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Does soy kefir contain vitamin B12, if so how much?


does Soy kefir contain vitamin B12 and how much?

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9 Vegetarian Foods High in Vitamin B12

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

For a healthy physical and mental state, a balanced diet plays an important role. Our body requires various micronutrients to build up a healthy body structure. Among the various vitamins, vitamin B is an essential nutrient.

Vitamin B12 or cobalamin is a powerful, water-soluble vitamin. It is crucial for a range of body functions including the production of healthy red blood cells (RBC) and neurological activity to elevate mood. It is mainly absorbed in the stomach and extra vitamin B12 is stored in the liver and can be used whenever the body needs it.

With age, not only does the body’s demand for B12 increase, but it becomes harder to absorb it as well. The body’s requirement for vitamin B12 increases in the elderly and due to decreased acidity of the stomach, which is essential for its absorption, vitamin B12 is available to the body in lesser amounts.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Daily requirement of vitamin B12 

According to the National Institutes of Health, the daily required dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg and slightly higher in pregnant and lactating females is about 2.8 mcg.

Benefits of vitamin B12 

Be cautious with the use of antacids and vitamin B12 supplements together. Medicines used to treat heartburn or acidity work by suppressing stomach acid. Blocking the stomach acid blocks the absorption of vitamin B12 as well.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

Vitamin B12 is a powerhouse of energy. It is very beneficial as it plays various roles from DNA synthesis to the prevention of anemia. In every function of the body, vitamin B12 plays an important role. Below are some important benefits –

  • Formation of red blood cells (RBC)
  • Prevent major birth defects
  • Prevent anemia
  • Support bone health
  • Prevent age-related eye problems
  • Enhance mood and lowers the depression
  • Improve heart health

Healthy vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 – 

Vegetarians, especially vegans are at a higher risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency as the majority of the food sources rich in vitamin B12 are of animal origin. Thus, it’s crucial for them to include vitamin B12 supplements in their diet.

Dr. Smita Barode, BAMS

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that cannot be produced by our body, so you need to get it from outside. Most of the time it can obtain from animal products. Hence, vegans and vegetarians have trouble consuming enough vitamin B12. Here we enlisted some healthy vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 –

1: Yogurt

Yogurt is bliss for vegetarians as it is one of the best sources of vitamin B12 for them. A cup of plain yogurt can provide almost 28% of vitamin B12. The study suggests that vitamin B 12 in yogurt can absorb easily than vitamin B12 in chicken or meat. Plain Yogurt is best in reducing the symptoms of vitamin deficiency in many patients.

2: Milk and other dairy products

Milk is loaded with vitamin B12 as well as protein, calcium, and minerals. Milk-products such as cheese, paneer are also potent sources of this excellent vitamin. Milk can absorb fast and easily in the stomach than other sources.

3: Fortified cereals

This is the best option for vegan people to get vitamin B12. Fortified cereals such as bran and whole wheat oats are high in vitamin B12 as well as folate, iron, and vitamin A. regular intake fortified cereals helps to increase vitamin B12 levels in your body.

4: Fortified non-dairy milk 

Soy and almond milk are not natural sources of vitamin B12, they are usually fortified to make them a source of vitamin B12. Daily one cup of soy milk or almond milk contains 2.1 mcg of vitamin B12.

Did You Know?

  • Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell formation, neurological function and DNA synthesis. [source: NIH]
  • Vitamin B12 is naturally present in animal products such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. [source: NIH]
  • Older adults, individuals with gastrointestinal disorders and vegetarians are at higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. [source: NIH]
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency can be treated with injections or high-dose oral supplements. [source: NIH]
  • Gastric acid inhibitors and metformin can interfere with vitamin B12 absorption. [source: NIH]

5: Nutritional yeast 

Fortified yeast contains lots of vitamin B12. A small amount of this yeast can give a nutty flavor to food. One tablespoon of fully fortified yeast contains 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12. For better results, you can add this fortified yeast to sauces or curries.

Also Read: Seaweed Benefits: Unraveling the Secrets of This Superfood

6: Nori

Nori is dried edible seaweed that contains a good amount of vitamin B12. It is also known as purple laver, commonly eat in Asian countries like Japan. As per studies, 4 gram of dried Nori is sufficient for daily requirement. You can have it as a simple snack or use it in sushi.

7: Eggs 

If you are eggitarian, then this would be the best option to get vitamin B12. It is also high in vitamin B2, proteins, and calcium. The study suggests that egg yolks have higher levels of vitamin B12 than egg whites. Therefore, it’s recommended to eat the whole egg. You can have hard-boiled eggs for your breakfast or you can add in soup.

Though there are limited food items of vitamin B12 for vegetarians, you have to add them in your diet daily to avoid deficiency of vitamin B12.

8: Tempeh 

Tempeh is a fermented soybean cake that is a delicacy in Javanese cuisine. It is similar to tofu and very rich in vitamin B12. It can be consumed as part of curries or soups. 

9: Vitamin B12 Supplements 

Add Vitamin B12 supplements to your diet so that you do not have to worry about its deficiency anymore. There are several plant-based vitamin B12 supplement capsules that are available.

People with vitamin B12 deficiency 

Vitamin B12 is important for maintaining the vitality of nerves. A deficiency of Vitamin B12 leads to impaired nerve function, neuropathy and other neurological issues.

Dr. Ashok Pal, BAMS

If you are not taking vitamin B12 properly from your diet, you may start developing a deficiency of this essential nutrient. Vitamin B12 deficiency is the commonest yet slow-going process. It can affect both physical and mental levels. Here are some sign and symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency –

  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lack of concentration
  • depression
  • Sleeplessness
  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty in walking
  • Digestive system problems
  • Pale skin

Also Read: Can You Freeze Yogurt? A Guide to Safe Storage Practices

Safety and Side Effects of Vitamin B12

Vegetarian food items high in Vitamin B-12 are its natural source, however, Vitamin B-12 supplements are the next best option to get a regular steady dose, especially for those who have very low levels of B-12 in their bodies. Consuming these supplements within the daily recommended limit is generally considered safe (2.4 micrograms). The body absorbs as much as required and the excess is passed on with urine.

However, an excess of Vitamin B-12 in the body may cause:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhoea,
  • Headache, 
  • Tingling sensation in the hands and feet
  • Fatigue or weakness

In some people, Vitamin B12 supplements may cause acne by altering the metabolism of bacteria that live on the skin and turning them from skin-friendly to unfriendly ones, causing inflammation and break-outs.

Dr. Anuja Bodhare, MD

Vitamin B12 is a key nutrient for the healthy survival of the Individual. It can be found in various vegetarian foods such as fortified cereals, dairy products, non-dairy milk, etc. Whenever possible you have to include them in your diet to avoid deficiency.

Also Read: Vitamin B Foods: Your Ultimate Guide to Essential Nutrients

Disclaimer: The information provided here is for educational/awareness purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional and should not be relied upon to diagnose or treat any medical condition. The reader should consult a registered medical practitioner to determine the appropriateness of the information and before consuming any medication. PharmEasy does not provide any guarantee or warranty (express or implied) regarding the accuracy, adequacy, completeness, legality, reliability or usefulness of the information; and disclaims any liability arising thereof.

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