Vitamin B12: B12 Foods for Vegetarians - Fast&Up

Vitamin B12 Foods for Vegetarians

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin is majorly found in meat and animal products. Majority of Indian population are deficient of this vital vitamin. Physiological functions of B12 includes DNA synthesis, covering of myelin sheath, erythropoiesis etc. The digestion of vitamin B12 begins in the stomach, where gastric secretions and proteases split vitamin B12 from peptides.

People who have turned vegans for quick results or fat loss criteria / strict vegetarians are at higher risk to get this deficiency since plant based foods are low in B12. Requirements increases specifically in elderly population, menopausal women, and pregnant as well as lactating women. A useful process for assessing vitamin B12 status in clinical practice is the combination of taking 24 hours dietary recall and history, testing serum vitamin B12 level and testing homocysteine levels.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency - Fast&Up

There are some intrinsic factors which binds to the ileal brush border and facilitates the absorption of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 absorption may decrease if intrinsic factor production decreases. Protein-bound vitamin B12 malabsorption, including gastric issues, atrophic gastritis, and use of medications are the causes that suppress acid secretion.

As per studies, the longer duration of having vegetarian diet the prevalence of deficiency increases. Pure vegetarian food is free of B12 and high in fibre. B12 supplementations, dairy products, soybean, fortified cereals and fortified milk are the limited sources for vegetarian population.


Geeta Bhatia Thorat

-Expert and Writer