Chicken, as all poultry, is a good dietary source of vitamin B12. Chicken contains up to 0.56 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g, or 26% of the recommended daily intake per serving.
Health benefits of vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is crucial for life. For instance, vitamin B12 is essential for DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, cellular energy production, and the proper function of the central nervous system.[1,2]
Also, it plays a key role in the metabolism of homocysteine. High homocysteine is a common cause of many diseases.
How much vitamin B12 should we get in a day?
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is 2.4 mcg. Both for women and men.
Pregnant and lactating women require slightly higher doses of 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg, respectively.
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is pretty common.
Actually, there aren’t many common foods high in vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is found only in animal-based foods. In contrast, plant-based foods contain no vitamin B12. Only fortified cereals, juices, and nutritional yeasts contain moderate amounts of vitamin B12.
How much vitamin B12 is in chicken?
Chicken is a good dietary source of vitamin B12. All parts of chicken contain vitamin B12.
For instance, cooked chicken breast contains 0.2 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g. A serving provides about 0.35 mcg of vitamin B12. This dose is almost 15% of the recommended daily intake.
Ground chicken has a higher vitamin B12 content. It contains 0.56 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g, or 0.63 mcg per serving. This dose is 26% of the recommended daily intake.
Moreover, chickens may be given vitamin B12 supplements. Hence, fortified chicken may contain more than 2 mcg of added vitamin B12 per 100g. A serving of chicken with added vitamin B12 may provide more than 150% DV (Daily Value).
Do other poultry contain more vitamin B12?
All poultry contain decent amounts of vitamin B12.
For instance, ground turkey has a high vitamin B12 content. It contains 1.3 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g, or 1.1 mcg per a 3-oz serving.
Duck has decent amounts of vitamin B12 as well. It contains 0.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per 100g, or 0.55 mcg per serving, which is almost 23% DV.
Can we depend on chicken to meet our daily needs of vitamin B12?
Certainly, chicken and poultry consumption can help us meet our daily needs of vitamin B12. But, you better eat chicken in moderation. Chicken has saturated and trans fatty acids.
According to the American Heart Association, we should consume up to 13 g of saturated fatty acids and absolutely no trans fats per day. High consumption of saturated and trans fats may increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and raise LDL-cholesterol.
All animal-based foods contain saturated fatty acids, though. Hence, we should consume small portions.
Other common foods high in vitamin B12
Beef liver is the richest food in vitamin B12. Just a serving contains more than 70 mcg of vitamin B12. This dose is 2,940% DV! But, we should avoid eating too much beef liver. It’s very high in vitamin A. Regular consumption of beef liver may lead to vitamin A overdose.
Fish, cow’s milk, eggs, dairy, and meat, are among the richest common foods in vitamin B12.
On the other hand, there aren’t common plant-based foods high in vitamin B12. Only some other types of algae and seaweed, like chlorella, as well as fortified foods are the only good vegan dietary sources of vitamin B12. Also, tempeh is the only soy product containing some vitamin B12.
Certainly, taking a vitamin B12 supplement is the best way to boost vitamin B12 intake. You’ll find a wide variety of vitamin B12 supplements on iHerb.
Vitamin B12 supplements are considered pretty safe. In fact, vitamin B12 toxicity is rather uncommon. Even extremely high dosages of 1,000 mcg are rather unlikely to cause any side effect.