Healthy & Active Lifestyle Tips

Vitamin B12: Why You Need It and Where to Get It

By Rebecca Scritchfield, MA, RDN, LD, ACSM HFS

Like other B vitamins, vitamin B12 is a nutrient that supports the formation of red blood cells and the maintenance of the central nervous system. One of its primary roles is to assist in some enzyme reactions that allow the body to break down fats and proteins, thus giving the body a source of energy.*

You can find vitamin B12 in a variety of animal products, including fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy. Plant foods like almond milk and cereal may contain vitamin B12 if they are fortified. Still, vitamin B12 deficiency affects between 1.5% and 15% of Americans, and some are at a higher risk than others. Because strict vegetarians and vegans eliminate animal products from their diet, this group is at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency, which can cause anemia and circulatory problems.

To avoid vitamin B12 deficiency, talk to your healthcare provider about how much you need – for an average adult, the recommendation is 6 micrograms each day, which is equivalent to the amount of B12 found in 2 cups of fortified soy milk or a 4 oz. serving of salmon. If you’re not meeting this recommendation from your diet, you might look to a supplement like vitafusion™ Extra Strength B12 gummies. It’s a delicious way to cover your bases every day!