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How Much Vitamin B-12 Should a Woman Get?

by
author image K.T. Parker
K.T. Parker is the author of multiple fiction novels and many articles, mostly about health topics. Her education in nutrition augments her pursuit of a degree in Naturopathy.
How Much Vitamin B-12 Should a Woman Get?
One ounce of Swiss cheese provides 0.9 microgram of vitamin B-12. Photo Credit Radu Sebastian/iStock/Getty Images

Vitamin B-12, or cobalamin, is essential for the replication of DNA and healthy nerve cells. It supports neurological function and is crucial in the creation of red blood cells. Stomach acid and intrinsic factor, a substance in your stomach, are necessary for the proper absorption of B-12. Symptoms of inadequate amounts of vitamin B-12 can include fatigue, constipation, lack of appetite, numbness or tingling in the hands and feet and weight loss.

Recommended Dietary Allowances

Women require varying amounts of vitamin B-12 at different stages throughout their lives. Adult women should get at least 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B-12 daily. There are additional requirements during pregnancy, when the RDA is 2.6 micrograms. Lactating women should get 2.8 micrograms daily. Meat, fish, poultry, eggs and dairy are good sources of B-12. Fortified breakfast cereals are a nonanimal source of vitamin B-12. Vegetarians, older people and those with absorption issues are more likely to be deficient, so a supplement may be warranted in those individuals. Scientific studies have found no adverse effects if you exceed the daily RDAs, even long-term, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin B-12 may interact with some medications, and other medications might impact your ability to absorb B-12. Consult a health care provider before supplementing, especially if you take proton pump inhibitors, histamine receptor antagonists or metformin, which is a drug for treating diabetes.

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