Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) performs an critical purpose in pink blood mobile formation, cell metabolic process, nerve operate and the manufacturing of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information and facts.

Food sources of vitamin B-12 involve poultry, meat, fish and dairy products. Vitamin B-12 is also additional to some meals, this kind of as fortified breakfast cereals, and is available as an oral nutritional supplement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray may be recommended to treat vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Vitamin B-12 deficiency is not frequent in the U.S. Even so, people today who abide by a vegetarian or vegan diet regime could possibly be inclined to deficiency due to the fact plant food items you should not have vitamin B-12. More mature grown ups and men and women with digestive tract conditions that have an impact on absorption of vitamins and minerals also are susceptible to vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, tiredness, muscle weakness, intestinal troubles, nerve hurt and mood disturbances.

The advisable day by day total of vitamin B-12 for grownups is 2.4 micrograms.


Study on the use of vitamin B-12 for certain functions and circumstances shows:

  • Heart and blood vessel condition. Scientists experienced beforehand believed that vitamin B-12, when blended with folic acid (vitamin B-9) and vitamin B-6, may possibly prevent health conditions of the coronary heart and blood vessels by reducing the degrees of an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine). Having said that, studies exhibit that the blend of these nutritional vitamins will not appear to be to minimize the threat or severity of cardiovascular sickness and stroke.
  • Dementia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is linked with dementia and minimal cognitive purpose, but it really is not very clear no matter whether vitamin B-12 nutritional supplements might help prevent or deal with dementia.
  • Athletic general performance. Except you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, you will find no evidence that vitamin B-12 health supplements will boost your electricity or make you a far better athlete.

Our consider

Green light: Generally safe

Commonly safe

Most people get more than enough vitamin B-12 from a balanced diet program. Even so, more mature grown ups, vegetarians, vegans and men and women who have situations that have an effect on their means to soak up vitamin B-12 from foods may reward from the use of oral health supplements.

Vitamin B-12 dietary supplements also are advisable for women who are expecting or breastfeeding solely and follow vegetarian or vegan weight loss plans.

Safety and side outcomes

When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-12 health supplements are frequently thought of harmless. Even though the encouraged every day amount of money of vitamin B-12 for older people is 2.4 micrograms, better doses have been discovered to be harmless. Your physique absorbs only as a lot as it needs, and any extra passes as a result of your urine.

Superior doses of vitamin B-12, these types of as individuals applied to treat a deficiency, may well cause:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness or weak spot
  • Tingling feeling in palms and feet


Doable interactions include:

  • Aminosalicylic acid (Paser). Using this drug employed to handle digestive complications may cut down your body’s capacity to absorb vitamin B-12.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare, Gloperba). Taking this anti-inflammatory drug employed to avoid and address gout assaults may possibly lessen your body’s ability to soak up vitamin B-12.
  • Metformin (Glumetza, Fortamet, other individuals). Getting this diabetes drug may well lower your body’s capacity to soak up vitamin B-12.
  • Proton pump inhibitors. Using omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or other abdomen acid-lowering prescription drugs may minimize your body’s capability to take in vitamin B-12.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements. Taking vitamin B-12 with vitamin C could possibly reduce the available sum of vitamin B-12 in your human body. To stay clear of this interaction, get vitamin C two or far more several hours following having a vitamin B-12 nutritional supplement.

Your physician may advise changing medicines or timing doses to offset any potential interactions.