Vitamin B12 Benefits, Deficiency Symptoms, Food Sources, Toxicity and Upper Limits

Introduction to Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is also known as cobalamin. B12 is the only water soluble vitamin that can be stored in the body inside the liver. Vitamin B12 requires a protein produced in the stomach called intrinsic factor for its absorption. It is absorbed in the small intestine. The individuals who cannot produce intrinsic factor, cannot absorb vitamin B12 either. 

Benefits of Vitamin B12

  • It is vital for healthy nerves and red blood cells
  • Body needs Vitamin B12 to use certain fatty acids and amino acids
  • It is required to make DNA in the cells
  • It keeps body cells healthy

Vitamin B12 Deficiency Symptoms

  • Can cause macrocytic anemia
  • Can cause nerve damage
  • Tingling and numbness in the legs and arms
  • Fatigue and shortness of breath

Daily Vitamin B12 Requirements

  • Men 19 to 50 years – 2.4 mcg
  • Women 19 to 50 years – 2.4 mcg

Vitamin B12 Upper Limits

  • No upper limit has been set for Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Toxicity

There is no known toxicity symptoms from high consumption of Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Sources

  • Mozzarella cheese, part skim, 11/2 oz – 0.4 mcg
  • Cottage cheese, low fat, 1 % milk fat, 1/2 cup – 0.7 mcg
  • Feta cheese, 11/2 oz – 0.7 mcg
  • Milk, low fat, 1% milk fat, 1 cup – 1.1 mcg
  • Yogurt, nonfat, plain, 8 oz – 1.4 mcg
  • Turkey breast, 3 oz – 0.08 mcg
  • Chicken, dark meat, without skin, cooked, 3 oz – 0.3 mcg
  • Hamburger, 90% lean, broiled, 3 oz – 2.2 mcg
  • Salmon, cooked, 3 oz – 2.4 mcg
  • Tuna, light, canned in water, 3 oz – 2.5 mcg
  • Soy milk, calcium fortified, 1 cup – 3.0 mcg

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