Vitamin B-twelve (cobalamin) performs an crucial role in crimson blood mobile development, mobile metabolism, nerve function and the output of DNA, the molecules within cells that have genetic info.

Food sources of vitamin B-twelve consist of poultry, meat, fish and dairy products and solutions. Vitamin B-twelve is also extra to some foods, this sort of as fortified breakfast cereals, and is accessible as an oral supplement. Vitamin B-twelve injections or nasal spray might be recommended to treat vitamin B-twelve deficiency.

Due to the fact your physique is capable of storing quite a few years’ worthy of of vitamin B-twelve, deficiency is unusual. Nevertheless, if you observe a vegetarian or vegan eating plan, you might be susceptible to deficiency because plant foods you should not include vitamin B-twelve. Older grown ups and people today with digestive tract problems that influence absorption of nutrients also are susceptible to vitamin B-twelve deficiency.

Still left untreated, a vitamin B-twelve deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weak point, intestinal complications, nerve damage and mood disturbances.

The advised day-to-day total of vitamin B-twelve for grown ups is 2.4 micrograms.


Analysis on the use of vitamin B-twelve for certain functions and problems shows:

  • Heart and blood vessel condition. Researchers had beforehand considered that vitamin B-twelve, when combined with folic acid (vitamin B-nine) and vitamin B-six, might avoid illnesses of the heart and blood vessels by lessening the stages of an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine). Nevertheless, scientific studies demonstrate that the mixture of these vitamins doesn’t look to decrease the danger or severity of cardiovascular condition and stroke.
  • Dementia. Vitamin B-twelve deficiency is connected with dementia and low cognitive function, but it truly is not distinct no matter whether vitamin B-twelve supplements might assist avoid or treat dementia.
  • Athletic functionality. Except you have a vitamin B-twelve deficiency, there’s no evidence that vitamin B-twelve supplements will enhance your electricity or make you a superior athlete.

Our acquire

Green light: Generally safe

Frequently safe

Most people today get enough vitamin B-twelve from a balanced eating plan. Nevertheless, older grown ups, vegetarians, vegans and people today who have problems that influence their potential to take in vitamin B-twelve from foods might benefit from the use of oral supplements.

Vitamin B-twelve supplements also are advised for ladies who are expecting or breastfeeding exclusively and observe vegetarian or vegan eating plans.

Basic safety and side results

When taken at appropriate doses, vitamin B-twelve supplements are normally deemed safe. Even though the advised day-to-day total of vitamin B-twelve for grown ups is 2.4 micrograms, increased doses have been uncovered to be safe. Your physique absorbs only as significantly as it demands, and any excessive passes by your urine.

Substantial doses of vitamin B-twelve, this sort of as these utilized to treat a deficiency, might trigger:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Exhaustion or weak point
  • Tingling feeling in arms and feet


Feasible interactions consist of:

  • Aminosalicylic acid (Paser). Using this drug utilized to treat digestive complications might decrease your body’s potential to take in vitamin B-twelve.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare, Gloperba). Using this anti-inflammatory drug utilized to avoid and treat gout assaults might minimize your body’s potential to take in vitamin B-twelve.
  • Metformin (Glumetza, Fortamet, others). Using this diabetes drug might decrease your body’s potential to take in vitamin B-twelve.
  • Proton pump inhibitors. Using omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or other abdomen acid-lessening medication might minimize your body’s potential to take in vitamin B-twelve.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) supplements. Using vitamin B-twelve with vitamin C might decrease the accessible total of vitamin B-twelve in your physique. To prevent this interaction, acquire vitamin C two or more hrs just after using a vitamin B-twelve supplement.

Your medical doctor might advise transforming medication or timing doses to offset any opportunity interactions.