Q:

How much Vitamin B12 should you take per day?

A:

Quick Answer

The amount of vitamin B12 you should take per day depends on your age. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Dietary Supplements, young children need the least vitamin B12 per day, whereas pregnant and breastfeeding women need the most.

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How much Vitamin B12 should you take per day?
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Full Answer

The recommended amount of daily B12 is 0.4 micrograms (mcg) for ages birth to six months, 0.5 mcg for infants 7-12 months, 0.9 mcg for children 1-3 years, 1.2 mcg for children 4-8 years, 1.8 mcg for children 9-13 years, 2.4 mcg for teens 14-18 years and 2.4 mcg for adults. Pregnant women should aim for 2.6 mcg per day, and breastfeeding women should get 2.8 mcg.

The NIH states that most Americans get the recommended amount of vitamin B12 from their diet. Good sources of vitamin B12 include beef liver, clams, fish, poultry, meat, eggs, milk and fortified breakfast cereals.

Some people have trouble absorbing vitamin B12 from their food, which can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. Some symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, nerve problems, depression, soreness of the mouth, memory problems and a specific form of anemia called megaloblastic anemia. Dietary supplements, including multivitamins, B12 shots and prescription nasal gel, can help these individuals get the recommended amount of B12.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is vitamin B12 for?

    A:

    According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin B12 helps the body maintain healthy nerves and blood cells and helps in the production of DNA. It also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak.

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  • Q:

    Where can you find reliable information about vitamin B12?

    A:

    Academic websites, medical journals and government health websites are all very strong and reliable sources to learn more about vitamin B12. Often, these websites and journals are peer-reviewed and have been approved by qualified health professionals, which make them trustworthy.

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  • Q:

    How much is too much vitamin B12?

    A:

    The Linus Pauling Institute indicates there is no upper tolerable limit established for vitamin B12 by the U.S. Food and Nutrition Board due to a lack of toxic effects associated with high levels of vitamin B12 intake, as of October 2014. Daily doses as high as 2 milligrams have been ingested by patients with pernicious anemia with no serious side effects.

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  • Q:

    Is too much vitamin B12 dangerous?

    A:

    Scientists and doctors have not found any toxic or adverse effects due to consumption of large amounts of vitamin B12 from food or from supplements, according to the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. Patients consumed as much as 2 milligrams by mouth on a daily basis without significant side effects during a study in 1998. Some of the study's participants received a monthly injection of 1 milligram of vitamin B12 without any ill effects.

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