Edible Cyanobacteria- Spirulina And B12


Some species of the cyanobacteria, including Spirulina, Aphanizomenon, and Nostoc,are produced at annual rates of 500–3000 tons for food and pharmaceutical industries worldwide (61). Tablets containing Spirulina sp. are sold as a health food fad, since it is known to contain a large amount of vitamin B12 (62). We found that commercially available spirulina tablets contained 127–244 μg vitamin B12 per 100 g weight (63). When two corrinoid compounds were characterized from the spirulina tablets, the major (83%) and minor (17%) compounds were identified as pseudovitamin B12(adeninly cobamide) and vitamin B12, respectively (Fig. 2⇓). Several groups of investigators indicated that pseudovitamin B12 is hardly absorbed in mammalian intestine with a low affinity to IF (64, 65). Furthermore, researchers showed that spirulina vitamin B12 may not be bioavailable in mammals (63, 66). Herbert (67) reported that an extract of spirulina contains two vitamin B12 compounds that can block the metabolism of vitamin B12. And van den Berg et al. (68) demonstrated that a supplemented diet does not induce severe vitamin B12 deficiency in rats, implying that the feeding of spirulina may not interfere with the vitamin B12metabolism. Further studies are needed to clarify bio availability of spirulina vitamin B12 in humans.


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11 Replies

  • I take it for its protein content also also various micronutrients

  • hmmm even they say it helps in B12 to some extent....

    but my question is....it is Cyanobacteria........it is living thing...is it Vegan???

  • No idea

    I am a lacto ovo vegetarian

    So makes no difference to me

  • ahh..not talking about you....but since its from Vegan forum so was asking Shashikantiyengar

  • Ok

    Need to do some research

  • Guess eating fermented food....like Idaly dosa....Vinegar will be helpful in establishing some useful gut flora...

    Guess karch will be able to comment on same.... he is master of fermentation... :P


    Lactobacillus species

    Lactobacillus is a genus of bacteria found in some people's digestive tracts and in most probiotic supplements. There is evidence that some species produce vitamin B12.

    A 2003 study of Lactobacillus reuteri CRL1098 determined that it produces vitamin B12 and that this B12 was equivalent to cyanocobalamin (41).

    In a 2006 study from Egypt, school children were fed yogurt fermented only with Lactobaccillus acidophilus, 2 cups daily with 5 X 109 colony-forming units (43). After 42 days, their B12 status was compared to children who were fed a commercially prepared yogurt. Urinary MMA levels went from 3.49 to 2.09 mmol/mol of creatinine in the experimental group (P = .02) versus no change in the commercial yogurt group.

    In a 2000 study of vegan raw foodists, 4 vegans were fed a probiotic supplement containing Lactobacillus acidolphilus and other Lactobacillus species (44). After 3 months, the urinary MMA levels of 3 of the 4 subjects had decreased, though not to normal levels. More details of this study are on the page, Raw Foodist Vegans.

    While Lactobacillus shows some promise, it is too soon to rely on it for keeping your vitamin B12 status at healthy levels.

  • what about aloe vera?..I read somewhere ...it is the one of the few vegan sources which contain B12 and more over it increase the bioavailability of B12 in humans

  • Actually B12 is produced by bcateria/yeast and it is present in every fermented food ...so rather than eating supplements and pills for probiotic eat the fermented food ...which has more B12 Vit ...let them produce B12 outside of intestine and then eat them with food :)

  • Cure

    Sometime back if you recall on the subject of spirunila one of the blogger remarked that B12 content of spirunila is pseudo and not helpful. Can anybody tell the exact position

  • yes Ipog

    Guess it was shrisamarth ...

    You may go to the web link attached to post....and you will find same cited there.....

    Alternatively....if you google that information is widely published.

    Thanx for comment.

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