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All About Vitamin B12 & Vitamin B12 Testing

How was vitamin B12 discovered?

Between 1920s to early 30s when scientists around the globe like Dr. Whipple, George Minot and William Murphy began to separate the active ingredient in raw liver that included its remedy properties and showed curative property in the liver tissue for the discovery of pernicious anemia, a blood disorder in which red blood cells fail to develop normally that can lead to death. Whipple, Minot, and Murphy won the 1934 Nobel Prize in Medicine.

Karl A. Folkers of the United States and Alexander R. Todd of Great Britain was the researchers who discovered, isolated and named cobalamin, or vitamin B12 in 1948.

Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, who was originally from Cairo was able to determine the molecular structure of vitamin B12 in 1950s using crystallographic data that able to create large quantities from bacteria cultures that lead to the modern form of treatment for vitamin B12 deficiency.

List of Foods Rich in Vitamin B12 per 100g serving

Foods With VitaminB12:Eggs, meat, poultry, shellfish, milk and milk products. B12 is also included in fortified ceral grains. Source: A.D.A.M., Inc.
  1. Shellfish like clams, oyster, and mussels are great source of vitamin B12. It can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, or fried. Shellfish are also good source of zinc, copper and iron. Clams provide the most vitamin B12 with 98.9?g per 100g serving, accounting for 1648% of the RDA.
  2. Lamb liver provides 85.7?g (1428% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving. It can be prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs.
  3. Fish eggs contain vitamin B12 and can be eaten as garnish or spread. The eggs of white fish contain the most of vitamin B12 with 56.4?g (940% RDA) per 100g serving.
  4. Cooked octopus gives 36?g of vitamin B-12 ( 600% of the RDA) per 100g servings.
  5. Fish are rich in omega 3 fats, protein and source of vitamin B12. The following are with most source of vitamin B12 per 100g serving:
    1. Mackerel has 317% of RDA per 100g serving
    2. Herring has 312% of RDA per 100g serving
    3. Salmon has 302% of RDA per 100g serving
    4. Tuna has 181% of RDA per 100g serving
    5. Cod has 167% of RDA per 100g serving
    6. Sardines has 149% of RDA per 100g serving
    7. Trout has 130% of RDA per 100g serving
    8. Bluefish has 104% of RDA per 100g serving

Other Foods Rich in Vitamin B12

FoodsVitamin B12 per 100g serving (% in RDA)
Fortified Cereals*333%
Liverwurst Sausage224%
Fortified Energy Bars*204%
Crab192%
Goose Liver157%
Emu Steak156%
Beef (lean fat part)103%
New England Clam Chowder80%
Lobster67%
Lamb (shoulder part)62%
Swiss Cheese56%
Manhattan Clam Chowder55%
Fortified Tofu*39%
Chicken eggs33%
Fortified Soy milk*19%
Cured Ham (Lean)11%
Yeast Extract Spread (Marmite)8%
Whole Milk7%
Chicken (Lean)5%
Low-Fat Buttermilk4%
*Amount of vitamin B12 may vary greatly among products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of vitamin

Common Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency


  • Memory loss, confusion, migraine headaches, psychosis, or depression
  • White spots appeared on skins, pale skin, or jaundice (yellowing of skin and eyes)
  • Fatigue, weakness, or tiredness
  • Disorientation, or behavioral changes
  • Numbness of the extremities, or coldness of hands and feet
  • Chest pain, heart palpitations, nervousness, or constipation
  • Dizziness, poor appetite or weight loss, and fainting
  • Sore mouth, or tongue
  • Delayed menstruation

Most affected of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Vitamin B12 deficiency is mostly common between older people who avoid meat or fatty foods. Individuals who have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from foods, as well as vegetarians who consume no animal foods suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency, there have also been reports of vitamin B12 deficiency in infants breast-fed by vegetarian mothers.

Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin B12

We need to take 97% RDA to 98% RDA of vitamin B12 average daily intake to meet the nutrients requirements of vitamin B12. Doses of 1000 mcg or 1mg daily by mouth or 1mg monthly by intramuscular (IM) injection have been used to treat pernicious anemia without significant side effects. Below is the following recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 according to age and gender.

GenderAgeVitamin B12 (mcg*)
Children Males/Females4-61.5/1.0
7-102.0/1.4
Males/Females15 yrs old and above3.0/2.0
* First figure refers to the old RDA listing (Recommended Daily Allowance) while the second figure refers to the newer DRI listing (Dietary Reference Intake) a collaborative effort between the USA and Canada.

Vitamin B12 Diseases

Anemia due to a lack of vitamin B12 is also called pernicious anemia; pernicious means having a harmful effect, and anemia means a low level of red blood cell that generally appears when the blood volume in our circulatory system lessen. The name pernicious anemia is used for a specific condition where the body is unable to absorb enough vitamin B12 into the body from the gastro-intestinal tract.

A deficiency in Vitamin B12 can also lead to neuropathy, a nerve damage that causes tingling and numbness of patient hands and feet and irritability to severe dementia, a loss of brain function that occurs with certain disease that affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behavior.

How to Detect Vitamin B12 Diseases?

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Urine test, a urinary methylmalonic acid (UMMA) based like Vitamin B12 Deficiency Detection Kit is an extensive, sensitive, cost effective, convenient for use at home, and accurate GC/MS test (gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy) to detect Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) deficiency.

Medical doctors use Vitamin B12 Deficiency Screening Kit to review test result and it is also useful for dietitian and nutritionist. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Detection Kit brings highly selected ion monitoring isotope dilution gas chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry (GC/MS) in a casual spot urine specimen.

Using Vitamin B12 Deficiency Screening Kit is much safer and convenient rather than using the painful and tradition method using needle to collect blood that is typically drawn from a vein, usually from inside the elbow or back of the hands.

By using Vitamin B12 Deficiency Screening Kit you don�t need to go to the hospital to test the level of the Vitamin B12 in your body, you can simply order and buy it to the online store. Vitamin B12 Deficiency Urine Test is convenient to the patient who is afraid in the injection that have risk associated with having drawn are slight but may include excessive bleeding, fainting, hematoma (blood accumulating under the skin), and infection ( a slight risk anytime the skin is broken).

Treatment for Vitamin B12 Deficiency

People who suffers from pernicious anemia needs to undergo in a vitamin b12 deficiency test, by vitamin b12 deficiency urine test or by using needle or injection to measure the amount of vitamin B12 in the blood. After determining the amount of vitamin B12 in the blood, or if the values of less than 200 pg/mL is a sign of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Health professionals prescribe to eat with high source of vitamin B12, to take oral medication, or have B12 injection also known as intramuscular (IM) injection. Since most people have limited tolerance of the vitamin, many people take B12 injection. A person who received by B12 injection have known to experience a very small percentage of chest pain, heart palpitation, or difficulty of breathing. Other side effects include mild skin rashes, diarrhea, nausea and headache.

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