Dried green and purple lavers (Nori) contain substantial amounts of biologically active vitamin B(12) but less of dietary iodine relative to other edible seaweeds

J Agric Food Chem. 1999 Jun;47(6):2341-3. doi: 10.1021/jf981065c.


Vitamin B(12) concentrations of dried green (Enteromorpha sp.) and purple (Porphyra sp.) lavers (nori) were determined by both Lactobacillus leichmannii ATCC 7830 microbiological and intrinsic factor chemiluminescence methods. The values determined by using the microbiological method (63.58 +/- 2.90 and 32.26 +/- 1.61 microg/100 g of dry weight) were identical to those found by using the chemiluminescence method (69.20 +/- 2.21 and 25.07 +/- 0.54 microg/100 g of dry weight) in both dried green and purple lavers, respectively. A silica gel 60 thin-layer chromatography of both laver extracts shows that non-coenzyme forms (hydroxo and cyano forms) of vitamin B(12) predominate in both dried lavers. The dried lavers contained lesser amounts of dietary iodine ( approximately 4-6 mg/100 g of dry weight) relative to other seaweeds, suggesting that excessive intake of the dried lavers is unlikely to result in harmful intake of dietary iodine. These results indicate that the dried lavers (nori) are the most excellent source of vitamin B(12) among edible seaweeds, especially for strict vegetarians.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Iodine / analysis*
  • Japan
  • Lactobacillus
  • Luminescent Measurements
  • Seaweed / chemistry*
  • Species Specificity
  • Vegetables / chemistry*
  • Vitamin B 12 / analysis*


  • Iodine
  • Vitamin B 12