25 Foods High in Vitamin B12

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Vitamin B12, also known as Cobalamine for its high cobalt content, is arguably the most critical member of the famed B complex family of vitamins.  The “B” vitamins are water soluble, which means the body does not store them.  Chemically speaking Vitamin B12 is one of the largest and most complex vitamins known to man.  From proper cell formation to cardiovascular health, to genetic stability, to proper nerve function and energy metabolism, the process which turns thefood you consume into energy, Vitamin B12 is involved.  Because Vitamin B12 is found only in animal foods, there is a higher chance that a deficiency might develop.

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 for adults 14 years and older is 2.4 mcg.  Because of its importance to our body’s proper functioning and how relatively easy it is to present a deficiency here are the best 25 sources of Vitamin B12.

  1. Clams
    Clams are low fat, high protein shelled mollusk.  They contain a high amount of beneficial minerals, including Zinc, Selenium, Iron, Magnesium and also several of the B family of vitamins, which includes B3 and B12.  A 100g serving of Clams, which is about 10 of them, contains 11.28 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  2. Liver
    Liver is an excellent source of vitamins, both Vitamin A and Vitamin B12.  A Warning, while moderate consumption is highly beneficial to your health in excess liver can rapidly increase your cholesterol levels.  So moderation is recommended.  A 100g serving of liver packs a whopping 59 mcg of Vitamin B12 which is about 25 times the recommended daily intake.
     
  3. Trout
    It is a great source of protein.  Also rich in potassium and phosphorus which help with reducing the risk of stroke and efficient digestion.  A 100g serving of Trout contains 7.79 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  4. Salmon
    Salmon is excellent at reducing the risk of cognitive decline, heart disease, and cancer.  It has also been linked to a reduced incidence of breast cancer in women.  A 100g serving of Salmon contains 3.18 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  5. Tuna
    Tuna is a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and nutrients.  Tuna can also help improve bone health because of its high selenium content, which also acts as a potent antioxidant.   A 100g serving of Tuna contains 9.43 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  6. Haddock
    Haddock is an excellent source of several minerals, including phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, iron, calcium, sodium, zinc, copper and manganese.  It is very diet friendly because of its low caloric value.  A 3-ounce portion of haddock contains no carbohydrates and is only 95 calories.  A 100g serving of haddock contains 1.83 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  7. Beef
    Beef is one of the best sources of vitamin B12.  Rich in zinc, iron, and phosphorous makes beef a pillar of any balanced diet.  Its iron content will significantly improve the efficiency with which red cells carry oxygen throughout your body.  100g of beef, allowing for slight variations depending on the cut, contains 3.24 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  8. Milk
    Milk has always been known to aid in the formation of healthy bones and teeth because of its calcium content.  A 100g serving of whole milk contains 0.45 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  9. Yogurt
    Being rich in magnesium, phosphorous and potassium makes yogurt great regulating blood pressure.  100g of yogurt contains 0.37 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  10. Cheese
    Eating cheese is a great way to regulate digestion and intestinal health as cheese is packed with probiotics, or good bacteria, that help maintain proper balance especially after taking antibiotics.  A 100g serving of cheese contains 3.06 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  11. Ham
    Ham should be consumed in moderation because of its typically high potassium content which can easily exacerbate high blood pressure.  100g of ham contains .42 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  12. Egg
    Research has shown that choline which is found in egg yolks can reduce the risk of breast cancer in women by up to 44%.  A 100g serving of eggs contains 0.96 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  13. Chicken
    Chicken provides plenty of nutrients as well as vitamin B-12, including protein, phosphorus, niacin and vitamin B-6.  A 100g serving of chicken breast contains 0.31 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  14. Sardines
    Sardines are rich in potassium which benefits blood pressure, they are rich in vitamin D which helps with the absorption of calcium.  100g of sardines contains9 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  15. Cod
    Cod is particularly beneficial to cardiovascular health and the prevention of atherosclerosis because of its high Omega-3 fatty acids content.  100g of Cod typically contain0.91 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  16. Scallops
    The magnesium found in Scallops help soothe stiff, tired muscles.  Scallops are also a great weight loss aid because of their low caloric count.  A 100g serving of scallops contains 1.41 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  17. Shrimp
    Shrimp are a rich source of selenium, phosphorous, choline, copper, and iodine.  Most notably shrimp are an in astaxanthin, a powerful antioxidant.  A 100g serving of shrimp contains 1.11mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  18. Turkey
    Turkey meat is lean, low in fat and high in protein.  Particularly rich in Zinc, Phosphorous, and Selenium which helps strengthen the immune system and promote healing.  100g of turkey contains 2.05 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  19. Crab
    With its rich content of Copper, Selenium, and Omega-3 fatty acids crab is an excellent food for cognition and proper nervous system health.  100g of crab meat contains a solid 9mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  20. Oysters
    Oysters are are an excellent source of vitamin A, riboflavin, thiamine, vitamin C and D, as well as providing over 75% of the daily recommended intake of Zinc which can significantly improve healing as well as boosting the immune system.  100g of oysters contain on average 30 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  21. Mussels
    Mussels are extremely rich in Vitamin B12 containing 12 mcg per 100g.  They are also rich in Manganese which helps the body synthesize sex hormones, regulates blood sugar levels and improves blood clotting.
     
  22. Yeast Extract Spread
    Yeast extract spread is an very good choice for vegans looking to bolster their B12 intake.  It is especially rich in vitamins B1, B2, and B3 which can all aid in strengthening metabolism and helping with fatigue.  A 100g serving of yeast extract spread contains 0.05 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  23. Lamb
    Lamb is a red meat that is a rich source of healthy fats such as oleic acid and conjugated linoleic acid which has both been linked to lower risk of cardiovascular disease as well as improved blood sugar regulation.  100g of lamb contains 2.39 mcg of Vitamin B12
     
  24. Octopus
    Rich in iron and copper, octopus, helps in the formation of hemoglobin, the protein in charge of transporting oxygen through your blood.  100g of octopus contains a remarkable 20 mcg of Vitamin B12.
     
  25. Caviar
    Caviar has many health benefits.  Being very rich in Selenium, and vitamin E, it can help with depression, boost the immune system, and serve as a powerful antioxidant.  100g of caviar contains 20mcg of Vitamin B12.

References:

  1. Brody T. Nutritional Biochemistry. 2nd ed. San Diego: Academic Press; 1999.
  2. Carmel R. Cobalamin (Vitamin B-12). In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2006:482-497.
  3. Shane B. Folic acid, vitamin B-12, and vitamin B-6. In: Stipanuk M, ed. Biochemical and Physiological Aspects of Human Nutrition. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders Co.; 2000:483-518.
  4. Kozyraki R, Cases O. Vitamin B12 absorption: mammalian physiology and acquired and inherited disorders. Biochimie. 2013;95(5):1002-1007.  (PubMed)
  5. All values were taken from: The USDA's Food Composition Database
    https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list