Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient often overlooked. B12 helps energy levels, may contribute to relieving mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, prevents nerve damage, and can also protect the heart and bones.
Individuals can obtain vitamin B12 through supplements, B12-fortified foods and drinks, beef and chicken liver, fatty fish, poultry, and dairy. However, every individual absorbs vitamins and nutrients differently, and therefore may not meet their recommended daily amount (RDA). Also, those on a vegetarian and vegan diet may not meet their RDA of vitamin B12 unless they consume supplements or fortified foods.
How Much Vitamin B12 Is Needed And Where Can It Be Found?
The average amount of vitamin B12 recommended daily for individuals is dependent on age. For the first six months, a baby needs 0.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12. Between seven to twelve months, doctors recommend 0.5 mcg. Children between one and three years old should get 0.9 mcg, four to eight years old should consume 1.2 mcg, nine to thirteen years old should get 1.8 mcg, and from fourteen years and older should get 2.4 mcg. Women should strive for 2.6 mcg of vitamin B12 when pregnant, and 2.8 mcg while breastfeeding.
Foods rich in vitamin B12 include beef and chicken liver, clams, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products. Foods often fortified with B12 include cereals and cow milk alternatives such as almond milk and soy milk.
Now that you know how much B12 is needed and where it can be found, continue reading to discover the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.