Vitamin B12 is an important part of any diet. It is involved in a number of metabolic processes such as the breakdown of certain fatty acids, assists in the formation of blood cells by transferring folic acid in its active form, and plays a vital role in cell division and the nervous system’s functions. This vitamin is usually found bound to proteins in foods of animal origin, such as meat, fish, eggs and milk. Unlike glutamic acid, vitamin B12 cannot be produced by the human body itself and must be supplied by food. The regular intake of this essential vitamin is particularly important; however, this is rather difficult when following a vegan diet. While vegetarians may exclude meat and animal by-products from their diet, they can still meet their vitamin B12 requirements by consuming milk, eggs and dairy products. Vegans, on the other hand, do not eat any food of animal origin, and must therefore rely on other food sources.
Yeast extract naturally contains vitamin B12 which is not derived from animals. It contains all the ingredients that are present in fresh yeast, as well as proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. To produce yeast extract, enzymes break down the contents of the yeast cell and the cell wall is removed. Yeast extract is basically made up of the yeast cell’s natural components, including vitamin B12, without the surrounding cell wall. As it is completely free from any animal ingredients, it can contribute to a balanced diet for both vegetarians and vegans. However, additional supplements are recommended.