For a non vegetarian who thrives on animal products, intake of sufficient amounts of B12 is never a problem. However, for vegetarians it is often very difficult to absorb the vitamin in adequate quantities through a vegetarian diet. For them, food products that provide B12 vitamin are restricted to dairy products such as eggs. For stricter vegans who do not include eggs in their diets, cheese, yogurt and cow’s milk suffice.
It is to be noted that the soil is a storehouse of vitamin B12 sources. Micro organisms producing it dwell in the soil as well as in other places outdoors. When unwashed vegetables are picked out and eaten raw, without washing them, often it results in the intake of small amounts of B12 particles that stick to the vegetables being ingested.
Some of the vegetarian food items that contain B12 are Wheat Chex (2.4 micrograms in a cup), Fiber 7 Flakes by Health Valley (0.6 micrograms in a cup), Grape Nuts by Post (1.5mg in a single cup), Just right, Fruit and Nut by Kellogg (1.4 mg in a cup), mueslix apple and almond crunch (1.3 mg in a cup), Nutri-Grain wheat by Kellogg (1.5 micrograms in ¾ cup), Product 19 by Kellogg (6 mg in a cup), Raisin Bran by Kellogg (1.6 mg in a single cup), Total by general mills (7.7 mg in one cup) and other products by Green Giant and Morningstar Farms.
Also, it is seen that 1 large whole egg contains as much as .5 micrograms of B12 whereas 1 large egg white contains 0.1 mg. By taking in 1 ounce of part-skim mozzarella cheese, we may derive 0.2 mg. Even half a cup of ice cream gives .3 mg of the vital vitamin. By consuming 8 ounces of skim milk, vegetarians get one whole unit of the vitamin. Every 8 ounce of plain nonfat yogurt contains in itself 1.5 mg.
Non-vegetarians seem to have a highly varied source for the absorption of vitamin B12. Pan fried beef liver contains as high as 83.1mg of B12 per 100 gms. This is the richest source existing for the intake of B12 by non vegetarians. Simmered turkey giblets give 33.2 mg per 100 gm of its intake. The quantum of vitamin per 100 gms of Braunschweiger pork liver sausage, raw oysters, king crab, raw clams, simmered chicken giblets, swiss cheese and beef (uncooked sirloin) are 20.1, 16, 11.5, 11.3, 9.4, 3.34, and 1.15 respectively. Food items such as egg (raw, whole chicken’s egg), whole cow’s milk, and raw chicken breast contain 0.89, 0.45 and 0.2 micrograms per 100 grams.
Thus as we can see, the major source of vitamin B12 is non-vegetarian food, with one of the most important depositories being aquatic life – fish and shellfish. Meat , egg, and poultry are vital warehouses. Milk and milk products are essential for vegans to derive their vitamins. Eggs, though are seen to be an essential source, more often than not end up blocking complete absorption.