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Vitamin B12: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects,

The Complete Herbal Guide / Vitamins & Minerals  / Vitamin B12: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects,

Vitamin B12: Uses, Benefits and Side Effects,

Vitamin B12 is needed for producing and maintaining new cells, including nerve cells and red blood cells. It is also needed to help make DNA.

Vitamin B12 is bound to the proteins in food. Once you consume B12, the hydrochloric acid in your stomach releases the B12 from the protein. B12 then combines with a substance called intrinsic factor to be absorbed by the intestines.

How Much Do I Need To Consume?

There is insufficient information to establish an RDA for vitamin B12 for infants. In this case, an Adequate Intake (AI) has been established:

AgeMales and Females
0 to 6 months0.4 mcg/day
7 to 12 months0.5 mcg/day

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 is:

AgeMales and FemalesPregnancyLactation
1 to 3 years0.9 mcgN/AN/A
4 to 8 years1.2 mcgN/AN/A
9 to 13 years1.8 mcgN/AN/A
14 to 19 years2.4 mcg2.6 mcg2.8 mcg
19+ years2.4 mcg/day2.6 mcg/day2.8 mcg/day

What Are Sources Of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is attached to the proteins in animal foods. Breakfast cereals are fortified with vitamin B12, which is very important for people who do not consume an adequate amount of animal foods.

FoodAmountVitamin B12
Beef, top sirloin, lean, choice, broiled3 oz2.4 mcg
Breakfast cereals, fortified¾ cup6 mcg
Chicken, breast, cooked½ breast0.3 mcg
Egg1 large0.6 mcg
Haddock, cooked3 oz1.2 mcg
Liver, beef1 slice47.9 mcg
Milk1 cup0.9 mcg
Mollusks, clam3 oz84.1 mcg
Salmon, sockeye, cooked3 oz4.9 mcg
Trout, rainbow, farmed, cooked3 oz4.2 mcg
Trout, rainbow, wild, cooked3 oz5.4 mcg
Tuna, white, canned in water3 oz1.0 mcg
Yogurt, plain, skim1 cup1.4 mcg

Do I Need To Take Vitamin B12 Supplement?

Studies reveal that the majority of Americans consume an adequate amount of vitamin B12. People who do not consume meat or who have a stomach or intestinal disorder that interferes with absorption may need to take a vitamin B12 supplement. Older adults may have atrophic gastritis and may need to consume additional food sources and/or supplements. There are also some medications that can influence vitamin B12 absorption, including H2 receptor antagonists used to treat peptic ulcers, metformin, and proton pump inhibitors. Your doctor can determine your vitamin B12 levels with a blood test.

What Happens If I Don’t Have Enough Vitamin B12?

An inadequate amount of vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia. Signs of vitamin B12 deficiency are fatigue, constipation, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and numbness and tingling in the hands and feet. You may also experience difficulty in maintaining balance, confusion, dementia, depression, and poor memory. An excess intake of folate can mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency, so it’s important to have your levels checked with blood tests if there is a concern, especially if you consume a vegetarian diet.

Is There Such A Thing As Too Much Vitamin B12?

Currently, there is no Tolerable Upper Limit set for vitamin B12. This does not mean that consuming excessive amounts will provide any additional health benefits. It means that there is a very low potential for toxicity at high levels. The RDA was set for optimal health, so it is best to stick with those recommendations.

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Herbal Guide Staff


The Complete Guide to Natural Healing believes that food, vitamins, supplements, and alternative medicine can be your best medicine. Our staff will show you the truth about health and wellness, so you can help your family and closest friends get even healthier. You’ll learn exactly what you should do and how to eat to get healthy, exercise to get your leanest, healthiest body and how to take control of your family’s health, using natural remedies as medicine.