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May 06 2014

Food Sources of Vitamin B12

Information About Vitamin B12

 
  • You need vitamin B12 to form DNA, make healthy blood cells and keep nerves working properly.
  • Low levels of vitamin B12 can cause pernicious anemia. Vegetarians who eat no animal products and the elderly who absorb less vitamin B12 are most at risk.
  • Vitamin B12 is found only in animal foods and fortified foods. People who avoid all animal products should look for meat alternatives, such as soy products fortified with vitamin B12.
  • Ten to thirty percent of older people may not absorb vitamin B12 well. Health Canada advises adults over 50 years to consume foods fortified with vitamin B12 or a supplement containing vitamin B12.
 

How Much Vitamin B12 Should I Aim For?

 
Age in Years Aim for an intake of
micrograms (mcg)/day
Stay below mcg/day
 
Men and Women 19 and older 2.4 An upper limit for Vitamin B12 has not been established.
Pregnant Women 19 and older 2.6
Breastfeeding Women 19 and older 2.8
 
 

Vitamin B12 Content of Some Common Foods

 
The best sources of Vitamin B12 include: eggs, milk, cheese, milk products, meat, fish, shellfish and poultry. Some soy and rice beverages as well as soy based meat substitutes are fortified with vitamin B12. To see if a product contains vitamin B12 check the Nutrition Facts on the food label. The following table shows you which foods are sources of vitamin B12.

 

Food
 
Serving size Vitamin B12 mcg
Vegetables and Fruits This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Grains Products This food group contains very little of this nutrient.
Milk and Alternatives  
Milk  
3.3% homo, 2%, 1%  250 mL (1 cup) 1.2 - 1.4
Skim 250 mL (1 cup) 1.3
Buttermilk 250 mL (1 cup) 1.0
Chocolate, milk 250 mL (1 cup) 1.0
Cheese
Swiss/Emmental 50 g (1 ½ oz) 1.7
Cottage Cheese 250 mL (1 cup) 1.5
Feta, gouda, edam, gruyere, brie, cheddar, fontina, mozzarella, provolone 50 g (1 ½ oz) 0.7-0.9
Processed cheese slices, cheddar 50 g (1 ½ oz) 0.4
Yogurt
Plain (regular, low fat)                175 g (¾ cup) 1.0
Fruit bottom (regular, low fat) 175 g (¾ cup) 0.8-0.9
Yogurt beverage 200 mL 0.6
Milk Alternatives
Soy beverage, fortified 250 mL (1 cup) 1.0
Meat and Alternatives    
Organ Meat
Liver (lamb, veal, beef) cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 52.9-64.3
Kidney, lamb cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 59.2
Kidney, veal, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 27.7
Giblets, turkey, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 24.9
Kidney, beef, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 18.7
Liver (chicken, pork), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 12.6-15.9
Pate (goose liver, chicken liver) 75 g (2 ½ oz) 6.1-7.1
Poultry    
Turkey, duck or chicken, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 0.2-0.3
Beef    
Ground, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 2.4-2.7
Various cuts, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 1.3-2.5
Pork    
Various cuts, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 0.8-1.1
Ground, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 0.8-0.9
Ham, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 0.7
Bacon, strips, cooked 3 slices (24 g) 0.3-0.4
Miscellaneous    
Caribou/reindeer, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 5.0
Salami (beef, pork) 75 g (2 ½ oz) or 3 slices 1.1-2.1
Sausage (pepperoni, chorizo, Polish, Italian, frankfurter) 75 g (2 ½ oz) 0.9-1.5
Deli meat (pastrami, mortadella, bologna) 75 g (2 ½ oz) or 3 slices 1.1-1.3
Wiener/hot dog 1 wiener (45 g) 1.2
Fish and Seafood    
Clams, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 74.2
Oysters, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 18.2-26.3
Mussels, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 18.0
Mackerel (King, Atlantic), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 13.5-14.3
Herring, cooked or kippered 250 mL (1 cup) 7.2-914.0
Tuna, bluefin, raw or cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 8.2-9.3
Roe, raw 75 g (2 ½ oz) 9.0
Crab, Alaska King, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 8.6
Sardines, canned in oil or tomato sauce 75 g (2 ½ oz) 6.8
Caviar (black, red) 75 g (2 ½ oz) 6.0
Trout, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 3.7-5.6
Salmon, red/sockeye, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 4.4
Salmon, pink/humpback, with bones, canned 75 g (2 ½ oz) 3.7
Salmon, Atlantic, wild, cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 2.3
Tuna, light, canned in
water
75 g (2 ½ oz) 2.2
Meat Alternatives    
Meatless (chicken, fish sticks, wiener /frankfurter,meatballs), cooked 75 g (2 ½ oz) 1.0-3.8
Meatless luncheon slices 75 g (2 ½ oz) 3.0
Soy burger 75 g (2 ½ oz) 1.8
Egg, cooked 2 large 1.5-1.6
Other    
Almond, oat or rice beverage, fortified 250 mL (1 cup) 1.0
Red Star T6635+ Yeast (Vegetarian Support Formula) 2 grams (1 tsp powder
or 2 tsp flaked)
1.0
 
Source:
“Canadian Nutrient File 2010”
www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/nutrition/fiche-nutri-data/index-eng.php    
[accessed March 22, 2012]

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