Vitamin Guide from A to Zinc: Vitamin B12

milkLast week the vitamin guide series kicked off with vitamin A. This week I focus on Vitamin B12 an essential vitamin needed for healthy nerve and blood cells as well as the production of DNA. A lack of B12 in the diet can cause anemia, which prevents the body from making normal red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood. Anemia can leave you feeling tired and weak, if you have been feeling this way you should visit your doctor and have your B12 sections checked.

Vitamin B12 is a water–soluble vitamin, so you don’t have to worry about having too much in your system or risk of toxicity. Any amount of the vitamin your body does not need will be rid of through urine, unlike vitamin A as reviewed last week. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for the average adult is 2.4 micrograms per day. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should increase their daily allowance to 2.6-2.8 micrograms.

Animal foods are the primary source for getting B12 in your diet outside of utilizing supplementation. Meat, poultry, dairy foods and eggs are the main sources. If you are a vegetarian you could be lacking B12 as few foods such as cereals, meat substitutes and soy products have the vitamin fortified in it. Make sure to read the nutrition labels on the foods you purchase and otherwise speak to your doctor about a supplementation.

  • 8oz. of yogurt contains 1.3mcg
  • 3oz. of extra lean cooked beef contains 1.8mcg
  • 1 serving of fortified cereal contains 1.5mcg

View the entire vitamin guide:

Vitamin A

Vitamin B12

Vitamin C

Vitamin D

Vitamin E

Vitamin L


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