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Information on Vitamin B12
Found in Flax Hulls as Cobalamin
Vitamin B12 - what is it?
Vitamin B12 is important to good health. It contains cobalt and is also known as cobalamin.
It helps maintain healthy nerve cells and red blood cells, and is also needed to make DNA, the genetic material in all
cells. Vitamin B12 is bound to the protein in food. Hydrochloric acid in the stomach releases B12 from protein during digestion. Once released, B12
combines with a substance called intrinsic factor (IF) before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
What foods provide Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods including fish, milk and milk products, eggs, meat, and poultry. Fortified breakfast
cereals are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a particularly valuable source for vegetarians. The table of selected food sources of vitamin B12 suggests dietary sources
of vitamin B12.
*DV=Daily Value. DVs are reference numbers based on the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA).
Fortified breakfast cereals
(100% fortified - 3/4c)
Fish - trout, rainbow - 3 oz. cooked
Fish - salmon, sockeye - 3 oz. cooked
Beef - 3 oz. cooked
Fortified breakfast cereals
(25% fortified - 3/4c)
Fish - haddock - 3 oz. cooked
Clams - breaded and fried - 3/4c
Oysters - breaded and fried - 6 pieces
Fish - tuna, white canned in water - 3 oz.
Milk - 1 cup
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Pork - 3 oz. cooked
Egg - 1 large
American cheese - 1 oz.
Chicken - 3 oz. cooked
Cheddar cheese - 1 oz.
Mozzerella cheese - 1 oz.
The DV for vitamin B12 is 6.0 micrograms (mcg).
The percent DV (%DV) listed on the nutrition facts panel of food labels tells adults what percentage of the DV is provided by one serving.
Percent DVs are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
When is a deficiency of vitamin B12 likely to occur?
Deficiency may still occur as a result of an inability to absorb Vitamin B12 from food. It can also occur in individuals with dietary patterns
that exclude animal or fortified foods. As a general rule, most individuals who develop a
Vitamin B12 deficiency have an underlying stomach or intestinal disorder that
limits the absorption of vitamin B12. Sometimes the only symptom of these intestinal
disorders is anemia resulting from B12 deficiency.
Characteristic signs of B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, nausea, constipation, flatulence (gas), loss of appetite, and
weight loss. Deficiency can also lead to neurological changes such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet.
Additional symptoms of B12 deficiency are difficulty in maintaining balance, depression, confusion, poor memory, and
soreness of the mouth or tongue. Some of these symptoms can also result from a variety of medical conditions other than vitamin B12
deficiency. It is important to have a physician evaluate these symptoms so that appropriate medical care can be given.
Older Adults - Vitamin B12 must be separated from protein in food before it can bind with intrinsic factor and be absorbed by your body.
Bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and/or atrophic gastritis, an inflammation of the stomach, contribute to vitamin B12 deficiency in adults by
limiting secretions of stomach acid needed to separate vitamin B12 from protein in food. Adults 50 years of age and older with these conditions are
able to absorb the B12 in fortified foods and dietary supplements. Health care professionals may advise adults over the age of 50 to get their vitamin
B12 from a dietary supplement or from foods fortified with vitamin B12 because 10 to 30 percent of older people may be unable to absorb vitamin B12 in food.
Vegetarians - Vegetarians who do not eat meats, fish, eggs, milk or milk products, or B12 fortified foods consume no vitamin B12 and are at high
risk of developing a deficiency of vitamin B12. When adults adopt a vegetarian diet, deficiency symptoms can be slow to appear because it usually takes years to
deplete normal body stores of B12. However, severe symptoms of B12 deficiency, most often featuring poor neurological development, can show up quickly in children
and breast-fed infants of women who follow a strict vegetarian diet.
What is the health risk of too much vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 has a very low potential for toxicity. The Institute of Medicine states that "no adverse effects have been associated
with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals". The Institute recommends that adults over 50 years of age get most of their
vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified food because of the high incidence of impaired absorption of B12 from unfortified foods in this population.
See below for an image of a Flax Hulls jar
Each jar contains 150gm of concentrated
natural organic flax hulls
The above information is provided for general
educational purposes only. It is not intended to replace competent
health care advice received from a knowledgeable healthcare professional.
You are urged to seek healthcare advice for the treatment of any
illness or disease.
The Food Standard Agency UK has not evaluated these
statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent