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Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)


Vitamin B-12, or Cobalamin, is the largest and most complex vitamin currently known to man. A slight deficiency of vitamin B-12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, mania, and depression, while a long term deficiency can cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. Vitamin B12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available and added to many foods like cereals. Vitamin B12 can be consumed in large doses because excess is excreted by the body or stored in the liver for use when supplies are scarce. Stores of B12 can last for up to a year. Below are the top 10 foods highest in vitamin B12 by common serving sizes, click here for high vitamin B12 foods by nutrient density, here for an extended list of vitamin B12 rich foods, and here for other foods high in vitamin B.

#1: Shellfish (Cooked Clams)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per 20 small clams (190g)
98.9μg (1648% DV)84.1μg (1401% DV)187.9μg (3132% DV)
Other Shellfish High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per 3oz serving cooked): Oysters (408%), and Mussels (340%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#2: Liver (Beef)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per Slice (81g)
83.1μg (1386% DV)70.7μg (1178% DV)67.3μg (1122% DV)
Other Liver Products High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per 3oz serving): Liverwurst Sausage (189%), Paté de Foie Gras (133%) and Chicken Liver Paté (114%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#3: Fish (Mackerel)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per Fillet (88g)
19.0μg (317% DV)16.2μg (269% DV)16.7μg (279% DV)
Other Fish High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per 3oz serving cooked): Smoked Salmon (257%), Herring (186%), Tuna (154%), Canned Sardines (126%) and Trout (106%). Click to see complete nutrition facts. For more see the article on Canned Fish High in Vitamin B12.



#4: Crustaceans (Crab)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per Leg (134g)
11.5μg (192% DV)9.8μg (163% DV)15.4μg (257% DV)
Other Crustaceans High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per 3oz serving cooked): Crayfish (44%), Shrimp (24%) and Lobster (20%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#5: Fortified Soy Products (Silken Tofu)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per 1/5 package (91g)
2.4μg (40% DV)2.0μg (34% DV)2.2μg (37% DV)
Light Plain Soymilk contains (50% DV) of Vitamin B12 per cup. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#6: Fortified Cereals (All Bran)
Vitamin B12 in 100gPer Cup (90g)Per Serving(1/3 Cup - 30g)
20.0μg (333% DV)18.0μg (300% DV)6.0μg (100% DV)
Click to see complete nutrition facts. For more see the article on Cereals High in B12.

#7: Red Meat (Beef)
Vitamin B12 in 100g3oz Serving (85g)Per Medallion (34g)
6.0μg (100% DV)5.1μg (85% DV)2.0μg (34% DV)
Lamb is also High in Vitamin B12 with (45% DV) per 3oz serving cooked. Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#8: Low Fat Dairy (Skim Milk)
Vitamin B12 in 100gPer Cup (245g)Per Quart (980g)
0.5μg (8% DV)1.2μg (21% DV)4.9μg (82% DV)
Other Dairy Foods High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per cup): Nonfat Yogurt (25%), Reduced Fat Milk (22%), Whole Milk (18%), and Full Fat Yogurt (15%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#9: Cheese (Swiss)
Vitamin B12 in 100g1oz Serving (28g)Per Cup Shredded (108g)
3.3μg (56% DV)0.9μg (16% DV)3.6μg (60% DV)
Other Cheeses High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per 1 oz serving): Reduced Fat Mozzarella, Parmesan and Gietost (11%), Tilsit (10%) and Feta (8%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.



#10: Eggs (Chicken’s)
Vitamin B12 in 100g (Yolk)Per Yolk (17g)Per Whole Egg (50g)
2.0μg (33% DV)0.3μg (6% DV)0.36μg (6% DV)
Other Eggs High in Vitamin B12 (%DV per whole egg, raw): Goose (122%), Duck (63%), Turkey (22%), and Quail (2%). Click to see complete nutrition facts.




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Top 10 High Vitamin B12 Foods by Nutrient Density (Vitamin B12 per Gram)

#1: Clams 98.9μg (1648% DV) per 100 grams Cooked84.1μg (1401% DV) per 3oz Serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Clams
#2: Liver 83.1μg (1386% DV) per 100 grams Cooked70.7μg (1178% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver
#3: Caviar (Fish Eggs) 20.0μg (333% DV) per 100 grams3.2μg (53% DV) per Tablespoon (16 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Caviar
#4: Octopus 36μg (600% DV) per 100 grams Cooked30.6μg (510% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Octopus
#5: Fish (Tuna) 10.9μg (181% DV) per 100 grams Cooked9.3μg (154% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Tuna
#6: Crab 10.4μg (173% DV) per 100 grams Cooked8.8μg (147% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Crab
#7: Lean Beef 8.2μg (136% DV) per 100 grams Cooked14.2μg (236% DV) per steak (173 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Beef
#8: Lobster 4.0μg (67% DV) per 100 grams cooked6.6μg (110% DV) per lobster (163 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lobster
#9: Lean Lamb 3.7μg (62% DV) per 100 grams cooked5.8μg (97% DV) per piece (157 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Lamb
#10: Cheese (Swiss) 3.3μg (56% DV) per 100 grams0.9μg (16% DV) per 1oz serving (28 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Swiss Cheese


Other Vitamin B12 Rich Foods

Fortified Energy Bars*12.24μg (204% DV) per 100 gram serving5.39μg (90% DV) per bar (44 grams)2.7μg (45% DV) in half a bar (22 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Fortified Energy Bars
Whey Powder2.37μg (40% DV) per 100 gram serving3.44μg (57% DV) per cup (145 grams)0.19μg (3% DV) per tablespoon (8 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Dry Sweet Whey
Rice Milk 0.6μg (11% DV) per 100 grams 1.5μg (25% DV) per 8 fluid oz (240 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Rice Milk
Yeast Extract (Marmite) 0.5μg (8% DV) per 100 grams 0.03μg (1% DV) per teaspoon (6 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Marmite
Low-Fat Buttermilk0.22μg (4% DV) per 100 gram serving0.54μg (9% DV) per cup (245 grams)0.07μg (1% DV) in a fluid ounce (31 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Low-fat Buttermilk
Liver Sausage 13.5μg (224% DV) per 100 grams 2.4μg (40% DV) per slice (18 grams) 3.8μg (63% DV) per 1oz (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Liver Sausage
Ostrich 6.4μg (106% DV) per 100 grams leg cooked 5.4μg (90% DV) per 3oz leg cooked (85 grams) 5.2μg (87% DV) per 3oz top loin cooked (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Ostrich
Venison 3.6μg (60% DV) per 100 grams cooked 7.3μg (122% DV) per roast (202 grams) 3.1μg (51% DV) per 3oz serving cooked (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Venison
Emu Steak9.37μg (156% DV) per 100 gram serving36.92μg (615% DV) per tablespoon (394 grams)7.96μg (133% DV) per ounce (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Emu Steak
New England Clam Chowder4.8μg (80% DV) per 100 gram serving12.1μg (202% DV) per cup (252 grams)1.54μg (26% DV) in a fluid ounce (32 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for New England Clam Chowder
Manhattan Clam Chowder3.3μg (55% DV) per 100 gram serving7.92μg (132% DV) per cup (240 grams)0.99μg (17% DV) in a fluid ounce (30 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Manhattan Clam Chowder
Luncheon Meat*5.14μg (86% DV) per 100 gram serving1.44μg (24% DV) per one ounce slice (28 grams)2.88μg (48% DV) in two slices (56 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Luncheon Meat
Hard Salami*2.8μg (47% DV) per 100 gram serving3.16μg (53% DV) in one 4 ounce package (113 grams)0.28μg (5% DV) per slice (10 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Hard Salami
Pastrami 1.9μg (31% DV) per 100 grams 1.3μg (22% DV) per package (71 grams) 0.5μg (9% DV) per slice (28 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Pastrami
Hard Salami* 2.8μg (47% DV) per 100 grams 3.2μg (53% DV) per package (113 grams) 0.3μg (5% DV) per slice (10 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Salami
Turkey (Cooked) 1.0μg (17% DV) per 100 grams 3.9μg (65% DV) per 1/10 bird (381 grams) 0.9μg (15% DV) per 3oz (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Turkey
Cured Ham (Lean)0.65μg (11% DV) per 100 gram serving0.91μg (15% DV) per cup (140 grams)0.55μg (9% DV) in a 3 ounce serving (85 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Extra Lean Cured Ham
Chicken (Lean)0.31μg (5% DV) per 100 gram serving0.43μg (7% DV) per cup chopped (140 grams)0.21μg (3% DV) in a half-cup (70 grams)Click to see complete nutrition facts for Lean Roasted Chicken
Veggie Burgers 2.0μg (34% DV) per 100 grams 1.4μg (24% DV) per pattie (70 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Veggie Burgers
Scallops 2.2μg (36% DV) per 100 grams 1.8μg (31% DV) per 3oz serving (85 grams) Click to see complete nutrition facts for Scallops
*Amount of vitamin B12 may vary greatly between products. Be sure to check nutrition labels for the exact amount of vitamin B12 from each individual product.

Health Benefits of Vitamin B12

  • Protect Against Heart Disease - Adequate levels of vitamins B12, B6, and B9 have been shown to lower levels of a protein in the blood: homocysteine. Lower levels of homocysteine has been shown to improve endothelial function, which in turn may boost cardiovascular health and decrease risk of heart attacks.3-5
  • Protect and Repair DNA to Reduce Cancer Risk and Slow Aging - Absorption of vitamin b12 and Folate (B9) is essential for DNA metabolism and maintenance which helps to prevent cancer and slow aging.6 Read full blog post here...
  • Protect Against Dementia and Cognitive Decline - Lack of vitamin B12 increases homocysteine levels, which in turn decreases the bodies ability to metabolize neurotransmitters.7 Due to limitations with creating long term controlled studies in human populations, no definite link between increased vitamin b12 levels and cognitive function have been found,8-12 however several observational studies suggest increased homocysteine levels increase the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and dementia,13-15 and low levels of vitamin B12 has been associated with cognitive decline.16
  • Alzheimer's Protection - A study has shown that a deficiency in Vitamin B12 and Folate (B9) can double the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.17
  • Energy and Endurance - A lack of vitamin B12 will lead to anemia and weakness. Adequate levels of vitamin B12 are necessary to maintain normal energy levels. Claims of vitamin B12 as an energy or atheletic enhancer remain unproven.18

People at Risk of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency

  • Older Adults who have Atrophic Gastritis - A condition affecting 30-50% of adults over age 50 and hampers their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from natural foods. Supplements are recommended for people in this group.
  • People with Pernicious Anemia - A condition that affects 1-2% of adults and can only effectively be treated with vitamin B12 injections or shots.
  • Vegans and Vegetarians - Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, however there are some natural vegetarian foods high in vitamin b12 and various fortified B12 foods for vegans.
  • Pregnant and Lactating Women who are Vegetarian or Vegan
  • People taking Certain Medications
    • Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid®), which are used to treat gastric or pepetic ulcer disease can inhibit absorption of vitamin B12.
    • Metformin - often used for type II diabetes, may interfere with vitmain B12 absorption in certain people.
    • Histamine antagonists, such as cimetidine (Tagamet®), famotidine (Pepcid®), and ranitidine (Zantac®), used to treat peptic ulcer disease, can reduce absorption of vitmain B12 by slowing the release of hydrochloric acid into the stomach.
    • Bacteriostatic Antibiotics, like Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin®), can interfere with the red blood cell response to vitamin b12 supplements.
    • Anticonvulsants - Anticonvulsants have been shown to interfere with vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 (Folate) metabolism.19-21 One study found that people taking folate supplements and anticonvulsants experienced a 50% decline in Vitamin B12 blood levels.

Warnings

  • Liver, Fois Gras, Whole Milk, Clam Chowder, Liverwurst, Salami, Cheese, Caviar, Lamb, Shell Fish, and Beef are high cholesterol foods which should be eaten in moderate amounts and avoided by people at risk of heart disease or stroke.
  • Marmite is made from brewer's yeast, which is high in purines, and should be avoided by people with gout, kidney disease, or arthritis.

Other Vitamin B Foods




Comments.
Name:Chapman
Location:Ontario, Canada
Subject:B12 Deficiency
Very good information, it seems gastritis meds can cause this though...
Posted on 2011-03-25 11:01:24
Name:Lily
Location:Malaysia
Subject:Vegetarian diet
Hi,I'm 19 years old and have been feeling tired for the past few weeks and sleepy all the time especially from afternoon till night even after a nap (i drink coffee in the morning to stay awake). My arm felt very weak when i tie my hair. I do have headache occasionally. I also feel very cold at night and pain in joints of my fingers (when it's cold for me) while my house mates that are sitting nearby me do not have this problem. I started on vegetarian diet more than 1 month ago (still consuming eggs and milk)and did not take any dietary supplements. Until now, I dont know the real cause of my problem. Do all this things happens due to my sudden change in diet?
Posted on 2011-04-12 15:25:49
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vegetarian Diet
Hi Lily, thanks for your question. There is a chance that you are consuming less vitamin B12, iron, and folate (vitamin B9). Less of these vitamins all lead to anemia (weakness, tiredness, etc) that you describe. Milk and eggs have vitamin B12, but not as much as other sources. Try eating more natural vegetarian foods high in vitamin B12. Also, eat foods supplemented with vitamin B12 as listed in the vegan foods high in vitamin B12 article. Are you consuming enough iron? Here is a list of high iron foods, many of which are vegetarian. Also, be sure you are eating enough folate (vitamin B9), here is a list of high folate foods. Hope you feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-04-12 15:39:01
Name:Liz
Location:NZ
Subject:RE: Vegetarian diet and feeling weak
Just reading Lily's post,I had the same tiredness in my arms tying and washing my hair, brushing my teeth and aching hands and feet, tired all the time and cold. Also put on weight.I found out my thyroid had packed up and have been taking thyroxine and no longer have any of those symptoms......still tired as running round after 4 kids! Just thought this might help.
Posted on 2011-04-15 16:09:35
Name:Sofahnya
Location:Australia
Subject:Health- vitamin deficiency
I have been a lacto-vegitarian for 41 years and have no problems with B12 deficiency or any other vitamin. I look and feel younger than my age and have very high energy levels. I am writing a book on the subject as we speak. Being a vegetarian or a animal flesh eater can be a case of maybe something in one's diet that may not agree with their system eg: Gluten, nuts, Lactose etc.......
Posted on 2011-04-17 02:05:47
Name:Jas
Location:KCMO
Subject:B12 deficient?
I'm also 19. I'm known for constantly being cold, weak, and lethargic in general. Occasionally I get muscle pains. I recently began taking the oral contraceptive, Yaz, if it matters. But, over about a 3 year span, I've been noticing dark, peeling spots on my lip and neck, and my dermatologist thinks I have eczema and/or cheilitis. The spots come and go. While he gave me a steroid gel to calm it, I was wondering if I might have a B-12 deficiency as well? Seafood and dairy are not things I eat very often... but I do consume other meat & cheese products pretty regularly.
Posted on 2011-04-19 23:27:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 deficient?
Hi Jas, thanks for your comment. Given the symptoms of weakness you describe in addition with the diagnosis of your dermatologist, there is a good chance you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you have Cheilitis then you also probably have anemia. In addition to vitamin B12 foods, are you getting enough iron? Check this list of high iron foods to be sure. You might also consider eating more high folate foods, which help prevent anemia. Hope you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-04-20 01:37:45
Name:Neeraj
Location:India
Subject:B12 deficient
I am 32. I am having a problem of burning feet. At the same time I start feeling a heat in my palm and in the while body. This all has made me weak. I am pure vegitarian. Regards Neeraj
Posted on 2011-04-21 03:37:32
Name:Rebecca
Location:San Francisco
Subject:painful feet, hardtime walking? please read!!!
I am 21. I have a serious vitamin b12 deficiency, I am a vegetarian and have been so off and on since I was 10 and of course like most 21 years old enjoy my alcohol. Unfortunately due to the vitamin b12 deficiency I have been anxious for years, and have in the past two months developed peripheral neuropathy, i did not know all of this until a matter of a few hours ago, and I feel like a compete idiot. Not kidding keep up with our protein, it really is very serious and sudden, so yes if you have been a vegetarian for a month and feel a sudden change in mood vitamin b12 deficiency, if you feel burning in your feet or constant chronic muscle pains, joint pains mainly in the feet (since this the most commonly used joints to bear a lot of weight), go to your primary care physician IMMEDIATELY (permanent nerve damage can lead to being wheelchair bound for life, no fun time :(). im not a healthcare professional, these are just suggestions, heavily pressed suggestions! i promise you, i feel like an idiot and felt insane when i tried to explain to people how crappy i feel all the time... and reading this its like WOW, k that was all i needed to do? alright. well good luck. anyways feel free to contact me., email is attached.
Posted on 2011-04-25 00:03:17
Name:Ann
Location:Japan
Subject:Tired and No Energy
Hi, I get easily tired, and don't have energy. I have tried iron pills but it doesn't see to help. I often get very painful mouth sores. My whole mouth aches when it happens. I normally get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but I am still tired? What can I do?
Posted on 2011-04-27 23:03:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Tired and No Energy
Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. In addition to eating vitamin b12 foods, you can try high folate (vitamin b9) foods which can also alleviate weakness/anemia. The mouth sores you describe can be from a deficiency in vitamin b2 (riboflavin). Here is a list of high riboflavin foods. Living in Japan, definitely eat more sushi and edamame which should help boost your levels of these vitamins. Also, if you are not already, try adopt a form of daily exercise. Even walking for 20 minutes can do a lot for your energy levels. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-04-27 23:16:32
Name:Nianna
Location:Rome, GA
Subject:Low B12 Levels and Calcium
I just found out I have low b12 levels and low calcium. I eat meat and cheese often but I feel really weak and my legs hurt me all the time, and I get cramps in my legs. I also feel cold a lot and have had chest pain for the past few months. I'm normally hot all the time.
Posted on 2011-05-10 23:31:33
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low B12 Levels and Calcium
Hi Nianna, thanks for your comment. It sounds like your symptoms (muscle/chest pain, and feeing cold) are not related only to vitamin b12 and calcium deficiency. Consult your doctor about checking for type II diabetes and checking your thyroid. In regards to your calcium deficiency read the article on high calcium foods and high vitamin D foods, since vitamin D helps you absorb calcium. As you are already eating meat and cheese check and see if you have any of the conditions which put you at high risk for a vitamin B12 or calcium deficiency and talk with your doctor about the best way to remedy the situation. Also, try different cheeses, not all cheeses are high in calcium. Hope you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-05-11 00:25:28
Name:Chiraag
Location:London
Subject:Vitamin Deficiency?
Hi, I am a 24 year old guy, and have been vegetarian all my life. Recently I have started getting more cramps in my legs, especially at night and has woke me up several times. And these cramps also happen when I go swimming and I have to stop due to the severe pain, which takes a while to go away. I also feel tired and weak a lot. Is this due to B-12 deficiency? Should I take supplements?
Posted on 2011-05-14 16:30:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vitamin Deficiency?
Hi Chiraag, thanks for your question. The most common cause of muscle cramps is dehydration, so the first thing you should try is to drink more water during exercise. If that does not help, then consider trying vitamin b12 supplements. Also, be sure you are consuming adequate levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These essential minerals (electrolytes) help keep your muscles from cramping.
Posted on 2011-05-14 22:45:16
Name:Lee
Location:Luton, UK
Subject:How to tell if I have a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Hi wanted to know if I have a b-12 deficiency. I get a lot of pins and needles in my arms hands and feet also have heavy eye strain, and feel very tired also feel like I'm going to pass out a lot. Can you help? Thanks.
Posted on 2011-05-25 01:06:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: How to tell if I have a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Hi Lee, the symptoms you describe match that of a vitamin B12 deficiency. To be sure there is a Vitamin B12 Deficiency Home Test Kit available via Amazon.com, it is however, quite expensive. The other option is to go to your doctor to get tested. It is difficult to know which option would be cheaper and you may have to check with your insurance. You can also try eating more vitamin b12 foods and see if your symptoms improve over the next 2 weeks.
Posted on 2011-05-25 08:36:59
Name:Colleen Webb
Subject:Cheap Vitamin B12 Foods
My B12 is depleted. I find Caviar and Lobster are a bit pricey these days. What else can one eat to bring my levels up?
Posted on 2011-07-14 19:02:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Cheap Vitamin B12 Foods
Hi Colleen, thanks for your question. Did you scroll down to the extended list of vitamin B12 rich foods? You can try liverwurst sausages, low fat yogurt, clam chowder (even canned if you have to), fortified cereals, fortified soymilk/tofu, and vitamin water! If you are feeling adventurous you can also try yeast extract spreads, more commonly known under the brand of Marmite. Further, canned fish can be a great source, here is a list of canned fish highest in vitamin b12. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2011-07-14 19:06:22
Name:Sarah
Location:Thunder Bay
Subject:B12 pills causing acne
Hi there. I am 29 and have been told recently that I have an extreme B12 deficiency and should take supplements daily. The problem is that the pills (i've tried several different brands) are causing major acne COVERING my forehead. Through trial and error I know that it's the b12's causing the acne. I can't live my life like this. I eat meat, cheese and eggs all the time. What else can I do? Problem is, i don't eat any sea food at all. Please help (:
Posted on 2011-07-14 21:31:55
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 pills causing acne
Hi Sarah, thanks for your question. Sounds like you need more B12 than you are getting from meat, eggs, and dairy so if possible, try a liver product like pâté in a sandwich. Another option would be to try a high fiber cereal which is fortified with vitamin B12. The fiber from the cereal should help with your acne. You can also try B12 fortified soy milk, the fiber from the soy should have the same positive effect as the cereal on your skin. Hope you feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-07-14 21:37:29
Name:Greg
Location:Rogers Ar.
Subject:Anti-convulsant Medication
I've been reading that Depakote and other anti-convulsant medications deplete B-12. I noticed these medications were not included with the other problematic meds here. Why not?
Posted on 2011-08-01 21:06:03
Name:HealthAliciousNess.com
Subject:RE: Anti-convulsant Medication
Hi Greg, thanks for your comment. Anti-convulsants have now been added to the list of causes that can increase vitamin B12 deficiency with appropriate references.
Posted on 2011-08-01 21:08:20
Name:Stephanie
Location:Birmingham
Subject:Nursing mother and B12 deficiency?
I am a nursing mother of a 7 month old baby and cannot eat red meat due to an alpha-gal allergy. I am constantly exhausted- but I always chalked it up to lack of solid sleep! I mainly eat veggies- w a tiny bit of poultry. Lately, the exhaustion has been worsening. I also have an occasional alcoholic beverage. Two days ago, I woke up with terrible vertigo- I could barely function! The feeling lasted nearly four hours. I take food based supplements, but just 'multi' ones not vitamin specific. I eat tons of spinach, so my iron should be alright I think. I do not currently have health insurance so I cannot go get my blood checked. Does this sound like a B12 deficiency?
Posted on 2011-08-02 00:45:17
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Nursing mother and B12 deficiency?
Hi Stephanie, thanks for your question. Do the multivitamins you are eating specifically list vitamin B12? If not, you may want to try eat more fish, or eat more vitamin fortified foods like cereals or soy milk. The weakness and fatigue you describe could be symptoms of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. However, the vertigo you experienced is likely caused by something else. If your vertigo persists see if your insurance covers a visit to a health provider, or at least, some over the counter medicine to help alleviate the dizziness.
Posted on 2011-08-02 00:54:17
Name:Carol
Location:Jamaica
Subject:Multiple Sclerosis
Hello there. I found out that I'm a MS patient. I'm really greatful for the update on foods rich in vitamin B12. I'm deficient in that area and the legs are very weak where I'm not even walking. At times its a struggle. Is there any other meat I could try? Lamb is not popular in Jamaica. As for the liver, I try to avoid 'red meat' and neither do I eat eggs. Thanks for your suggestions.
Posted on 2011-08-02 01:46:22
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Multiple Sclerosis
Hi Carol, thanks for your question. If you are looking for heart healthy sources of vitamin B12, maybe try focus on seafood. Namely, fish, crab, octopus, and lobster. Canned fish can be a budget friendly choice. Also, consider a cereal fortified with vitamin B12, or other vitamin b12 fortified foods.
Posted on 2011-08-02 01:51:24
Name:Chris
Subject:Lactose Intolerent/Acid Reflux
I just found out that my B level and D levels are low. I cannot have dairy products or wheat products due to acid reflux and lactose intolerence. Now I'm finding out that my severe fatigue is due to the lack of B and D vitimins. I HATE fish by the way.....what else can I eat that will help naturally so I can eliminate having to take medication???
Posted on 2011-08-23 04:06:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Lactose Intolerent/Acid Reflux
Hi Chris, thanks for your question. Vitamin D can be naturally obtained by exposing your skin to the sun. Anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour of sunshine should be enough to obtain the DV for vitamin D. Alternatively, there are also various foods high in vitamin D. Mushrooms are a good natural source. You can also find fortified soy products that contain vitamin D and the B vitamins. Many vitamin B foods are not found in wheat. The two B vitamins primarily associated with weakness (anemia) are B12 and B9 (folate/folic acid). Here is a list of high folate (B9) foods you can incorporate into your diet. Good luck and hope that helps.
Posted on 2011-08-23 04:14:43
Name:Vaibhavi
Location:India
Subject:Vit B12 Deficiency
Hi, I went for breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy recently, since last year I had severe leg cramps, I went for a vitamin b12 check up, and I got the result that I have a very low level of vitamin b12, now what shall I do to improve the level?
Posted on 2011-10-10 23:53:37
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vit B12 Deficiency
Hi Vaibhavi, thanks for your question. The obvious thing to do to increase you level of vitamin B12 is to eat the foods list above. If you are vegetarian focus on eating more dairy, and if you are vegan, eat fortified foods like vitamin water, or soy milk. Vitamin B12 supplements are also available. That said, it is also likely that your deficiency is due to your recent chemotherapy. The first chemotherapy for cancer involved blocking the action of vitamin B9 (folate). Vitamin B9 is responsible for cells dividing. It is likely that the chemotherapy has caused your decline in vitamin B12, and therefore, taking more vitamin B12 might be counterproductive to your cancer treatment. Consult your doctor to see if you can take vitamin B12 supplements at the same time as your treatments.
Posted on 2011-10-10 23:54:44
Name:Luna
Location:Ethiopia
Subject:Back Pain and Constantly Tired
Am 18 years old now, and recently I feel tired and back pains too. Does this happen because of deficency of vitamins? If so, what should I take?
Posted on 2011-10-11 07:58:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Back Pain and Constantly Tired
Hi Luna, thanks for your question. Back pain is unlikely caused by vitamin deficiency, but your tiredness could be. Have you made any recent changes in your diet that could have caused this tiredness and fatigue? You can try eating more vitamin B12 foods, high folate foods, and high iron foods, and see if your tiredness goes away. Your symptoms could also be caused by a virus or bacterial infection, so visit a doctor if you do not feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-10-11 08:21:58
Name:Florence Duteau
Location:Sudbury, Ontario
Subject:B-12 Allergy?
Hi I'm a 43 year old woman and have been a vegetarian since Feb, 2011. Last year my MD suggested I take b12 supplements and I found out I was allergic to a component of the sub lingual b12. Now I have started b12 injections and I am still getting severe adverse effects. Any suggestions? I do eat fish and seafood and balance my meals very well...
Posted on 2011-10-11 10:35:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B-12 Allergy?
Hi Florence, thanks for your question. Did your doctor suggest you take B-12 because you had symptoms of deficiency? Or just as a precaution? If you are not feeling tired, weak, etc...then you may not have to take supplements. It is difficult to make recommendations without knowing exactly what is causing your allergy. Natural vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 include cheese, milk, yogurt, and eggs. There are also fortified foods like soymilk, but it sounds like you have adverse effects with synthetic sources. The first step for you is to determine if you have a b12 deficiency, the next is to identify the cause of your allergy. After that, you will have the information you need.
Posted on 2011-10-12 22:16:20
Name:Wendy
Location:Toronto Ontario
Subject:Very very Low B12
Hi there! So I just got the news that my B12 is very low and I am set for my first set of injections next week...I was wondering if I should go back sooner because of what I have started to read... I got alot of information today and I can not remember if my Doctor said my B12 level was 15 or 115...somehow I think it was 15.... is that even possible? And if so should I seek medical attention before Monday? It is now Sat... so confused :s
Posted on 2011-11-19 22:00:44
Name:Sarah
Location:Romford
Subject:Low b12
If you feel you have something wrong your doctor can do a blood count blood test. I went to my doctor for loads of symptoms and the results came back with extremely low b12. I've got to have b12 injections (hydroxocobalamin) 3 times a week for 4 weeks then every month for 3 months then I have them every 3 months for life. Trust me when I say it is not nice! I also have to take iron and folic tablets every day as well. I personally feel you'd know if you had b12 problems and if you find out, sort it out quick before it gets too bad.
Posted on 2011-11-22 20:37:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Very very Low B12
Hi Wendy and Sarah, thanks for your questions and comments. Wendy, low vitamin B12 is defined as 170–250 picograms(pg)/mL or 120–180 picomol/L. It is highly unlikely that your level is 15pg/mL and you should be fine, especially if you are eating high vitamin b12 foods. Did the doctor mention to either of you the reason for your low vitamin B12? Sarah, I would consider getting a second opinion from another doctor before accepting vitamin B12 shots for life. Ask if you can treat your low vitamin B12 with supplements, or even better, by using natural foods and changes in lifestyle. Good luck to you both!
Posted on 2011-11-22 20:55:35
Name:Ange
Location:Texas
Subject:B12 Deficiency - Former Vegetarian
I don't have a question, just a personal experience to share. I was a vegetarian for a little over 9 years. I didn't even eat seafood. I felt great, I was an active soccer player, happy, very outgoing, and slept very well until my 9th year of being a vegetarian. It only took 6 months for a serious down hill spiral. I was tired all of the time, I had no energy, depression set in, and worse, I was having muscle spasms in my legs, arms, stomach, and hands. Even my joins started to hurt. For several months doctors ran me thru a gauntlet of tests, everything from anemia, lupus, to rheumatoid arthritis. I was even tested for heavy metals. I started to think I had some strange new disease no one had heard of. It was pretty scary. I am not quite sure what triggered my last doctor to test my B12 levels but I am glad she did. I was at 80. Immediately I was placed on a regiment of B12 injections. I would have to go every week, and then I was able to go every other week once the level was brought up. It's been 3 years. Now I simply eat meat and take a liquid supplement and I no longer need to take injections. The damage to my nerves has also dramatically improved. I rarely get spasms anymore, but there was a time when I thought I really had done some serious damage to myself. It's been in the past year that I can truly feel the improvement.

Low B12 shouldn't be taken lightly.
Posted on 2011-11-29 19:53:13
Name:Sheila
Location:Michigan
Subject:Pernicous Anemia and B12 Shots
Now that I have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency, I started shots today. I am wondering though if these will do any good. If the problem arose from malabsorption within the stomach, will the intermuscular shots bypass this? What about the anemia itself? That still has not been addressed.
Posted on 2011-12-13 07:45:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Pernicous Anemia and B12 Shots
Hi Sheila, thanks for your questions. Vitamins and other nutrients are typically broken down and absorbed in the stomach and intestine before being delivered to the muscles. Vitamin B12 injected directly to the muscles should help provide you with the B12 you need. Whether your liver will rebuild stores of vitamin B12 is another issue. As for your anemia, it should subside as your body recieves vitamin B12. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-12-13 08:39:42
Name:Bethany
Location:Toronto
Subject:B12 and Rabeprazole
I had a low B12 reading and took injections once a week for 4 weeks. The number now (after waiting a month after last injection) is a "low normal". I am taking rebeprazol for stomach ulcers and was wondering if I need to take a B12 supplement full time while on this drug? I know the rebeprazol can affect absorption so would pill form do any good? How often once you've had injections should B12 levels be tested?
Posted on 2011-12-23 18:31:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Rabeprazole
Hi Bethany, thanks for your question. While you are on Rabeprazole you could take sublingual vitamin B12 supplements. These supplements dissolve under the tounge and are abosrbed directly to the blood stream without having to go through the digestive system, so they should work well for you. How often you need to get your vitamin B12 levels tested depends on a variety of factors. Low B12 can lead to weakness and anemia, so as long as you have good energy levels you are probably fine, but check with your primary care provider to be sure.
Posted on 2011-12-23 18:41:21
Name:Vegetarian Senior
Subject:Low Vitamin B12 Levels Despite Shots
Hi. I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years. Recently I was having problems with nerves in my legs and feet. The reason was extremely low Vitamin B12. I have been getting Vitamin B12 shots now for 18 months. At first weekly then monthly. What puzzles me is that the level of Vitamin B12 in my blood remains low but at least within the normal range. Any reason why the level never increases?
Posted on 2012-01-06 14:51:41
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low Vitamin B12 Levels Despite Shots
Thanks for your comment. If your range is on the low end of the normal level it might simply be a matter of averages. A normal amount of vitamin B12 is defined as the average for a healthy sample population. This means that there are going to be people who naturally store a little less or a little more than average, and it is probably nothing to worry about. If you are concerned, you can talk to your doctor about taking sublingual vitamin B12 supplements which are absorbed directly into the blood stream, and might also be able to replace your B12 shots. You can also try eat more of these natural vegetarian sources of vitamin B12, or eat vitamin B12 fortified vegetarian foods like soy milk.
Posted on 2012-01-06 21:56:45
Name:Kai
Location:San Francisco
Subject:Can One Take Too Much B-12?
Can one overdose on B-12? That wasn't covered in the article. If so, how would you know you've gotten too much? Is it "water soluable" like Vit. C and will drain out with time? Or it this one of those vitamins that stays in the body (muscles or fat or whatever) until it is used up, or maybe forever?
Posted on 2012-01-18 02:42:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Can One Take Too Much B-12?
Hi Kai, thanks for your questions. Vitamin B12 is water soluble and is well regulated by the body. Most people can store enough vitamin B12 to last them for years, and most vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. There is no established upper limit for vitamin B12 due to its low toxicity. Basically, it would be really difficult to overdose on vitamin B12.
Posted on 2012-01-18 03:53:51
Name:Broke Runner
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Subject:Bumps Under Tongue
I'm a 26 year old recent college grad and a runner, and in the last few days I've had white blisters develop under my tongue. My tongue feels like it has been burned, and the feeling isn't going away. I read that this could be a symptom of vitamin B deficiency. I don't buy meat very often because I can't afford it, and as a runner I know I need more nutrition than normal, so I guess its possible. My question is: If this is a deficiency, can it be fixed just by changing my diet and adding tuna and beef, and if so, how long should I wait to see if the blisters will go away before I start looking into other causes?
Posted on 2012-01-18 04:43:17
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Bumps Under Tongue
Thanks for your question. You are right that a deficiency in vitamin B could be causing your distress. A deficiency in vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is especially associated with mouth ulcers and sores. If you are looking for cheap natural sources of vitamin B, then you can try to cook and prepare liver, which is a rich source of all B vitamins. If that does not sound appetizing, you could also try to buy vegetarian foods which are fortified with vitamin B. Soy milk and tofu are examples. Even though natural sources are encouraged, buying vitamin B supplements can also be an affordable option. You can give yourself 2 weeks - 1 month to see improvements, however, it is encouraged that you consult with your health provider to find the exact cause of your problem as soon as possible.
Posted on 2012-01-18 04:57:02
Name:Alexandra
Location:Ohio
Subject:Cholesterol is not bad!
Why the warnings about high cholesterol? It won't hurt you--in fact, your body needs it! And why don't you warn about nitrites/nitrates in lunch meat?
Posted on 2012-01-18 23:34:11
Name:Rabia
Location:Pakistan
Subject:Anemia
Hi I am from Pakistan, my husband is 22 years old and he has anemia, he is getting weaker day by day, doctores are saying his heart is getting weaker too, if he has juice or food, he starts caughing and blood comes out of his mouth, doctors have told him to have light food like chicken and soup. I am very worried, please tell me what to do.
Posted on 2012-01-24 11:33:51
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Anemia
Hi Rabia, sorry to hear of your husband's condition. It seems he has a virus, or some other disease which is causing him to cough blood that needs to be treated by his doctors, however his excessive bleeding is likely causing his anemia. Try to feed him as much foods high in vitamin B12, high folate (B9) foods, and high iron foods. Chop or grind these foods and thin them with water to help him be able to swallow them. If you are not vegetarian, consider giving him mushed liver which is rich in all these vitamins. You can also try giving him foods which are high in vitamin K, like dark green vegetables. Vitamin K helps blood to coagulate and might reduce his bleeding. If your husband still cannot accept these foods, you might consider giving him supplements in the form of a pill. Hope that helps and hope your husband feels better soon.
Posted on 2012-01-24 23:08:53
Name:Matt
Location:Australia
Subject:White spots on body
Hi guys, I have white spots on my body, wondering if it has anything to do with low b12 levels because I need to know what to do as soon as possible. Had them for 3 months and just started to get worried about them.
Posted on 2012-01-26 07:17:58
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: White spots on body
Hi Matt, thanks for your question. There is a condition known as Vitiligo that results in patch of discoloration on the skin. The exact cause is unknown, but it is associated with Addison's disease, hyperthyroidism, and pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and this might be related to the spots on your skin. This would especially be true if you are feeling tired and weak, or have other symptoms of anemia. Try to eat more foods high in vitamin B12, and also consult your health care provider to test your vitamin B12 levels as well as give you more information on your condition.
Posted on 2012-01-27 01:11:34
Name:Concerned Parent
Location:U.S.
Subject:Low serotonin
Is there a link between mood disorders due to low serotonin and Vitamin B deficiencies (especially in children)?
Posted on 2012-01-31 08:05:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low serotonin
Hello and thanks for your question. B vitamins (especially vitamin B12) is associated with proper cognitive functioning. There is at least one study which suggests that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and B9 (Folate) can lead to depression. However, to link B vitamins with serotonin and mood would be difficult and is, as of yet, unproven.
Posted on 2012-01-31 21:46:30
Name:Trish
Location:New Zealand
Subject:Histamine Antagonists
You mention that some of these drugs can interfere with the absorption of B12. Do Asthma drugs fall into this category? I am an asthmatic, have been mildy anaemic for many years, and have a cracked tongue and wonder if the asthma drugs are part of the problem...
Posted on 2012-02-11 04:38:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Histamine Antagonists
Hi Trish, thanks for your question. There is some evidence that H-2 receptor antagonists (H2RA), if used over the long term (particularly more than 4 years), can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. With this in mind, it is likely that your asthma drugs are part of the problem. Using sublingual B12 supplements which absorb vitamin B12 under the tongue may help you feel better.
Posted on 2012-02-16 23:45:05
Name:Michelle Madonna
Location:New York
Subject:B12 Deficiency
I went to the doctor because I felt awful and knew something was wrong. I had a slight vitamin b12 deficiency. I did a severe crash diet. I started eating all the right foods and the feeling went away. However, I gained a lot of weight. Recently I have been on a diet again but doing it right this time and making sure I eat all the right foods. But I am getting those feelings again. Exhausted, irritable, depressed, pins and needles in my arms, and severe anxiety. I also feel dizzy sometimes and have pain in my knees and legs. I thought I was eating correctly but apparently not. Is it bad that I have had this deficiency twice? How long does it have to be that brain damage occurs? So nervous. Please help.
Posted on 2012-03-05 19:41:55
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 Deficiency
Hi Michelle, thanks for your question. Vitamin B12 is stored in the body and the stores of vitamin B12 can last a long time, because you had a slight deficiency before, there is a chance you did not give your body enough time to rebuild stores of vitamin B12. If you wish to consume vitamin B12 without calories, try fortified vitamin water, or taking supplements. Brain damage is more common in infants, however, it is not unheard of in adults. Consider taking supplements right away, and consult your health care provider to re-test your vitamin B12 levels and for a second opinion.
Posted on 2012-03-05 20:36:31
Name:Vijay Plaha
Location:New Delhi, India
Subject:High level of Vitamin B-12
I have CAD and went thro' a triple artery bypass surgery in 2006. My recent blood test indicates 1498 pg/ml of vitamin B-12 done by C.L.I.A. method. The normal range is 211-911 pg/ml. I am taking usual dose of medicine for BP, cholestrol, border line diabetes plus a daily dose of Multi-Vitamin and a Cod liver oil capsule. My "Erythrocyte sedimentation rate" is 5 mm/hr. Are these two results co-related? Is there any harm of having high level of Vitamin B-12?
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:03:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High level of Vitamin B-12
Hi Vijay, thanks for your question. Vitamin B12 is stored in the body and relatively well regulated, there should not be any harm in having high levels. Also, there do not appear to be any studies done on the correlation of Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and levels of vitamin B12. This study, however, suggests that hemoglobin concentration negatively correlates with the Erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:03:53
Name:Steve
Location:Yaounde-Cameroon
Subject:B12 and Virility in Men
Hello, I read in an article that a deficiency in vitamin B can seriously work against male libido. I therefore wish to find out from you:
1- If truely vitamin B is related to male virility.
2 - If yes, is it vitamin B12?
3 - In case it is not vitamin B12, which vitamin B then?
4 - Any advice on the best vitamins necessary to enhance male libido?
I highly await your reply, as well as those from any other person who can help me. Thanks.
Posted on 2012-03-20 19:57:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Virility in Men
Hi Steve, thanks for your questions. Basically no B vitamin has been shown to affect virility or libido. Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent anemia (weakness, fatigue) and so can be thought to prevent impotence in that sense. In terms of enhancing male libido some studies have found evidence that zinc can boost male libido and virilty. However, this has only been shown for men with Uremia (kidney failure). Still, eating more foods high in zinc might be worth a try. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-03-21 18:35:14
Name:Jaime
Location:California
Subject:B12 Shots and Acne
I have had to start taking B12 shots for the last several months due to low levels and absorption issues. I am on a once a month shot now. I have noticed the last couple of months I am breaking out like a teenager. :-( Do you think it is the shots or just a coincidence in timing? I have nice skin for the most part..only an occasional pimple, but this is really bad! I am tempted to not do the shots anymore but also need the vitamin?
Posted on 2012-03-28 04:16:52
Name:Jim Simpson
Location:Fort Erie, Ont
Subject:B12
How effective is a B12 injection from a Dr? I understand it is a good boost for metabolism aiding in weight loss?
Posted on 2012-03-28 05:49:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 Shots

Jamie: Thanks for your question. This study suggests that high doses of vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 can cause breakouts of acne which fade shortly after treatment is stopped. You should discuss with your healthcare provider what is best, but should probably keep taking vitamin b12 shots till they are no longer needed.

Jim: Thanks for your question. A vitamin B12 shot is a very effective and direct way to boost your vitamin B12 levels, however, this study suggests that high oral doses of vitamin B12 (1000 mcg - 2000 mcg) administered daily, then weekly, then monthly, can be just as effective. Vitamin b12 supplements can also be cheaper than shots! Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining healthy energy levels, but is not directly related to metabolism or weight loss.

Posted on 2012-03-28 15:16:42
Name:Kristina
Location:Toronto
Subject:B12 shots not working?
I've been on the B12 shots for about 6-8 months now and I feel that they're not working anymore. My Dr. is aware of my concern, but doesn't seem to be concerned about it right now. It was 3 months between shots and he said that was why I was feeling sluggish. I'm bad at taking pills, so I need options. In the summer, my levels will be checked again, but I was told last year that they were pretty low. What can I do? Now it's a month after my last shot, and I don't feel any different. A lot of the foods on the list I will not eat. So I'm wondering what I can eat since I am extremely picky. I eat shrimp, but I notice it's not on the list.
Posted on 2012-04-16 22:05:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 shots not working?
Hi Kristina, sorry to hear about the shots, hopefully you will have higher levels at your next test. To answer your question, 4 large shrimp (22g) provide around 0.33μg (6%DV) (nutrition facts) and so are a decent source of vitamin B12, but not the best. You can use the nutrient ranking tool to find other foods high in vitamin B12 that might suit your taste. Also, did you consider cereals high in vitamin B12? Or maybe vitamin water? These are some suggestions of fortified foods, compare food labels of what you already eat to see if there is a similar product fortified with vitamin B12. Hope those suggestions help!
Posted on 2012-04-16 22:05:13
Name:Naziya
Location:London
Subject:Feel Weak And Tired
Feel weak. And tired. Also loss of appetite and at times dizzy n chest pain. And I gain weight by hardly eating. Doctor says anemia. But it seems to be something else.
Posted on 2012-04-20 10:02:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Feel Weak And Tired
Hi Naziya, sorry to hear of your symptoms. Did you get your thyroid checked? It sounds like you may have Hypothyroidism.
Posted on 2012-04-20 10:18:10
Name:Helpful Dude
Location:Georgia USA
Subject:B12, hypothyroidism, etc
Hi all, I enjoy discussing health problems and possible solutions with my friends of all ages. Basically for the gwomenout who posted, you should go see a OB/GYN (obstetric / gynecologist) doctor and get a full blood and hormone screening. The OB/GYN is a great place to start, as they will check hormone levels, B vitamin levels, D vitamin levels, mineral levels, thyroid levles, etc, as well as a physical examination. My friends have encountered Vitamin D deficiency, hypothryoidism, diabetes, and other diseases either individually or more than one condition at the same time. A full thyroid screen is necessary because some people do not utilize T4 properly. Antyway, good luck to all of you, and don't forget to utilize your doctors!
Posted on 2012-04-29 20:39:43
Name:Rocio
Location:Belize
Subject:Vitiligo & B12
Hi, I recently read that vitB12 & folic acid is a good treatment for Vitiligo. I want to know if this is a good combination. I have had vitiligo for about 10yrs now. Please advise.
Posted on 2012-05-28 19:50:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vitiligo & Vitamin B12
Hi Rocio, thanks for your question. Vitiligo is associated with pernicious anemia (fatigue/tiredness), which can be caused from a deficiency in vitamin B12 and/or folate (B9). More studies need to be done on the effect of vitamin B12 and folate to help with vitiligo. In either case, it is safe for you to increase your consumption of vitamin B12 and folate to see what happens.
Posted on 2012-05-29 02:45:56
Name:Maria
Location:Australia
Subject:MS and vitamin B12 deficiency
Hi, I was wondering if the sympyoms of MS could be the same as those of vitamin B12 deficiency, such as weakness, numbness, hearing issues (basically neurological symptoms) and if vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms would show up in an MRI scan as lesions? My quesion is basically whether MS could be mistaken for vitamin B12 deficiency?
Posted on 2012-07-16 11:01:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: MS and vitamin B12 deficiency
Hi Maria, thanks for your question. Some of the symptoms of MS do overlap with vitamin B12 deficiency. The MRI will not really tell you much regarding B12, but a simple blood test can detect a vitamin B12 deficiency and will be the best way to find out. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-07-17 02:51:55
Name:Ladi
Location:Canada
Subject:Vitamin B12 (Methyl vs Cyano)
I fully agree with you regarding the deficiencies of B12. However, there is a great difference in between vitamins B12. The good one is Methyl-cobalamin, the bad one (cheep garbage you can buy everywhere) is the Cyano-cobalamin. BTW you do not need extra vitamin B9 - Folate (folic acid) supplements, unless you are pregnant or breast feeding mother. According to late research it may cause cancer.
Posted on 2012-07-27 12:57:06
Name:Sophia
Location:York
Subject:B12 & active lifestyle query
Hi, I was diagnosed as b12 deficiency due to my diet (cannot have lactose/dairy). I've been having the injections and feel great but I have an active job and have started back at the gym to increase my energy and stamina. I'm just wondering if this will effect how often I need the injections because this time, just over 2 months since my injection, I felt ready for my next dose. Thank you for your help.
Posted on 2012-10-24 13:17:56
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 & active lifestyle query
Hi Sophia, thanks for your question. There have been no studies, and there is no evidence to show that leading an active lifestyle depletes your stores of vitamin B12. So it is unlikely that your recent exercise is causing you to have less vitamin B12.
Posted on 2012-10-24 17:34:30
Name:David
Location:USA
Subject:B12 in Cultured Food
What about vitamin B12 in cultured food? My organic raw kombucha says it has 20 percent DV in one bottle.
Posted on 2012-11-20 03:34:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:B12 in Cultured Food
Hi David, thanks for your question. Studies show that while vitamin B12 is synthisized by bacteria, it rarely reaches the concentration in fermented plant foods needed to meet even 1% of the DV. It is likely that your Kambucha is fortified with vitamin B12. Check the ingredients label for "Cyanocobalamin".
Posted on 2012-11-20 23:41:43
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:Turkey Liverwurst
Is there a way to find out the B12 content of Wellshire Farm's All Natural Turkey Liverwurst? I would like to get my daily B12 from turkey liverwurst rather than from turkey liver if it doesn't involve a great amount. Turkey liver will provide 100% of the daily recommended B12 in just 10 grams so I know the amount of turkey liverwurst needed to achieve this will be more. How much more is what I don't know.
Posted on 2012-12-28 19:12:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Turkey Liverwurst
Hi Leo, thanks for your question. Pork liverwurst provides 224% DV of vitamin B12 in 100 grams, so 50 grams would provide ~112% DV. From this information, you can assume that around 50 grams of turkey liverwurst should provide your recommended daily requirement of vitamin B12. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-12-28 21:37:14
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:RE: Turkey Liverwurst
Thank you very much for your reply. I've recently been informed that Wellshire Farm's All Natural Turkey Liverwurst contains 12.16 micrograms (200% DV) of vitamin B12 per 56 gram serving. So 9 to 14 grams of it should be able to supply 2 to 3 micrograms (~50% DV). I hope this information will be of some use to others as well.
Posted on 2012-12-29 21:59:53
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:B12 RDA and DV
One more question about something that's got me a bit confused.

According to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals. The RDA of B12 for an adult is 2.4 mcg.

On the other hand, DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine the level of various nutrients in a standard serving of food in relation to their approximate requirement for it. The DV for vitamin B12 is 6.0 mcg.

What's the difference between RDA and DV since the B12 for one is 2.4 mcg and the B12 for the other is 6 mcg? I see the definitions but I'm not understanding the difference and therefore the resulting difference in the B12 values.

Posted on 2012-12-30 09:17:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 RDA and DV
Hi Leo, thanks for your question. It is true that the RDA and DV do differ. There are several possible reasons. First, the amount of B12 you absorb from any food varies, in the case of B12 it is ok to eat extra micrograms to ensure sufficient B12. Further, B12 is well regulated and stored by the body. A DV of 6 micrograms can help build stores. In the end, there is not a lot of rhyme and reason to these guidelines. The DV just helps consumers gauge how good each food is for providing a specific nutrient. Even when nutrition facts are calculated, averages across several samples are used. So it is best to always take a general look at these numbers and think of them in relative terms. Liverwurst is a much better source of b12 than a cup of milk for example.
Posted on 2012-12-30 10:31:04
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:RE: RDA and DV
Pertaining to my confusion over RDA and DV differences, I have found something from the Office of dietary supplements that is most helpful in clearing up the matter for me. Based on the following, it would appear that the RDA values are the more accurate medically determined amounts to consider since the DVs are a government conceived one size fits all generalization for purposes of consumers.

RDAs are recommended daily intakes of a nutrient for healthy people. They tell you how much of that nutrient you should get on average each day. RDAs are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. They vary by age, gender and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding; so there are many different RDAs for each nutrient.

DVs, established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are used on food and dietary supplement labels. For each nutrient, there is one DV for all people ages 4 years and older. Therefore, DVs aren't recommended intakes, but suggest how much of a nutrient a serving of the food or supplement provides in the context of a total daily diet. DVs often match or exceed the RDAs for most people, but not in all cases.

Posted on 2013-01-01 10:17:23
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: RDA and DV
Hi Leo, thanks for your comment. People should certainly get to know what their RDA is, however, even the RDA is a generalization. As nutrition gets more personalized, people have to experiment to find their own optimal values. Till then, both the RDA and DV stand as general measurement to asses nutrient content in foods. Your question and answer will be added to the FAQ section of this site.
Posted on 2013-01-01 12:50:19
Name:George
Location:Victoria
Subject:B12 and Metformin
Hi, I'm 63 years of age, a smoker, drink very little alcohol, and I have type 2 diabetes (diagnosed 10 years ago) which is reasonably under control. My numbers range from 5.6 to 12. The numbers stabilize considerably after exercise/yard work. My last check up revealed extremely low LDL (.6) and everything else in very good condition.

I take 500mg of metformin twice a day and 5mg of glyburied three x/day. Over the past few years, however; I have noticed increased pain, ("pins and needles") numbness, and tingling in my feet and hands, with the loss of sensitivity in my feet and ankles.

Other conditions are:
Loss of appetite
Loss of weight (40 lbs over 18 months)
Pale skin tone
Weakness in legs and unstable walking
forgetfulness, confusion, and mild depression

I'm wondering if these conditions/symptoms are a result of aging and/or my diabetes or if the above conditions and nerve damage are a lack of Vitamin B12.

I have read that a deficiency of B12 can mimic diabetes conditions, (particularly nerve damage). If this is true. Should I try a multi-vitamin with B12 and what is the recommended dosage? Thanks... I look forward to hearing your comments.

Posted on 2013-01-28 18:34:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Metformin
Hi George, thanks for your questions. While your symptoms may not exactly be indicative of a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is possible. If you can, get your vitamin B12 level tested before trying supplements, however, you can also try supplements and see if you feel better. Interestingly, metformin interferes with vitamin B12 absorption by antagonizing a calcium-dependent ileal membrane. As such, taking calcium supplements can help to boost your absorption of vitamin B12 while on metformin. Based on this evidence, you could try to take a calcium supplement in addition to a vitamin B12 supplement.
Posted on 2013-01-28 18:50:26
Name:Heather
Location:USA
Subject:B12 in Quail and Quail eggs
Wonderful article! I have pernicious anemia, so it's good to see an accurate article. (Diagnosed at age 22. My sister almost died from p.a. at age 20 because it was undiagnosed for 8 years. It runs in our family, unfortunately. But because it's a rare disease, the doctors didn't consider it and called her a hypochondriac instead. Until she found Dr. Tettamanti who knew it was either advanced p.a. or syphilis, due to her symptoms and weight loss - and then by testing her, of course.)

I was wondering if you know how much B12 would be in quail and quail eggs? I'm thinking of raising organically-fed quail for my family, and getting B12 would be a nice bonus. Thank you!

Posted on 2013-02-19 15:02:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 in Quail and Quail eggs
Hi Heather, thanks for your comments, perspective, and questions. A whole uncooked quail (109 grams) provides 0.47μg (8% DV) of vitamin b12. A quail egg (9g) provides 0.14μg (2% DV). This is about the same b12 as a chicken egg, gram per gram. Here are the complete nutrition facts for quail, and the comparison of a quail egg vs a chicken egg.
Posted on 2013-02-19 17:01:14
Name:Michelle
Location:San Francisco
Subject:B12 and Intrinsic Factor for Absorption
I was diagnosed with extremely low levels of both vitamin B12 & D3... I give myself a weekly shot of B12 and 2000iu's of D3 daily (gel cap form). It's been almost two months on this regimen, but I don't feel any better?! How long before I might see some improvement? I'm very sensitive with supplements and drugs, so I thought I would feel better by now? I eat meat, chicken, fish, seafood and dairy... So it's not a dietary thing. My doctor thinks I may not produce the intrinsic factor needed for the absorption of the B12...Thanks for your help.
Posted on 2013-02-26 02:07:22
Name:William
Location:Knoxville
Subject:B12 and Neutropenia
Hi, my wife is 59 and just had some blood work done. They say she has neutropenia. Her white blood count was 2.5. Some of the causes of this is chemo, spleen, and some others I don't remember.I also see b12 deficiency was also listed as one. I want them to check for b12 deficiency but now they want to go and do a bone marrow test. Fruits and vegetables are 90% of our diet, no dairy. Have you had any experience with b12 deficiency and neutropenia and if so how common is it.She has had very low white blood counts for over 35 years. She is 5 6" and 123 pounds and never gets sick but doctors want to start all other tests. I believe if it's not broke don't try and fix it. Thanks, William
Posted on 2013-09-27 09:36:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Neutropenia
Hi William, thanks for your question, and sorry to hear of your wife's condition. Not sure how often nuetropenia is caused by vitamin deficiency, but it is possible, especially considering your mostly plant based diet (B12 is naturally found only in animal foods). Nuetropenia can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12, vitamin B9 (folate), and possibly copper. Is your wife already taking a vitamin supplement? If not, starting one for vitamin B12 and B9 would be a good idea. Eating foods high in those vitamins is also good, but may not be enough at this point. Try to convince doctors to try test for vitamins, and try the supplements first before doing other tests. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-09-28 21:05:11
Name:Allen
Location:FL
Subject:In response to Alexandra from Ohio...
Your comment bothered me for the fact, you really didn't read "why" there is a warning about the cholesterol and the foods listed... The warning was for people who may already be at risk of a heart attack or heart disease... Those foods are not good in high quantities cause they are much higher in cholesterol... It's the difference between consuming a Rib-eye Steak Vs a Sirloin. Sirloin would be the better choice. Still get B12, just less cholesterol. The warning never said don't eat Cholesterol, just monitor it. Learn your facts before you make uneducated comments, and along with not reading to far into something that was never stated... Thanks.
Posted on 2013-10-09 18:04:41
Name:Honey
Location:Fresno, CA
Subject:My experience as a Vegetarian
This is for all the vegetarians out there. I've been a vegetarian for the past couple of years. In general I try to eat a healthy diet, but even with the best planning I don't always get all the nutrients I need in my diet. The easiest way for me to make sure I'm getting everything I need is to take supplements. I take a multivitamin and sometimes additional supplements, depending on my energy level, mood, etc.

Finding the right balance has really helped me. I now hardly ever get sick, I have a good amount of energy and I have good mental focus.

They say the best way to get proper nutrition is through a balanced diet, but sometimes that is hard especially when a lot of the food we eat today is depleted in vital nutrients. Don't be afraid to take supplements if you need it.

Posted on 2013-11-07 17:54:48
Name:Ashley
Location:USA
Subject:Missing Link in B12 Deficiencies
This is for everyone with B12 deficiencies or symptoms. There is a very common genetic defect that can cause you not to absorb B12 called MTHFR. People can have the c677, a1298 or both. I'm very surprised no one on this page has mentioned this so far. My doctor said most other doctors don't check for it so read on and ask specifically to be tested for it. It could change your life.

I was having some of the B12 deficiency symptoms so I went to my doctor. He did a panel of blood work and found I had the c677 MTHFR genetic mutation. Now I'm not just treating my symptoms, I can treat the problem causing them. Most people who have it require B12 injections and feel much better. However I had an almost allergic reaction to them and got jittery and crazy feeling. We're still working on how exactly to fix me but I'm happy that I'm no longer guessing with trial and error. Correctly adjusting my diet to exactly fit my condition has definitely improved my daily life. I hope some good information can be added to this page to encourage people to check this as a possible cause to their problems. Hopefully this helps a lot of people!

Posted on 2013-12-04 11:03:44
Name:Jillian Murphy
Subject:Severe spots and mouth ulcers with B12 deficiency and alcohol
Hi my daughter has b12 deficiency and when she drinks even a small amount of alcohol she gets severe very painful spots around her mouth and ulcers inside her mouth can anyone advise on anything which may help with this?
Posted on 2013-12-29 04:32:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Severe spots with B12 deficiency and alcohol
Hi Jillian, thanks for your question. It seems unlikely that alcohol would trigger ulcers to form, but it could certainly make your daughter aware of existing ulcers. Adequate levels of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate) are necessary to prevent mouth ulcers. Beyond that, your daughter may be allergic to alcohol in some way. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-12-29 18:09:14
Name:Peter
Location:Alaska
Subject:Neuropathy and B12 Shots
I had neuropathy associated with chemo and recently had a vitamin B-12 shot which eliminated the tingle in a matter of a few hours. I was told no amount of vitamins would be sufficient to keep my levels high enough to keep the tingle at bay. Truth or not? I have learned to give myself shots once a month.
Posted on 2014-01-09 13:53:29
Name:Abby
Location:Canada
Subject:High level of B12
I recently had blood work done; and my Doc said my B12 was 812 which is above normal. He told me to cut down on protein rich food. Should I be worried with this high level of Vit in my system?
Posted on 2014-01-11 09:44:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High level of B12
Hi Abby, vitamin B12 is well regulated by the body, and excess vitamin B12 is typically stored in the liver, thus vitamin B12 toxicity is rare, almost unheard of. The U.S. National Library of Medicine gives the normal range of vitamin B12 as 200 - 900 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter). If you are at 812, you are likely ok. A high vitamin B12 level may have more to do with a healthy liver than what you eat, so if you are really worried, you may do some tests on your liver function, but likely you are ok and don't need to worry. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2014-01-15 13:51:52

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Comments.
Name:Chapman
Location:Ontario, Canada
Subject:B12 Deficiency
Very good information, it seems gastritis meds can cause this though...
Posted on 2011-03-25 11:01:24
Name:Lily
Location:Malaysia
Subject:Vegetarian diet
Hi,I'm 19 years old and have been feeling tired for the past few weeks and sleepy all the time especially from afternoon till night even after a nap (i drink coffee in the morning to stay awake). My arm felt very weak when i tie my hair. I do have headache occasionally. I also feel very cold at night and pain in joints of my fingers (when it's cold for me) while my house mates that are sitting nearby me do not have this problem. I started on vegetarian diet more than 1 month ago (still consuming eggs and milk)and did not take any dietary supplements. Until now, I dont know the real cause of my problem. Do all this things happens due to my sudden change in diet?
Posted on 2011-04-12 15:25:49
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vegetarian Diet
Hi Lily, thanks for your question. There is a chance that you are consuming less vitamin B12, iron, and folate (vitamin B9). Less of these vitamins all lead to anemia (weakness, tiredness, etc) that you describe. Milk and eggs have vitamin B12, but not as much as other sources. Try eating more natural vegetarian foods high in vitamin B12. Also, eat foods supplemented with vitamin B12 as listed in the vegan foods high in vitamin B12 article. Are you consuming enough iron? Here is a list of high iron foods, many of which are vegetarian. Also, be sure you are eating enough folate (vitamin B9), here is a list of high folate foods. Hope you feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-04-12 15:39:01
Name:Liz
Location:NZ
Subject:RE: Vegetarian diet and feeling weak
Just reading Lily's post,I had the same tiredness in my arms tying and washing my hair, brushing my teeth and aching hands and feet, tired all the time and cold. Also put on weight.I found out my thyroid had packed up and have been taking thyroxine and no longer have any of those symptoms......still tired as running round after 4 kids! Just thought this might help.
Posted on 2011-04-15 16:09:35
Name:Sofahnya
Location:Australia
Subject:Health- vitamin deficiency
I have been a lacto-vegitarian for 41 years and have no problems with B12 deficiency or any other vitamin. I look and feel younger than my age and have very high energy levels. I am writing a book on the subject as we speak. Being a vegetarian or a animal flesh eater can be a case of maybe something in one's diet that may not agree with their system eg: Gluten, nuts, Lactose etc.......
Posted on 2011-04-17 02:05:47
Name:Jas
Location:KCMO
Subject:B12 deficient?
I'm also 19. I'm known for constantly being cold, weak, and lethargic in general. Occasionally I get muscle pains. I recently began taking the oral contraceptive, Yaz, if it matters. But, over about a 3 year span, I've been noticing dark, peeling spots on my lip and neck, and my dermatologist thinks I have eczema and/or cheilitis. The spots come and go. While he gave me a steroid gel to calm it, I was wondering if I might have a B-12 deficiency as well? Seafood and dairy are not things I eat very often... but I do consume other meat & cheese products pretty regularly.
Posted on 2011-04-19 23:27:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 deficient?
Hi Jas, thanks for your comment. Given the symptoms of weakness you describe in addition with the diagnosis of your dermatologist, there is a good chance you have a vitamin B12 deficiency. If you have Cheilitis then you also probably have anemia. In addition to vitamin B12 foods, are you getting enough iron? Check this list of high iron foods to be sure. You might also consider eating more high folate foods, which help prevent anemia. Hope you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-04-20 01:37:45
Name:Neeraj
Location:India
Subject:B12 deficient
I am 32. I am having a problem of burning feet. At the same time I start feeling a heat in my palm and in the while body. This all has made me weak. I am pure vegitarian. Regards Neeraj
Posted on 2011-04-21 03:37:32
Name:Rebecca
Location:San Francisco
Subject:painful feet, hardtime walking? please read!!!
I am 21. I have a serious vitamin b12 deficiency, I am a vegetarian and have been so off and on since I was 10 and of course like most 21 years old enjoy my alcohol. Unfortunately due to the vitamin b12 deficiency I have been anxious for years, and have in the past two months developed peripheral neuropathy, i did not know all of this until a matter of a few hours ago, and I feel like a compete idiot. Not kidding keep up with our protein, it really is very serious and sudden, so yes if you have been a vegetarian for a month and feel a sudden change in mood vitamin b12 deficiency, if you feel burning in your feet or constant chronic muscle pains, joint pains mainly in the feet (since this the most commonly used joints to bear a lot of weight), go to your primary care physician IMMEDIATELY (permanent nerve damage can lead to being wheelchair bound for life, no fun time :(). im not a healthcare professional, these are just suggestions, heavily pressed suggestions! i promise you, i feel like an idiot and felt insane when i tried to explain to people how crappy i feel all the time... and reading this its like WOW, k that was all i needed to do? alright. well good luck. anyways feel free to contact me., email is attached.
Posted on 2011-04-25 00:03:17
Name:Ann
Location:Japan
Subject:Tired and No Energy
Hi, I get easily tired, and don't have energy. I have tried iron pills but it doesn't see to help. I often get very painful mouth sores. My whole mouth aches when it happens. I normally get about 7 or 8 hours of sleep, but I am still tired? What can I do?
Posted on 2011-04-27 23:03:50
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Tired and No Energy
Hi Ann, thanks for your comment. In addition to eating vitamin b12 foods, you can try high folate (vitamin b9) foods which can also alleviate weakness/anemia. The mouth sores you describe can be from a deficiency in vitamin b2 (riboflavin). Here is a list of high riboflavin foods. Living in Japan, definitely eat more sushi and edamame which should help boost your levels of these vitamins. Also, if you are not already, try adopt a form of daily exercise. Even walking for 20 minutes can do a lot for your energy levels. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-04-27 23:16:32
Name:Nianna
Location:Rome, GA
Subject:Low B12 Levels and Calcium
I just found out I have low b12 levels and low calcium. I eat meat and cheese often but I feel really weak and my legs hurt me all the time, and I get cramps in my legs. I also feel cold a lot and have had chest pain for the past few months. I'm normally hot all the time.
Posted on 2011-05-10 23:31:33
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low B12 Levels and Calcium
Hi Nianna, thanks for your comment. It sounds like your symptoms (muscle/chest pain, and feeing cold) are not related only to vitamin b12 and calcium deficiency. Consult your doctor about checking for type II diabetes and checking your thyroid. In regards to your calcium deficiency read the article on high calcium foods and high vitamin D foods, since vitamin D helps you absorb calcium. As you are already eating meat and cheese check and see if you have any of the conditions which put you at high risk for a vitamin B12 or calcium deficiency and talk with your doctor about the best way to remedy the situation. Also, try different cheeses, not all cheeses are high in calcium. Hope you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-05-11 00:25:28
Name:Chiraag
Location:London
Subject:Vitamin Deficiency?
Hi, I am a 24 year old guy, and have been vegetarian all my life. Recently I have started getting more cramps in my legs, especially at night and has woke me up several times. And these cramps also happen when I go swimming and I have to stop due to the severe pain, which takes a while to go away. I also feel tired and weak a lot. Is this due to B-12 deficiency? Should I take supplements?
Posted on 2011-05-14 16:30:27
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vitamin Deficiency?
Hi Chiraag, thanks for your question. The most common cause of muscle cramps is dehydration, so the first thing you should try is to drink more water during exercise. If that does not help, then consider trying vitamin b12 supplements. Also, be sure you are consuming adequate levels of calcium, magnesium, and potassium. These essential minerals (electrolytes) help keep your muscles from cramping.
Posted on 2011-05-14 22:45:16
Name:Lee
Location:Luton, UK
Subject:How to tell if I have a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Hi wanted to know if I have a b-12 deficiency. I get a lot of pins and needles in my arms hands and feet also have heavy eye strain, and feel very tired also feel like I'm going to pass out a lot. Can you help? Thanks.
Posted on 2011-05-25 01:06:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: How to tell if I have a vitamin B12 deficiency?
Hi Lee, the symptoms you describe match that of a vitamin B12 deficiency. To be sure there is a Vitamin B12 Deficiency Home Test Kit available via Amazon.com, it is however, quite expensive. The other option is to go to your doctor to get tested. It is difficult to know which option would be cheaper and you may have to check with your insurance. You can also try eating more vitamin b12 foods and see if your symptoms improve over the next 2 weeks.
Posted on 2011-05-25 08:36:59
Name:Colleen Webb
Subject:Cheap Vitamin B12 Foods
My B12 is depleted. I find Caviar and Lobster are a bit pricey these days. What else can one eat to bring my levels up?
Posted on 2011-07-14 19:02:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Cheap Vitamin B12 Foods
Hi Colleen, thanks for your question. Did you scroll down to the extended list of vitamin B12 rich foods? You can try liverwurst sausages, low fat yogurt, clam chowder (even canned if you have to), fortified cereals, fortified soymilk/tofu, and vitamin water! If you are feeling adventurous you can also try yeast extract spreads, more commonly known under the brand of Marmite. Further, canned fish can be a great source, here is a list of canned fish highest in vitamin b12. Hope that helps!
Posted on 2011-07-14 19:06:22
Name:Sarah
Location:Thunder Bay
Subject:B12 pills causing acne
Hi there. I am 29 and have been told recently that I have an extreme B12 deficiency and should take supplements daily. The problem is that the pills (i've tried several different brands) are causing major acne COVERING my forehead. Through trial and error I know that it's the b12's causing the acne. I can't live my life like this. I eat meat, cheese and eggs all the time. What else can I do? Problem is, i don't eat any sea food at all. Please help (:
Posted on 2011-07-14 21:31:55
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 pills causing acne
Hi Sarah, thanks for your question. Sounds like you need more B12 than you are getting from meat, eggs, and dairy so if possible, try a liver product like pâté in a sandwich. Another option would be to try a high fiber cereal which is fortified with vitamin B12. The fiber from the cereal should help with your acne. You can also try B12 fortified soy milk, the fiber from the soy should have the same positive effect as the cereal on your skin. Hope you feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-07-14 21:37:29
Name:Greg
Location:Rogers Ar.
Subject:Anti-convulsant Medication
I've been reading that Depakote and other anti-convulsant medications deplete B-12. I noticed these medications were not included with the other problematic meds here. Why not?
Posted on 2011-08-01 21:06:03
Name:HealthAliciousNess.com
Subject:RE: Anti-convulsant Medication
Hi Greg, thanks for your comment. Anti-convulsants have now been added to the list of causes that can increase vitamin B12 deficiency with appropriate references.
Posted on 2011-08-01 21:08:20
Name:Stephanie
Location:Birmingham
Subject:Nursing mother and B12 deficiency?
I am a nursing mother of a 7 month old baby and cannot eat red meat due to an alpha-gal allergy. I am constantly exhausted- but I always chalked it up to lack of solid sleep! I mainly eat veggies- w a tiny bit of poultry. Lately, the exhaustion has been worsening. I also have an occasional alcoholic beverage. Two days ago, I woke up with terrible vertigo- I could barely function! The feeling lasted nearly four hours. I take food based supplements, but just 'multi' ones not vitamin specific. I eat tons of spinach, so my iron should be alright I think. I do not currently have health insurance so I cannot go get my blood checked. Does this sound like a B12 deficiency?
Posted on 2011-08-02 00:45:17
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Nursing mother and B12 deficiency?
Hi Stephanie, thanks for your question. Do the multivitamins you are eating specifically list vitamin B12? If not, you may want to try eat more fish, or eat more vitamin fortified foods like cereals or soy milk. The weakness and fatigue you describe could be symptoms of anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. However, the vertigo you experienced is likely caused by something else. If your vertigo persists see if your insurance covers a visit to a health provider, or at least, some over the counter medicine to help alleviate the dizziness.
Posted on 2011-08-02 00:54:17
Name:Carol
Location:Jamaica
Subject:Multiple Sclerosis
Hello there. I found out that I'm a MS patient. I'm really greatful for the update on foods rich in vitamin B12. I'm deficient in that area and the legs are very weak where I'm not even walking. At times its a struggle. Is there any other meat I could try? Lamb is not popular in Jamaica. As for the liver, I try to avoid 'red meat' and neither do I eat eggs. Thanks for your suggestions.
Posted on 2011-08-02 01:46:22
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Multiple Sclerosis
Hi Carol, thanks for your question. If you are looking for heart healthy sources of vitamin B12, maybe try focus on seafood. Namely, fish, crab, octopus, and lobster. Canned fish can be a budget friendly choice. Also, consider a cereal fortified with vitamin B12, or other vitamin b12 fortified foods.
Posted on 2011-08-02 01:51:24
Name:Chris
Subject:Lactose Intolerent/Acid Reflux
I just found out that my B level and D levels are low. I cannot have dairy products or wheat products due to acid reflux and lactose intolerence. Now I'm finding out that my severe fatigue is due to the lack of B and D vitimins. I HATE fish by the way.....what else can I eat that will help naturally so I can eliminate having to take medication???
Posted on 2011-08-23 04:06:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Lactose Intolerent/Acid Reflux
Hi Chris, thanks for your question. Vitamin D can be naturally obtained by exposing your skin to the sun. Anywhere from 20 minutes to 1 hour of sunshine should be enough to obtain the DV for vitamin D. Alternatively, there are also various foods high in vitamin D. Mushrooms are a good natural source. You can also find fortified soy products that contain vitamin D and the B vitamins. Many vitamin B foods are not found in wheat. The two B vitamins primarily associated with weakness (anemia) are B12 and B9 (folate/folic acid). Here is a list of high folate (B9) foods you can incorporate into your diet. Good luck and hope that helps.
Posted on 2011-08-23 04:14:43
Name:Vaibhavi
Location:India
Subject:Vit B12 Deficiency
Hi, I went for breast cancer surgery and chemotherapy recently, since last year I had severe leg cramps, I went for a vitamin b12 check up, and I got the result that I have a very low level of vitamin b12, now what shall I do to improve the level?
Posted on 2011-10-10 23:53:37
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vit B12 Deficiency
Hi Vaibhavi, thanks for your question. The obvious thing to do to increase you level of vitamin B12 is to eat the foods list above. If you are vegetarian focus on eating more dairy, and if you are vegan, eat fortified foods like vitamin water, or soy milk. Vitamin B12 supplements are also available. That said, it is also likely that your deficiency is due to your recent chemotherapy. The first chemotherapy for cancer involved blocking the action of vitamin B9 (folate). Vitamin B9 is responsible for cells dividing. It is likely that the chemotherapy has caused your decline in vitamin B12, and therefore, taking more vitamin B12 might be counterproductive to your cancer treatment. Consult your doctor to see if you can take vitamin B12 supplements at the same time as your treatments.
Posted on 2011-10-10 23:54:44
Name:Luna
Location:Ethiopia
Subject:Back Pain and Constantly Tired
Am 18 years old now, and recently I feel tired and back pains too. Does this happen because of deficency of vitamins? If so, what should I take?
Posted on 2011-10-11 07:58:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Back Pain and Constantly Tired
Hi Luna, thanks for your question. Back pain is unlikely caused by vitamin deficiency, but your tiredness could be. Have you made any recent changes in your diet that could have caused this tiredness and fatigue? You can try eating more vitamin B12 foods, high folate foods, and high iron foods, and see if your tiredness goes away. Your symptoms could also be caused by a virus or bacterial infection, so visit a doctor if you do not feel better soon!
Posted on 2011-10-11 08:21:58
Name:Florence Duteau
Location:Sudbury, Ontario
Subject:B-12 Allergy?
Hi I'm a 43 year old woman and have been a vegetarian since Feb, 2011. Last year my MD suggested I take b12 supplements and I found out I was allergic to a component of the sub lingual b12. Now I have started b12 injections and I am still getting severe adverse effects. Any suggestions? I do eat fish and seafood and balance my meals very well...
Posted on 2011-10-11 10:35:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B-12 Allergy?
Hi Florence, thanks for your question. Did your doctor suggest you take B-12 because you had symptoms of deficiency? Or just as a precaution? If you are not feeling tired, weak, etc...then you may not have to take supplements. It is difficult to make recommendations without knowing exactly what is causing your allergy. Natural vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 include cheese, milk, yogurt, and eggs. There are also fortified foods like soymilk, but it sounds like you have adverse effects with synthetic sources. The first step for you is to determine if you have a b12 deficiency, the next is to identify the cause of your allergy. After that, you will have the information you need.
Posted on 2011-10-12 22:16:20
Name:Wendy
Location:Toronto Ontario
Subject:Very very Low B12
Hi there! So I just got the news that my B12 is very low and I am set for my first set of injections next week...I was wondering if I should go back sooner because of what I have started to read... I got alot of information today and I can not remember if my Doctor said my B12 level was 15 or 115...somehow I think it was 15.... is that even possible? And if so should I seek medical attention before Monday? It is now Sat... so confused :s
Posted on 2011-11-19 22:00:44
Name:Sarah
Location:Romford
Subject:Low b12
If you feel you have something wrong your doctor can do a blood count blood test. I went to my doctor for loads of symptoms and the results came back with extremely low b12. I've got to have b12 injections (hydroxocobalamin) 3 times a week for 4 weeks then every month for 3 months then I have them every 3 months for life. Trust me when I say it is not nice! I also have to take iron and folic tablets every day as well. I personally feel you'd know if you had b12 problems and if you find out, sort it out quick before it gets too bad.
Posted on 2011-11-22 20:37:10
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Very very Low B12
Hi Wendy and Sarah, thanks for your questions and comments. Wendy, low vitamin B12 is defined as 170–250 picograms(pg)/mL or 120–180 picomol/L. It is highly unlikely that your level is 15pg/mL and you should be fine, especially if you are eating high vitamin b12 foods. Did the doctor mention to either of you the reason for your low vitamin B12? Sarah, I would consider getting a second opinion from another doctor before accepting vitamin B12 shots for life. Ask if you can treat your low vitamin B12 with supplements, or even better, by using natural foods and changes in lifestyle. Good luck to you both!
Posted on 2011-11-22 20:55:35
Name:Ange
Location:Texas
Subject:B12 Deficiency - Former Vegetarian
I don't have a question, just a personal experience to share. I was a vegetarian for a little over 9 years. I didn't even eat seafood. I felt great, I was an active soccer player, happy, very outgoing, and slept very well until my 9th year of being a vegetarian. It only took 6 months for a serious down hill spiral. I was tired all of the time, I had no energy, depression set in, and worse, I was having muscle spasms in my legs, arms, stomach, and hands. Even my joins started to hurt. For several months doctors ran me thru a gauntlet of tests, everything from anemia, lupus, to rheumatoid arthritis. I was even tested for heavy metals. I started to think I had some strange new disease no one had heard of. It was pretty scary. I am not quite sure what triggered my last doctor to test my B12 levels but I am glad she did. I was at 80. Immediately I was placed on a regiment of B12 injections. I would have to go every week, and then I was able to go every other week once the level was brought up. It's been 3 years. Now I simply eat meat and take a liquid supplement and I no longer need to take injections. The damage to my nerves has also dramatically improved. I rarely get spasms anymore, but there was a time when I thought I really had done some serious damage to myself. It's been in the past year that I can truly feel the improvement.

Low B12 shouldn't be taken lightly.
Posted on 2011-11-29 19:53:13
Name:Sheila
Location:Michigan
Subject:Pernicous Anemia and B12 Shots
Now that I have been diagnosed with B12 deficiency, I started shots today. I am wondering though if these will do any good. If the problem arose from malabsorption within the stomach, will the intermuscular shots bypass this? What about the anemia itself? That still has not been addressed.
Posted on 2011-12-13 07:45:39
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Pernicous Anemia and B12 Shots
Hi Sheila, thanks for your questions. Vitamins and other nutrients are typically broken down and absorbed in the stomach and intestine before being delivered to the muscles. Vitamin B12 injected directly to the muscles should help provide you with the B12 you need. Whether your liver will rebuild stores of vitamin B12 is another issue. As for your anemia, it should subside as your body recieves vitamin B12. Hope that helps and that you feel better soon.
Posted on 2011-12-13 08:39:42
Name:Bethany
Location:Toronto
Subject:B12 and Rabeprazole
I had a low B12 reading and took injections once a week for 4 weeks. The number now (after waiting a month after last injection) is a "low normal". I am taking rebeprazol for stomach ulcers and was wondering if I need to take a B12 supplement full time while on this drug? I know the rebeprazol can affect absorption so would pill form do any good? How often once you've had injections should B12 levels be tested?
Posted on 2011-12-23 18:31:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Rabeprazole
Hi Bethany, thanks for your question. While you are on Rabeprazole you could take sublingual vitamin B12 supplements. These supplements dissolve under the tounge and are abosrbed directly to the blood stream without having to go through the digestive system, so they should work well for you. How often you need to get your vitamin B12 levels tested depends on a variety of factors. Low B12 can lead to weakness and anemia, so as long as you have good energy levels you are probably fine, but check with your primary care provider to be sure.
Posted on 2011-12-23 18:41:21
Name:Vegetarian Senior
Subject:Low Vitamin B12 Levels Despite Shots
Hi. I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years. Recently I was having problems with nerves in my legs and feet. The reason was extremely low Vitamin B12. I have been getting Vitamin B12 shots now for 18 months. At first weekly then monthly. What puzzles me is that the level of Vitamin B12 in my blood remains low but at least within the normal range. Any reason why the level never increases?
Posted on 2012-01-06 14:51:41
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low Vitamin B12 Levels Despite Shots
Thanks for your comment. If your range is on the low end of the normal level it might simply be a matter of averages. A normal amount of vitamin B12 is defined as the average for a healthy sample population. This means that there are going to be people who naturally store a little less or a little more than average, and it is probably nothing to worry about. If you are concerned, you can talk to your doctor about taking sublingual vitamin B12 supplements which are absorbed directly into the blood stream, and might also be able to replace your B12 shots. You can also try eat more of these natural vegetarian sources of vitamin B12, or eat vitamin B12 fortified vegetarian foods like soy milk.
Posted on 2012-01-06 21:56:45
Name:Kai
Location:San Francisco
Subject:Can One Take Too Much B-12?
Can one overdose on B-12? That wasn't covered in the article. If so, how would you know you've gotten too much? Is it "water soluable" like Vit. C and will drain out with time? Or it this one of those vitamins that stays in the body (muscles or fat or whatever) until it is used up, or maybe forever?
Posted on 2012-01-18 02:42:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Can One Take Too Much B-12?
Hi Kai, thanks for your questions. Vitamin B12 is water soluble and is well regulated by the body. Most people can store enough vitamin B12 to last them for years, and most vitamin B12 is stored in the liver. There is no established upper limit for vitamin B12 due to its low toxicity. Basically, it would be really difficult to overdose on vitamin B12.
Posted on 2012-01-18 03:53:51
Name:Broke Runner
Location:Minneapolis, MN
Subject:Bumps Under Tongue
I'm a 26 year old recent college grad and a runner, and in the last few days I've had white blisters develop under my tongue. My tongue feels like it has been burned, and the feeling isn't going away. I read that this could be a symptom of vitamin B deficiency. I don't buy meat very often because I can't afford it, and as a runner I know I need more nutrition than normal, so I guess its possible. My question is: If this is a deficiency, can it be fixed just by changing my diet and adding tuna and beef, and if so, how long should I wait to see if the blisters will go away before I start looking into other causes?
Posted on 2012-01-18 04:43:17
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Bumps Under Tongue
Thanks for your question. You are right that a deficiency in vitamin B could be causing your distress. A deficiency in vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) is especially associated with mouth ulcers and sores. If you are looking for cheap natural sources of vitamin B, then you can try to cook and prepare liver, which is a rich source of all B vitamins. If that does not sound appetizing, you could also try to buy vegetarian foods which are fortified with vitamin B. Soy milk and tofu are examples. Even though natural sources are encouraged, buying vitamin B supplements can also be an affordable option. You can give yourself 2 weeks - 1 month to see improvements, however, it is encouraged that you consult with your health provider to find the exact cause of your problem as soon as possible.
Posted on 2012-01-18 04:57:02
Name:Alexandra
Location:Ohio
Subject:Cholesterol is not bad!
Why the warnings about high cholesterol? It won't hurt you--in fact, your body needs it! And why don't you warn about nitrites/nitrates in lunch meat?
Posted on 2012-01-18 23:34:11
Name:Rabia
Location:Pakistan
Subject:Anemia
Hi I am from Pakistan, my husband is 22 years old and he has anemia, he is getting weaker day by day, doctores are saying his heart is getting weaker too, if he has juice or food, he starts caughing and blood comes out of his mouth, doctors have told him to have light food like chicken and soup. I am very worried, please tell me what to do.
Posted on 2012-01-24 11:33:51
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Anemia
Hi Rabia, sorry to hear of your husband's condition. It seems he has a virus, or some other disease which is causing him to cough blood that needs to be treated by his doctors, however his excessive bleeding is likely causing his anemia. Try to feed him as much foods high in vitamin B12, high folate (B9) foods, and high iron foods. Chop or grind these foods and thin them with water to help him be able to swallow them. If you are not vegetarian, consider giving him mushed liver which is rich in all these vitamins. You can also try giving him foods which are high in vitamin K, like dark green vegetables. Vitamin K helps blood to coagulate and might reduce his bleeding. If your husband still cannot accept these foods, you might consider giving him supplements in the form of a pill. Hope that helps and hope your husband feels better soon.
Posted on 2012-01-24 23:08:53
Name:Matt
Location:Australia
Subject:White spots on body
Hi guys, I have white spots on my body, wondering if it has anything to do with low b12 levels because I need to know what to do as soon as possible. Had them for 3 months and just started to get worried about them.
Posted on 2012-01-26 07:17:58
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: White spots on body
Hi Matt, thanks for your question. There is a condition known as Vitiligo that results in patch of discoloration on the skin. The exact cause is unknown, but it is associated with Addison's disease, hyperthyroidism, and pernicious anemia. Pernicious anemia is caused by vitamin B12 deficiency and this might be related to the spots on your skin. This would especially be true if you are feeling tired and weak, or have other symptoms of anemia. Try to eat more foods high in vitamin B12, and also consult your health care provider to test your vitamin B12 levels as well as give you more information on your condition.
Posted on 2012-01-27 01:11:34
Name:Concerned Parent
Location:U.S.
Subject:Low serotonin
Is there a link between mood disorders due to low serotonin and Vitamin B deficiencies (especially in children)?
Posted on 2012-01-31 08:05:32
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Low serotonin
Hello and thanks for your question. B vitamins (especially vitamin B12) is associated with proper cognitive functioning. There is at least one study which suggests that a deficiency of vitamin B12 and B9 (Folate) can lead to depression. However, to link B vitamins with serotonin and mood would be difficult and is, as of yet, unproven.
Posted on 2012-01-31 21:46:30
Name:Trish
Location:New Zealand
Subject:Histamine Antagonists
You mention that some of these drugs can interfere with the absorption of B12. Do Asthma drugs fall into this category? I am an asthmatic, have been mildy anaemic for many years, and have a cracked tongue and wonder if the asthma drugs are part of the problem...
Posted on 2012-02-11 04:38:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Histamine Antagonists
Hi Trish, thanks for your question. There is some evidence that H-2 receptor antagonists (H2RA), if used over the long term (particularly more than 4 years), can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. With this in mind, it is likely that your asthma drugs are part of the problem. Using sublingual B12 supplements which absorb vitamin B12 under the tongue may help you feel better.
Posted on 2012-02-16 23:45:05
Name:Michelle Madonna
Location:New York
Subject:B12 Deficiency
I went to the doctor because I felt awful and knew something was wrong. I had a slight vitamin b12 deficiency. I did a severe crash diet. I started eating all the right foods and the feeling went away. However, I gained a lot of weight. Recently I have been on a diet again but doing it right this time and making sure I eat all the right foods. But I am getting those feelings again. Exhausted, irritable, depressed, pins and needles in my arms, and severe anxiety. I also feel dizzy sometimes and have pain in my knees and legs. I thought I was eating correctly but apparently not. Is it bad that I have had this deficiency twice? How long does it have to be that brain damage occurs? So nervous. Please help.
Posted on 2012-03-05 19:41:55
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 Deficiency
Hi Michelle, thanks for your question. Vitamin B12 is stored in the body and the stores of vitamin B12 can last a long time, because you had a slight deficiency before, there is a chance you did not give your body enough time to rebuild stores of vitamin B12. If you wish to consume vitamin B12 without calories, try fortified vitamin water, or taking supplements. Brain damage is more common in infants, however, it is not unheard of in adults. Consider taking supplements right away, and consult your health care provider to re-test your vitamin B12 levels and for a second opinion.
Posted on 2012-03-05 20:36:31
Name:Vijay Plaha
Location:New Delhi, India
Subject:High level of Vitamin B-12
I have CAD and went thro' a triple artery bypass surgery in 2006. My recent blood test indicates 1498 pg/ml of vitamin B-12 done by C.L.I.A. method. The normal range is 211-911 pg/ml. I am taking usual dose of medicine for BP, cholestrol, border line diabetes plus a daily dose of Multi-Vitamin and a Cod liver oil capsule. My "Erythrocyte sedimentation rate" is 5 mm/hr. Are these two results co-related? Is there any harm of having high level of Vitamin B-12?
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:03:53
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High level of Vitamin B-12
Hi Vijay, thanks for your question. Vitamin B12 is stored in the body and relatively well regulated, there should not be any harm in having high levels. Also, there do not appear to be any studies done on the correlation of Erythrocyte sedimentation rate and levels of vitamin B12. This study, however, suggests that hemoglobin concentration negatively correlates with the Erythrocyte sedimentation rate.
Posted on 2012-03-17 15:03:53
Name:Steve
Location:Yaounde-Cameroon
Subject:B12 and Virility in Men
Hello, I read in an article that a deficiency in vitamin B can seriously work against male libido. I therefore wish to find out from you:
1- If truely vitamin B is related to male virility.
2 - If yes, is it vitamin B12?
3 - In case it is not vitamin B12, which vitamin B then?
4 - Any advice on the best vitamins necessary to enhance male libido?
I highly await your reply, as well as those from any other person who can help me. Thanks.
Posted on 2012-03-20 19:57:25
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Virility in Men
Hi Steve, thanks for your questions. Basically no B vitamin has been shown to affect virility or libido. Vitamin B12 is necessary to prevent anemia (weakness, fatigue) and so can be thought to prevent impotence in that sense. In terms of enhancing male libido some studies have found evidence that zinc can boost male libido and virilty. However, this has only been shown for men with Uremia (kidney failure). Still, eating more foods high in zinc might be worth a try. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-03-21 18:35:14
Name:Jaime
Location:California
Subject:B12 Shots and Acne
I have had to start taking B12 shots for the last several months due to low levels and absorption issues. I am on a once a month shot now. I have noticed the last couple of months I am breaking out like a teenager. :-( Do you think it is the shots or just a coincidence in timing? I have nice skin for the most part..only an occasional pimple, but this is really bad! I am tempted to not do the shots anymore but also need the vitamin?
Posted on 2012-03-28 04:16:52
Name:Jim Simpson
Location:Fort Erie, Ont
Subject:B12
How effective is a B12 injection from a Dr? I understand it is a good boost for metabolism aiding in weight loss?
Posted on 2012-03-28 05:49:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 Shots

Jamie: Thanks for your question. This study suggests that high doses of vitamin B6 or vitamin B12 can cause breakouts of acne which fade shortly after treatment is stopped. You should discuss with your healthcare provider what is best, but should probably keep taking vitamin b12 shots till they are no longer needed.

Jim: Thanks for your question. A vitamin B12 shot is a very effective and direct way to boost your vitamin B12 levels, however, this study suggests that high oral doses of vitamin B12 (1000 mcg - 2000 mcg) administered daily, then weekly, then monthly, can be just as effective. Vitamin b12 supplements can also be cheaper than shots! Vitamin B12 is essential for maintaining healthy energy levels, but is not directly related to metabolism or weight loss.

Posted on 2012-03-28 15:16:42
Name:Kristina
Location:Toronto
Subject:B12 shots not working?
I've been on the B12 shots for about 6-8 months now and I feel that they're not working anymore. My Dr. is aware of my concern, but doesn't seem to be concerned about it right now. It was 3 months between shots and he said that was why I was feeling sluggish. I'm bad at taking pills, so I need options. In the summer, my levels will be checked again, but I was told last year that they were pretty low. What can I do? Now it's a month after my last shot, and I don't feel any different. A lot of the foods on the list I will not eat. So I'm wondering what I can eat since I am extremely picky. I eat shrimp, but I notice it's not on the list.
Posted on 2012-04-16 22:05:13
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 shots not working?
Hi Kristina, sorry to hear about the shots, hopefully you will have higher levels at your next test. To answer your question, 4 large shrimp (22g) provide around 0.33μg (6%DV) (nutrition facts) and so are a decent source of vitamin B12, but not the best. You can use the nutrient ranking tool to find other foods high in vitamin B12 that might suit your taste. Also, did you consider cereals high in vitamin B12? Or maybe vitamin water? These are some suggestions of fortified foods, compare food labels of what you already eat to see if there is a similar product fortified with vitamin B12. Hope those suggestions help!
Posted on 2012-04-16 22:05:13
Name:Naziya
Location:London
Subject:Feel Weak And Tired
Feel weak. And tired. Also loss of appetite and at times dizzy n chest pain. And I gain weight by hardly eating. Doctor says anemia. But it seems to be something else.
Posted on 2012-04-20 10:02:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Feel Weak And Tired
Hi Naziya, sorry to hear of your symptoms. Did you get your thyroid checked? It sounds like you may have Hypothyroidism.
Posted on 2012-04-20 10:18:10
Name:Helpful Dude
Location:Georgia USA
Subject:B12, hypothyroidism, etc
Hi all, I enjoy discussing health problems and possible solutions with my friends of all ages. Basically for the gwomenout who posted, you should go see a OB/GYN (obstetric / gynecologist) doctor and get a full blood and hormone screening. The OB/GYN is a great place to start, as they will check hormone levels, B vitamin levels, D vitamin levels, mineral levels, thyroid levles, etc, as well as a physical examination. My friends have encountered Vitamin D deficiency, hypothryoidism, diabetes, and other diseases either individually or more than one condition at the same time. A full thyroid screen is necessary because some people do not utilize T4 properly. Antyway, good luck to all of you, and don't forget to utilize your doctors!
Posted on 2012-04-29 20:39:43
Name:Rocio
Location:Belize
Subject:Vitiligo & B12
Hi, I recently read that vitB12 & folic acid is a good treatment for Vitiligo. I want to know if this is a good combination. I have had vitiligo for about 10yrs now. Please advise.
Posted on 2012-05-28 19:50:46
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Vitiligo & Vitamin B12
Hi Rocio, thanks for your question. Vitiligo is associated with pernicious anemia (fatigue/tiredness), which can be caused from a deficiency in vitamin B12 and/or folate (B9). More studies need to be done on the effect of vitamin B12 and folate to help with vitiligo. In either case, it is safe for you to increase your consumption of vitamin B12 and folate to see what happens.
Posted on 2012-05-29 02:45:56
Name:Maria
Location:Australia
Subject:MS and vitamin B12 deficiency
Hi, I was wondering if the sympyoms of MS could be the same as those of vitamin B12 deficiency, such as weakness, numbness, hearing issues (basically neurological symptoms) and if vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms would show up in an MRI scan as lesions? My quesion is basically whether MS could be mistaken for vitamin B12 deficiency?
Posted on 2012-07-16 11:01:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: MS and vitamin B12 deficiency
Hi Maria, thanks for your question. Some of the symptoms of MS do overlap with vitamin B12 deficiency. The MRI will not really tell you much regarding B12, but a simple blood test can detect a vitamin B12 deficiency and will be the best way to find out. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-07-17 02:51:55
Name:Ladi
Location:Canada
Subject:Vitamin B12 (Methyl vs Cyano)
I fully agree with you regarding the deficiencies of B12. However, there is a great difference in between vitamins B12. The good one is Methyl-cobalamin, the bad one (cheep garbage you can buy everywhere) is the Cyano-cobalamin. BTW you do not need extra vitamin B9 - Folate (folic acid) supplements, unless you are pregnant or breast feeding mother. According to late research it may cause cancer.
Posted on 2012-07-27 12:57:06
Name:Sophia
Location:York
Subject:B12 & active lifestyle query
Hi, I was diagnosed as b12 deficiency due to my diet (cannot have lactose/dairy). I've been having the injections and feel great but I have an active job and have started back at the gym to increase my energy and stamina. I'm just wondering if this will effect how often I need the injections because this time, just over 2 months since my injection, I felt ready for my next dose. Thank you for your help.
Posted on 2012-10-24 13:17:56
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 & active lifestyle query
Hi Sophia, thanks for your question. There have been no studies, and there is no evidence to show that leading an active lifestyle depletes your stores of vitamin B12. So it is unlikely that your recent exercise is causing you to have less vitamin B12.
Posted on 2012-10-24 17:34:30
Name:David
Location:USA
Subject:B12 in Cultured Food
What about vitamin B12 in cultured food? My organic raw kombucha says it has 20 percent DV in one bottle.
Posted on 2012-11-20 03:34:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:B12 in Cultured Food
Hi David, thanks for your question. Studies show that while vitamin B12 is synthisized by bacteria, it rarely reaches the concentration in fermented plant foods needed to meet even 1% of the DV. It is likely that your Kambucha is fortified with vitamin B12. Check the ingredients label for "Cyanocobalamin".
Posted on 2012-11-20 23:41:43
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:Turkey Liverwurst
Is there a way to find out the B12 content of Wellshire Farm's All Natural Turkey Liverwurst? I would like to get my daily B12 from turkey liverwurst rather than from turkey liver if it doesn't involve a great amount. Turkey liver will provide 100% of the daily recommended B12 in just 10 grams so I know the amount of turkey liverwurst needed to achieve this will be more. How much more is what I don't know.
Posted on 2012-12-28 19:12:57
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Turkey Liverwurst
Hi Leo, thanks for your question. Pork liverwurst provides 224% DV of vitamin B12 in 100 grams, so 50 grams would provide ~112% DV. From this information, you can assume that around 50 grams of turkey liverwurst should provide your recommended daily requirement of vitamin B12. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2012-12-28 21:37:14
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:RE: Turkey Liverwurst
Thank you very much for your reply. I've recently been informed that Wellshire Farm's All Natural Turkey Liverwurst contains 12.16 micrograms (200% DV) of vitamin B12 per 56 gram serving. So 9 to 14 grams of it should be able to supply 2 to 3 micrograms (~50% DV). I hope this information will be of some use to others as well.
Posted on 2012-12-29 21:59:53
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:B12 RDA and DV
One more question about something that's got me a bit confused.

According to the U.S. Office of Dietary Supplements the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is the average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals. The RDA of B12 for an adult is 2.4 mcg.

On the other hand, DV = Daily Value. DVs were developed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to help consumers determine the level of various nutrients in a standard serving of food in relation to their approximate requirement for it. The DV for vitamin B12 is 6.0 mcg.

What's the difference between RDA and DV since the B12 for one is 2.4 mcg and the B12 for the other is 6 mcg? I see the definitions but I'm not understanding the difference and therefore the resulting difference in the B12 values.

Posted on 2012-12-30 09:17:16
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 RDA and DV
Hi Leo, thanks for your question. It is true that the RDA and DV do differ. There are several possible reasons. First, the amount of B12 you absorb from any food varies, in the case of B12 it is ok to eat extra micrograms to ensure sufficient B12. Further, B12 is well regulated and stored by the body. A DV of 6 micrograms can help build stores. In the end, there is not a lot of rhyme and reason to these guidelines. The DV just helps consumers gauge how good each food is for providing a specific nutrient. Even when nutrition facts are calculated, averages across several samples are used. So it is best to always take a general look at these numbers and think of them in relative terms. Liverwurst is a much better source of b12 than a cup of milk for example.
Posted on 2012-12-30 10:31:04
Name:Leo
Location:USA
Subject:RE: RDA and DV
Pertaining to my confusion over RDA and DV differences, I have found something from the Office of dietary supplements that is most helpful in clearing up the matter for me. Based on the following, it would appear that the RDA values are the more accurate medically determined amounts to consider since the DVs are a government conceived one size fits all generalization for purposes of consumers.

RDAs are recommended daily intakes of a nutrient for healthy people. They tell you how much of that nutrient you should get on average each day. RDAs are developed by the Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies. They vary by age, gender and whether a woman is pregnant or breastfeeding; so there are many different RDAs for each nutrient.

DVs, established by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are used on food and dietary supplement labels. For each nutrient, there is one DV for all people ages 4 years and older. Therefore, DVs aren't recommended intakes, but suggest how much of a nutrient a serving of the food or supplement provides in the context of a total daily diet. DVs often match or exceed the RDAs for most people, but not in all cases.

Posted on 2013-01-01 10:17:23
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: RDA and DV
Hi Leo, thanks for your comment. People should certainly get to know what their RDA is, however, even the RDA is a generalization. As nutrition gets more personalized, people have to experiment to find their own optimal values. Till then, both the RDA and DV stand as general measurement to asses nutrient content in foods. Your question and answer will be added to the FAQ section of this site.
Posted on 2013-01-01 12:50:19
Name:George
Location:Victoria
Subject:B12 and Metformin
Hi, I'm 63 years of age, a smoker, drink very little alcohol, and I have type 2 diabetes (diagnosed 10 years ago) which is reasonably under control. My numbers range from 5.6 to 12. The numbers stabilize considerably after exercise/yard work. My last check up revealed extremely low LDL (.6) and everything else in very good condition.

I take 500mg of metformin twice a day and 5mg of glyburied three x/day. Over the past few years, however; I have noticed increased pain, ("pins and needles") numbness, and tingling in my feet and hands, with the loss of sensitivity in my feet and ankles.

Other conditions are:
Loss of appetite
Loss of weight (40 lbs over 18 months)
Pale skin tone
Weakness in legs and unstable walking
forgetfulness, confusion, and mild depression

I'm wondering if these conditions/symptoms are a result of aging and/or my diabetes or if the above conditions and nerve damage are a lack of Vitamin B12.

I have read that a deficiency of B12 can mimic diabetes conditions, (particularly nerve damage). If this is true. Should I try a multi-vitamin with B12 and what is the recommended dosage? Thanks... I look forward to hearing your comments.

Posted on 2013-01-28 18:34:09
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Metformin
Hi George, thanks for your questions. While your symptoms may not exactly be indicative of a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is possible. If you can, get your vitamin B12 level tested before trying supplements, however, you can also try supplements and see if you feel better. Interestingly, metformin interferes with vitamin B12 absorption by antagonizing a calcium-dependent ileal membrane. As such, taking calcium supplements can help to boost your absorption of vitamin B12 while on metformin. Based on this evidence, you could try to take a calcium supplement in addition to a vitamin B12 supplement.
Posted on 2013-01-28 18:50:26
Name:Heather
Location:USA
Subject:B12 in Quail and Quail eggs
Wonderful article! I have pernicious anemia, so it's good to see an accurate article. (Diagnosed at age 22. My sister almost died from p.a. at age 20 because it was undiagnosed for 8 years. It runs in our family, unfortunately. But because it's a rare disease, the doctors didn't consider it and called her a hypochondriac instead. Until she found Dr. Tettamanti who knew it was either advanced p.a. or syphilis, due to her symptoms and weight loss - and then by testing her, of course.)

I was wondering if you know how much B12 would be in quail and quail eggs? I'm thinking of raising organically-fed quail for my family, and getting B12 would be a nice bonus. Thank you!

Posted on 2013-02-19 15:02:19
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 in Quail and Quail eggs
Hi Heather, thanks for your comments, perspective, and questions. A whole uncooked quail (109 grams) provides 0.47μg (8% DV) of vitamin b12. A quail egg (9g) provides 0.14μg (2% DV). This is about the same b12 as a chicken egg, gram per gram. Here are the complete nutrition facts for quail, and the comparison of a quail egg vs a chicken egg.
Posted on 2013-02-19 17:01:14
Name:Michelle
Location:San Francisco
Subject:B12 and Intrinsic Factor for Absorption
I was diagnosed with extremely low levels of both vitamin B12 & D3... I give myself a weekly shot of B12 and 2000iu's of D3 daily (gel cap form). It's been almost two months on this regimen, but I don't feel any better?! How long before I might see some improvement? I'm very sensitive with supplements and drugs, so I thought I would feel better by now? I eat meat, chicken, fish, seafood and dairy... So it's not a dietary thing. My doctor thinks I may not produce the intrinsic factor needed for the absorption of the B12...Thanks for your help.
Posted on 2013-02-26 02:07:22
Name:William
Location:Knoxville
Subject:B12 and Neutropenia
Hi, my wife is 59 and just had some blood work done. They say she has neutropenia. Her white blood count was 2.5. Some of the causes of this is chemo, spleen, and some others I don't remember.I also see b12 deficiency was also listed as one. I want them to check for b12 deficiency but now they want to go and do a bone marrow test. Fruits and vegetables are 90% of our diet, no dairy. Have you had any experience with b12 deficiency and neutropenia and if so how common is it.She has had very low white blood counts for over 35 years. She is 5 6" and 123 pounds and never gets sick but doctors want to start all other tests. I believe if it's not broke don't try and fix it. Thanks, William
Posted on 2013-09-27 09:36:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: B12 and Neutropenia
Hi William, thanks for your question, and sorry to hear of your wife's condition. Not sure how often nuetropenia is caused by vitamin deficiency, but it is possible, especially considering your mostly plant based diet (B12 is naturally found only in animal foods). Nuetropenia can be caused by a deficiency of vitamin B12, vitamin B9 (folate), and possibly copper. Is your wife already taking a vitamin supplement? If not, starting one for vitamin B12 and B9 would be a good idea. Eating foods high in those vitamins is also good, but may not be enough at this point. Try to convince doctors to try test for vitamins, and try the supplements first before doing other tests. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-09-28 21:05:11
Name:Allen
Location:FL
Subject:In response to Alexandra from Ohio...
Your comment bothered me for the fact, you really didn't read "why" there is a warning about the cholesterol and the foods listed... The warning was for people who may already be at risk of a heart attack or heart disease... Those foods are not good in high quantities cause they are much higher in cholesterol... It's the difference between consuming a Rib-eye Steak Vs a Sirloin. Sirloin would be the better choice. Still get B12, just less cholesterol. The warning never said don't eat Cholesterol, just monitor it. Learn your facts before you make uneducated comments, and along with not reading to far into something that was never stated... Thanks.
Posted on 2013-10-09 18:04:41
Name:Honey
Location:Fresno, CA
Subject:My experience as a Vegetarian
This is for all the vegetarians out there. I've been a vegetarian for the past couple of years. In general I try to eat a healthy diet, but even with the best planning I don't always get all the nutrients I need in my diet. The easiest way for me to make sure I'm getting everything I need is to take supplements. I take a multivitamin and sometimes additional supplements, depending on my energy level, mood, etc.

Finding the right balance has really helped me. I now hardly ever get sick, I have a good amount of energy and I have good mental focus.

They say the best way to get proper nutrition is through a balanced diet, but sometimes that is hard especially when a lot of the food we eat today is depleted in vital nutrients. Don't be afraid to take supplements if you need it.

Posted on 2013-11-07 17:54:48
Name:Ashley
Location:USA
Subject:Missing Link in B12 Deficiencies
This is for everyone with B12 deficiencies or symptoms. There is a very common genetic defect that can cause you not to absorb B12 called MTHFR. People can have the c677, a1298 or both. I'm very surprised no one on this page has mentioned this so far. My doctor said most other doctors don't check for it so read on and ask specifically to be tested for it. It could change your life.

I was having some of the B12 deficiency symptoms so I went to my doctor. He did a panel of blood work and found I had the c677 MTHFR genetic mutation. Now I'm not just treating my symptoms, I can treat the problem causing them. Most people who have it require B12 injections and feel much better. However I had an almost allergic reaction to them and got jittery and crazy feeling. We're still working on how exactly to fix me but I'm happy that I'm no longer guessing with trial and error. Correctly adjusting my diet to exactly fit my condition has definitely improved my daily life. I hope some good information can be added to this page to encourage people to check this as a possible cause to their problems. Hopefully this helps a lot of people!

Posted on 2013-12-04 11:03:44
Name:Jillian Murphy
Subject:Severe spots and mouth ulcers with B12 deficiency and alcohol
Hi my daughter has b12 deficiency and when she drinks even a small amount of alcohol she gets severe very painful spots around her mouth and ulcers inside her mouth can anyone advise on anything which may help with this?
Posted on 2013-12-29 04:32:00
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: Severe spots with B12 deficiency and alcohol
Hi Jillian, thanks for your question. It seems unlikely that alcohol would trigger ulcers to form, but it could certainly make your daughter aware of existing ulcers. Adequate levels of Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate) are necessary to prevent mouth ulcers. Beyond that, your daughter may be allergic to alcohol in some way. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2013-12-29 18:09:14
Name:Peter
Location:Alaska
Subject:Neuropathy and B12 Shots
I had neuropathy associated with chemo and recently had a vitamin B-12 shot which eliminated the tingle in a matter of a few hours. I was told no amount of vitamins would be sufficient to keep my levels high enough to keep the tingle at bay. Truth or not? I have learned to give myself shots once a month.
Posted on 2014-01-09 13:53:29
Name:Abby
Location:Canada
Subject:High level of B12
I recently had blood work done; and my Doc said my B12 was 812 which is above normal. He told me to cut down on protein rich food. Should I be worried with this high level of Vit in my system?
Posted on 2014-01-11 09:44:24
Name:HealthAliciousNess
Subject:RE: High level of B12
Hi Abby, vitamin B12 is well regulated by the body, and excess vitamin B12 is typically stored in the liver, thus vitamin B12 toxicity is rare, almost unheard of. The U.S. National Library of Medicine gives the normal range of vitamin B12 as 200 - 900 pg/mL (picograms per milliliter). If you are at 812, you are likely ok. A high vitamin B12 level may have more to do with a healthy liver than what you eat, so if you are really worried, you may do some tests on your liver function, but likely you are ok and don't need to worry. Hope that helps.
Posted on 2014-01-15 13:51:52

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