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Review
, 6 (5), 1861-73

Vitamin B₁₂-containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians

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Review

Vitamin B₁₂-containing Plant Food Sources for Vegetarians

Fumio Watanabe et al. Nutrients.

Abstract

The usual dietary sources of Vitamin B12 are animal-derived foods, although a few plant-based foods contain substantial amounts of Vitamin B12. To prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency in high-risk populations such as vegetarians, it is necessary to identify plant-derived foods that contain high levels of Vitamin B12. A survey of naturally occurring plant-derived food sources with high Vitamin B12 contents suggested that dried purple laver (nori) is the most suitable Vitamin B12 source presently available for vegetarians. Furthermore, 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.

Figures

Figure 1
Figure 1
Structural formula of Vitamin B12 and partial structures of Vitamin B12 compounds. The partial structures of the Vitamin B12 compounds only show the regions of the molecule that differ from Vitamin B12. (1) 5′-Deoxyadenosylcobalamin; (2) methylcobalamin; (3) hydroxocobalamin; and (4) cyanocobalamin or Vitamin B12.
Figure 2
Figure 2
Various types of dried green and purple lavers are Vitamin B12 sources: (1) a Japanese green laver, (Suji-aonori, Entromopha prolifera); (2) ordinary purple lavers (Porphyra sp.; nori, which has been formed into a sheet and dried); (3) Taiwan purple laver (Hong-mao-tai, Bangia atropurpurea); and (4) New Zealand purple laver (Karengo, a mixture of Porphyra cinnamomea and Porphyra virididentata).
Figure 3
Figure 3
Structural formulae of Vitamin B12 and pseudovitamin B12. (1) Vitamin B12 and (2) pseudovitamin B12 (7-adeninyl cyanocobamide).
Figure 4
Figure 4
Proposed method for improving nutrient imbalance in vegetarian diets using dried purple laver as a Vitamin B12 source in addition to other plant-based food sources.

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