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Diet and Nutrition 2023

15 foods rich in Vitamin B12 (and recommended amount)

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15 foods rich in Vitamin B12 (and recommended amount)
15 foods rich in Vitamin B12 (and recommended amount)
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Foods rich in vitamin B12 are especially those of animal origin, such as fish, meat, eggs and dairy products.

Vitamin B12 is not present in foods of plant origin, unless they are fortified with the vitamin, that is, the industry artificially adds B12 to products such as soy, soy meat or breakfast cereals. Therefore, people with a vegan diet should be aware of the consumption of B12 through fortified foods or through the use of supplements.

Vitamin B12 performs very important functions in the body, such as maintaining metabolism, ensuring the he alth of the nervous system, stimulating DNA formation and participating in the production of he althy red blood cells. Check out the main functions of vitamin B12 in the body.

List of foods rich in vitamin B12

The following table shows the amount of vitamin B12 in 100 g of each food:

Food vitamin B12 in 100 g of food
Boiled liver steak 72, 3 mcg
Steamed Seafood 99 mcg
Boiled oysters 26, 2 mcg
Boiled chicken liver 19 mcg
Boiled Heart 14 mcg
Grilled sardines 12 mcg
Boiled herring 10 mcg
Boiled crab 9 mcg
Boiled Salmon 2, 8 mcg
Grilled trout 2, 2 mcg
Mozzarella Cheese 1, 6 mcg
Milk 1 mcg
Boiled chicken 0, 4 mcg
Boiled meat 2, 5 mcg
Tuna 11, 7 mcg

Vitamin B12 is present in nature in very small amounts, so it is measured in micrograms, which is 1000 times less than a milligram. Its recommended intake for he althy adults is 2.4 mcg per day.

Vitamin B12 is absorbed in the intestine and stored mainly in the liver. Therefore, the liver can be considered one of the main dietary sources of vitamin B12.

Recommended amount of vitamin B12

The recommended amount of vitamin B12 varies by age, as shown below:

  • From 0 to 6 months of life: 0.4 mcg
  • From 7 to 12 months: 0.5 mcg
  • 1 to 3 years: 0.9 mcg
  • From 4 to 8 years: 1.2 mcg
  • 9 to 13 years old: 1.8 mcg
  • 14 years onwards: 2.4 mcg

Along with other nutrients like iron and folic acid, vitamin B12 is essential for preventing anemia. See also iron-rich foods for anemia.

Forms of vitamin B12 and intestinal absorption

Vitamin B12 exists in several forms and is usually linked to the mineral cob alt. This set of forms of B12 is called cobalamin, with methylcobalamin and 5-deoxyadenosylcobalamin being the active forms of vitamin B12 in human metabolism.

To be well absorbed by the intestine, vitamin B12 needs to be disconnected from proteins through the action of gastric juice in the stomach. After this process, it is absorbed at the end of the ileum together with intrinsic factor, a substance produced by the stomach.

People at risk of vitamin deficiency

It is estimated that about 10 to 30% of the elderly are unable to absorb vitamin B12 properly, making it necessary to use vitamin B12 capsule supplements to prevent problems such as anemia and nervous system malfunction.

In addition, people who have undergone bariatric surgery or who use drugs that reduce stomach acid, such as Omeprazole and Pantoprazole, also have impaired absorption of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 and vegetarians

People on a vegetarian diet find it difficult to consume adequate amounts of vitamin B12. However, vegetarians who include eggs and dairy in their diet tend to maintain good levels of B12 in the body, and supplementation is not necessary.

On the other hand, vegans usually need to take B12 supplements, in addition to increasing the consumption of cereals such as soy and derivatives fortified with this vitamin. Food fortified with B12 will have this indication on the label, showing the amount of vitamin in the nutritional information of the product.

It is important to remember that the blood test is not always a good measure of B12, as it can be normal in the blood, but deficient in the cells of the body. In addition, as vitamin B12 is stored in the liver, it can take about 5 years for a person to begin to have symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency or for tests to show abnormal results, as the body will initially consume the previously stored B12.

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