Vitamin B12 is important for healthy blood and growth and also helps to keep the eyes, brain and nervous system functioning normally.
Vegetarian sources of vitamin B12 include:
- Dairy products - eggs, cheese and milk are natural sources
- Yeast extract - a fortified source
- Fortified cereals, soya milks, soya yogurts and margarines
- Babies obtain vitamin B12 from breast or fortified formula milk
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Diets which exclude all animal products need to ensure that they obtain their recommended daily intake from fortified sources or supplements.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is usually inherited but the risk of deficiency is also a concern for the elderly.
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You can find out more about Vitamin B12 by reading the in-depth Vitamin B12 fact sheet