Good food sources of vitamin B12 include clams, liver, rainbow trout and fortified breakfast cereals. Vitamin B12 is found in animal products such as milk, eggs, fish and meat, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
The NIH recommends that males and females over the age of 14 get 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12 each day. Pregnant women should aim for 2.6 mcg per day and lactating women need around 2.8 mcg daily.
Clams contain more B12 than any other food. Three ounces of clams contain 84.1 mcg of vitamin B12. Beef liver contains 70.7 mcg of vitamin B12 per 3-ounces.
Vegetarians who need an increase in vitamin B12 can find it in processed, fortified cereals and by taking supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency comes with a variety of symptoms such as weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and anemia. In severe cases, numbness and tingling of the hands and feet may occur. Long-term deficiencies can result in depression, confusion, dementia, poor memory and balance issues.
Vitamin B12 is linked to a decrease in dementia, a reduction in heart disease and an increase in energy in those suffering from a deficiency. People should get most of their nutrition from foods rather than supplements, notes the NIH.