Is Fish a Safe Source of Vitamin B12?

It's alarming to know that at least one in four adults in the United States today experience vitamin B12 deficiency. Even more disturbing is the fact that half of the U.S. population has less than optimal levels of this important nutrient.
Why are many people suffering from B12 deficiency when it is one of the most common vitamins today? In fact, you can get it from a wide variety of sources. Vitamin B12 is prevalent in animal food products, including beef, liver, and other meats, as well as dairy. It is also present in fish and other types of seafood.
Seafood Sources of Vitamin B12
The National Institutes of Health say that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for B12 is 2.4 micrograms per day for adults. For pregnant women, the RDA is slightly higher. Consuming different types of seafood will provide you with the ideal RDA for vitamin B12.
Some examples of seafood with ideal levels of B12 are clams, mollusks, shrimp, and scallops. For example, a three-ounce serving of cooked clams can give you 84 micrograms of vitamin B12.
There are also saltwater and freshwater fish that contain ideal amounts of vitamin B12. Freshly-caught tuna, snapper, salmon, haddock, and halibut are some great examples. For example, salmon gives 4.9 micrograms of B12 per serving. As for freshwater fish, the ideal choice is wild rainbow trout, which may contain 5.4 micrograms of B12 in every three-ounce serving.
However, when consuming seafood and fish for their B12 content, make sure you only consume freshly-caught wild ones. Avoid factory-farmed fish as much as possible, as these are not as healthy as they appear.
The Problem with Factory-Farmed Fish
The rapid growth of the fish farming industry is due to the decline in ocean fish stocks. In fact, in 2003, researchers found that tuna, swordfish, marlin, sharks, cod, halibut, and other large fish varieties had dropped by 90 percent in just 50 years. This means that only 10 percent of all large fishes are left in the ocean!
One of the main reasons why this happens is irresponsible fishing practices. One example is trawling, a process that works by scooping up everything within the range, up to the ocean floor. Of the acquired resources, only five percent is used, while the 95 percent is dumped back into the ocean, dead and useless.
The decline in the quantity of freshly-caught wild fish is the reason why many supermarkets and establishments now acquire their seafood from factory fish farms. Not only are the fish from these farms contain less B12, but they are loaded with other unhealthy toxins that you would NOT want to put in your body.
Studies have found that farm-raised fish contain higher levels of dioxins, PCBs, toxaphene, dieldrin, and mercury than wild fish. These farm-raised fish are also loaded with antibiotics, hormones and even chemicals to change their appearance. For example, salmons are given synthetic chemicals to give them their pinkish appearance.
If You Want to Get B12 from Fish, You Need to Get Fish from a Safe Source
The problem is that some wild-caught fish may contain certain levels of pollutants and heavy metals (although these levels are lower than those in farmed fish). Before consuming any fish or seafood product, make sure you verify its purity first. Find a trustworthy source that can provide you with wild fish that is free of toxins and is sustainably harvested. One wonderful example is wild Alaskan salmon, which is harvested from pristine freshwater lakes.
Indeed, getting optimal levels of vitamin B12 should be an important concern of any health-conscious person. If you choose seafood as one of your B12 sources, remember these safety considerations, so your efforts will be rewarded.
About the Author
Mishka Thomas suffered from two years ago. However, instead of supplementing, she chose to increase her consumption of B12-rich foods instead. Fresh, wild-caught fish is one of her favorite B12 food sources, but makes sure to consume it moderately.
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