Vitamin B12

We have heard from a number of people with this allergy who have sought care from complementary and alternative medical providers for help with their symptoms.  Many of their providers have recommended that they take large doses of a vitamin B12 to help decrease their allergic symptoms.   Based on anecdotal evidence from a very small number of people, we can say that it does seem to help some people feel better.  It is possible that when some people cut out mammalian meat, they end up with low vitamin B12  levels.  A little more about vitamin B12:

From Bolognia: Dermatology, 2nd edition:

Vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin/hydroxocobalamin) is contained in animal products.   It is involved in the synthesis of DNA.  Vitamin B12 deficiency may result from inadequate intake, as in strict vegetarianism, but most cases of deficiency are due to malabsorption secondary to one of the following: a decrease in gastric intrinsic factor (pernicious anemia), removal of part or all of the stomach, surgical resection of the small intestine, or overgrowth of intestinal bacteria.  Body stores of vitamin B12 are large, so a period of 3 to 6 years is required to develop deficiency states.

People who stop eating mammalian meat (and do not eat a variety of other animal products, fortified grains or supplements) could be at risk for low levels of vitamin B12.  See the chart below for food sources of vitamin B12.

LEVELS OF VITAMIN B-12 IN DIFFERENT FOODS

In an assessment of the vitamin B12 levels in a variety of meat, the American Meat Institute Foundation (AMIF) found the following:

Table 2: Selected Food Sources of Vitamin B12

Food Micrograms (mcg)
per serving
Percent DV*
Liver, beef, braised, 1 slice 48.0 800
Clams, cooked, breaded and fried, 3 ounces 34.2 570
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 100% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 6.0 100
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked, 3 ounces 5.4 90
Salmon, sockeye, cooked, 3 ounces 4.9 80
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked, 3 ounces 4.2 50
Beef, top sirloin, broiled, 3 ounces 2.4 40
Cheeseburger, double patty and bun, 1 sandwich 1.9 30
Breakfast cereals, fortified with 25% of the DV for vitamin B12, 1 serving 1.5 25
Yogurt, plain, 1 cup 1.4 25
Haddock, cooked, 3 ounces 1.2 20
Tuna, white, 3 ounces 1.0 15
Milk, 1 cup 0.9 15
Cheese, Swiss, 1 ounce 0.9 15
Beef taco, 1 taco 0.8 13
Ham, cured, roasted, 3 ounces 0.6 10
Egg, large, 1 whole 0.6 10
Chicken, roasted, ½ breast 0.3 6
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5 responses to “Vitamin B12”

  1. Bonnie Moss says :

    My vitamin B12 was very low. I take 6000 mcg sl every day now and feel so much better. I had gotten very lethargic and basically no energy at all. My days off were spent sleeping. Also found that I was vitamin D deficient since have cut back on milk and dairy due to being afraid of becoming allergic to this, too. This allergy has really took a toll on my physical health! To make matters worse, ticks have been terrible in my area this spring! Already had four bites before catching them on my body!

  2. Fran says :

    Very useful information lots of people don’t realize all the great benefits of vitamin b12.

  3. Anne Stonehill says :

    I just looked at an old post about anecdotal evidence that cutting out mammalian meat can lead to low B12. A couple of months ago, I found out that I was deficient in B12. I’ve been taking weekly, then monthly shots and am now on oral B12. Just thought I’d suggest that some of you get tested.

  4. Katey says :

    How do we find out if the B12 we’re taking is mammal-sourced or from fish or plant sources? Won’t taking mammal-sourced supplements such as B12 or Vitamin D3 also be a source of allergic exposure that could be a problem, especially in highly allergic people like myself?

    • Lucy Gorham says :

      On the Peoples Pharmacy website, there are several comments from readers with the alpha-gal allergy that mention getting reactions to vitamin D3 supplements. I can’t vouch for what’s written, but you could look there to read what their experience has been.

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