When it comes to B vitamins, B12’s popularity is hard to beat. But do you know how much of this energizing vitamin you really need? Or why it’s called B12 when there are only eight B vitamins? These five fast facts will get you up to speed – you might even become a B12 expert!
1. Un-B-lievable benefits: B12 is vital for supporting normal carbohydrate metabolism and energy production, as well as hemoglobin production within red blood cells.*
2. Get it daily: Vitamin B12 is water-soluble, meaning it is not stored in the body and must constantly be replenished, whether through food or both food and supplementation.
3. What’s in a name? The B-vitamin complex was originally thought to be a single compound (vitamin B), but was later discovered to be made up of many different substances, each named with a number. Eventually, scientists narrowed down the list to include only certain substances — which is why the nutrient is named B12, even though there are only 8 B-vitamins!
4. Eat your vitamins: Food sources of vitamin B12 include beef liver, clams, fish, pork, red meat, poultry, eggs, milk and fortified foods such as breakfast cereal. For vegetarians and vegans, nutritional yeast is a popular source of B12.
5. How much do you need? According to the National Institutes of Health, adults and children over the age of 14 should consume 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day — pregnant and lactating women require 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg, respectively.
Bonus fact: B12 can be found in a variety of forms, including capsules, chewable and sublingual tablets, oral sprays, liquids and gummies! Find the form of vitamin B12 that’s right for you.
*This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.