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How Much Vitamin B12 Should I Take?

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how much b12 should i take

Vitamin B12 is also known as cyanocobalamin. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is a part of the family of vitamin B. We are all aware of that Vitamin B helps to adrenal function, maintains a healthy nervous system and key for the metabolic processes. Vitamin B12 is that nutrient that keeps healthy nerve cells and essential for the DNA synthesis. It also prevents the type of anemia that is termed as megaloblastic anemia. This anemia makes the person weak and tired. As there are so many benefits of taking the Vitamin B12, people want to know how much vitamin B12 should I take? Before understanding that it is very vital to know the steps that are required for the body to absorb Vitamin B12.

How much vitamin B12 should you take?

how much b12 should i take

The RDA also known as recommended dietary allowance has included the Vitamin B12 food and supplements that you can take.

Category Vitamin B-12: RDA in micrograms (mcg)For children below age one, only some amount of adequate intake is needed.
0 to 6 months 0.4 mcg per daySufficient Intake
7 to 12 (in months) 0.6 micrograms per daySufficient Intake
1 to 3 yrs 0.9 micrograms per day
4 to 8 yrs 1.2 micrograms per day
9 to 13 yrs 1.8 micrograms per day
14 yrs and above 2.5 micrograms per day
Pregnant women 2.7 micrograms per day
Breastfeeding women 2.8 micrograms per day

Foods That Provide Vitamin B12:

Vitamin B12 is found in a wide variety of animal foods and is also added to some prepared foods. No vitamin B12 is present in the plant foods unless they get fortified. To increase the intake of vitamin B12 in your diet, you can include these foods:

  • Best sources of vitamin B12 are clams and beef liver
  • Some other foods like meat, fish, milk, eggs, and many more dairy products are rich in Vitamin B12.
  • Nutritional yeasts, breakfast cereals and few more food products that are prepared with the help of Vitamin B12. You can also check some of the product labels to find out if vitamin B12 is added to the food or not.

Kinds Of Vitamin B12 Dietary Supplements:

All multivitamins contain Vitamin B12. There are folic acids and vitamin B supplements that contain B12 vitamins with nutrients. Make sure you check the label of the supplements to get to know the amount of vitamin B12 present in that.

You can also find this vitamin in sublingual forms. Sublingual forms are those that get dissolve under the tongue quickly. Though there is no evidence regarding the same that sublingual forms are better than the medicines that are swallowed.

Vitamin B12 in the prescription form can be managed as a shot. It is usually used to deal with the problem of the deficiency of vitamin B12. You can get this prescription medication in the nasal gel form.


The question that is asked by many if they are consuming enough amount of vitamin B12? In U.S., almost all people get the proper amount of vitamin B12 from the foods they eat. Still there are many people who get trouble in absorbing the vitamin B12. Due to this, the deficiency of the vitamin B12 is a common problem in the people of percentage between 1.5 to 15. Make sure you should visit your doctor soon if you are getting any symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. He/she can guide you with proper remedies.

As I have said earlier that there are some people who find it tough to absorb the vitamin B12. These type of people are mostly the older adults. Older adults do not contain enough amount of hydrochloric acid in their stomach and to absorb the vitamin B12 you need this acid in your stomach. So, people who are above 50 are advised to take their required vitamin B12 from the fortified or prepared foods. They can also make the use of some dietary supplements. This way they get the enough amount of vitamin B12.

Those people who deal with the problem of destructive anemia are prescribed by the doctors to take vitamin B12 shots. Make sure you concerned with a physician before taking the shots because high oral doses can affect you in positive as well as negative ways.

Those who are dealing or already dealt with the problem of gastrointestinal surgeries like digestive disorders, weight loss surgery or Crohn’s disease should take extra care of the vitamins. These conditions decrease the level of absorption of vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is naturally present in the animal foods. Those who are vegans and vegetarians need to intake vitamin B12 in some other form. Even pregnant women who are strict vegetarians, there are chances that her baby will also not get enough vitamin B12.

What happens if I don’t get enough vitamin B12?

Some deficiency causes of vitamin B12 are the weakness, tiredness, loss of appetite, constipation, megaloblastic anemia and weight loss. Some nerve problems like tingling and numbness in the feet and hands can also occur. Vitamin B12 also includes some problems like depression, balance, dementia, confusion, soreness of the tongue or mouth and poor memory. It is very vital to treat the deficiency of the vitamin 12 . Otherwise it can also damage the nervous system of those who are not having anemia.
Signs of Vitamin 12 deficiency in infants include problems with the movement, failure to thrive, megaloblastic anemia and problem in reaching the normal developmental milestones.

To hide the deficiency of the vitamin B12, folic acid is very useful. Though folic acid is very necessary but it does not hide the damage happened to the nervous system. Due to this reason it is not advised to the healthy adults to take more than 1000 mcg of folic acid in a day.

What are some effects of vitamin B12 on health?

There are many studies going on to understand the ill impact of the vitamin B12 on health. Some of the examples are:

Heart diseases:

It is a myth that vitamin B12 supplements reduces the risk of heart diseases. Many scientists have thought that vitamin B12 is helpful in reducing the blood levels of homocysteine. It is a compound that is linked to an increased risk of getting a heart stroke or attack.


With the growing age, some people develop the problem of dementia. High level of homocysteine is present in the blood of people like these. Vitamin B6 and B12 helps in decreasing the level of homocysteine. Though it lowers the level, but scientists are not sure whether it cures dementia or not.

Energy and athletic performance

You must have seen that many advertisements promise that vitamin B12 increases the endurance and energy. There are no evidence that vitamin B12 supplements increase the athletic performance or increase the power. It is useful only for the people who are having the deficiency of the vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 Effective For:

If you have hereditary Vitamin B12 deficiency, injecting vitamin B12 as a shot for ten days is necessary. It is followed by monthly injections. It is very useful for people who are dealing with this hereditary disease and having a poor absorption level.

If you have pernicious anemia, it is advised to take Vitamin B12 shots. Taking it by mouth or through the nose is very effective. It helps in treating the low red blood cells that happen due to the problem of poor absorption of vitamin B12.

Deficiency of Vitamin B12 – Vitamin B12 is very necessary if you are dealing with the deficiency of it. You can take it through the nose, by mouth or even as a shot.

Vitamin B12 Likely Effective For:

Cyanide Poisoning: A natural form of vitamin B12 that is hydroxocobalamin, is a very effective treatment for cyanide poisoning. The total dose is up to ten grams. The U.S Food and Drug Administration has approved this treatment of cyanide poising. Do recommend a doctor for a detailed prescription.

Hyperhomocysteinemia, It is a high level of homocysteine in the blood. Vitamin B12 is very effective in this. It can be taken by mouth with folic acid. Even Vitamin B6 is quite helpful in lowering the blood vessels of homocysteine.

Vitamin B12 Possibly Effective For:

AMD also known as age-related macular degeneration is an eye disease. According to some researches, it has been proved that taking vitamin B12 with the combination of other vitamins like vitamin B6 and folic acid, can help in preventing and curing this eye disease.

Vitamin B12 Possibly Ineffective For:

Sleep Disorders: In sleep disorders Vitamin B12 is not effective. Consult with a doctor if you are dealing with this problem.

Mental Function: Vitamin B12 alone or even with a combination of other vitamins will not be helpful in increasing the language, memory, planning or organizing the elderly people.
Stroke: It is a myth that strokes can be reduced by the intake of vitamin B12 or supplements of Vitamin B12. It is vital for the people to not to depend on the vitamin B12 for this type of condition and consult a doctor soon.

Vitamin B12 Insufficient Evidence For:

Alzheimer’s Disease: High amount of vitamin 12 intakes is not at all helpful in preventing he Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Eczema: Some of the early researchers have shown that applying vitamin B12 cream is very helpful in treating eczema. Make sure you apply it two times in a day on the affected area.
    Breast Cancer: There are no evidence that vitamin b12 is helpful is treating the breast cancer. It can reduce the risk of the same if taken with vitamin B6, folate, and methionine but cannot cure it completely.
  • Canker Sores: In some previous researches it is shown that the number of canker sore outbreaks are reduced if you take 100 mg of vitamin B12 under your tongue. It also reduces the pain and the duration of the outbreaks caused by the canker sores.
  • Cervical Cancer: Some symptoms of nerve pain that is associated with diabetes can be improved by taking different forms of vitamin B12 with vitamin B6 and thiamine derivative.
  • Fatigue: According to some evidence, if you take 5 mg shots of vitamin B12, it will improve your general happiness and well being with fatigue. Make sure you take it twice in a week.
  • Shake Leg Syndrome: According to some reports, cyanocobalamin is that form of vitamin B12 that helps in reducing the tremors at the time of shake leg syndrome.
  • Aging
  • Allergies
  • Diabetes
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Lyme disease
  • Heart disease
  • Memory problems
  • Immune system problems
  • Multiple sclerosis

It has been reported that vitamin B12 is very much safe when applied to the skin, taken by mouth or administered as a shot.

Special Warnings and Precautions:

Breastfeeding and Pregnancy: For breast-feeding and pregnant women, vitamin B12 is termed as very safe if taken by mouth in the recommended amounts. Every pregnant woman are advised to take 2.6 mcg per day but with proper recommendations. A breastfeeding lady should never take above 2.8 mc per day. Make sure you do not end up taking larger amounts as it is not good for the health.
Polycythemia vera: It is the high number of red blood cells and can be cured with vitamin B12. It also unmasks the symptoms of the same.

Megaloblastic anemia: It is abnormal red blood cells. This type of anemia is mostly corrected by vitamin B12. It can also give some serious side effects. It is recommended to take this under the proper supervision of a healthcare professional.
Leber’s Disease: If you have this eye disease, vitamin B12 is not at all recommended because it is hereditary. Otherwise, it can also direct to blindness by harming the optic nerve. Do not ever take this vitamin in these situations.
Sensitivity or Allergy to cobalamin or cobalt: Make sure you do not take vitamin B12 if you are dealing with this situation.

Now you know how much vitamin B12 should I take? And also some of the most vital pros and cons of the same. Do consult your doctor before taking it.