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Vitamin B12 and Yogurt

By Anthony Isaac Palacios

Vitamin B-12 is necessary for many vital bodily functions involving growth and development. A lack of regular vitamin B-12 intake can result in a deficiency and lead to various complications. Fortunately, vitamin B-12 can be found in a variety of food sources including yogurt. In addition, yogurt also provides rich sources of many other essential vitamins and minerals.

Yogurt Nutrition

One cup or 8 fl. oz. of plain low-fat yogurt provides 1.4 mcg of vitamin B-12. That is 25 percent of your Daily Value intake for vitamin B-12. Foods that provide over 20 percent of the Daily Value are considered a rich food source. Other B vitamins found in yogurt include thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6 and folate. Yogurt also provides protein, essential minerals and live bacteria cultures known as probiotics.

Vitamin B-12 Function

Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin required for proper metabolism and central nervous system functioning. It also necessary for red blood cell formation and preventing anemia. Individuals most at risk for a vitamin B-12 deficiency include those with gastrointestinal disorders, vegetarians and older adults. The most common symptoms associated with a deficiency include anemia, fatigue, weakness, neurological changes and weight loss. The best way to ensure adequate vitamin B-12 intake is to consume a nutritionally balanced diet every day.

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Daily Recommendations

Healthy adults require 2.4 mcg or mcg of vitamin B-12 daily. Children require 1.2 mcg daily and adolescents should get 1.8 mcg of vitamin B-12 per day. Pregnant and breast-feeding women require higher amounts of vitamin B-12, approximately 2.6 to 2.8 mcg daily. In addition to proper diet, older adults should supplement with vitamin B-12 and consume fortified foods to prevent deficiency, recommends the Linus Pauling Institute. Consult with a registered dietitian because specific nutrient requirements vary based on age, sex and health.

Diet Considerations

Yogurt can be found in a variety of different flavors. Choose skim or low-fat yogurt because they contain the same amount of nutrients but fewer calories from fat. Look for yogurt brands that advertise "live active cultures" on their label. Yogurt can be mixed with a handful of nuts, granola or fresh fruit for a nutritious snack. Yogurt also makes a great base for dressings and powdered shakes.

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