Studies are showing that lack of Vitamin B12 is a more widespread problem than was once believed, indicating that more than one-third of the population is deficient. To complicate matters, excessive folic acid intake can mask the symptoms of B12 deficiency without offsetting the resulting psychological and neurological effects of the B12 deficiency. Folic acid is added to many foods, from breakfast cereals to enriched flour, so people may be ingesting more folic acid than they realize.
If you are concerned about your B12 levels, you might want to simply eat more B12-rich foods. Here is a list of foods containing B12.
* Clams - These little bivalves provide significant B12 - one cup of canned clams provides 12mcg, or 200%, of the daily value of B12. Steamed whole clams have even more - 3 ounces has 84mcg, or 1400% of your daily value. Oysters and mussels have significant amounts of B12, too.
* Lamb - Lamb is the meat from a young sheep - not to be confused with mutton, which is the meat of a full-grown sheep. Lamb shoulder is particularly high in B12, with 100 grams providing 62% of the US RDA of B12. Lamb liver is said to be chock-full of B12, packing 102mcg, or 1696% daily value, into one 4-ounce serving.
* Liver - All sorts of liver is high in B12, including calf, lamb, chicken, beef, goose, and pork liver. You can eat liver braised, fried, or as a pate.
* Octopus - Okay, so this may not be high on your grocery list. But octopus, common in Asian cuisine, is rich in B12. Three ounces provides almost 31mcg, or 510% of the US RDA.
* Fish - Many kinds of fish are rich in B12. Salmon, tuna, cod, sardines, and trout are among the top providers of B12. Mackerel is said to have the most, with 19mcg (317% RDA) per 3.5 ounces.
* Crustaceans - Crab and lobster are good sources of B12. A 3.5-ounce serving of crab has 11.5mcg, which is 192% of the RDA.
* Beef - Lean chuck comes in highest as the best provider of B12 among beef products, containing a bit over 100% of the RDA, followed by sirloin, which contains 62% of the RDA.
You'll notice that these foods are all animal based. If you do not eat any animal products, you might want to look for fortified foods like cereals and nut milks.