Nutrient to Know: Vitamin B12
There are a lot of misconceptions about this vitamin. Get the facts about B-12.
Less commonly known as "cobalamin" this water-soluble vitamin is almost always found in multi-vitamins and B-complex supplements. Unlike most other water-soluble vitaminss, B-12 requires stomach acid for absorption. It’s also stored within the body for many years, unlike others like riboflavin and thiamin that are quickly passed in the urine.
Your body needs B-12 to help form DNA, to build your nervous system and keep red blood cells healthy. Since the body likes to store B-12, large amounts of supplements are often not necessary – there’s just one catch. B-12 is mostly found in animal products, so folks that follow a long-term vegan diet might need to consider a daily supplement. Since you need stomach acid for absorption, your ability to break it down decreases with age. Folks who take a lots of antacids will also need to up their intake to make sure they're getting enough.
The daily requirement for B-12 is 6 micrograms per day and it can be found in all kinds of foods including daily, meat, fish, eggs and fortified breakfast cereals.