An excellent article on Vitamin B12.




Table of Contents


There are concerns for people who


would like to try a vegan diet


regarding vitamin B12.


Before saying anything else,


disease from B12 deficiency in a


sensible diet is extremely rare –


less than one in a million. This is


explained in the section Why


Vitamin B12 Deficiency is So






Why Vitamin B12 is Required

According to Wikipedia, Vitamin B12 is,

".. also called cobalamin.

(It) is a water soluble vitamin

with a key role in the normal

functioning of the brain and

nervous system, and for the

formation of blood. ….

It is normally involved in the

metabolism of every cell of the

human body, especially affecting

DNA synthesis and regulation,

but also fatty acid synthesis and

energy production. As the

largest (molecularly speaking)

and most structurally

complicated vitamin, it can be

produced industrially only

through bacterial fermentation-

synthesis. "

So vitamin B12 is required to


produce red blood cells. Since red


blood cells have high turn over rate


– they only live for 3 months so


they are produced constantly little


by little – it is important to get


nutrients that are needed to make


red blood cells everyday.

Vitamin B12 also helps to build your


immune system. It is also very


important nutrient for pregnant and


nursing women. Vitamin B12


deficiency can causes types of


disorder associated with nervous


and mental health.




Where is Vitamin B12 in Foods

From evolutionary point of view,


vegan diet with lots of fruits is diet


for human, except this one


weakness – vitamin B12. The


reason for this apparent


inconsistency is because we peel


all the vegetable we eat – be it


carrot, potato, radish, etc. Root


vegetable with stained spots due to


contact to soil, are good supply of


vitamin B12, but we are stripping


all these by fanatical peeling and


washing of all vegetables.

Nutritionists say vitamin B12 is only


in meat. This is not exactly true.


First, live stock animals do not


produce vitamin B 12. Vitamin B12


comes from bacteria in soil. Animal


tissues store vitamin B12 which is


synthesized by bacteria. When


these animals become food for


human, this vitamin B12 is also


passed onto human.

When animals eat vegetable on the


ground, they eat a little bit of soil


and dirt together. There are also


microorganisms located in the


animal's intestine that produce


Vitamin B12 – this is same for the



The human gut contains vitamin


B12 synthesizing bacteria. They


live all the way from the mouth to


the anus. The presence of these


bacteria is an important reason


that disease from vitamin B12


deficiency occurs very rare, even


among those who have been strict


vegans all of their lives. The colon


has the most bacteria (4 trillion/cc


of feces). Here, most of our


intestinal B12 is produced.


However, vitamin B12 is absorbed


in the ileum (end of small


intestine), which lies before the


colon, this plentiful vitamin B12 is


not readily available for absorption.


This does not mean that small


intestine does not have vitamin B12


producing bacteria. They do, but


only in small amount due to


stomach acid produced which kills


many micro-organisms



Animal fecal matters contain large


amounts of active B12. When these


are used as manure for field, the


crops growing in it comes in


contact with vitamin B12 rich soil.


Grass eating herbivores have


bacteria in their stomachs that


synthesize vitamin B12, which is


then passed down and absorbed by


their small intestines.

Primitive people who are eating


plant based diet and have no


vitamin B12 deficiency problem is


because they do not clean food as


clean as people who live in first


world people. These primitives are


getting their food directly out of the


ground still covered in soil and do


not wash thoroughly as people in


modern society.

Traditionally, Buddhist monks in


Northeast Asia (China, Korea, and


Japan) also do not peel the


vegetables when they eat. They


only wash to the point that food


would not be gritty for cooking and


eating. When they eat anything they


are required to eat everything on


the table or at least not waste



This is why all Buddhist monks in


Northeast Asia never had vitamin


B12 deficiencies despite they do


not consume any animal products


including dairy (nowadays some


monks eat dairy products, but not


in old days).

If you want to get vitamin B12 from


plant, get organic root vegetables,


wash them to get the dirt off, but do


not brush the skin, and do not peel


– then cook/eat. The dark spots in


the plant skin due to contact to soil


contains bacteria that has vitamin


B12. If you leave your root


vegetable in the refrigerator, those


dark spots are the most likely


spots that would rot first due to


bacteria already living there.

Meat and dairy industry tell people


that animal foods are necessary for


obtaining vitamin B12, not so. By


the way, vitamin B12 is the only


weakness for any well balanced


vegan diet. 


Why Vitamin B12 Deficiency is So Rare

Another reason why vitamin B12 is


so rare is because the human body


has highly efficient mechanisms to


absorb and recycle this vitamin.


Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient


that requires a cofactor for


efficient absorption. After stomach


process food through acidic


digestion, stomach cell produce a


substance called "intrinsic factor"


that combines with the vitamin B12


in the food. Then this "intrinsic


factor-B12 complex" travels to the


end of the small intestine (ileum)


where it is actively absorbed.

There is a second, much less


efficient process, called "the


passive absorption of B12" which


also occurs in the intestine. This


mechanism does not use the


intrinsic factor. As a result, it is


1000 times less efficient. However,


by consuming very large doses of


vitamin B12, passive absorption


will correct B12 deficiency even for


patients with diseases of the


stomach and small intestine.

One adult average daily


requirement is less than 3


micrograms per day (1 microgram


is 1/1,000,000 gram). This means


by evolutionary design, human are


expected to come in contact with


this essential nutrient in the traces


of soil in fruits and vegetables



On average, for someone who had


Western diet, has about 2 to 5


milligrams of B12 stored in their


body, mostly in the liver. This is


at  least a 3 year vitamin B12


reserve. Additionally, due to


conservation of B12 in human


physiology adds the lasting period


of this supply up to 10 times. After


excretion through the bile into the


intestines, most of the B12 is


reabsorbed at the end of small


intestine for future use. So due to


B12 recycle in our system, it


actually takes 20 to 30 years to


become deficient after becoming a


strict vegan with if no vitamin B12


was taken.

However, even on a strict vegan


diet, it is impossible to not to


consume any amount of vitamin


B12, because of bacteria which


produce vitamin B12 can be found


in a person from mouth to anus,


vegetable foods that are not


completely washed/peeled of those


dark spots where bacteria lives,


and in the environment vitamin B12


producing bacteria lives.

As a matter of fact, almost all cases


of vitamin B12 deficiency seen in


patients today and in the past are


due to diseases of the intestine.


They are not due to a lack of B12 in


their diet. Damage to the parietal


cells in stomach lining usually


comes from an auto immune



A stomach surgery can also halt the


production of intrinsic factor.


Damage to the ileum (end section


of small intestine), preventing re-


absorption and interrupting


recirculation, causes the loss of


B12. From these damages over a


period of 3 to 6 years the body’s


stores of vitamin B12 are depleted.

There is evidence that suggests


that during pregnancy and nursing


a mother is more dependent on B12


from her diet, because B12 stored


in the woman’s body is less


available for the baby. Therefore,


during these important times, B12


supplementation should be used by


a vegan mother.

In sum, intestinal diseases, not


dietary deficiency, cause most


vitamin B12 deficiency problems.




How Much Vitamin B12 is Needed

Some people recommend that if


you  are a vegan and/or you are


pregnant or nursing, take 5


micrograms of vitamin B12 every


day from pills.

The recommended amount of


Vitamin B12 is 2.4 micrograms per


day, although to be on the safe side


and for optimum nutrition aim for


10 micrograms per day. Yet, as


little as 0.3 to 0.65 micrograms per


day of vitamin B12 has cured


megaloblastic anemia (since B12 is


involved in red blood cell


production) due to vitamin B12


deficiency. It's such a small


amount but important for good



Supplements for multivitamin and


vitamin B12 contain 500 to 5,000


micrograms of vitamin B12 per pill.


These exaggerated concentrations


will correct by passive absorption


B12 deficiency if there are any


diseases in the intestinal system.


Everyone else who does not have


internal digestive organ problem,


are being overdosed by 1,000 times


– not that it would create any



So if you are a healthy vegan and


using typical dosages of B12 (500


micrograms or more per pill), then


one weekly dose of this vitamin


will be more than sufficient. If


you're the type of person who


would prefer to take your Vitamin


B12 supplement once per week instead of once per day, then you'll


need to take 2,000 micrograms per



In order to minimize any health


problems, the human diet should


be as recommended in the vegan


weight loss page. To avoid the


extremely rare chance of becoming


a national headline, add a reliable


B12 supplement





Vitamin B12 Source for Vegan's

There have been reports that


fermented vegetable foods such as


tempeh and miso has vitamin B12.


However, this seems only valid if


vegetables used is not washed and


peeled as thoroughly as 20th


century first world standard. So if


you want to get vitamin B12 from


plants then get organic root


vegetables, wash them to get the


dirt off, but do not brush the skin,


and do not peel – then cook & eat.


The dark spots in the plant skin


due to contact to soil contains


bacteria that has vitamin B12.

There have been reports that laver


and other seaweeds have vitamin


B12 in their cell due to bacteria


living within porous cells of


seaweeds. However, a more


reliable source is from organic root


vegetables. If you want to get


vitamin B12 from plant, get organic


root vegetables, wash them to get


the dirt off, but do not brush the


skin, and do not peel – then


cook & eat. The dark spots in the


plant skin due to contact to soil


contains bacteria that has vitamin



Nutritional Yeast can be source of


vegan vitamin B12 only if it is


fortified with vitamin B12. You can


buy it from Whole Foods or other


health stores but they tend to be


expensive. To get   Nutritional Yeast fortified with vitamin B12, with relatively cheap price, click here


About 3 tablespoons nutritional


yeast in large flakes is equal to 8


micrograms of B12. So 6 table


spoon of nutritional yeasts are


needed to meet the 10 micrograms


per day requirement.

However, this is not most


economical means because


nutritional yeast tends to be on the


expensive side. Nutritional Yeast is


often used as a vegan ingredient


for making vegan dishes taste like


cheese.  Here are list of nutritional yeasts with good reviews

Here are list of nutritional


yeasts with good reviews

Some vegan products are also


fortified with vitamin B12. Make


sure to check the ingredients. If all


these recommendations give you


too much headache, just take pills


(((or capsels)))


to meet 2,000mg of vitamin B12 a





This excellent article is from:



      (((((Personally, I do not suggest to use the yeast because they add the B 12 to the yeast and you do not know the source, which can be an animal origin.))))))