Do fermented foods from India like idli and dosa contain vitamin B12? Can eating these foods prevent vitamin B12 deficiency in vegetarian people?


According to this article idli and dosa contain little or no B12 (<0.001 micrograms per portion); indeed, they state B12 deficiency is a problem in India due to the prevalence of Vegetarian diet.

B12 Content in Foods

While some fermented soy foods, algae, and mushrooms contain B12 (see, for example this article), veg*ans are generally advised to eat supplements.

  • but a lacto vegetarian diet would be healthy as regards vitamin b12, right – vidyarthi Sep 1 '19 at 21:16
  • @vidyarthi lacto vegetarian would have more b12 than vegan, but I would hesitate to say that you are healthy with respect to B12. If you look at the article I linked, they studied Indians, some of whom were deficient in B12 despite eating milk. Indeed, they write in the abstract that "Milk and curd (yoghurt) intakes were unrelated to B12 status." – Kiochi Sep 2 '19 at 22:44
  • the study you linked measured the blood samples of 'normal' people. Actually, in India, particularly south india, 'normal' people consume very less dairy products. All they consume is mainly a little curd used as a side dish. The children are given only a little of milk based sweet drink like Bournvita, Complan etc., Milk is taken as a luxury in south india, and not as a proper food. This is the cause of deficiency in B vitamins, in my purview – vidyarthi Sep 3 '19 at 8:01
  • Why the downvote? maybe consider combining it with a comment on how I could improve the answer? – Kiochi Sep 10 '19 at 20:42
  • I have not downvoted. I too do not know the reason for downvoting. But, I see you have got two upvotes, including mine! – vidyarthi Sep 12 '19 at 16:46

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.