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Be sure to eat foods that contain vitamin B12.

Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that we need to get from food or supplements because our body cannot produce it. Although vitamin B12 is found in many foods, some populations are at higher risk of deficiency.The risk group includes vegetarians, vegans, pregnant, breast-feeding and elderly people due to the fact that they do not receive enough food or have higher needs. The deficiency can manifest from mild symptoms to severe neurological or hematological disorders.

The recommended dose of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg per day. The needs of pregnant and lactating women are higher and amount to 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg, respectively. Vitamin B12 is mainly found in meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy products.

It is also found in fortified breakfast cereals and nutritional yeast. Vitamin B12 is easy to supplement if you don't get enough of it with food.

The Importance of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent many chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer. It also plays a role in mental health as well as in the outcomes of childbirth.

Helps to produce red blood cells

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in the production of red blood cells and the prevention of anemia. Deficiency can cause a slowdown in the formation of red blood cells, as well as hinder their proper development.

This deficiency can lead to anemia. When there are not enough red blood cells in your body to deliver enough oxygen to your organs, you may feel very weak and tired.

Supports bone health

Vitamin B12 deficiency reduces bone density and increases the risk of osteoporosis.

Helps maintain brain health

Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually seen in older people who suffer from memory loss or dementia.

Improves mood and energy levels

Vitamin B12 plays a role in the production and metabolism of serotonin, an important hormone that regulates mood. Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause a decrease in serotonin production, which leads to a depressed mood.

Can prevent birth defects

An adequate level of vitamin B12 is important to ensure a healthy pregnancy, as the fetal brain and nervous system depend on B12 for proper formation. Vitamin B12 deficiency in early pregnancy may increase the risk of neural tube defects in children. In addition, low levels of vitamin B12 can also contribute to miscarriage or premature birth.

Foods high in vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is found in many foods. Eating a variety of these types of foods can prevent deficiency.


Various seafood such as shellfish, sardines, salmon, trout and tuna are excellent sources of vitamin B12. One serving of this fish (100g fillet of salmon, trout, tuna, 1 cup of sardines or 20 small shellfish) provides more than 100% of the daily value of vitamin B12.


100g of beef provides 100% of the daily value of vitamin B12. In low-fat pieces of meat, the concentration of vitamin B12 is higher. In addition, grilling or baking meat instead of frying helps to preserve the vitamin B12 content in meat.


Although offal is one of the less popular animal protein options, meat such as liver and kidneys is an extremely rich source of vitamin B12. A 100g serving of lamb liver provides more than 3000% of the daily value of vitamin B12, while beef and veal liver contain about the same. Lamb, veal and beef kidneys also provide more than 100% of the daily value of vitamin B12.

Enriched flakes

If you're a vegetarian or vegan and you think you might not be getting vitamin B12 from food, there are ways to eat enough of the vitamin as part of a carefully planned nutrition plan. Cereals are often enriched, that is, they add nutrients that are not originally contained in food, with vitamin B12.

Dairy products

Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese are good sources of many important vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B12. One cup of whole milk provides 46% of the daily value of vitamin B12. Moreover, the absorption of this vitamin from dairy products is better than from meat.


Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as well as vitamins D, B2 and B12. Two large eggs contain about 46% of the daily value of vitamin B12.

It is recommended to eat a whole egg, not just protein, as egg yolks have a higher concentration of vitamin B12. In addition, B12 in the yolk is more easily absorbed by the body.

When to take Vitamin B12 supplements

Vitamin B12 supplements are recommended if you are at risk of developing a deficiency. The high-risk group includes vegetarians and vegans, pregnant or breastfeeding women, the elderly, some people with gastrointestinal problems and those who have undergone abdominal surgery.

B12 supplements are found in many forms. They can be taken in the form of tablets that can be swallowed or chewed. Or you can drink them or put them under your tongue. Your doctor may also advise you to take vitamin B12 injections. The source of vitamin B12 in supplements is vegan, so it is suitable for any diet.

Not all vitamin B12 deficiencies are caused only by inadequate nutrition, so it is important to talk to your doctor to find the cause of the deficiency. If you are worried about your diet or would like to learn more about supplements, always contact your doctor or nutritionist.


Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for many basic body functions. Its role includes helping in the production of red blood cells, maintaining bone health, preventing neuronal loss and brain atrophy, improving mood and preventing the risk of birth defects. Vitamin B12 is found in many foods, including beef, eggs, dairy products, offal, seafood, fortified cereals and nutritional yeast.

Although vitamin B12 deficiency is not very common, the risk group includes pregnant or breastfeeding women, vegans, vegetarians, the elderly and those who have undergone abdominal surgery. It is important to check your level and talk to your doctor or nutritionist to find out if supplements are necessary.
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Wednesday, 01 February 2023