Best Way to Get B-12

Image Credit: dominiquegodbout / Flickr

What is the best way to get vitamin B12?

I recommend:

  • at least 2,000 mcg (µg) cyanocobalamin once each week, ideally as a chewable, sublingual, or liquid supplement taken on an empty stomach
    • or at least 50 mcg daily of supplemental cyanocobalamin (you needn’t worry about taking too much)
    • or a serving of B12-fortified foods three times a day (at each meal), each containing at least 190 percent of the Daily Value listed on the nutrition facts label (based on the new labeling mandated to start January 1, 2020—the target is 4.5 mcg three times a day). 

Those over 65 years of age should take at least 1,000 mcg (µg) cyanocobalamin every day.

And, here’s a tip: If you’re experiencing deficiency symptoms, the best test is a urine MMA—not serum B12 level).

This video goes into more detail on the best type of vitamin B12 supplementation:

Watch this video to learn more about food sources of vitamin B12:

To learn more about vitamin B12, visit our topic page, which covers a broad range of the latest evidence-based research.

Image credit: dominiquegodbout / Flickr

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Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


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