Andreas Moritz on Vitamin B12 – Digestion, Absorption, and Herbivores

This textual content is based on a video by Andreas Moritz, known as Debunking Vitamin B12, which I found attention-grabbing and pretty informative, so I believed, I want to know further. I was notably centered on vitamin B-12 for my very personal nicely being causes, since discovering my energy greater after slicing once more on meat, fish and high-fat dairy in my meals plan.

Vitamin B12, additionally known as cyanocobalamin, is required for every function inside the physique, and every single cell desires it to work. A deficiency may trigger anaemia, thoughts and nervous system issues, and excessive gastro-intestinal points.

The precept theme of the video is that we’re poor in B12, not because of not consuming ample B12 meals, nevertheless because of not absorbing ample B12 from our meals.

He is in favour of vegetarianism sometimes, nevertheless not as staunch as some, a bit further balanced than most, which I favored.

What’s his private meals plan like, I questioned? So I regarded it up and couldn’t uncover one thing. And sadly he has died, apparently beneath mysterious circumstances, as he looked to be match, healthful and highly effective beforehand, nevertheless he was researching areas delicate to Huge Pharma/Meals enterprise – that’s the impression I obtained.

Anyway, he talks about intrinsic subject inside the stomach. As a solution to digest, absorb, assimilate B12, we might like intrinsic contemplate greater quantity than we sometimes have it.

What’s intrinsic subject, I questioned? So I regarded it up.

Intrinsic subject

Intrinsic subject is produced by the cells lining the stomach and combines with vitamin B12, and so it is obligatory for absorption of vitamin B12 afterward inside the small intestine. It is a glycoprotein. (The “glyco” merely means there is a carbohydrate group hooked as much as the protein half.)

The stomach acids launch vitamin B12 from meals in the middle of the digestion course of, nevertheless vitamin B12 is delicate to acids and so it have to be protected. Subsequently the strategy begins loads earlier inside the mouth with the salivary glands, the place vitamin B12 is combined with one different glycoprotein known as haptocorrin, which safely transports it by way of the stomach, defending it from the acids, and on in to the intestines, the place there is a further alkaline environment, and it might be safely launched and absorbed.

The similar cells inside the stomach that produce the gastric hydrochloric acid moreover produce the intrinsic subject (IF), which rebinds the B12 after its launch from haptocorrin by digestion. So inside the duodenum, a vitamin B12-IF superior is created, which then travels on by way of the small intestines. Fascinating stuff – excellent physique, eh?

The place we uncover it and why we might prefer it

It is now well-known, notably among the many many vegan/vegetarian group, that we would prefer to confirm we get ample vitamin B12 in our diets. As a result of it is principally current in modern animal merchandise, like liver, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese, you presumably cannot merely eat a healthful plant-based meals plan and hope you get ample. It a needed vitamin, and would possibly set off irreversible and pretty excessive points if there is a deficiency.

It was as soon as thought, nonetheless, that people might get it from non-animal sources, like spirulina, and fermented and cultured meals like tempeh, or not cleaning the soil totally off meals taken from the underside. Nonetheless the Vegan Society now states that fortified meals and supplementation are the one reliable sources of B12, and that consuming solely a raw (pretty than cooked) plant-based meals plan presents no explicit security.

What it’s good for

We would like it for the thoughts and nervous system (so assume stability of mood, memory, eyesight), energy metabolism (manufacturing of ATP, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism) and progress (blood formation, protein and tissue synthesis) – pretty needed then I would say!

The precept indicators of a deficiency, as stated, are anaemia and neurological points, so the aged need it to protect in opposition to thoughts atrophy and points like Alzheimer’s sickness, and an absence of B12 can break down the myelin sheath defending the nerves, inflicting a variety of sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

A deficiency may additionally set off thickening of the arteries, due elevated circulating homocysteine, a digestion byproduct which will set off hurt all by way of all of the physique, which B12 often acts to interrupt down.

So a deficiency can start with unclear indicators, like lack of energy, a sore tongue, tingling inside the arms, light confusion, however when left untreated can lead to important points: nerve hurt (even the spinal wire can breakdown), low bone mineral density, and eyesight deterioration, plus psychological nicely being points, melancholy.

So being found principally current in animal merchandise and dairy, that’s the reason vegans need to confirm they get an alternate provide of their meals plan.

Biggest sources of B12


The one vegan sources are fortified cereals, milks, juices, soy and totally different merchandise, and yeast-containing merchandise like Marmite (UK title, or Vegemite inside the US, and it goes beneath totally different names too, primarily yeast extract – that black gooey, salty stuff you unfold in your toast), nevertheless these are comparatively minor portions.

As an illustration, Marmite incorporates 0.5 mcg per 100 g, nevertheless we solely tend to utilize a teaspoon or two on our toast because of it’s such sturdy tasting stuff, so that solely incorporates 0.025 mcg. Whereas a cup of fortified soy milk will embrace 3 mcg, which is 50% of the DV (day-to-day value – see below).

And there is one different problem proper right here if you’ll add fortified merchandise to your meals plan, inside the UK a minimal of, the soy, almond and rice milks that embrace added dietary nutritional vitamins moreover embrace gums (gelan gum and/or carrageenan typically), which are recognized to set off digestive factors – further below.


Clearly the situation is finest in case you might be vegetarian because of you presumably can have eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Moreover whey powder, as 100 g of that is talked about to incorporate 42% DV.

And with milk and yogurt, you might be further extra prone to eat a whole cup of that, which includes 0.9 mcg (15% DV) for non-fat yogurt, and 1.14 mcg (19% DV) for lowered fat milk. So a bit further nevertheless nonetheless not wise though.

Even with eggs, sadly, 1 large boiled egg solely incorporates 0.6 mcg, merely 10% of the DV, although totally different sorts of eggs embrace further, e.g. duck eggs embrace 3.8 mcg (raw, undecided about cooked), which is 63% DV, and goose eggs, which are pretty large, embrace 7.3 mcg, which is 122% DV. Nonetheless then I personally uncover duck eggs too fatty – you merely can’t win, can you?

Each day allowance

The useful amount you need varies between nations (in line with sources on the Net): the UK RDA (useful day-to-day amount) is 1.5 mcg/day (from the Nationwide Nicely being Service website online, so must be right and up-to-date).

Google (no provide given, nevertheless which turned out to be the US RDA – useful dietary amount) says: 2.4 mcg day-to-day for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 mcg day-to-day for pregnant females, and a pair of.8 mcg day-to-day for breastfeeding females. For the over 50s, they should eat meals fortified with B12 or take a vitamin B12 complement.

So these over 50, and pregnant and breast-feeding ladies, need further because of lowered absorption in older people of naturally occurring B12, and bigger requires for B12 whereas pregnant and for nursing mothers.

Discover that the DVs quoted above are based on 6 mcg day-to-day (pretty confusingly), pretty than the US RDA of two.4. (It’s to do with the price inside the meals apparently, pretty than the day-to-day amount you need). So that applies to finding out the weight loss plan labels for fortified meals, which is why for egg, quoted above, it’s 0.6 mcg, which is 10% DV, not 25% (which is perhaps the relative amount for the RDA of two.4 mcg).


A Dutch look at (from 2005) checked out how loads oral B12 must be prescribed for victims with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin – NB the inhabitants studied had been aged (people with what was termed a lightweight B12 deficiency), with a imply age of 80. This was usefully recognized by Hyla Cass M.D., in “Vitamin B12 – How much is enough?” (1)

They bought B12 (cyanocobalamin variety) in a selection of doses: 2.5, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 mcg day-to-day (administered for 16 weeks).

No hostile events had been reported with any dosage, nevertheless the principal finish consequence was that the 500-mcg dose was the underside dose required for an oral dose, for victims with a confirmed deficiency of this vitamin (measured by an estimated 80% to 90% low cost in plasma methylmalonic acid).

So this look at was for dietary dietary supplements, and the price found is type of extreme in distinction with the day-to-day values wished, which is the amount useful that we get from meals.

As extra affirmation, a complement from a trusted provide I do know of provides 1,000 mcg/capsule, which moreover incorporates 400 mcg of folate. And most dietary dietary supplements embrace 500 mcg or 1,000 mcg (which is prone to be the excellence between the therapeutic dose and a maintenance dose).

Easier to take in

The good thing about dietary dietary supplements is that in some people, the B12 is simpler to take in than that current in naturally occurring meals, the place it is sure to protein. Low cost in stomach acid and digestive enzymes with rising age, and points like irritation of the stomach lining because of allergy signs, meals intolerances, alcohol consumption, conditions like celiac sickness and Crohn’s sickness, all in the reduction of physique’s capability to cleave the required nutrient from the meals and to take in it.

Full itemizing of B12 containing meals

Here is a list of the best meals sources of B12 (from

  • Shellfish – clams, oysters, whelk, crab (crab: Alaska, King cooked, Dungeness and Queen, cooked)
  • Liver – from lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, goose, pork, hen (pan-fried, then tinned)
  • Fish eggs, notably of whitefish, caviar (black and crimson, granular), blended fish roe (cooked, dry heat)
  • Organ meats and giblets: turkey giblets, beef kidney, pancreas (from diversified animals), beef thoughts, veal coronary coronary heart, hen giblets, lamb coronary coronary heart, beef coronary coronary heart, turkey gizzards (cooked)
  • Fish and sea mammals – octopus, salmon (dried chum), trout (dried, then Rainbow trout, cooked), mackerel (Atlantic cooked, dry heat), kippered herring (Atlantic), dried whitefish, crimson salmon (smoked sockeye), King mackerel (cooked), herring (cooked dry heat), mackerel (salted), tuna (modern Bluefin, cooked dry heat), cod (dried, Atlantic, salted), sardine (Pacific, canned in tomato sauce and canned in oil, with bone), trout (cooked), whale (dried Beluga meat), seal (dried), crimson salmon (canned), bass (striped, cooked), walleye pollock (cooked), snapper, (cooked), seatrout (cooked)…
  • Fortified breakfast cereals – extreme fibre Bran Flakes, Kellogg’s All bran Full wheat flakes, Multi-Grain Cheerio’s
  • Full Oat Bran Flakes, All Bran Buds, Specific Okay, Primary Mills cereals, All Bran Distinctive, Kellogg’s low fat granola
  • All Bran yogurt bites, Nature’s Path Optimum, Capable of eat muesli (with dried fruit and nuts)…
  • Pates/liver sausage: Braunschweiger (pork liver), liverwurst and liverwurst unfold, foie de gras (goose liver, smoked)
  • Wild recreation: caribou (dried shoulder meat), emu (fan fillet cooked), beaver and muskrat, rabbit (roasted), deer, moose, ostrich
  • Margarine-like (vegetable oil) spreads
  • Complete dried egg, dried egg yolk, goose egg (full, modern, raw is highest)
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soup (clam chowder, New England, tinned, condensed)
  • Meatless hen, breaded fried
  • Little one meals (some)
  • Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and with out), On the spot Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and with out),
  • Meat – roasted mutton, some lamb cuts, and totally different meats… (vitamin B12 content material materials goes down from there)…

Not included above, there are moreover lower portions in B12 in:

  • Mussels and totally different shellfish, haddock
  • Beef
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Fortified tofus
  • Swiss cheese, in the reduction of fat mozzarella, parmesan, feta cheese
  • Ham
  • Duck eggs (being loads elevated than hen eggs), hen eggs
  • Rooster meat

That’s to supply an idea of the best B12-containing meals, partly grouped by form of meals, partly by highest to lowest, nevertheless observe cooking methods moreover alter the amount significantly. Raw organ meats, for example, embrace far more than cooked. And even dry heat versus steaming and braising makes a distinction.

And I was shocked to see roast hen has half the amount of low fat cottage cheese for example, and that low fat variations of dairy sometimes embrace further B12 than the full fat varieties. So that’s useful to know.

Fortified meals and gums

I personally have averted the fortified milks because of, as I say, they’ve an inclination to incorporate gums which, I’ve study, stop your digestion. Based mostly on Dr P D’Adamo, they embrace a lectin or totally different agglutinin (primarily inflicting cells to remain and clump collectively, not least your crimson blood cells – eeek), and it is a metabolic inhibitor – that was for guar gum and carrageenan. Moreover for acacia (gum arabic): it flocculates serum or precipitates serum proteins, it incorporates lectin or totally different agglutinin, and is a metabolic inhibitor, and it’ll enhance lectin train and binding – blimey, the whole caboodle! So that you just merely cannot break them down, they often can wreak havoc in your full system by the sound of it.

Moreover see Dr Michael Greger’s video: “Is Carrageenan Safe?” (2)

Which is a shame, because of it means I miss out on these fortified meals. And I don’t eat each different form of fortified meals each, identical to the cereals, as a result of sugar and totally different elements they’ve an inclination to incorporate, or bread and totally different wheat-based merchandise they make with fortified flour, or use the fortified spreads (I solely use olive oil and ghee sometimes on rye bread), and I don’t drink frequent cow’s milk each, or the fortified drinks of any type attributable to talked about gums and sugar, and I don’t use fake meat soy merchandise, textured vegetable protein/mycoprotein – that and other people smoke flavourings are positively biggest averted – and ultimately, I don’t eat youngster meals… hmm, I on a regular basis favored the look of that stuff, maybe I must attempt it.

The rationale I am questioning if gums might stop the physique breaking down totally different meals appropriately is because of what I learnt regarding the influence of, for example, together with milk to a smoothie or your morning tea or espresso. Milk really stops you absorbing the antioxidants (the nice issues like polyphenols and catechins) inside the tea and the espresso – related goes for chocolate – and even with fruits and berries you would possibly want in your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl, together with milk really stops the absorption of the good nutritional vitamins in it, as measured by blood ranges of certain useful compounds after consuming it.

The scientific evaluation completed on that’s handily summarised by Dr Michael Greger, an MD (medical doctor) who trawls the scientific literature for such useful information, and is obtainable in short, info-bitesize films, making it further accessible for us.

And shockingly, it’s not merely cow’s milk that does this, it’s soy milk as correctly – a minimal of in tea – because of sadly the one look at they examined soy milk in was the one with tea. They didn’t examine soy milk inside the totally different (separate) analysis on the chocolate/espresso and berries. So how about that then? That principally shocked me, as a result of it did Michael Greger, and little query the researchers as correctly. To hunt out that together with even soy milk to healthful drinks/smoothies is prone to be negating the useful outcomes of the antioxidant compounds in them. That was an precise eye-opener.

I suppose that is part of the reason why darkish chocolate is much more wholesome than milk.

And so if the milk itself blocks absorption, I clearly questioned what the added gums in milk can do. So I would pretty merely steer clear of them altogether, if I can.

B12 absorption – anatomy and controversy

Once more to the video:

Andreas Moritz says undigested meat and protein in our guts upsets the probiotic micro organism, and that these micro organism are the principle provide of vitamin B12 – didn’t know that – which is usually absorbed on the end of the small intestine inside the terminal ileum.

(As an aside, I questioned whether or not or not the “terminal ileum” was the Appendix, as I had mine out after I used to be aged about 8 and I’ve have on a regular basis been super-sensitive to meals, although not formally allergic to any). Anyway, it’s not the appendix, because of I regarded it up.

Terminal ileum

The terminal ileum occurs between the huge and small intestines and connects to the caecum (the first part of the huge intestines) by means of the ileocecal valve. So it’s not pretty the appendix nevertheless shut, anatomically speaking, as a result of the appendix is linked to the caecum.

Here is a 3-D picture ( displaying the exact location of the terminal ileum contained in the abdomen, with a navigation grid to the left which, must you hover the little hand over it, highlights in inexperienced irrespective of part of the digestive system you want a take a look at. There could also be moreover a quick description with each house. 

Storage of B12

The terminal ileum is the place B12 will get absorbed into the bloodstream and carried to the liver. The liver outlets it there until required, and it is then recycled usually. The recycled B12 is used for as a lot as 6 or 7 years.

The amount we might like in an entire lifetime is as loads as you presumably can match on the highest of your little finger – attention-grabbing! Very small amount.

So it’s pretty robust to get a B12 deficiency, and as already stated, it’s not loads the meals we eat, as a result of the absorption of it that is the rationale for the difficulty. Our private gut nicely being is the difficulty.

He goes on: Junk meals and medicines, notably antibiotics, destroy the probiotic micro organism in our gut. Plus consuming quite a few meat which, although it incorporates B12, cannot truly be absorbed appropriately if the digestion should not be working very correctly, notably when intrinsic subject is diminished, which does happen should you eat an extreme quantity of protein meals, he says.

He says the misunderstandings about B12 come from how we produce our private B12. Like cows, for example, don’t have to eat meat or drink totally different species’ milk in order to get B12, and that it is provided from the plant meals, they often do not need a deficiency.

And, Andreas makes the aim: Folks consuming pure meals may additionally not develop B12 deficiency.

(It’s a hotly debated matter, as as as to if we’ll produced our private B12 from the micro organism inside the gut, coming down now on the side of we won’t, or just a few of us would possibly do nevertheless it isn’t absorbable by us, nevertheless study on.)

So how do herbivores get their B12 then? I was curious and had a look:

Herbivores and B12

Ruminants, equal to cows, buffalo, goats, sheep, these guys get their vitamin B12 from these micro organism which synthesise it of their voluminous four-chamber guts. Some herbivores (horses, elephants, zebras, rabbits, hares, and loads of rodents) have large caecums of their digestive tracts, which is between the small and large intestine, the place bacterial fermentation takes place.

Primates eat eggs and bugs inside the soil. Gorillas (moreover hares, rabbits, and some rodents) eat faeces as correctly. And loads of animals generally ingest soil, in order that they’ve many further sources/strategies of getting B12 than us.

As an aside, there is a suggestion that all animals need supplementation of B12 of their feed, nevertheless one provide says that micro organism in a horse’s digestive tract are ready to provide ample B12 if there’s ample cobalt inside the meals plan. Ensuing within the suggestion that at all times our soil is depleted of these essential minerals at this time.

There are quite a few totally different references about micro organism and vitamin B12 manufacturing, in case you might be , on-line (3).

Rising the absorption

Completely different dietary nutritional vitamins are obligatory for good absorption of vitamin B12 dietary dietary supplements. As an illustration, it is endorsed you embody meals rich in vitamin B6 in your meals plan, as vitamin B6 is essential for the right absorption and storage of vitamin B12.

Meals equal to spinach, poultry, brown rice, avocados, walnuts and bananas. Poultry consists of: hen, quail, turkey, duck, goose and pigeon.

Folate may also be obligatory for good absorption: from darkish leafy greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and beets, fruit, and beans, peas and lentils.

Along with ample consumption of calcium. One look at in 2000 found that victims with diabetes had been ready to reverse low vitamin B12 ranges by rising their calcium consumption(4).

Some calcium rich meals are: collard greens, broccoli and kale; sardines and salmon; ricotta, mozzarella and cheddar cheese; low fat yogurt, Greek yogurt and skimmed milk; fortified: milks, cereals and tofu; beans, sesame seeds, dried figs, and molasses.

Importantly, stomach acid ranges and pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) are key to extracting the B12 from our meals. Whenever you’ve bought low stomach acid, taking betaine hydrochloride dietary dietary supplements might assist to cleave the B12 from the protein meals.

It is well-known by Sandi Busch on (5) and Dr J E Williams (integrative medicine practitioner for 25 years), that use of antacids reduces stomach acid, and heavy consuming causes the stomach lining to develop to be contaminated, thereby decreasing the digestive enzymes. Some integrative medicine practitioners counsel cranberry juice and using spices in meals, which help with the absorption of B dietary nutritional vitamins usually, and some even say take into consideration caffeine, as this can enhance stomach acid manufacturing.

Moreover consuming smaller, frequent portions of B12-containing meals, pretty than all at one meal, can improve the amount you absorb whole as correctly, because of there is a prohibit to the amount which may be absorbed at anyone time, due to the supply of the intrinsic subject.

Completely different considerations

Andreas is an advocate of vegetarianism nevertheless says B12 deficiency has nothing to do with vegetarianism, and that meat eaters are merely as poor, if no extra so (which has been confirmed by analysis inside the literature). Nonetheless vegetarians can endure too within the occasion that they take treatment, for example, or have used antibiotics beforehand. Apparently the probiotic micro organism inhabitants in your gut is perhaps disturbed for just a few years after.

To reinforce digestion, he says to clean out the liver and bile ducts, to get rid of gall and hepatic stones. They inhibit the physique’s capability to digest meals appropriately. As already stated, this interferes with good micro organism inhabitants. And so putrefying meals, whether or not or not greens or meat, will end in diminished absorption of B12 attributable to lack of probiotic micro organism, he says, which is the foremost provide of B12.

NB: I take into consideration that partly explains why undereating is finest for you than overeating. With undereating, you have no rotting meals in your gut.

He says lastly, B12 absorption moreover relies upon how loads vitamin D you may need on the market to take care of your digestive system sturdy and essential. So exposing the whole physique to the photo voltaic ceaselessly will improve the healthful micro organism populations inside the gut, and end in stronger absorption of nutritional vitamins sometimes. (Probably he’s an advocate of naturism too! He lived in a warmth native climate little query… ah, his Ener-Chi Centre is in North Carolina… cheap native climate then! )

Completely different sources of vitamin D – (some overlap with the itemizing for vitamin B12 I uncover):

  • Fatty fish and tuna
  • Mushrooms (that are grown inside the light – although ones that aren’t can nonetheless have some vitamin D and is perhaps put inside the photo voltaic which is ready to improve the levels apparently)
  • Good earlier fortified milks, orange juice and cereal
  • Egg yolks
  • Beef liver
  • Cod liver oil
  • Vitamin D dietary dietary supplements

Vitamin B12 in nature

Andreas didn’t contemplate we might basically absorb B12 that correctly from a complement, because of in nature, it not at all comes alone, on a regular basis combined with totally different B-vitamins, totally different dietary nutritional vitamins and minerals, and way more substances that allow B12 to be absorbed and utilised, so consuming a balanced, nutritious weight loss plan is crucial to absorbing this essential nutrient.

Andreas Moritz was very sick when rising up, he says from consuming too many dairy merchandise and animal proteins, and that when he stopped consuming them, he obtained the colour once more in his face, whereas sooner than he was as white as snow. And attributable to his private ailments in childhood, he devoted his life to studying the muse causes of sickness.

Described as a medical intuitive and writer, he spent his adolescence studying weight loss plan, and by age 20 had expert as an iridologist. He then studied Ayurveda in India, adopted by shiatsu and diversified various kinds of energy medicine.

Although I didn’t deal with to look out particulars of his day-to-day meals plan, he does have further frequent meals plan advice on-line at his Ener-Chi Centre.


1. Vitamin B12-How Rather a lot Is Ample? by Hyla Cass, M.D.

2. Dr Michael Greger (2013): Is Carrageenan Safe?

3. MIT biologists treatment vitamin puzzle. MIT info.

4. Elevated consumption of calcium reverses vitamin B12 malabsorption induced by metformin. Diabetes Care. 2000 Sep;23(9):1227-31.

5. The Biggest Choice to Take up B12 by Sandi Busch.

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