Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) plays an essential role in red blood cell formation, cell metabolism, nerve function and the production of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information.
Food sources of vitamin B-12 include poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also added to some foods, such as fortified breakfast cereals, and is available as an oral supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray might be prescribed to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Because your body is capable of storing several years’ worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is rare. However, if you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you might be prone to deficiency because plant foods don’t contain vitamin B-12. Older adults and people with digestive tract conditions that affect absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency.
Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal problems, nerve damage and mood disturbances.
The recommended daily amount of vitamin B-12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms.
Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for specific activities and conditions shows:
_Heart and blood vessel disease.
Researchers had previously believed that vitamin B-12, when combined with folic acid (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-6, might prevent diseases of the heart and blood vessels by reducing the levels of an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine).
Vitamin B-12 deficiency is associated with dementia and low cognitive function, but it’s not clear whether vitamin B-12 supplements might help prevent or treat dementia.
_It’s necessary for keeping your nerves healthy and supporting the production of DNA and red blood cells
High doses of vitamin B-12, such as those used to treat a deficiency, might cause:
Nausea and vomiting.
Fatigue or weakness.
Tingling sensation in hands and feet.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that your body can’t make on its own, so you need to get it from your diet or supplements.
Your body stores excess vitamin B12 in the liver, so if you consume more than the RDI, your body will save it for future use.
You may develop a vitamin B12 deficiency if your body does not produce enough intrinsic factor, or if you don’t eat enough vitamin-B12-rich foods.
Top Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12:
1. Animal liver and kidneys.
Organ meats are some of the most nutritious foods out there. Liver and kidneys, especially from lamb, are rich in vitamin B12.
Sardines are small, soft-boned saltwater fish. They’re usually sold canned in water, oil, or sauces, though you can also buy them fresh.
Sardines are super nutritious because they contain virtually every single nutrient in good amounts.
Beef is an excellent source of vitamin B12.One grilled flat iron steak (about 190 grams) provides 467% of the DV for vitamin B12.
4. Fortified cereal.
This source of vitamin B12 may work well for vegetarians and vegans, as it’s synthetically made and not derived from animal sources.
Tuna is a commonly consumed fish and great source of nutrients, including protein, vitamins, and minerals.
Tuna contains high concentrations of vitamin B12, especially in the muscles right beneath the skin, which are known as dark muscles.
6. Fortified nutritional yeast.
Nutritional yeast is a good vegan source of protein, vitamins, and minerals.It’s a species of yeast especially grown to be used as food, not as a leavening agent in bread and beer.
Rainbow trout is considered to be one of the healthiest fish.
This species is a great source of protein, healthy fats, and B vitamins.
Salmon is well known for having one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids. However, it’s also an excellent source of B vitamins.
A half fillet (178 grams) of cooked salmon can pack 208% of the DV for vitamin B12.
9. Fortified nondairy milk.
Nondairy milk is popular among those who want a nutritious vegan replacement for dairy milk.
While soy, almond, and rice milks are not naturally high in vitamin B12, they are usually fortified, making them an excellent source of this vitamin.
10. Milk and dairy products.
Milk and dairy products like yogurt and cheese are great sources of protein and several vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12.
One cup (240 ml) of whole milk supplies 46% of the DV for vitamin B12.
Eggs are a great source of complete protein and B vitamins, especially B2 and B12.Two large eggs (100 grams) supply about 46% of the DV for vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended for people who are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Those include older adults, pregnant or breastfeeding women, vegetarians and vegans, individuals with intestinal problems, and those who have had stomach surgery.
As with the vitamin B12 in fortified sources, the vitamin B12 in supplements is synthetically made, so it’s vegan-friendly.
Vitamin B-12″, www.mayoclinic.org
Arlene Semeco “Top 12 Foods That Are High in Vitamin B12″، www.healthline.com