April 10, 2014

The importance of milk as a source of vitamin B12 for human nutrition

Thinkstock/Tom England

J. J. Matte, M. Britten, and C. L. Girard


  • Among animal products, those from ruminants are particularly rich in vitamin B12, which is naturally synthesized by the ruminal microflora and transferred to milk.

  • Concentrations of vitamin B12 in milk vary considerably and are affected by diet.

  • Dairy products retain, in general, a major part of the vitamin B12 naturally present in milk, some processing conditions may even add to the basal level by production of vitamin B12 from propionic bacterium in Swiss-type cheeses.

  • Intestinal bioavailability of vitamin B12 from milk, regardless of the technological process (raw, pasteurized, or microfiltered) is greater than the synthetic form used in supplements.

Animal Frontiers April 2014 4:32-37; doi:10.2527/af.2014-0012

Full article: http://www.animalfrontiers.org/content/4/2/32.full