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RDI of Vitamin B12

To B or Not to B: Sources For Vitamin B12

When I was in college, I went through a vegetarian phase and my mom flipped out saying I wasn't going to get enough vitamin B12. While it's true that this vitamin is mostly found in meat and fish, it's also found in dairy products, eggs, and nutritional yeast as well.

Why do we need B12? It's necessary to maintain healthy nerves, red blood cells, and to metabolize protein. Your body needs about 2.4 mcg of B12 a day, and since your body can store several years' worth of this vitamin, a deficiency is rare unless you're not getting it in your diet.

So how much vitamin B12 is found in the foods you eat? To find out

Food Amount Amount of B12
Chicken breast 1 piece .6 mcg
Turkey (dark meat) 3 ounces .3 mcg
Shellfish 3 ounces 84 mcg (whoa!)
Shrimp 3 ounces 1 mcg
Trout 3 ounces 5.4 mcg
Haddock 3 ounces 1.2 mcg
Tuna 3 ounces 1 mcg
Pork 3 ounces .6 mcg
Beef 3 ounces 2.4 mcg
Plain yogurt 1 cup 1.4 mcg
Milk 1 cup .9 mcg
Cheddar cheese 1 ounce .2 mcg
Egg 1 whole .6 mcg
Red Star nutritional yeast 1 tbsp 4 mcg
Fortified cereal 1/2 cup 2.4 mcg
Fortified soy milk 1 cup 1.2 mcg
Tempeh 1 cup .1 mcg

As you can see, most of the sources of vitamin B12 come from animals, so if you're vegan, it may be a good idea to pick up some B12 supplements.


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