Vitamin B-12, or Cobalamin, is the largest and most complex vitamin currently known to man. A slight deficiency of vitamin B-12 can lead to anemia, fatigue, mania, and depression, while a long term deficiency can potentially cause permanent damage to the brain and central nervous system. Vitamin B-12 can only be manufactured by bacteria and can only be found naturally in animal products, however, synthetic forms are widely available and added to many foods like cereals. Vitamin B-12 can be consumed in large doses because excess is excreted by the body or stored in the liver for use when supplies are scarce. Stores of B-12 can last for up to a year. Below is a list of the top ten vitamin b12 rich foods.
Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
Top 10 Foods Highest in Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin)
1. Clams, Oysters, and Mussel
Shellfish are a great source of vitamin B12 and can be eaten raw, baked, steamed, fried, or made into chowder. In addition to vitamin B12 shellfish are a good source of zinc, copper, and iron. Clams provide the most vitamin B-12 with 98.9μg per 100g serving, accounting for 1648% of the RDA. That is 84μg (1401% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, and 187.9μg (3132% RDA) in 20 small clams, or 9.4μg (156.6 %RDA) in one small clam. Mussels and oysters are also good sources of B12 providing 600% RDA and 400% RDA per 100 gram serving.
Liver is High in A and B12
Often appearing on the culinary scene as pâté, liver can also be prepared steamed or fried with onions and herbs. The liver of most any animal is packed with vitamin B-12, the highest on the list are: Lamb, beef, veal, moose, turkey, duck, and goose respectively. Lamb liver provides 85.7μg (1428% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving, or 72.85μg (230% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving.
3. Caviar (Fish Eggs)
Caviar and fish eggs are most often eaten as a garnish or spread. The eggs of whitefish contain the most vitamin B-12 with 56.4μg (940% RDA) per 100g serving. Caviar contains a third of that with 20μg (333% RDA) of vitamin B12 per 100g serving, 5.6μg (93% RDA) per ounce, and 3.2μg (53% RDA) per tablespoon. Chicken eggs, by comparison, only offer 1.29μg (22% RDA) of vitamin B-12 per 100g serving, or 0.65μg (11% RDA) per egg.
Popular in Mediterranean, Japanese, and Hawaiian cuisine, octopus is a vitamin b12 rich food. Cooked octopus provides 36μg of vitamin B-12 per 100 gram serving accounting for 600% of the RDA. That is 30.6μg (510% RDA) per 3 ounce serving, or 10.2μg (170% RDA) per ounce. Raw octopus provides about half as much vitamin b12 with 20μg (333% RDA) per 100 gram serving, 17μg (283% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving, and 5.67μg (94.33% RDA) per ounce.
Known for their omega 3 fats and for being a high protein food, fish are also a good source of vitamin B12. Mackerel provides the most vitamin B-12 with 19μg per 100g serving (317% RDA), followed by Herring (312% RDA), Salmon (302%), Tuna (181%), Cod (167%), Sardines (149%), Trout (130%), and Bluefish (104%).
6. Crab and Lobster
Crab and lobster are most commonly served baked, steamed, or in bisque. A 100g serving of crab contains 11.5μg of vitamin B12 (192% of the RDA), that is 15.4μg (257%RDA) per leg (134g). Lobster will provide 4.04μg(67% RDA) per 100g serving, or 6.59μg (110% RDA) in an average whole lobster (163g). Click to see complete nutrition facts.
In addition to being a vitamin B12 rich food, beef is also a good source of protein, zinc, and heme-iron. The amount of vitamin B-12 in beef depends on the cut, lean fat-trimmed chuck contains the most vitamin B12 with 6.18μg (103% RDA) per 100g serving, 11.49μg (103% RDA) in a chuck steak, and 5.25μg (88% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving. Chuck is followed by sirloin (62% RDA), rib-eye (60% RDA), and ribs (58% RDA).
8. Lamb (Mutton)
Lamb is a common meat in the Middle East, Mediterranean, East Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and most of Europe. Lamb is a high cholesterol food so be sure to look for lean cuts which are higher in B12 anyway. Lamb also provides high amounts of protein, and zinc. The shoulder is the cut of lamb with the most vitamin B-12 providing 3.71μg (62% RDA) per 100g serving, 5.82μg (97% RDA) per pound, and 3.15μg (53% RDA) in a 3 ounce serving. The shoulder is followed by the foreshank and leg which provides 53% of the RDA per 100g serving, and lamb chops which provide 51% of the RDA for vitmain B12 per 100 gram serving.
Despite being a high cholesterol food, cheese is a good source of calcium, protein, and Riboflavin (Vitamin B2). The amount of vitamin B12 in cheese depends on type and variety, Swiss cheese provides the most with 3.34μg (56% RDA) per 100g serving, followed by Gjetost (40% RDA), Mozzarella(39% RDA), Parmesan (38% RDA), Tilsit (35% RDA), and Feta (28% RDA).
When it comes to chicken eggs the raw yellow has most of the vitamin B-12 with 1.95μg per 100g serving (33%), however, this equates to 0.33μg per yolk or just 6% of the RDA. The eggs of other animals are higher with a goose egg providing 7.34μg (122% RDA) of vitamin B-12 per 100g serving, and a duck egg providing 3.78μg (63% RDA).