Is Vitamin B12 Destroyed by Heat or Light?


If you rely on vegan food sources of vitamin B12 like granola or nooch (nutritional yeast), it’s pretty smart to be wondering if B12 gets destroyed in the cooking process by heat.

The good news is that B12 is fairly tough.

It’s resistant to PH changes (acidity level), so combining it with lemon juice or any food with significant acidity won’t have much of an effect on it.

However, Vitamin B12 does degrade a bit with exposure to heat.

In a study looking at this exact topic, they found that B12 degrades about 10% at around 70 degrees Celsius.

b12 degredation in heat

But 10% is not a big deal.

Even at very high temperatures, like 450 degrees Celsius, B12 degrades just under 60%, meaning that 40% is still usable.

So when you heat or cook food with B12 in it, you’ll lose between 10-60% of the B12 in it. Keep in mind that this is expected for many nutrients. On top of B12, vitamin D is also lost when cooked.

But considering how little vitamin B12 people need, our serving size is usually hundreds or thousands times greater than the recommended daily amount (RDA). So losing a part of that won’t make any difference.

If you’re worried about getting enough vitamin B12 as a vegan, find a supplement from this list of the best vegan vitamin B12 supplements, which you’ll take at room temperature.

About the author

Dale Cudmore

Your friendly neighborhood vegan from Toronto. Chemical engineer turned semi-professional soccer player and freelance nutrition writer. I've been vegan for years and try to make life easier for others by sharing what I've learned.

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