a vitamin B12 supplement on a permanent basis.

Vegetarians who do not eat meat, fish or seafood, but at least consume eggs and dairy products, should carefully plan their diet to get enough vitamin B12.

In times of increased need, for example during pregnancy, it may make sense to take an additional vitamin B12 supplement. 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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