Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
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List of Foods High in Vitamin B12
|Vitamin B12 per 3oz Serving||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|7829% DV (187.9μg)||4120% DV (98.9μg)|
Other Shellfish High in Vitamin B12-1020% DV in 3oz of oysters
-850% DV in 3oz of mussels
-76% DV in 3oz of scallops
3oz is equal to roughly 3 oysters, 5 mussels, and 10 small scallops respectively.
See all fish high in vitamin b12.
|Vitamin B12 per 3oz Serving||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|3035% DV (72.8μg)||3571% DV (85.7μg)|
Liver Products High in Vitamin B12-308% DV in a 1/4 cup of liverwurst spread
-44% DV in 1 tblsp of chicken liver pate
#3: Fish (Mackerel)
|Vitamin B12 per 6oz Fillet||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|1346% DV (32.3μg)||792% DV (19μg)|
Other Fish High in Vitamin B12-771% DV in a 6oz tuna fillet
-375% DV in a 5oz trout fillet
-39% DV in 1oz of smoked salmon
See the list of canned fish high in vitamin B12.
#4: King Crab
|Vitamin B12 in 1 Crab Leg||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|642% DV (15.4μg)||479% DV (11.5μg)|
Other Crustaceans High in Vitamin B12-368% DV in 3oz of Dungeness crab
-187% DV in 1 cup of canned blue crab
-110% DV in 3oz of crayfish
-59% DV in 3oz of shrimp
-51% DV in 3oz of lobster
#5: Beef (Skirt Steak)
|Vitamin B12 per 6oz Steak||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|533% DV (12.8μg)||314% DV (7.5μg)|
More Red Meat High in Vitamin B12-112% DV in 3oz of broiled beef round
-101% DV in 3oz of lean roast buffalo
-96% DV in 3oz of roast lamb shank
See all meats high in vitamin B12.
#6: Fortified Cereals
|Vitamin B12 per 3/4 Cup||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|254% DV (6.1μg)||875% DV (21μg)|
#7: Fortified Tofu
|Vitamin B12 per Cup||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|137% DV (3.3μg)||60% DV (1.5μg)|
See more vegetarian sources of vitamin B12.
#8: Low-Fat Milk
|Vitamin B12 per 16oz Glass||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|108% DV (2.6μg)||22% DV (0.5μg)|
More Dairy Foods High in Vitamin B12-57% DV in a cup of Low-Fat Yogurt
-108% DV in a 16oz glass of low fat milk
-96% DV in a 16oz glass of whole milk
See the full list of dairy foods high in vitamin B12.
#9: Swiss Cheese
|Vitamin B12 per Oz||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|36% DV (0.9μg)||128% DV (3.1μg)|
Other Cheeses High in Vitamin B12-27% DV per oz of mozzarella
-22% DV per 1/2 cup of cottage cheese
-20% DV per oz of feta
See the list of high vitamin B12 cheeses.
|Vitamin B12 in 1 Large Egg||Vitamin B12 per 100g|
|23% DV (0.6μg)||46% DV (1.1μg)|
Eggs are also a high protein food.
Printable One Page Sheet
High Vitamin B12 Foods by Nutrient Density (Vitamin B12 per Gram)
|#1 Clams||100 grams||4120% DV|
|#2 Octopus||100 grams||1500% DV|
|#3 Shellfish (Oysters)||100 grams||1200% DV|
|#4 Mussels||100 grams||1000% DV|
|#5 Pork Liver Sausage||100 grams||837% DV|
|#6 Fish (Mackerel)||100 grams||792% DV|
|#7 Kippered Herring||100 grams||779% DV|
|#8 Liverwurst Spread||100 grams||561% DV|
|#9 King Crab||100 grams||479% DV|
|#10 Tuna||100 grams||453% DV|
Other Vitamin B12 Rich Foods
|#1 Whelk||3oz||642% DV|
|#2 New England Clam Chowder||per cup||478% DV|
|#3 Veggie Burgers||1 burger pattie||366% DV|
|#4 Manhattan Clam Chowder||1 cup||330% DV|
|#5 Energy Bars||1 bar||311% DV|
|#6 Liver Sausage||1oz||238% DV|
|#7 Ostrich||3oz||228% DV|
|#8 Deer||3oz||128% DV|
|#9 Salami||per 3oz||99% DV|
|#10 Scallops||per 3oz||76% DV|
|#11 Rice Milk||1 cup||63% DV|
|#12 Buttermilk||1 cup||47% DV|
|#13 Turkey||3oz||36% DV|
|#14 Luncheon Meat||1 slice||19% DV|
|#15 Whey Powder||per tblsp||7% DV|
Sources for Vegan and Vegetarian B12
Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal foods (meat, cheese, fish, milk, eggs). See our article on vegetarian vitamin B12 sources to find both natural vegetarian foods (milk and eggs), and fortified b12 foods (soymilk, tofu, vitamin water).
How much Vitamin B12 do You Need?
The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for Vitamin B12 ranges from 0.4 to 2.8μg per day. The daily value for vitamin B12 is 2.4μg per day, which has been recently reduced from 6μg per the USDA food labeling standards.
|0-6 months*||0.4 μg||0.4 μg|
|7-12 months*||0.5 μg||0.5 μg|
|1-3 years||0.9 μg||0.9 μg|
|4-8 years||1.2 μg||1.2 μg|
|9-13 years||1.8 μg||1.8 μg|
|14+ years||2.4 μg||2.4 μg|
*The amounts for children less than 12 months old is the adequate intake (AI) not RDA.
Source: Office of Dietary Supplements.
People at Risk of a Vitamin B12 Deficiency
- Older Adults With Atrophic Gastritis - Atrophic Gastritis is a condition affecting 30-50% of adults over age 50 and hampers their ability to absorb vitamin B12 from natural foods. Supplements are recommended for people in this group. (2)
- People with Pernicious Anemia - A condition that affects 1-2% of adults and can only effectively be treated with vitamin B12 injections or shots. (2)
- Vegans and Vegetarians - Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products, however there are some natural vegetarian foods high in vitamin B12. (2)
- Pregnant and Lactating Women who are Vegetarian or Vegan (2)
- People taking Certain Medications (2)
- Proton pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole (Prilosec) and lansoprazole (Prevacid), which are used to treat gastric or pepetic ulcer disease can inhibit absorption of vitamin B12.
- Metformin - often used for type II diabetes, Metformin may interfere with vitamin B12 absorption in certain people.
- Histamine antagonists, such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), and ranitidine (Zantac), used to treat peptic ulcer disease, can reduce absorption of vitamin B12 by slowing the release of hydrochloric acid into the stomach.
- Bacteriostatic Antibiotics, like Chloramphenicol (Chloromycetin), can interfere with the red blood cell response to vitamin b12 supplements.
- Anticonvulsants - Anticonvulsants have been shown to interfere with vitamin B12 and vitamin B9 (Folate) metabolism. One study found that people taking folate supplements and anticonvulsants experienced a 50% decline in Vitamin B12 blood levels.
Sublingual B12 or B12 Injections?
Both oral supplements and sublingual lozenges have equal absorption of vitamin B12. Due to Intrinsic Factor only a small percentage of vitamin B12 from supplements is absorbed. For example, just 10μg out of a 500μg dose of vitamin B12. For this reason, doctors may suggest B12 shots or injections, which will directly be absorbed and incorporated into the human body. (2)
Vitamin B12 is added to foods as cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin. Evidence suggests that either form is equally bioavailable and digestible. (2)
Health Benefits of Vitamin B12
- Protection Against Heart Disease - Adequate levels of vitamins B12, B6, and B9 have been shown to lower levels of a protein in the blood: homocysteine. Lower levels of homocysteine has been shown to improve endothelial function, which in turn may boost cardiovascular health and decrease risk of heart attacks. (2)
- Protect and Repair DNA to Reduce Cancer Risk and Slow Aging - Absorption of vitamin b12 and Folate (B9) is essential for DNA metabolism and maintenance which helps to prevent cancer and slow aging. (4)
- Protect Against Dementia and Cognitive Decline - Lack of vitamin B12 increases homocysteine levels, which in turn decreases the body's ability to metabolize neurotransmitters. Due to limitations with creating long-term controlled studies in human populations, no definite link between increased vitamin B12 levels and cognitive function has been found, however, several observational studies suggest increased homocysteine levels increase the incidence of Alzheimer's disease and dementia, and low levels of vitamin B12 has been associated with cognitive decline. (2)
- Alzheimer's Protection - A study has shown that a deficiency in Vitamin B12 and Folate (B9) can double the risk of Alzheimer's Disease. (2)
- Energy and Endurance - A lack of vitamin B12 will lead to anemia and weakness. Adequate levels of vitamin B12 are necessary to maintain normal energy levels. Claims of vitamin B12 as an energy or athletic enhancer remain unproven. (2)
More Vitamin B Foods
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From the Nutrient Ranking Tool
- Foods High in Vitamin B12
- Foods Low in Vitamin B12
- Vegetarian Foods High in Vitamin B12
- Dairy High in Vitamin B12
- Breakfast Cereals High in Vitamin B12
- Fast Foods High in Vitamin B12
View more food groups with the nutrient ranking tool, or see ratios with the nutrient ratio tool.
Data Sources and References
- Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease
- Office Of Dietary Supplements Fact Sheet
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28.
- New FDA Daily Values
- The role of folic acid and Vitamin B12 in genomic stability of human cells
- Patient acceptance of intranasal cobalamin gel for vitamin B12 replacement therapy.