How Much Vitamin B12 You Should Consume Daily? Here Are The Best Sources

It is important to take the right amount of Vitamin B12 in a day. Check out the best vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources of this nutrient. Read on. 

Navya Kharbanda
Written by: Navya KharbandaPublished at: Mar 29, 2022Updated at: Mar 29, 2022
How Much Vitamin B12 You Should Consume Daily? Here Are The Best Sources

Vitamin B-12 plays a major role in red blood cell formation, nerve function and DNA production. There are many food sources of vitamin B-12 such as poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also present in other foods including some fortified breakfast cereals, and is also available for intake as an oral supplement. It is important to fulfill this nutritional deficiency as it helps in proper functioning of the body through many ways. 

Elderly people and those with digestive tract problems that have an effect on absorption of nutrients also are at a risk of Vitamin B-12 deficiency. If left unattended, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can cause anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal issues, nerve damage and mood swings. Onlymyhealth editorial team talked to Dr. Anjali Phatak, Director Nutripulse and Senior Clinical Nutritionist, Nutripulse, Jaipur, to know about the daily intake of Vitamin B12 and its best vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources. 

How much Vitamin B12 in a day?

vitamin b12

According to Dr. Anjali, the recommended daily intake of vitamin B-12 for normal adults is 2.6 micrograms. However, pregnant, breastfeeding women and people with major deficiencies can increase the amount a bit to fulfill the deficiency or loss of Vitamin B12 in the body. It is advised to take this nutrient through natural food sources. Take the supplements only if recommended by the doctor. 

Also read: 5 Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Best sources of Vitamin B12

Many people take enough Vitamin B-12 through a balanced and healthy diet. But, older adults, vegetarians, vegans and people who suffer from conditions that affects nutrient absorption, Vitamin B-12 from the right sources can benefit from the usage of supplements. Vitamin B-12 supplements are also suggested to women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and follow vegetarian or vegan diets. As per Dr. Anjali, here are the best vegetarian and non-vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12

Vegetarian Vitamin B12 foods

According to Dr. Anjali, here are the best vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12: 

1. Mushrooms 

Mushrooms are one of the best vegetarian sources of Vitamin B12. Dried shiitake mushrooms should be preferred as they have the highest amount of vitamin B12 at 5.6 micrograms per 100 grams. Besides mushrooms, chickpea and green leafy vegetables also contain good amounts of Vitamin B12. 

2. Dairy products 

Milk and all the other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt are rich sources of protein and a number of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12. Cheese is also a rich source of vitamin B12. In fact, many studies have found out that your body can absorb vitamin B12 in all the dairy products better than as compared to beef, fish, or eggs. 

3. Nutritional yeast 

Nutritional yeast is a beneficial vegan source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It is basically a species of yeast particularly grown to be used as food, not as just an agent in bread or alcohol (wine and beer). Nutritional yeast does not contain vitamin B12 naturally. But, it is mostly fortified, which makes it a good source of this nutrient for your body.

Also read: Liquid Vitamin B12 Benefits: Know Why And How It Is Beneficial From An Expert

Non-vegetarian Vitamin B12 foods 

According to Dr. Anjali, here are the best non-vegetarian B12 foods: 

1. Chicken 

Chicken meat with skin is a good source of Vitamin B12. Chicken also has several other nutrients and vitamin B-12, such as protein, phosphorus, niacin and vitamin B-6, so it is an extremely nutritious and healthy option. It you consume it once a day, it will help you meet the requirements of this nutrient. 

2. Eggs 

Eggs are one of the richest sources of full protein and B vitamins, particularly B2 and B12. According to a research, it has been shown that egg yolks contain good levels of vitamin B12 as compared to egg whites. The B12 present in egg yolks is also much easy to absorb. Thus, it is advised to have whole eggs instead of just eating egg whites. 

3. Meat 

The good meats for Vitamin B12 are beef and lamb. Similar to humans, high amounts of B12 are stored in their livers. However, excessive red meat can also increase the risk for certain health conditions, which includes heart and blood vessel issues and some types of cancer. You might want to limit the intake to two servings a week. You can ask your doctor or dietician as to how much is safe for your body.