How I Get My Vitamin B12

Dear Health Conscious Reader,

I was trying to go through my favorite news websites this morning, but I didn’t get very far.

Don’t worry, I feel fine.

It’s just that I kept seeing the same story over and over. Almost 70 articles on the same study… and each article with nearly the same headline: “Vitamin B12 Can Prevent Alzheimer’s.”

Don’t get me wrong… it’s true, and it’s a great thing. But it’s not really news. We’ve known the benefits of B12 for years.

To me, the real importance of the study is that it deals one more body blow to modern diet recommendations, which tell us that protein and fat are the enemies of good health.

The story the media should be telling is that protein is where nature meant us to get our B12 from. Not from processed grains with added vitamins.

That’s because the only natural food sources of vitamin B12 are animal products like fish, meat and eggs.

Protein keeps you healthy, strong and youthful. And it prevents brain issues like depression1 and Alzheimer’s.2

And it’s protein that gives you enough vitamin B12 to protect your heart by lowering your level of homocysteine. Remember homocysteine is the amino acid that causes cardiovascular disease when it gets too high.3

So the real message in all of this? It’s not about a supplement, but what you’re missing in what you eat. Like always, I recommend replacing missing nutrients with food first. Supplements come in if you can’t get enough of the nutrient from food.

Here are some food sources of vitamin B12:4

Type of Food
per serving
Percent RDA
Liver, beef, braised, 1 slice
Clams, 3 ounces
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces
Beef, top sirloin, broiled, 3 ounces
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup
Haddock, cooked, 3 ounces
Tuna, white, 3 ounces
Milk, 1 cup
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce
Ham, cured, roasted, 3 ounces
Egg, large, 1 whole
Chicken, roasted, ½ breast

One thing you might notice is that although it definitely has protein, chicken is not a good source of vitamin B12. You’d have to eat almost half a chicken to get the same amount of B12 as you can get in just one egg.

Also, now that you’re getting more B12 from the food you eat, be careful not to block your body from taking it in. Reflux and ulcer drugs like Pepcid, Prilosec and Zantac, plus some diabetes drugs, can stop absorption of B12.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

1 Kim, Jae-Min, MD, PhD. “Predictive value of folate, vitamin B12 and homocysteine levels in late-life depression,” The British Journal of Psychiatry 2008; 192: 268-274
2 Hooshmand, B., et al, “Homocysteine and holotranscobalamin and the risk of Alzheimer disease: a longitudinal study,” Neurology 2010; 75: 1408-1414
3 Humphrey, Linda L., MD, MPH, Fu, Rongwei, PhD, Rogers, Kevin MD, et al, “Homocysteine Level and Coronary Heart Disease Incidence: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis,” Proceedings November 2008; Vol. 83, no. 11, 1203-1212
4 “Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet: Vitamin B12,” Nat’l Inst. Of Health
5 “Nonsteriodal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs,” American Gastroenterological Association

* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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