Vitamin B12 is a vitamin. It can be found in foods such as meat, fish, and dairy products. It can also be made in a laboratory.

Foods High in Vitamin B12:

  • Mackerel
  • Swiss Cheese
  • Clams
  • Beef Liver
  • Crabs
  • Bran cereals
  • Skim Milk
  • Eggs



  • Vitamin B12 deficiency, a condition in which vitamin B12 levels in the blood are too low.
  • Pernicious anemia, a serious type of anemia that is due to vitamin B12 deficiency and is found mostly in older people. For this purpose, people use either a supplement that is taken by mouth or a gel that is applied inside the nose.

Vitamin B12 is also used for:

  • Memory loss
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Boosting mood
  • Energy
  • Concentration
  • Immune system
  • Slowing aging
  • Heart disease
  • Lowering high homocysteine levels (which may contribute to heart disease)
  • Male infertility
  • Diabetes
  • Sleep disorders
  • Depression
  • Mental disorders
  • Weak bones (osteoporosis)
  • Swollen tendons
  • AIDS
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Asthma
  • Allergies
  • A skin disease called vitiligo
  • Preventing cervical and other cancers
  • Skin infections.
  • Myotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Preventing the eye disease age-related macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Lyme disease
  • Gum disease
  • Ringing in the ears
  • Liver and kidney disease
  • Protection against the poisons and allergens in tobacco smoke.
  • Vitamin B12 is applied to the skin either alone or in combination with avocado oil for psoriasis and eczema.
  • Vitamin B12 is frequently used in combination with other B vitamins in various vitamin B complex products.


  • Treatment and prevention of vitamin B12 deficiency, and diseases caused by low vitamin B12 levels.
  • Treatment of pernicious anemia.
  • Reducing a condition related to heart disease called “hyperhomocysteinemia” when taken with folic acid and vitamin B6.
  • Age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Some research shows that taking vitamin B12 with other vitamins including folic acid and vitamin B6 might help prevent getting the eye disease called age-related macular degeneration.


  • Pregnancy and breast-feeding: Vitamin B12 is LIKELY SAFE for pregnant or breast-feeding women when taken by mouth in the amounts recommended. The recommended amount for pregnant women is 2.6 mcg per day. Breast-feeding women should take no more than 2.8 mcg per day. Don’t take larger amounts. The safety of larger amounts is unknown.
  • High numbers of red blood cells (polycythemia vera): The treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency can unmask the symptoms of polycythemia vera.
  • Abnormal red blood cells (megaloblastic anemia): Megaloblastic anemia is sometimes corrected by treatment with vitamin B12. However, this can have very serious side effects. Don’t attempt vitamin B12 therapy without close supervision by your healthcare provider.
  • Leber’s disease, a hereditary eye disease: Do not take vitamin B12 if you have this disease. It can seriously harm the optic nerve, which might lead to blindness.
  • Allergy or sensitivity to cobalt or cobalamin: Do not use vitamin B12 if you have this condition.
  • Post-surgical stent placement: Avoid using a combination of vitamin B12, folate, and vitamin B6 after receiving a coronary stent. This combination may increase the risk of blood vessel narrowing.


Major Interaction Do not take this combination:

  • Chloramphenicol interacts with VITAMIN B12: Vitamin B12 is important for producing new blood cells. Chloramphenicol might decrease new blood cells. Taking chloramphenicol for a long time might decrease the effects of vitamin B12 on new blood cells. But most people only take chloramphenicol for a short time so this interaction isn’t a big problem.

Other Names

B-12, B12, B Complex Vitamin, Bedumil, Cobalamin, Cobalamine, Cobamin, Cobamine, Complexe Vitaminique B, Cyanocobalamin, Cyanocobalamine, Cyanocobalaminum, Cycobemin, Hydroxocobalamin, Hydroxocobalamine, Hydroxocobalaminum, Hydroxocobemine, Hydroxocobémine, Idrossocobalamina, Methylcobalamin, Méthylcobalamine, Vitadurin, Vitadurine, Vitamina B12, Vitamine B12.


Source: WebMD, “Vitamin B12”,

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