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

This commodity is based on a video by Andreas Moritz, alleged Debunking Vitamin B12, which I begin arresting and analytic informative, so I thought, I wish to apperceive more. I was decidedly captivated in vitamin B-12 for my own bloom reasons, aback award my action bigger afterwards acerbic aback on meat, angle and high-fat dairy in my diet.

Vitamin B12, aswell accepted as cyanocobalamin, is appropriate for every action in the body, and every individual corpuscle needs it to work. A absence can could could could could could could cause anaemia, academician and afraid arrangement disorders, and astringent gastro-intestinal problems.

The capital affair of the video is that we are amiss in B12, not due to not bistro abundant B12 foods, but due to not absorbing abundant B12 from our foods.

He is in favour of vegetarianism generally, but not as allegiant as some, a bit added counterbalanced than most, which I liked.

What’s his own diet like, I wondered? So I looked it up and couldn’t acquisition anything. And abominably he has died, allegedly beneath abstruse circumstances, as he seemed to be fit, advantageous and able beforehand, but he was researching areas acute to Big Pharma/Food industry – that’s the consequence I got.

Anyway, he talks about built-in agency in the stomach. In adjustment to digest, absorb, abstract B12, we charge built-in agency in beyond abundance than we about accept it.

What is built-in factor, I wondered? So I looked it up.

Intrinsic factor

Intrinsic agency is produced by the beef lining the belly and combines with vitamin B12, and so it is all-important for assimilation of vitamin B12 afterwards on in the babyish intestine. It is a glycoprotein. (The “glyco” just agency there is a carbohydrate accumulation captivated to the protein part.)

The belly acids absolution vitamin B12 from aliment during the assimilation process, but vitamin B12 is acute to acids and so it needs to be protected. Therefore the action starts abundant beforehand in the aperture with the salivary glands, breadth vitamin B12 is accumulated with addition glycoprotein alleged haptocorrin, which cautiously transports it through the stomach, attention it from the acids, and on in to the intestines, breadth there is a added acrid environment, and it can be cautiously appear and absorbed.

The aforementioned beef in the belly that aftermath the belly hydrochloric acerbic aswell aftermath the built-in agency (IF), which rebinds the B12 afterwards its absolution from haptocorrin by digestion. So in the duodenum, a vitamin B12-IF circuitous is created, which again campaign on through the babyish intestines. Arresting accepting – amazing body, eh?

Where we acquisition it and why we charge it

It is now well-known, abnormally a allotment of the vegan/vegetarian community, that we charge to accomplish abiding we get able vitamin B12 in our diets. As it’s mostly begin in beginning beastly products, like liver, fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk and cheese, you can’t just eat a advantageous plant-based diet and achievement you get enough. It an capital vitamin, and can could could could could could could cause irreversible and absolutely astringent problems if there is a deficiency.

It acclimated to be thought, however, that humans could get it from azoic sources, like spirulina, and brewed and able foods like tempeh, or not charwoman the clay absolutely off aliment taken from the ground. But the Vegan Society now states that adherent foods and supplementation are the abandoned reliable sources of B12, and that bistro abandoned a raw (rather than cooked) plant-based diet offers no appropriate protection.

What it’s acceptable for

We charge it for the academician and afraid arrangement (so anticipate adherence of mood, memory, eyesight), action metabolism (production of ATP, blubbery acerbic and amino acerbic metabolism) and advance (blood formation, protein and tissue synthesis) – appealing important again I’d say!

The capital affection of a deficiency, as stated, are anaemia and acoustic problems, so the age-old charge it to assure adjoin academician decline and things like Alzheimer’s disease, and a abridgement of B12 can breach down the myelin sheath attention the nerves, causing assorted sclerosis and fibromyalgia.

A absence can aswell could could could could could could cause agglomeration of the arteries, due added circulating homocysteine, a assimilation byproduct that can could could could could could could cause accident throughout the absolute body, which B12 commonly acts to breach down.

So a absence can alpha with cryptic symptoms, like accident of energy, a abscessed tongue, amazing in the hands, balmy confusion, but if larboard basic can advance to austere problems: assumption accident (even the analgesic bond can breakdown), low cartilage mineral density, and apparition deterioration, additional brainy bloom problems, depression.

So accepting begin mostly begin in beastly articles and dairy, that’s why vegans charge to accomplish abiding they get an addition antecedent in their diet.

Best sources of B12


The abandoned vegan sources are adherent cereals, milks, juices, soy and added products, and yeast-containing articles like Marmite (UK name, or Vegemite in the US, and it goes beneath added names too, basically aggrandize abstract – that atramentous gooey, acrid accepting you advance on your toast), but these are almost accessory amounts.

For example, Marmite contains 0.5 mcg per 100 g, but we abandoned tend to use a teaspoon or two on our acknowledgment because it’s such able tasting stuff, so that abandoned contains 0.025 mcg. Admitting a cup of adherent soy milk will accommodate 3 mcg, which is 50% of the DV (daily bulk – see below).

And there is addition affair actuality if you’re traveling to add adherent articles to your diet, in the UK at least, the soy, almond and rice milks that accommodate added vitamins aswell accommodate gums (gelan gum and/or carrageenan usually), which are accepted to could could could could could could cause digestive issues – added below.


Obviously the bearings is bigger if you are vegetarian because you can accept eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. Aswell whey powder, as 100 g of that is said to accommodate 42% DV.

And with milk and yogurt, you’re added acceptable to blot a accomplished cup of that, which contains 0.9 mcg (15% DV) for non-fat yogurt, and 1.14 mcg (19% DV) for bargain fat milk. So a bit added but still not ablaze though.

Even with eggs, unfortunately, 1 ample aloft egg abandoned contains 0.6 mcg, just 10% of the DV, although added types of eggs accommodate more, e.g. abstain eggs accommodate 3.8 mcg (raw, not abiding about cooked), which is 63% DV, and goose eggs, which are rather large, accommodate 7.3 mcg, which is 122% DV. But again I abandoned acquisition abstain eggs too blubbery – you just can’t win, can you?

Daily allowance

The recommended bulk you charge varies amid countries (according to sources on the Internet): the UK RDA (recommended daily amount) is 1.5 mcg/day (from the National Bloom Service website, so should be authentic and up-to-date).

Google (no antecedent given, but which angry out to be the US RDA – recommended dietary amount) says: 2.4 mcg circadian for ages 14 years and older, 2.6 mcg circadian for abundant females, and 2.8 mcg circadian for breastfeeding females. For the over 50s, they should eat foods adherent with B12 or yield a vitamin B12 supplement.

So those over 50, and abundant and breast-feeding women, charge added due to bargain assimilation in earlier humans of by itself occurring B12, and greater demands for B12 whilst abundant and for nursing mothers.

Note that the DVs quoted aloft are based on 6 mcg circadian (rather confusingly), rather than the US RDA of 2.4. (It’s to do with the bulk in the aliment apparently, rather than the circadian bulk you need). So that applies to account the diet labels for adherent foods, which is why for egg, quoted above, it’s 0.6 mcg, which is 10% DV, not 25% (which would be the about bulk for the RDA of 2.4 mcg).


A Dutch abstraction (from 2005) looked at how abundant articulate B12 should be assigned for patients with a accepted absence of this vitamin – NB the citizenry advised were age-old (people with what was termed a balmy B12 deficiency), with an boilerplate age of 80. This was agreeably acicular out by Hyla Cass M.D., in “Vitamin B12 – How abundant is enough?” (1)

They were accustomed B12 (cyanocobalamin form) in a ambit of doses: 2.5, 100, 250, 500 and 1000 mcg circadian (administered for 16 weeks).

No adverse contest were appear with any dosage, but the arch aftereffect was that the 500-mcg dosage was the everyman dosage appropriate for an articulate dose, for patients with a accepted absence of this vitamin (measured by an estimated 80% to 90% abridgement in claret methylmalonic acid).

So this abstraction was for supplements, and the bulk begin is absolutely top compared with the circadian ethics needed, which is the bulk recommended that we get from foods.

As added confirmation, a supplement from a trusted antecedent I apperceive of provides 1,000 mcg/capsule, which aswell contains 400 mcg of folate. And a lot of supplements accommodate 500 mcg or 1,000 mcg (which adeptness be the aberration amid the ameliorative dosage and a aliment dose).

Easier to absorb

The acceptable affair about supplements is that in some people, the B12 is easier to blot than that begin in by itself occurring foods, breadth it is apprenticed to protein. Abridgement in belly acerbic and digestive enzymes with accretion age, and things like deepening of the belly lining due to allergies, aliment intolerances, booze intake, altitude like abdominals ache and Crohn’s disease, all abate body’s adeptness to carve the appropriate comestible from the aliment and to blot it.

Full account of B12 absolute foods

Here is a account of the top aliment sources of B12 (from

  • Mollusk – clams, oysters, whelk, backtalk (crab: Alaska, King cooked, Dungeness and Queen, cooked)
  • Alarmist – from lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, goose, pork, craven (pan-fried, again tinned)
  • Angle eggs, accurately of whitefish, caviar (black and red, granular), alloyed angle roe (cooked, dry heat)
  • Agency meats and giblets: turkey giblets, beef kidney, pancreas (from assorted animals), beef brain, dogie heart, craven giblets, lamb heart, beef heart, turkey gizzards (cooked)
  • Angle and sea mammals – octopus, apricot (dried chum), trout (dried, again Rainbow trout, cooked), mackerel (Atlantic cooked, dry heat), kippered herring (Atlantic), broiled whitefish, red apricot (smoked sockeye), King mackerel (cooked), herring (cooked dry heat), mackerel (salted), adolescent (fresh Bluefin, adapted dry heat), cod (dried, Atlantic, salted), charge (Pacific, canned in amazon booze and canned in oil, with bone), trout (cooked), bang (dried Beluga meat), allowance (dried), red apricot (canned), bass (striped, cooked), walleye pollock (cooked), snapper, (cooked), seatrout (cooked)…
  • Adherent breakfast cereals – top fibre Bran Flakes, Kellogg’s All bran Complete aureate flakes, Multi-Grain Cheerio’s
  • Complete Oat Bran Flakes, All Bran Buds, Appropriate K, Accepted Mills cereals, All Bran Original, Kellogg’s low fat granola
  • All Bran yogurt bites, Nature’s Path Optimum, Ready to eat muesli (with broiled bake-apple and nuts)…
  • Pates/liver sausage: Braunschweiger (pork liver), liverwurst and liverwurst spread, foie de gras (goose liver, smoked)
  • Wild game: caribou (dried accept meat), emu (fan bandage cooked), aholic and muskrat, aerial (roasted), deer, moose, ostrich
  • Margarine-like (vegetable oil) spreads
  • Accomplished broiled egg, broiled egg yolk, goose egg (whole, fresh, raw is highest)
  • Soy protein isolate
  • Soup (clam chowder, New England, tinned, condensed)
  • Meatless chicken, breaded fried
  • Babyish foods (some)
  • Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without), Instant Milk (dry, non-fat, with added vitamin A and without),
  • Meat – broiled mutton, some lamb cuts, and added meats… (vitamin B12 agreeable goes down from there)…

Not included above, there are aswell lower amounts in B12 in:

  • Mussels and added shellfish, haddock
  • Beef
  • Low fat yogurt
  • Adherent tofus
  • Swiss cheese, abate fat mozzarella, parmesan, feta cheese
  • Ham
  • Abstain eggs (being so abundant college than craven eggs), craven eggs
  • Craven meat

This is to accord an abstraction of the top B12-containing foods, partly aggregate by blazon of food, partly by accomplished to lowest, but agenda affable methods aswell adapt the bulk significantly. Raw agency meats, for example, accommodate abundant added than cooked. And even dry calefaction against bleared and braising makes a difference.

And I was afraid to see buzz craven has bisected the bulk of low fat cottage cheese for example, and that low fat versions of dairy about accommodate added B12 than the abounding fat varieties. So that’s advantageous to know.

Fortified foods and gums

I abandoned accept abhorred the adherent milks because, as I say, they tend to accommodate gums which, I accept read, stop your digestion. According to Dr P D’Adamo, they accommodate a lectin or added agglutinin (basically causing beef to stick and array together, not atomic your red claret beef – eeek), and it is a metabolic inhibitor – that was for guar gum and carrageenan. Aswell for acacia (gum arabic): it flocculates serum or precipitates serum proteins, it contains lectin or added agglutinin, and is a metabolic inhibitor, and it increases lectin action and bounden – blimey, the accomplished caboodle! So you artlessly cannot breach them down, and they can wreak calamity on your accomplished arrangement by the complete of it.

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

Which is a shame, because it agency I absence out on these adherent foods. And I don’t eat any added blazon of adherent foods either, like the cereals, because of the amoroso and added additives they tend to contain, or aliment and added wheat-based articles they accomplish with adherent flour, or use the adherent spreads (I abandoned use olive oil and ghee about on rye bread), and I don’t alcohol approved cow’s milk either, or the adherent drinks of any affectionate because of said gums and sugar, and I don’t use affected meat soy products, textured vegetable protein/mycoprotein – that and those smoke flavourings are absolutely best abhorred – and finally, I don’t eat babyish food… hmm, I consistently admired the attending of that stuff, maybe I should try it.

The acumen I admiration if gums adeptness stop the physique breaking down added foods appropriately is because of what I learnt about the aftereffect of, for example, abacus milk to a smoothie or your morning tea or coffee. Milk in fact stops you arresting the antioxidants (the acceptable accepting like polyphenols and catechins) in the tea and the coffee – aforementioned goes for amber – and even with fruits and berries you adeptness accept in your morning smoothie or breakfast bowl, abacus milk in fact stops the assimilation of the acceptable nutrients in it, as abstinent by claret levels of assertive benign compounds afterwards arresting it.

The accurate analysis done on this is calmly summarised by Dr Michael Greger, an MD (medical doctor) who trawls the accurate abstract for such advantageous information, and is presented in short, info-bitesize videos, authoritative it added attainable for us.

And shockingly, it’s not just cow’s milk that does this, it’s soy milk as able-bodied – at atomic in tea – because abominably the abandoned abstraction they activated soy milk in was the one with tea. They didn’t analysis soy milk in the added (separate) studies on the chocolate/coffee and berries. So how about that then? That absolutely afraid me, as it did Michael Greger, and no agnosticism the advisers as well. To acquisition that abacus even soy milk to advantageous drinks/smoothies adeptness be adverse the benign furnishings of the antioxidant compounds in them. That was a absolute eye-opener.

I assumption that’s allotment of the acumen why aphotic amber is so abundant convalescent than milk.

And so if the milk itself blocks absorption, I acutely wondered what the added gums in milk can do. So I’d rather just abstain them altogether, if I can.

B12 assimilation – analysis and controversy

Back to the video:

Andreas Moritz says undigested meat and protein in our audacity upsets the probiotic bacteria, and that these bacilli are the assumption antecedent of vitamin B12 – didn’t apperceive that – which is about captivated at the end of the babyish civil in the terminal ileum.

(As an aside, I wondered whether the “terminal ileum” was the Appendix, as I had abundance out if I was age-old about 8 and I’ve accept consistently been super-sensitive to foods, although not clearly allergic to any). Anyway, it isn’t the appendix, because I looked it up.

Terminal ileum

The terminal ileum occurs amid the ample and babyish belly and connects to the caecum (the aboriginal allotment of the ample intestines) via the ileocecal valve. So it’s not absolutely the addendum but close, anatomically speaking, as the addendum is affiliated to the caecum.

Here is a 3-D account ( assuming the exact breadth of the terminal ileum aural the abdomen, with a aeronautics filigree to the larboard which, if you hover the little duke over it, highlights in blooming whatever allotment of the digestive arrangement you wish to attending at. There is aswell a abbreviate description with anniversary area. 

Storage of B12

The terminal ileum is breadth B12 gets captivated into the bloodstream and agitated to the liver. The alarmist aliment it there until required, and it is again recycled in a lot of cases. The recycled B12 is acclimated for up to 6 or 7 years.

The bulk we charge in an absolute lifetime is as abundant as you can fit on the end of your little feel – interesting! Actual babyish amount.

So it’s absolutely difficult to get a B12 deficiency, and as already stated, it’s not so abundant the aliment we eat, as the assimilation of it that is the could could could could could could cause of the problem. Our own gut bloom is the problem.

He goes on: Junk aliment and medications, decidedly antibiotics, abort the probiotic bacilli in our gut. Additional bistro a lot of meat which, although it contains B12, cannot absolutely be captivated appropriately if the assimilation is not alive actual well, decidedly if built-in agency is diminished, which does appear if you eat too abundant protein foods, he says.

He says the misunderstandings about B12 appear from how we aftermath our own B12. Like cows, for example, don’t accept to eat meat or alcohol added species’ milk in adjustment to get B12, and that it is provided from the bulb foods, and they don’t accept a deficiency.

And, Andreas makes the point: Humans bistro accustomed foods will aswell not advance B12 deficiency.

(This is a hotly debated topic, as to whether we can produced our own B12 from the bacilli in the gut, advancing down now on the ancillary of we can’t, or some of us may do but it is not absorbable by us, but apprehend on.)

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

Herbivores and B12

Ruminants, such as cows, buffalo, goats, sheep, these guys get their vitamin B12 from these bacilli which synthesise it in their abundant four-chamber guts. Some herbivores (horses, elephants, zebras, rabbits, hares, and abounding rodents) accept ample caecums in their digestive tracts, which is amid the babyish and ample intestine, breadth bacterial beverage takes place.

Primates eat eggs and insects in the soil. Gorillas (also hares, rabbits, and some rodents) eat faeces as well. And lots of animals consistently blot soil, so they accept abounding added sources/ways of accepting B12 than us.

As an aside, there is a advancement that all animals charge supplementation of B12 in their feed, but one antecedent says that bacilli in a horse’s digestive amplitude are able to aftermath abundant B12 if there is abundant azure in the diet. Leading to the advancement that about our clay is depleted of these capital minerals these days.

There are assorted added references about bacilli and vitamin B12 production, if you are interested, online (3).

Increasing the absorption

Other vitamins are all-important for acceptable assimilation of vitamin B12 supplements. For example, it is recommended you cover foods affluent in vitamin B6 in your diet, as vitamin B6 is all-important for the able assimilation and accumulator of vitamin B12.

Foods such as spinach, poultry, amber rice, avocados, walnuts and bananas. Banty includes: chicken, quail, turkey, duck, goose and pigeon.

Folate is aswell all-important for acceptable absorption: from aphotic abounding greens, parsley, romaine lettuce, broccoli, asparagus, cauliflower and beets, fruit, and beans, peas and lentils.

Along with able assimilation of calcium. One abstraction in 2000 begin that patients with diabetes were able to about-face low vitamin B12 levels by accretion their calcium intake(4).

Some calcium affluent foods 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, broiled figs, and molasses.

Importantly, belly acerbic levels and pepsin (protein digesting enzyme) are key to extracting the B12 from our food. If you accept low belly acid, demography betaine hydrochloride supplements can admonition to carve the B12 from the protein foods.

It is acclaimed by Sandi Busch on (5) and Dr J E Williams (integrative anesthetic practitioner for 25 years), that use of antacids reduces belly acid, and abundant bubbler causes the belly lining to become inflamed, thereby abbreviation the digestive enzymes. Some commutual anesthetic practitioners acclaim cranberry abstract and application spices in food, which admonition with the assimilation of B vitamins in general, and some even say accede caffeine, as this increases belly acerbic production.

Also bistro smaller, approved amounts of B12-containing foods, rather than all at one meal, can access the bulk you blot all-embracing as well, because there is a absolute to the bulk that can be captivated at any one time, due to the availability of the built-in factor.

Other considerations

Andreas is an apostle of vegetarianism but says B12 absence has annihilation to do with vegetarianism, and that meat eaters are just as deficient, if not added so (which has been accepted by studies in the literature). But vegetarians can ache too if they yield medication, for example, or accept acclimated antibiotics in the past. Allegedly the probiotic bacilli citizenry in your gut can be abashed for abounding years after.

To advance digestion, he says to apple-pie out the alarmist and acerbity ducts, to get rid of acrimony and hepatic stones. They arrest the body’s adeptness to abstract aliment properly. As already stated, this interferes with acceptable bacilli population. And so putrefying food, whether vegetables or meat, will advance to beneath assimilation of B12 because of abridgement of probiotic bacteria, he says, which is the above antecedent of B12.

NB: I brainstorm that partly explains why undereating is bigger for you than overeating. With undereating, you accept no adulteration aliment in your gut.

He says finally, B12 assimilation aswell depends on how abundant vitamin D you accept accessible to accumulate your digestive arrangement able and vital. So advertisement the accomplished physique to the sun on a approved base will advance the advantageous bacilli populations in the gut, and advance to stronger assimilation of nutrients generally. (Maybe he’s an apostle of naturism too! He lived in a balmy altitude no doubt… ah, his Ener-Chi Centre is in North Carolina… abstinent altitude then! )

Other sources of vitamin D – (some overlap with the account for vitamin B12 I notice):

  • Blubbery angle and tuna
  • Mushrooms (that are developed in the ablaze – although ones that aren’t can still accept some vitamin D and can be put in the sun which will access the levels apparently)
  • Acceptable old adherent milks, orange abstract and cereal
  • Egg yolks
  • Beef liver
  • Cod alarmist oil
  • Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin B12 in nature

Andreas didn’t accept we would necessarily blot B12 that able-bodied from a supplement, because in nature, it never comes alone, consistently accumulated with added B-vitamins, added vitamins and minerals, and even added substances that acquiesce B12 to be captivated and utilised, so bistro a balanced, advantageous diet is key to arresting this basic nutrient.

Andreas Moritz was actual ill if growing up, he says from bistro too abounding dairy articles and beastly proteins, and that if he chock-full bistro them, he got the colour aback in his face, admitting afore he was as white as snow. And because of his own illnesses in childhood, he committed his activity to belief the basis causes of disease.

Described as a medical automatic and writer, he spent his boyhood belief nutrition, and by age 20 had accomplished as an iridologist. He again advised Ayurveda in India, followed by shiatsu and assorted added forms of action medicine.

Although I didn’t administer to acquisition data of his circadian diet, he does accept added accepted diet admonition online at his Ener-Chi Centre.


1. Vitamin B12-How Abundant Is Enough? by Hyla Cass, M.D.

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

3. MIT biologists break vitamin puzzle. MIT news.

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

5. The Best Way to Blot B12 by Sandi Busch.

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