Foods that have vitamin B12 include fish, meat, dairy products, eggs and shellfish, as stated by MedlinePlus. Vitamin B12 is only found in animal foods and is not available in plants, unless they are fortified. It is also available as a supplement for people who have allergies to meat, fish and animal products.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, and the body can store these vitamins in the liver for years. Leftovers of vitamin B12 leave the body through urination. Like other vitamins, vitamin B12 plays a significant role in metabolism. It helps in the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of the central nervous system, notes MedlinePlus. The body absorbs vitamin B12 from animal products much better than from fortified plant sources. In addition, nonanimal sources are not perceived as reliable sources of vitamin B12.
People who do not eat food that contain vitamin B12 are likely to suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency. It can also be caused by other conditions such as atrophic gastritis, heavy drinking, immune system disorders, pernicious anemia and taking acid-reducing drugs for long, states WebMD. The symptoms of the deficiency include sore tongue, pale skin, rapid breathing and pulse rate, weakness, stomach upset and diarrhea.