Vitamin B-12 – Mayo Clinic


Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) performs an critical function in pink blood mobile formation, mobile fat burning capacity, nerve perform and the production of DNA, the molecules within cells that have genetic information.

Foods resources of vitamin B-12 incorporate poultry, meat, fish and dairy goods. Vitamin B-12 is also extra to some food items, these kinds of as fortified breakfast cereals, and is accessible as an oral supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray may possibly be recommended to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is not prevalent in the U.S. Nonetheless, men and women who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet plan may possibly be susceptible to deficiency because plant food items never consist of vitamin B-12. More mature older people and men and women with digestive tract situations that have an impact on absorption of vitamins and minerals also are prone to vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Remaining untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can guide to anemia, tiredness, muscle mass weak point, intestinal troubles, nerve injury and mood disturbances.

The recommended daily total of vitamin B-12 for older people is two.4 micrograms.


Analysis on the use of vitamin B-12 for particular functions and situations reveals:

  • Coronary heart and blood vessel condition. Researchers had previously thought that vitamin B-12, when mixed with folic acid (vitamin B-nine) and vitamin B-six, may possibly avert illnesses of the coronary heart and blood vessels by decreasing the amounts of an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine). Nonetheless, experiments display that the mixture of these natural vitamins doesn’t appear to be to decrease the hazard or severity of cardiovascular condition and stroke.
  • Dementia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is affiliated with dementia and minimal cognitive perform, but it really is not very clear no matter if vitamin B-12 health supplements may possibly assist avert or treat dementia.
  • Athletic performance. Except if you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, there is no evidence that vitamin B-12 health supplements will strengthen your electrical power or make you a greater athlete.

Our get

Green light: Generally safe

Normally secure

Most men and women get adequate vitamin B-12 from a well balanced diet plan. Nonetheless, older older people, vegetarians, vegans and men and women who have situations that have an impact on their means to absorb vitamin B-12 from food items may possibly reward from the use of oral health supplements.

Vitamin B-12 health supplements also are recommended for girls who are expecting or breastfeeding solely and follow vegetarian or vegan meal plans.

Basic safety and facet consequences

When taken at proper doses, vitamin B-12 health supplements are usually deemed secure. Although the recommended daily total of vitamin B-12 for older people is two.4 micrograms, bigger doses have been identified to be secure. Your body absorbs only as a lot as it desires, and any excessive passes by means of your urine.

Superior doses of vitamin B-12, these kinds of as those applied to treat a deficiency, may possibly trigger:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Fatigue or weak point
  • Tingling feeling in hands and feet


Probable interactions incorporate:

  • Aminosalicylic acid (Paser). Getting this drug applied to treat digestive troubles may possibly decrease your body’s means to absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare, Gloperba). Getting this anti-inflammatory drug applied to avert and treat gout assaults may possibly decrease your body’s means to absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Metformin (Glumetza, Fortamet, other people). Getting this diabetes drug may possibly decrease your body’s means to absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Proton pump inhibitors. Getting omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or other stomach acid-decreasing medication may possibly decrease your body’s means to absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) health supplements. Getting vitamin B-12 with vitamin C may possibly decrease the accessible total of vitamin B-12 in your body. To prevent this interaction, get vitamin C two or more hrs immediately after using a vitamin B-12 supplement.

Your doctor may possibly advise modifying medication or timing doses to offset any prospective interactions.