Milk contains vitamin B12.

There appears to be conflicting advice over whether heating milk will reduce its B12 content.

For example, this healthcare site says:

Vitamin B12 is stable at room temperature and therefore does not need to be refrigerated. It is not destroyed by cooking. Vitamin B12 resists breakdown even at boiling point of water for several hours.

On the other hand, a poster in this Vegan forum provides some (referenced) quotes which claimed that boiling milk reduces B12 content:

Prolonged cooking, including boiling of cow's milk, destroys B12.

Similarly, about 70% of B-12 is still present after cow's milk is boiled for 2-5 minutes.

Does boiling of milk reduce its B12 content?

  • @EbenezerSklivvze I edited again. Also the OP shouldn't even need to prove there's a controversy: only that there's any notable claim, i.e. a claim which is believed by several people. The claim could be that B12 either is or isn't lost when milk is boiled. Clearly there are people who claim one or the other.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 1, 2015 at 14:04
  • 1
    @ChrisW much better now. The problem is not showing a controversy, but presenting two different claims as if they were a controversy: that makes it unclear which is the claim we need to address. I've reopened and removed the other obsolete comments.
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 1, 2015 at 14:11

1 Answer 1



Many studies show the evolution of vitamin in milk while heating. You may even compare heating methods.

In this article, the evolution of B12 vitamin is drawn (figure 1).

enter image description here

However, the loss of vitamin that occurs while heating the milk up to 100°C is only around 10% of the total B12 vitamin. Prolongated heating will really lower the concentration though.

  • Figure 1 seems to me to show that boiling milk for 10 minutes results in a 20% loss.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 8, 2015 at 15:59
  • @Sklivvz The referenced Figure 1 documents the effect of boiling (as opposed to microwaving) as a 'control' for the microwave experiment.
    – ChrisW
    Jan 8, 2015 at 17:56
  • Added it in, it's now clear
    – Sklivvz
    Jan 8, 2015 at 18:01

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .