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Vitamin B12

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Food NameVitamin B12
Butter, salted0.17
Butter, whipped, with salt0.13
Butter oil, anhydrous0.01
Cheese, blue1.22
Cheese, brick1.26
Cheese, brie1.65
Cheese, camembert1.30
Cheese, caraway0.27
Cheese, cheddar0.83
Cheese, cheshire0.83
Cheese, colby0.83
Cheese, cottage, creamed, large or small curd0.43
Cheese, cottage, creamed, with fruit0.53
Cheese, cottage, nonfat, uncreamed, dry, large or small curd0.46
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Usage Note

  • Vitamin B12 value is in mcg and calculated per 100g of food weight.
  • Click on column header to sort foods by name or by vitamin B12 content.

The B Vitamins

information from the National Institutes of Health

The B vitamins are

  • B1 (thiamine, also thiamin)
  • B2 (riboflavin)
  • B3 (niacin)
  • B5 (pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (pyridoxine)
  • B7 (biotin)
  • B12
  • Folic acid

These vitamins help the process your body uses to get or make energy from the food you eat. They also help form red blood cells. You can get B vitamins from proteins such as fish, poultry, meat, eggs, and dairy products. Leafy green vegetables, beans, and peas also have B vitamins. Many cereals and some breads have added B vitamins.

Not getting enough of certain B vitamins can cause diseases. A lack of B12 or B6 can cause anemia.

Our Online Databases for B Vitamins

Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water. After the body uses these vitamins, leftover amounts leave the body through the urine.

The body can store vitamin B12 for years in the liver.

Vitamin B12, like the other B vitamins, is important for metabolism. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and in the maintenance of the central nervous system.

Vitamin B12 is found in:

  • Eggs
  • Fortified foods such as soymilk
  • Meat
  • Milk and milk products
  • Organ meats (liver and kidney)
  • Poultry
  • Shellfish

The body absorbs animal sources of vitamin B12 much better than plant sources. Non-animal sources of vitamin B12 vary in their amount of B12. They are not thought to be reliable sources of the vitamin.

Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A lack of vitamin B12 (B12 deficiency) occurs when the body does not get or is unable to absorb the amount of vitamin that the body needs.

  • Many people over age 50 lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from foods.
  • People who follow a strict vegetarian or vegan diet and do not consume eggs or dairy products may need vitamin B12 supplements.
  • Those who have had gastrointestinal surgery, such as weight loss surgery, lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12.
  • People who have digestive disorders, such as celiac disease or Crohn's disease, may not absorb enough vitamin B12.
Low levels of B12 can cause:
  • Anemia
  • Loss of balance
  • Numbness or tingling in the arms and legs
  • Weakness

Recommendations

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.

Food Sources of Vitamin B12 for Vegetarian

Vegetarians who consume eggs and dairy products can get vitamin B12 from the following sources.



Dairy and Egg Products Highest in Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12

Egg, whole, dried, stabilized, glucose reduced 10.51

Egg, duck, whole, fresh, raw 5.40

Egg, yolk, dried 5.33

Egg, goose, whole, fresh, raw 5.10

Protein supplement, milk based, Muscle Milk Light, powder 4.20

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 4.03

Milk, dry, nonfat, regular, with added vitamin A and vitamin D 4.03

Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 3.99

Milk, dry, nonfat, instant, with added vitamin A and vitamin D 3.99

Milk, dry, nonfat, calcium reduced 3.98

Egg, whole, dried 3.95

Milk, buttermilk, dried 3.82

Egg substitute, powder 3.52

Cheese, swiss 3.34

Milk, dry, whole, with added vitamin D 3.25

Milk, dry, whole, without added vitamin D 3.25

Protein supplement, milk based, Muscle Milk, powder 3.00

Egg Mix, USDA Commodity 2.90

Egg, yolk, raw, frozen, salted 2.52

Whey, acid, dried 2.50

Cheese, gjetost 2.42

Whey, sweet, dried 2.37

Cheese, mozzarella, part skim milk, low moisture 2.31

Cheese food, pasteurized process, swiss 2.30

Cheese, mozzarella, whole milk 2.28

Cheese, parmesan, grated 2.26

Cheese, parmesan, dry grated, reduced fat 2.26

Cheese, tilsit 2.10

Egg, yolk, raw, fresh 1.95


Dairy and Egg Products Highest in Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12

Egg, yolk, raw, frozen 1.82

Egg, yolk, raw, frozen, sugared 1.77

Cheese, white, queso blanco 1.75

Cheese, dry white, queso seco 1.70

Egg, turkey, whole, fresh, raw 1.69

Cheese, feta 1.69

Cheese, fontina 1.68

Cheese, fresh, queso fresco 1.68

Cheese, Mexican, blend, reduced fat 1.66

USDA Commodity, cheese, cheddar, reduced fat 1.66

Cheese, brie 1.65

Cheese, gruyere 1.60

Egg, quail, whole, fresh, raw 1.58

Cheese, edam 1.54

Cheese, gouda 1.54

Cheese product, pasteurized process, American, vitamin D fortified 1.53

Cheese, port de salut 1.50

Cheese, pasteurized process, American, fortified with vitamin D 1.50

Cheese, pasteurized process, American, without added vitamin D 1.50

Reddi Wip Fat Free Whipped Topping 1.48

Cheese, muenster 1.47

Cheese, provolone, reduced fat 1.46

Cheese, provolone 1.46

Cheese, parmesan, shredded 1.40

Cheese, mexican, queso anejo 1.38

Cheese food, pasteurized process, American, vitamin D fortified 1.33

Cheese food, pasteurized process, American, without added vitamin D 1.33

Cheese, camembert 1.30

Cheese food, cold pack, american 1.28

Cheese, brick 1.26

Cheese, Mexican blend 1.23


Dairy and Egg Products Highest in Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12

Cheese, pasteurized process, swiss 1.23

Cheese, blue 1.22

Egg, whole, raw, frozen, salted 1.21

Cheese, parmesan, hard 1.20

Cheese, romano 1.12

Cheese product, pasteurized process, American, reduced fat, fortified with vitamin D 1.11

Egg, whole, cooked, hard-boiled 1.11

Parmesan cheese topping, fat free 1.10

Egg, whole, raw, frozen 1.07

Cheese, limburger 1.04

Cheese, mexican, queso chihuahua 1.03

Cheese, mexican, queso asadero 1.00

Egg, whole, cooked, fried 0.97

Cheese, cream, fat free 0.95

Egg, whole, raw, fresh 0.89

Cheese, monterey 0.83

Cheese, low-sodium, cheddar or colby 0.83

Cheese, cheddar 0.83

Cheese, colby 0.83

Cheese, cheshire 0.83

Cheese fondue 0.83

Cheese, mozzarella, part skim milk 0.82

Cheese substitute, mozzarella 0.81

Egg, whole, cooked, omelet 0.76

Egg, whole, cooked, scrambled 0.76

Cheese, mozzarella, whole milk, low moisture 0.73

Milk, sheep, fluid 0.71

Egg, whole, cooked, poached 0.71

Cheese, pasteurized process, pimento 0.70

Nutritional supplement for people with diabetes, liquid 0.66

Cheese, roquefort 0.64


Dairy and Egg Products Highest in Vitamin B12 Vitamin B12

Cheese, cottage, lowfat, 1% milkfat 0.63

Yogurt, plain, skim milk, 13 grams protein per 8 ounce 0.61

Yogurt, plain, low fat, 12 grams protein per 8 ounce 0.56

Cheese, cottage, creamed, with fruit 0.53

Yogurt, vanilla flavor, lowfat milk, sweetened with low calorie sweetener 0.53

Yogurt, vanilla, low fat, 11 grams protein per 8 ounce, fortified with vitamin D 0.53

Egg, white, dried, powder, glucose reduced 0.53

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, without added vitamin A and vitamin D 0.53

KRAFT BREYERS Lowfat Strawberry Yogurt (1% Milkfat) 0.53

Milk, reduced fat, fluid, 2% milkfat, with added vitamin A and vitamin D 0.53

Yogurt, vanilla, low fat, 11 grams protein per 8 ounce 0.53

New York Times: Vitamin B12 A Vital Nutrient

B12 is an essential vitamin with roles throughout the body. It is needed for the development and maintenance of a healthy nervous system, the production of DNA and formation of red blood cells.

A severe B12 deficiency results in anemia, which can be picked up by an ordinary blood test. But the less dramatic symptoms of a B12 deficiency may include muscle weakness, fatigue, shakiness, unsteady gait, incontinence, low blood pressure, depression and other mood disorders, and cognitive problems like poor memory.

Labs differ in what they consider normal, but most authorities say a deficiency occurs when B12 levels in adults fall below 250 picograms per milliliter of blood serum. Like all B vitamins, B12 is water-soluble, but the body stores extra B12 in the liver and other tissues. Even if dietary sources are inadequate for some time, a serum deficiency may not show up for years.

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