Benefits: Promotes normal growth. Treats pernicious anemia and some types of nerve damage. May help to prevent mental and nervous disorders. Improves the body's immune system. Improves memory and increases energy. Good food sources: Shellfish, meat, cold water fish, milk products, eggs (vitamin B-12 is not found in plants).
Good food sources: Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods including fish, milk and milk products, eggs, meat, and poultry. Fortified breakfast cereals are an excellent source of vitamin B12 and a particularly valuable source for vegetarians.
Cautions: Consult your doctor if you have gout or Leber's disease.
Substance interactions:These may reduce the effect of the vitamin: aminosalicylaes, vitamin C (take 1 hour apart), chloramphenicol, cholestyramine, colchicine, folic acid, oral neomycin, extended-release potassium, tobacco.
Signs of toxicity: If taken with mega-doses of vitamin C, vitamin B-12 may cause nosebleed, ear bleeding, dry mouth. Otherwise very low toxicity.
* Strict vegetarians should take supplements. Vitamin B-12 is
vital to maintaining the nervous system and promoting growth in
* Deficiencies have been linked to high homocysteine levels in
the blood, which has been linked to heart disease and a possible
link to Alzheimer's disease.
* Several forms available: Shots, oral tablets, sublingual tablets
(placed under the tongue), and nasal spray. The sublingual tablets
are usually recommended for those who have trouble absorbing the
* The body breaks down B-12 for storage in the liver and muscles
till needed. People over 60 usually don't secrete enough gastric acid for breaking down meats and dairy products. They should consult their doctor about supplements.