Vitamin B12 is an important vitamin for maintaining healthy nerve cells and it aids in the production of DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material. Vitamin B12 also works closely with vitamin B9 (folate) to regulate the formation of red blood cells and to help iron function properly in the body.

Furthermore, vitamin B12 is needed for Calcium absorption. Deficiencies of vitamin B12 are usually caused by a lack of intrinsic factor, a substance that allows the body to absorb vitamin B12 from the digestive system. Such a deficiency can cause a range of symptoms such as fatigue, shortness of breath, diarrhea, nervousness, numbness or tingling sensation in the fingers and toes. People with the blood disorder pernicious anemia do not produce sufficient intrinsic factor and must take high doses of vitamin B12 to maintain their health. Vegetarians who follow a strict vegan or macrobiotic diet are also at risk of deficiency in Vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12, also called cobalamin, is one of eight water-soluble B vitamins. They are vitamins which are soluble in water ane are dispersed throughout the body dissolved in fluid. They are not stored in the body to any appreciable extent and must be replaced every day. Their influence on the body lasts for 14-18 hours after ingestion after which their potency decreases. Excessive intake of water-soluble vitamins is typically passed out through the urine. If your diet contains less than 50% RDA of water-soluble vitamins, deficiency symptoms may be displayed in as little as 4 weeks; much quicker than for fat-soluble vitamins.

All B vitamins, often referred to as B complex vitamins, assist and regulate carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism. These are essential mechanisms which produce energy for the body. They also contribute to hemoglobin synthesis and red blood cell production which carries oxygen around the body. Furthermore, B complex vitamins help maintain muscle tone along the wall of the digestive tract and promote healthy skin, hair, eyes, mouth, liver and nervous system.

Vitamin B12 RDA

children 1-3 yrs 0.9 μg
children 4-8 yrs 1.2 μg
children 9-13 yrs 1.8 μg
Males 14-70+ yrs 2.4 μg
Females 14-70+ yrs 2.4 μg
Pregnancy 19-50 yrs 2.6 μg
Lactation 19-50 yrs 2.8 μg

For further information on nutrients RDA see our complete list for recommended dietary allowance.

Good sources are:

beef, blue cheese, eggs, mackerel, sardines,
We have sorted our nutrition database by foods high in Vitamin B12. You can easily see how much Vitamin B12 is contained in different foods. You can also search through our database using the search box below or browse the Vitamin b12 content by food category.

Search for Vitamin B12 content in Food

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Vitamin B12 content by food category:

Baby Foods    Baked Products
Beef Products    Breakfast Cereals
Cereal Grains and Pasta    Dairy and Egg Products
Drinks    Ethnic Foods
Fast Foods    Fats and Oils
Fish    Fruits
Lamb, Veal, and Game Products    Legumes and Legume Products
Meals, Entrees, and Sidedishes    Nuts
Pork    Poultry Products
Sausages and Luncheon Meats    Snacks
Soups, Sauces, and Gravies    Spices and Herbs
Sweets    Vegetables

3D picture of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)

Different forms or alternative names for Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):


Importance of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin):

key role in metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein
assists production of energy within the body
helps formation and regeneration of red blood cells, thus helping prevent anemia
maintains a healthy nervous system
promotes growth in children
needed for Calcium absorption
improves memory
promotes concentration
reduces heart disease risk

Deficiency of Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) may cause:

pernicious anemia
poor appetite
growth failure in children
brain damage
degeneration of spinal cord
lack of balance

Vitamin B12 and Nutrition Facts - Top 198 Foods


a banana, an apple, an orange, a peach, apricots, butternut squash, lemon, grapes, watermelon, strawberries, green grapes, kiwi, blueberries, zucchini, figs, honeydew, eggplant, dates, olives, a pear, coconut, cranberries, pomegranate, a mango, pineapple, cherries, cantaloupe, grapefruit, tangerine, nectarines, raisins, plums, tomatoes, chili peppers, chilis, peppers, avocado, cucumber, summer squash, winter squash, papaya, prunes


leeks, turnip greens, swiss chard, mustard greens, yams, fennel, artichokes, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, green beans, brussel sprouts, cabbage, sweet potato, a potato, carrots, lettuce, iceberg lettuce, spinach, shiitake mushrooms, celery, salad, mushrooms, potatoes, baked potato, onions, asparagus


salmon, cod, sardines, shrimp, tuna, fish, tuna salad, halibut, sea bass, scallops


coffee, apple juice, cranberry juice, red wine, skim milk, white wine, wine, milk, beer, alcohol, coke, soy milk, whole milk, prune juice, tea, a shake, coconut milk, orange juice

Nuts and Seeds

chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pecans, pumpkin seeds, hazelnuts, nuts, almonds, sesame seeds, walnuts, cashews, peanuts

Beans and Lentils

soybeans, pinto beans, kidney beans, lentils, black beans, lima beans, navy beans, beets, beans, garbanzo beans


beef, steak, deer, bacon, chicken, fried chicken, turkey, turkey breast, chicken breast, meatloaf, ham, lamb, sausages

Fast Foods

french fries, pizza, a slice of pizza, hot dog, hamburger, a cheeseburger, a big mac

Dairy and Cheese

ricotta, yogurt, cottage cheese, an egg, egg whites, goats cheese, cheddar, cheddar cheese, cheese, hard boiled egg, feta cheese

Bread, Rice, Grains and Pasta

rye, millet, flaxseed, barley, buckwheat, whole wheat bread, a bagel, white bread, bread, quinoa, corn, spaghetti, rice, pasta, brown rice, white rice

Spreads, Sauces and Herbs

hummus, mayonnaise, butter, peanut butter, soy sauce, thyme, basil, rosemary, pepper, coriander, dill, parsley

Sweets, Desserts and Snacks

popcorn, chips, nachos, a granola bar, saltine crackers, cheesecake, jello, ice cream, doughnuts, chocolate

Breakfast Cereal

granola, cheerios, oatmeal


spirulina, honey, sugar, brown sugar, tofu, olive oil, garlic, tempeh

Nutrition Facts

calories, fat, carbohydrate, high protein foods, high fiber foods, low carb foods, calcium, iron, magnesium, chromium, phosphorus, chloride, potassium, sodium, fluoride, iodine, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, vitamins and minerals, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin D, vitamin C, vitamin B1 (thiamin), vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), vitamin B6, biotin (vitamin B7), Folic Acid (vitamin B9), vitamin B12, vitamin B13, vitamin B15, vitamin B17, vitamin K, folic acid, tryptophan, threonine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, cysteine, phenylalanine, tyrosine, valine, arginine, histidine, alanine, aspartic acid, glutamic acid, glycine, proline, serine, cholesterol, essential fatty acids, trans fat, saturated fat, recommended daily allowance