Vitamin B12 has a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system, and for the formation of blood. It helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA. Almost all vitamin B12 comes from animal foods, such as meat and dairy products. 1,2
The proportion of females aged 14 years and over with inadequate usual intakes of vitamin B12 ranged from 5 to 8% for different age groups. The proportion of corresponding males was below 1%. This is consistent with Nutrition First Results – Food and Nutrients, 2011-12, that showed males consumed more meat than females.
For information on relevant biomedical results for women of childbearing age, see Feature Article: Women of Childbearing Age.
1 National Health and Medical Research Council and New Zealand Ministry of Health, 2006, Nutrient Reference Values for Australia and New Zealand, <https://www.nrv.gov.au/nutrients/vitamin-b12>, last accessed 4/2/2015
2 Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2014, Australian Health Survey: Nutrition First Results - Foods and Nutrients, 2011-12, 'Table 10: Proportion of Nutrients from food groups', data cube: Excel spreadsheet, cat. no. 4364.0.55.007