Magazine article USA TODAY

Where's the B12? in the Meat

Magazine article USA TODAY

Where's the B12? in the Meat

Article excerpt

Most consumers do not fully recognize the unique nutrition benefits that meat and poultry offer, according to a survey conducted online by Harris Poll for the American Meat Institute, Washington, D.C. Only 12% of consumers correctly identified animal products like meat and poultry as the only natural source of Vitamin B12, which keeps the nervous system healthy. Twenty percent said cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower were its natural source and 13% thought the correct answer was citrus fruit. Neither of these foods contains Vitamin B12.

The Harvard Health Blog reports that "Vitamin B12 deficiency is relatively common, especially among older people. The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey estimates that 3.2% of adults over age 50 have a seriously low B12 level, and up to 20% may have a borderline deficiency."

AMI's survey also showed consumers do not know that the body absorbs more iron from meat and poultry than from other foods. Meat and poultry contain "heme" iron, the most absorbable form, but 52% of consumers incorrectly thought the body absorbed the most iron from spinach, kale, and other leafy greens, which are high in iron, but contain the less absorbable "non-heme" form. …

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