The best way to meet your body's vitamin B12 needs is to eat a wide variety of animal products.
For people who do not eat animal products, vitamin B12 can be found in:
- Almost all multivitamins. Vitamin B12 is better absorbed by the body when it is taken along with other B vitamins, such as niacin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, and magnesium.
- A form of vitamin B12 can be given by injection.
- Another prescription form of vitamin B12 is a nasal gel (for use in the nose).
- Vitamin B12 is also available in a form that dissolves under the tongue (sublingual), but the multivitamin pill form works as well.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamins reflects how much of each vitamin most people should receive on a daily basis. The RDA for vitamins may be used as goals for each person.
How much of each vitamin you need depends on your age and gender. Other factors, such as pregnancy and illnesses, are also important. Women who are pregnant or breast-feeding need higher amounts. Ask your health care provider which amount is best for you.
Dietary Reference Intakes for vitamin B12:
Infants (adequate intake)
- 0 - 6 months: 0.4 micrograms per day (mcg/day)
- 7 - 12 months: 0.5 mcg/day
- 1 - 3 years: 0.9 mcg/day
- 4 - 8 years: 1.2 mcg/day
- 9 - 13 years: 1.8 mcg/day
Adolescents and Adults
- Males and females age 14 and older: 2.4 mcg/day
Review Date: 02/15/2011
Reviewed By: Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center Diabetes Care Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.