Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in animal products, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy. It is also available in fortified foods, such as cereals, nutritional yeast, and plant-based milks. Folate is a water-soluble vitamin that is found in leafy green vegetables, legumes, fruits, and whole grains. It is also available in fortified foods, such as cereals, breads, and pastas.

Why are vitamin B12 and folate important? Vitamin B12 and folate are essential for many important bodily functions, including: – Cell production: Vitamin B12 and folate are both involved in the production of new cells, which is essential for growth and repair. – DNA synthesis: Vitamin B12 and folate are both necessary for the synthesis of DNA, which is the genetic material that carries instructions for all of your body's cells. – Red blood cell formation: Vitamin B12 and folate are both essential for the production of red blood cells, which carry oxygen throughout your body.

How much vitamin B12 and folate do you need? The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms (mcg). The RDI of folate for adults is 400 micrograms (mcg) for men and 400 micrograms (mcg) for women. Pregnant women need 600 micrograms (mcg) of folate per day.

Good sources of vitamin B12 include: – Meat – Poultry – Fish – Egg – Dairy product – Fortified cereal – Nutritional yeast – Plant-based milk

Good sources of folate include: – Leafy green vegetable – Legume – Fruit – Whole grain – Fortified cereals, breads, and pasta

Deficiency symptom If you do not get enough vitamin B12 or folate, you may develop deficiency symptoms. Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency include: – Fatigue – Weakne – Shortness of breath – Pale skin – Constipation – Numbness or tingling in the hands and feet

Symptoms of folate deficiency include: – Fatigue – Weakne – Shortness of breath – Pale skin – Headache – Diarrhea – Irritability

Who is at risk of deficiency? Certain groups of people are at increased risk of vitamin B12 and folate deficiency, including: – Older adult – People with digestive disorder – People who have had gastric bypass surgery – People with celiac disease – People with inflammatory bowel disease – Vegetarians and vegan

Preventing deficiency The best way to prevent vitamin B12 and folate deficiency is to eat a balanced diet that includes a variety of foods from all food groups. If you are concerned about your intake of vitamin B12 or folate, you may want to talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.