vitamin B12 cyanocobalamin cobalamin
4 min read
Vitamin B12 is the only nutrient that is not readily available from plant-based sources, so extra care needs to be taken to ensure you're meeting your needs. Vitamin B12 is synthesised by bacteria, algae, fungi and other microorganisms...

Plant and animals are not able to make it, but animals do consume these microorganisms and as such it is found in their meat, milks and eggs. So, if you are following a plant-based diet or consume very few animal products, you will need to frequently consume foods fortified with B12, such as plant-based milks, yoghurts, or cereals (check the ingredients list, learn how to read ingredients lists here) or nutritional yeast.


Food sources of vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products and many foods are now also fortified. Some vitamin B12 is found in seaweed, such as nori, but the amounts are too small to make a significant contribution to your daily requirements (and too much seaweed can lead to excessive intake of iodine and salt). Consuming adequate amounts of vitamin B12 in food is the best way to maintain healthy levels, and given the seriousness of deficiencies, many products that are regularly consumed on a vegan diet are now fortified in Australia.


Some examples of vitamin B12 sources of food are: 

  • 100g mussels = 6.3 ug
  • 100g salmon = 2.3 ug
  • 100g beef = 1.8 ug
  • 100g cheddar cheese = 1.7 ug
  • 100g eggs (2 large) = 1.4 ug
  • 100g chicken breast = 0.2 ug


If you do not eat many animal products or B12-fortified foods, we recommend taking a daily supplement or getting regular intramuscular B12 injections from your doctor. If you're following a vegan diet, it's important to monitor the amount of vitamin B12 in your blood with your GP. 


Do you have more questions about vitamin B12 and the requirements for you and your family? Gain access to Accredited Practising Dietitians and Nutritionists to have your questions answered. Join here.

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