All about fruitarianism with a long-term fruitarian, Lena

A survey of naturally occurring plant-derived food sources with high Vitamin B12 contents suggested that dried purple laver (nori, Porphyra yezoensis) is the most suitable Vitamin B12 source presently available for vegetarians.

The amount of total vitamin B12 in the dried purple laver was estimated to be 55 -59 mcg / 100 g dry weight. The purple laver contained 5 types of biologically active vitamin B12 compounds (cyano-, hydroxo-, sulfito-, adenosyl- and methylcobalamin), in which the vitamin B12 coenzymes (adenosyl- and methylcobalamin) comprised about 60 % of the total vitamin B12: 

  • cyanocobalamin
  • hydroxocobalamin 
  • sulfitocobalamin 
  • adenosylcobalamin 
  • methylcobalamin 

Dried purple laver also contains high levels of other nutrients that are lacking in vegetarian diets, such as iron and n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. Dried purple laver is a natural plant product and it is suitable for most people in various vegetarian groups.

 

Stanley Milgram

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Vitamin B12 Cobalamin

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin that has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and the formation of red blood cells. It is involved in the metabolism of every cell of the human body, especially affecting DNA synthesis, fatty acid and amino acid metabolism.

No fungi, plants, nor animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12. Only bacteria and archaea have the enzymes needed for its synthesis. Proved food sources of B12 are animal products (meat, fish, dairy products). Some research states that certain non-animal products possibly can be a natural source of B12 because of bacterial symbiosis.

B12 is the largest and most structurally complicated vitamin and can be produced industrially only through a bacterial fermentation-synthesis. This synthetic B12 is used to fortify foods and sold as a dietary supplement.

Vitamin B12 consists of a class of chemically related compounds (vitamers), all of which show pharmacological activity. It contains the biochemically rare element cobalt (chemical symbol Co). The vitamer is produced by bacteria as hydroxocobalamin, but conversion between different forms of the vitamin occurs in the body after consumption

B12 aids in lowering homocysteine levels and may lower the risk of heart disease. 

Recommended daily amount: 2.4 mcg

Example sources: fortified cereals, doenjang and chunggukjang (fermented soybeans), nori (seaweed). 

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