Evidence-Based Nutrient Recommendations

Vitamin B12 Recommendations: Updated

[Edited November 12, 2020.]

VeganHealth has updated our vitamin B12 recommendations! We now have a lower threshold to meet the U.S. RDA and an upper suggestion to meet the European Food Safety Authority’s adequate intake.


An explanation of how we came to these new recommendations can be found in Vitamin B12: Rationale for Recommendations.

Notes on vitamin B12

  • A larger version of this table can be found in the Google spreadsheet B12 Doses and Absorption.
  • These recommendations are for the cyanocobalamin form of B12 only—the form in fortified foods and most supplements. For other forms, see Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalamin.
  • If you haven’t had a regular source of B12 for more than a few months, take 2,000 µg once a day for 2 weeks to replenish your stores. While there’s no definite cutoff for when B12 starts to become unsafe, because people often ask, we’ll somewhat arbitrarily say not to take more than 1,000 µg per day over the long-term without guidance from a physician. Large doses of B12 can trigger acne-like symptoms in a small percentage of people.
  • Anyone with kidney disease or suspected B12 deficiency or malabsorption should talk to their doctor about an appropriate B12 regimen.
  • µg = mcg = microgram = 1/1,000 of a milligram (mg)
  • For food labels in the United States, in March of 2020, the Daily Value for B12 was lowered from the 1968 RDA of 6 µg to the current RDA of 2.4 µg.

More information on vitamin B12. See all our nutrient recommendations for vegans in Daily Needs.

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  • If you have a question about whether it's okay to cut supplements in half or combine supplements to achieve the dose we recommend, the answer is “Yes.” Be aware that nutrient recommendations are only estimates—it's not necessary to consume the exact amount we recommend every single day.
  • We aren't able to respond to questions about which brands of supplements to take.
  • We cannot provide personal nutrition advice for specific health conditions. If you need private counseling, here's a list of plant-based dietitians and we especially recommend VeganHealth contributor Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN.
  • We urge you to consult with a qualified health professional for answers to your personal questions.