Table of Contents
Discover the list of 15 foods rich in Vitamin B12.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 are especially those of animal origin, such as fish, meat, eggs, and dairy products, and it has functions such as maintaining the nervous system’s metabolism, DNA formation, and the production of healthy red blood cells, preventing anemia.
Vitamin B12 is not present in plant foods unless they are fortified with it, ie the industry artificially adds B12 to products such as soy, soy meat, and breakfast cereals. Therefore, people on a vegan diet should be aware of the consumption of B12 through fortified foods or the use of supplements.
The list below shows the number of vitamin B12 in 100 g of each food:
Cooked liver steak
cooked chicken liver
Vitamin B12 is present in nature in very small amounts, so it is measured in micrograms, which is 1000 times less than a milligram. Its recommended consumption for healthy adults is 2.4 mcg per day.
Vitamin B12 is absorbed from the intestine and stored primarily in the liver. Therefore, the liver can be considered one of the main dietary sources of vitamin B12.
The recommended amount of vitamin B12 varies with age, as shown below:
• From 0 to 6 months of life: 0.4 mcg
• From 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg
• From 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg
• From 4 to 8 years old: 1.2 mcg
• From 9 to 13 years old: 1.8 mcg
• From 14 years onwards: 2.4 mcg
Along with other nutrients like iron and folic acid, vitamin B12 is essential for preventing anemia. See also iron-rich foods for anemia.
Vitamin B12 exists in many forms and is usually linked to the mineral cobalt. This set of forms of B12 is called cobalamin, and methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin are the forms of vitamin B12 that are active in human metabolism.
To be well absorbed from the intestine, vitamin B12 must be decoupled from proteins through the action of gastric juice in the stomach. After this process, it is absorbed in the end of the ileum along with an intrinsic factor, a substance produced by the stomach.
It is estimated that about 10 to 30% of the elderly are unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly, and it is necessary to use supplements in capsules of this vitamin to prevent problems such as anemia and malfunction of the nervous system.
In addition, people who have undergone bariatric surgery or who use medications that reduce stomach acids, such as Omeprazole and Pantoprazole, also have impaired vitamin B12 absorption.
People on a vegetarian diet find it difficult to consume adequate amounts of vitamin B12.
However, vegetarians who include eggs and dairy products in their diet tend to maintain good levels of B12 in the body, and no supplementation is necessary.
On the other hand, vegans usually need to take B12 supplements, in addition to increasing their consumption of cereals such as soy and derivatives fortified with this vitamin.
Food fortified with B12 will have this indication on the label, showing the amount of vitamin in the nutritional information of the product.
It is important to remember that a blood test is not always a good B12 meter, as it may be normal in the blood but deficient in the body’s cells.
In addition, as vitamin B12 is stored in the liver, it can take about 5 years for a person to start to have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or until tests have altered results, as the body will initially consume the previously-stored B12.