What Is Vitamin B-12?


Quick Answer

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble B vitamin available naturally in many animal-based foods and in supplement form, according to MedlinePlus. The vitamin supports metabolism, aids in red blood cell formation, and supports the central nervous system.

Continue Reading
Related Videos

Full Answer

Vitamin B-12 occurs naturally in meat, shellfish, eggs, dairy products and poultry as well as in some cereals, notes MedlinePlus. Plant foods only have vitamin B-12 if they are fortified with the vitamin. Animal-based foods allow the body to absorb the vitamin and provide the most reliable source.

Possible effects of low vitamin B-12 levels in the body include anemia, balance issues, weakness and tingling or numbness in extremities, states MedlinePlus. People who are over 50, eat a vegetarian or vegan diet, or have had gastrointestinal surgery and those with digestive disorders may have a vitamin B-12 deficiency due to difficulty absorbing the vitamin.

Learn more about Vitamins & Supplements

Related Questions