Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It is the only nutrient that is found exclusively in animal foods – making it a very important vitamin for anyone following a plant-based diet.
What Does Vitamin B12 Do?
- Critical role in the formation of red blood cells
- Role in the formation and repair of DNA
- Role in nervous system function
Other Factors to Consider:
Vitamin B12 absorption decreases with age and absorption is impaired if you take certain medications including medications for acid reflux and diabetes (metformin) as well as alcohol
Food Sources of Vitamin B12:
Vitamin B12 is found in its bioactive form in limited foods, including:
- Liver and other organ meats
- Milk and dairy products
Plant-based food sources of Vitamin B12:
- Fortified non-dairy milk
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Fortified meat substitutes
Is a Vitamin B12 Supplement Necessary?
If you are plant-based or eat only small amounts of animal products regularly I would recommend taking a supplement containing 2.4mcg of vitamin B12 daily.
For more information, visit https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/