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Is the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin B12 1000 Mcg?

author image Janet Renee, MS, RD
Janet Renee is a clinical dietitian with a special interest in weight management, sports dietetics, medical nutrition therapy and diet trends. She earned her Master of Science in nutrition from the University of Chicago and has contributed to health and wellness magazines, including Prevention, Self, Shape and Cooking Light.
Is the Recommended Daily Allowance for Vitamin B12 1000 Mcg?
Clams are B-12 rich. Photo Credit: lsantilli/iStock/Getty Images

Your body needs different nutrients in varying amounts, which a well-balanced diet is designed to provide. When it comes to B-12, one of eight B-complex vitamins, your body only requires a small amount to remain healthy. Vitamin B-12 plays a role in nerve function and DNA production. While the typical diet supplies 5 to 15 micrograms of B-12, according to, health stores also offer B-12 in various amounts. High-potency B-12 is available in 500, 1,000 and 1,500 micrograms. Discuss it with your physician before taking high-potency B-12.

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How Much and Where to Get It

The average daily recommended intake for B-12 is actually only 2.4 micrograms. You get this from animal foods such as eggs, milk, fish, meat and poultry. Health care providers commonly recommend high-potency B-12 to correct deficiency. If you don't have a deficiency, high-potency B-12 may be unnecessary. Your body can only absorb a small amount of B-12 at one time. When 100 to 1,000 micrograms of B-12 is administered via injection, 50 percent to 98 percent of the B-12 is excreted in urine, according to If you suspect that you need more B-12, discuss it with your health care provider.

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