Vitamin B-12 (cobalamin) performs an crucial position in purple blood mobile formation, mobile metabolism, nerve functionality and the generation of DNA, the molecules inside cells that carry genetic information.

Food sources of vitamin B-12 include things like poultry, meat, fish and dairy solutions. Vitamin B-12 is also extra to some foodstuff, these as fortified breakfast cereals, and is out there as an oral complement. Vitamin B-12 injections or nasal spray may well be approved to handle vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Mainly because your system is capable of storing many years’ worth of vitamin B-12, deficiency is unusual. However, if you stick to a vegetarian or vegan eating plan, you may well be prone to deficiency due to the fact plant foodstuff will not contain vitamin B-12. More mature older people and men and women with digestive tract disorders that affect absorption of nutrients also are prone to vitamin B-12 deficiency.

Left untreated, a vitamin B-12 deficiency can lead to anemia, fatigue, muscle weakness, intestinal difficulties, nerve problems and temper disturbances.

The advisable every day sum of vitamin B-12 for older people is two.four micrograms.


Research on the use of vitamin B-12 for precise activities and disorders demonstrates:

  • Coronary heart and blood vessel disorder. Scientists experienced formerly believed that vitamin B-12, when mixed with folic acid (vitamin B-nine) and vitamin B-six, may well avert conditions of the coronary heart and blood vessels by reducing the concentrations of an amino acid in the blood (homocysteine). However, experiments clearly show that the mix of these nutritional vitamins isn’t going to appear to reduce the danger or severity of cardiovascular disorder and stroke.
  • Dementia. Vitamin B-12 deficiency is related with dementia and reduced cognitive functionality, but it really is not obvious whether vitamin B-12 nutritional supplements may well enable avert or handle dementia.
  • Athletic general performance. Except if you have a vitamin B-12 deficiency, there is certainly no evidence that vitamin B-12 nutritional supplements will increase your electrical power or make you a superior athlete.

Our just take

Green light: Generally safe

Generally safe and sound

Most men and women get enough vitamin B-12 from a well balanced eating plan. However, more mature older people, vegetarians, vegans and men and women who have disorders that affect their capacity to take in vitamin B-12 from foodstuff may well advantage from the use of oral nutritional supplements.

Vitamin B-12 nutritional supplements also are advisable for gals who are expecting or breastfeeding solely and stick to vegetarian or vegan weight loss plans.

Basic safety and side effects

When taken at suitable doses, vitamin B-12 nutritional supplements are generally deemed safe and sound. While the advisable every day sum of vitamin B-12 for older people is two.four micrograms, bigger doses have been found to be safe and sound. Your system absorbs only as much as it desires, and any extra passes by way of your urine.

Significant doses of vitamin B-12, these as individuals used to handle a deficiency, may well result in:

  • Headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tiredness or weakness
  • Tingling feeling in hands and toes


Doable interactions include things like:

  • Aminosalicylic acid (Paser). Taking this drug used to handle digestive difficulties may well reduce your body’s capacity to take in vitamin B-12.
  • Colchicine (Colcrys, Mitigare, Gloperba). Taking this anti-inflammatory drug used to avert and handle gout attacks may well minimize your body’s capacity to take in vitamin B-12.
  • Metformin (Glumetza, Fortamet, others). Taking this diabetic issues drug may well reduce your body’s capacity to take in vitamin B-12.
  • Proton pump inhibitors. Taking omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid) or other tummy acid-reducing drugs may well minimize your body’s capacity to take in vitamin B-12.
  • Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) nutritional supplements. Taking vitamin B-12 with vitamin C may well reduce the out there sum of vitamin B-12 in your system. To stay away from this interaction, just take vitamin C two or additional several hours after getting a vitamin B-12 complement.

Your doctor may well suggest transforming drugs or timing doses to offset any potential interactions.