So you’ve probably heard about spirulina having the most vitamin B12 of any natural food source there is. And this is true. It contains 2.5 times more than beef liver, which holds second place. Amazing right? Because vitamin B12 isn’t exactly easy to come across, especially when it comes to plant food. Well it is amazing but…
Your body cant use the type of vitamin B12 found in spirulina!
Thats right. The spirulina with vitamin B12 is a huge marketing scam. The vitamin B12 that spirulina contains is mostly pseudovitamin B12 and this is biologically INACTIVE in people [1,2,3]. Of the amount it contains, only about 15% is usable. 85% cannot be used and provides no nutritional benefit .
Don’t let companies and marketers fool you with this lie. There are still a lot out there that advertise it as being a great source for this vitamin. Its not newly discovered information and actually has been known for well over a decade. There are NO studies that conclude spirulina as being a reliable source of active vitamin B12.
If you are looking for vitamin B12 you will have to go elsewhere
Spirulina has incredible amounts of many different nutrients but vitamin B12 is just not one of them. It will provide you with some but not enough to rely on.
Animal foods are the best sources of active vitamin B12 you can get. Meats, fish, and dairy products all have good amounts of it.
For vegans, the most common choice is to buy vitamin B12 fortified foods. And don’t worry, vitamin B12 is made by bacteria so you don’t have to rely on getting it from animals.
I hope this helped everyone out. Companies false advertise like this all the time because of greed. If you have any comments or questions please leave them below and I will get back to you.
And check out the studies of spirulina’s B12 content below.
- 1.Pseudovitamin B12 Is the Predominant Cobamide of an Algal Health Food, Spirulina Tablets. J. Agric. Food Chem., 1999, 47 (11), pp 4736–4741
- 2. Position of the American Dietetic Association and Dietitians of Canada: Vegetarian diets. June 2003Volume 103, Issue 6, Pages 748–765
- 3. Vitamin B12 Sources and Bioavailability. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) November 2007 vol. 232 no. 10 1266-1274