Your body needs vitamin B12 to help keep your nerve cells and red blood cells healthy and to make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. This resource will show you how much vitamin B12 you need and how to make sure you have enough vitamin B12 in your diet.
How much vitamin B12 do you need?
|Age||Recommended daily amount of vitamin B12 (micrograms or mcg)||Do not exceed|
|1 - 3 years||0.9||An upper limit for vitamin B12 has not been established.|
|4 - 8 years||1.2|
|9 - 13 years||1.8|
|14 - 70+ years||2.4|
Adults older than 50 years: Older adults do not absorb naturally occurring vitamin B12 very well. Anyone over 50 years should get the recommended amount of vitamin B12 from fortified foods or a supplement that contains vitamin B12 (such as a multivitamin).
Vegetarians: Vegetarian diets may be low in vitamin B12. Vegan diets will be low in vitamin B12. People following a vegan diet should get vitamin B12 from enriched foods and beverages and/or a supplement (such as a multivitamin).
Steps You Can Take
Vitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal foods: meat, fish, poultry, seafood, eggs, and milk products. It is also added to some foods and beverages like fortified soy and rice beverages.
To estimate the amount of vitamin B12 in your diet, keep a food record for one or two days, recording what you eat and drink. Then, add up the vitamin B12 in your diet using the amounts in foods listed below.
|Food||Measure||Vitamin B12 (micrograms)|
|Meat and Alternatives|
|Clams, Canned||75 g (2 ½ oz)||74.2|
|Liver, beef, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||52.9|
|Mussels, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||18.0|
|Sardines, canned in oil, drained||75 g (2 ½ oz)||6.7|
|Trout, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||5.6|
|Salmon, Pink, canned with bone||75 g (2 ½ oz); 125 mL (½ cup)||3.7|
|Beef, hip, rump roast, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||2.3|
|Beef, regular ground, pan-fried||75 g (2 ½ oz)||2.3|
|Tuna, light, canned in water, drained||75 g (2 ½ oz)||2.2|
|Salmon, Atlantic farmed, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||2.1|
|Egg, chicken, boiled||2 large||1.6|
|Pork, loin, rib/roast, roasted||75 g (2 ½ oz)||0.8|
|Ham, honey, smoked, cooked||75 g (2 ½ oz)||0.3|
|Chicken, breast, no skin, roasted||75 g (2 ½ oz)||0.2|
|Chicken, whole leg, with skin, roasted||75 g (2 ½ oz)||0.2|
|Soyburger||1 patty (70 g)||1.4|
|Meatless wiener||1 wiener (70 g)||1.6|
|Meatless deli slices||75 g (2 ½ oz)||3.0|
|Milk and Alternatives|
|Milk, 1% fat||250 mL (1 cup)||1.2|
|Cheese, cottage, 2% fat||250 mL (1 cup)||1.1|
|Yogurt (fruit and plain)||175 mL (¾ cup)||0.8-1.0|
|Soy beverage, fortified||250 mL (1 cup)||1.0|
|Rice beverage, fortified||250 mL (1 cup)||1.0|
|Cheese (average of 16-30% fat)||50 g (1 ½ oz)||0.4|
|Red Star VSF Yeast Flakes™ (Vegetarian support formula)||2 heaping tbsp (large flake) or 1½ heaping tbsp (mini flake)||8.0|
Source: Canadian Nutrient File, March 2015; Lesaffre Yeast Corporation
Last updated: April 2015