We all know that vitamins and minerals are important in our diet and many of us try to include a variety of fruits and vegetables to ensure we get them. Some of us take multivitamin supplements. Yet you may find yourself feeling weak and overcome with fatigue. This may be due to many causes, but one unexpected reason may be a vitamin B12 deficiency.
You’ll probably be surprised to find just how common vitamin B12 deficiency is. No, none of the vegetables and fruits you consume have any vitamin B12 though there may be other B-vitamins present in them. This is the primary reason why vegans and vegetarians tend to be more deficient in this vitamin compared to non-vegetarians. Yes, vitamin B12 is found in plenty in animal-sourced foods such as beef, chicken, fish, eggs, and milk. Clams and beef liver are said to be among the best sources of vitamin B12.
But if you do not like such food sources of vitamin B12, have no worries as this is easily available in the form of dietary supplements. Rather than a general multivitamin that may or may not contain any B12, make sure to choose one that offers you adequate vitamin B12.
But what if you are a non-vegetarian and you still suffer from vitamin B12 deficiency? So before moving on to a list of the top 10 vitamin B12 supplements, let’s take a look at why we all probably need to take B12 supplements, especially those over 50 years of age.
Why Use Vitamin B12 Supplements
Even if they eat the right foods, some people have trouble absorbing this vital vitamin from their food sources. Vitamin B12 deficiency affects approximately 15% of the population. Older adults, over 50 years of age, may not produce enough hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which is necessary for the absorption of vitamin B12.
People suffering from pernicious anemia, a condition where the intrinsic factor required to absorb this vitamin is not produced in the body. This is usually treated with vitamin B12 injections or high oral doses of the vitamin.
Those who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery or have digestive disorders such as celiac disease or Crohn’s tend to have reduced capacity to absorb this essential nutrient. A medical check-up can help determine if a deficiency in B12 vitamin is present.
Nursing babies of vegetarian and vegan mothers also may not get sufficient amounts of this vitamin. Pregnant women who do not consume animal-based foods may not be supplying enough vitamin B12 to their unborn child and this can lead to neural tube defects in the fetus. So supplementing with vitamin B12 along with folic acids is important in the initial months of pregnancy to ensure proper development of the brain and spinal cord.
Now let’s have a look at the top 10 vitamin B12 supplements available online.
Top 10 Vitamin B12 Supplements
Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex provides 11 nutrients in its product. This vitamin supplement contains B12, biotin, folic acid and vitamin C with other nutrients. The manufacturing process does not involve any artificial preservatives, coloring or sweeteners.
Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex is GMP certified and a wholesome natural product. The supplement is considered safe. The optimal amount of vitamin B12 is 5000 mcg per serving. Transparent Labs offers double the amount at 1000mcg in each serving as your body absorbs much less than you consume. Other vital vitamins like choline, inositol are also provided in the supplement.
The container has 120 capsules with a recommended dosage of one capsule per day. This can be taken at times of low energy. This product is Non-GMO and gluten-free. The manufacturer of Transparent Labs Vitamin B complex claims that the supplement leads to high levels of energy, greater carbohydrate metabolism, and enhanced brain functions.
- Non-GMO and gluten-free
- Offers 1000mcg of vitamin B12 in every serving
- Contains 11 nutrients including biotin and folic acid
- 120 capsules per container
Jarrows Formulas Methyl B12 comes in a bioavailable form. The product has three flavors, namely lemon, cherry, and tropical flavors. It can be chewed and left to dissolve under the tongue. The supplement provides high-quality methylcobalamin B12.
Jarrows B12 methylcobalamin does not require conversion in the liver to be biologically active. Methylcobalamin is better absorbed and retained than other forms of vitamin B12 such as cyanocobalamin. This B12 supplement does not contain gluten, wheat products, soybeans, dairy products, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts, tree nuts. It has natural sugar in its flavoring. Sugar is not added in the manufacturing process.
The product is non-GMO and made in California, USA. The co-enzyme is naturally occurring and is methylated. The lozenges come in a plastic container. The size is twice the size of a regular aspirin and is chewable and dissolves quickly. The cherry flavor does not leave a sour feeling in the mouth. It does not contain gelatin. Each lozenge serves 5000 mcg of Methyl B12. The lozenges can be cut into halves.
Jarrows is a brand known to use ‘clean’ ingredients. Their products are made using superior nutritional ingredients. Jarrows Formulas Methyl B12 does not contain caffeine and is free of yeast. It is recommended to take one lozenge every 3 to 4 days. However, a consultation with a doctor will be helpful if one requires a higher dose of vitamin B12.
- Taste is appealing
- Can be easily cut to halves if needed
- Dissolves easily
- Methyl B12 is more bioavailable than other vitamin B12 forms
Vitafusion B12 serves 3000mcg in each gummy. This brand of B12 supplement received the Chefs Best Excellence Award (2018)in recognition of the quality of the product that surpassed standards. The supplement has a natural cherry flavor. The gummies also contain high levels of vitamin A, C, D, and E for wholesome health benefits.
There is no high fructose corn syrup in the supplement. Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin B12 gummies do not have any artificial ingredients. No gluten, artificial sweeteners, dairy and no synthetic dyes (FD&C) are present. The other ingredients are tapioca syrup, sugar, water, gelatin, citric acid, lactic acid, natural flavors, pectin, and sodium citrate.
The suggested dosage is 2 gummies per day. The dosage should not be exceeded. A doctor’s consultation is required if the user has a medical condition, on medication, pregnant or nursing; a doctor’s consultation is mandatory. The inner seal should be intact on receiving the product. Each package has 90 gummies. Shipping may cause the content to settle which does not change the potency of the gummies. Over time the color of the gummies may turn darker which is natural.
- A high serving of 3000mcg of B12 in each serving
- No gluten or artificial ingredients
- Natural cherry flavor
- Also contains vitamins A, C, D, and E
Nature’s Bounty B12 vitamins have the backing of scientific research. The company has been manufacturing trusted products for over 50 years. Only the best quality and tested ingredients are used to make the supplements. The scientific advisory council has leading scientists and researchers whose contribution to the supplement industry is invaluable. They play important roles in the innovation of the product and advance of science that is immensely beneficial to the company. The process of manufacturing undergoes various quality tests to corroborate for purity and potency.
Each coated tablet serves 1000mcg of vitamin B12. This product can be consumed by vegetarians. The microbiological labs of the company test the purity of the ingredients. All ingredients meet the GMP standards. The facility that manufactures this supplement has been audited by the United States Pharmacopeia and STR (Specialized Technology Resources) which is a leading independent dietary supplement evaluation firm.
The product does not contain artificial colors, artificial flavors or preservatives. No milk, soy, lactose, sugar, soy, gluten, fish, yeast, wheat or sodium used in making this supplement. Each bottle contains 200 tablets. This supplement is not intended for children. The recommended dosage is one tablet per day.
- Can be used by vegetarians
- 1000mcg of vitamin B12
- Research-backed supplement
- 200 tablets in each bottle
Nature Made B12 vitamin pills are time-release supplements that release the vitamins over an extended period of time that is known to increase its absorption and the health benefit of the product. Each pill serves 1000mcg of vitamin B12. 1 tablet has 120 mg of calcium as well.
Each bottle contains 160 tablets. The recommended dosage is 1 tablet a day for an adult. It can be taken after a meal. The tablet is easy to swallow. The supplement does not contain any artificial substances or fillers. The product is gluten-free and does not contain sugar and preservatives. It has no artificial flavors and no colors are added. The product does not contain yeast or starch.
The supplement is made in the USA. It should be stored in a cool and dry place out of the reach of children. The packaging may be different however the content is the same. Third-party verification ensures good quality is sustained in every batch of supplements.
- Does not contain, gluten, yeast, and starch
- Easy to swallow pills
- No artificial colors or preservatives added
- Time-release tablets for enhanced absorption
Garden of life, My Kind Organics vitamin B12 supplements are made from certified organic whole foods sourced from organic farms. One spray of this product delivers 500mg of methylcobalamin that is claimed to support energy metabolism and heart health. One serving amount is 0.41ml. The container has 140 servings. It can be taken at any time of the day on an empty or full stomach.
Each bottle contains 58ml of this essential nutrient. The supplement has been certified as vegan, gluten-free and made from non-GMO ingredients. USDA has also registered the product as organic. The spray has an appealing raspberry flavor.
The supplement is Kosher made. No synthetic binders or fillers have been added to make it. The supplement is derived from over 30 fruits, vegetables, and herbs. It has important minerals that are vital for maintaining a healthy body. The company adheres to a technology called the ‘Clean Tablet Technology’ in which no ingredients are taken from soy or corn.
The supplement is tested internally and also undergoes third-party testing to ensure conformity to quality, purity, and consistency. The raw materials have been satisfactorily tested to attain certificates of analysis. The other ingredients are purified water, organic glycerine, organic apple juice, organic raspberry flavor, organic citrus extract to preserve freshness and organic stevia rebaudioside. This supplement is not intended for children.
- Certified vegan, organic and non-GMO
- Made of more than 30 fruits, vegetables, and herbs
- Undergoes third-party testing
- The company adheres to ‘Clean Tablet Technology’
Natrol Vitamin B12 supplement delivers 5000 mcg of vitamin B12 in every serving. The tablets are vegetarian and easy to swallow. The advanced formulation of this dietary product is claimed to make the tablet dissolve 30 times faster than any other supplement. The strawberry flavor taste makes it appealing and does not require water for consumption. It is naturally sweetened.
Each bottle has 200 tablets and the recommended use is one tablet per day. This product is not intended for children. The tablet does not contain milk, soy, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, artificial flavors, colors, soybeans or preservatives. It does not leave an aftertaste.
The supplement should be stored in a cool dry place. Pregnant and lactating women or people with a medical condition need to consult a medical practitioner before using the supplement. The company Natrol, founded in 1980, started out as a cosmetic entity and soon grew to become an established nutrient manufacturing unit that has a market in over 60 countries. The company’s scientific advisory board plays a key role in scientific technology and approach to product innovation.
- Delivers 5000 mcg per serving
- Tablet dissolves easily
- 100% vegetarian
- Popular strawberry flavor
Ez Melts B12 supplements are quick dissolvable supplements that serve 2500mcg of B12 vitamins in every serving. The bottle contains 90 tablets. The tablets have no sugar or gluten. The ingredients are non-GMO. The supplement is free of milk, eggs, fish, shellfish tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. It is made in Florida, USA. The tablets have a ‘red cherry’ flavor. The natural flavor is due to an extract from a cherry fruit. It has modified cellulose fruit extract that gives the natural color to the tablet.
Most of the ingredients are from the USA and Europe while monk fruit extract is from Asia. monk fruit is a natural sweetener. All the ingredients used are FDA approved and third-party lab tested for its purity and potency. They are considered safe for consumption. The sweet taste is derived from non-GMO corn. Corn traces are not found in the product. The product is tested and has been certified as gluten and gelatin-free.
Ez Melts tablets have bioavailable vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin. The pill is small and melts in the mouth. As it is not a time-release supplement it can be cut into halves. It can also be crushed and added to a drink. It has a good taste. However, water is not necessary for the intake of the pill. It can be kept under the tongue for dissolving. It contains essential oils. There are no carbs in the tablet and so it is a zero-calorie product. There are 90 tablets in each container.
- Natural flavor and color
- Fast dissolving tablets
- Zero-calorie product
This product is a potent combination of vitamin B12 with folic acid. Jarrows Formulas offers you a supplement that provides methyl B12, methyl folate, and pyridoxal 5-phosphate in a lozenge form. Methyl folate is the most active among folates and is essential for brain functions.
Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) is the most bioavailable form of vitamin B12. It supports brain health and provides restful sleep. B12 methyl and methyl folate affect the mood. Pyridoxal 5-phosphate helps in the metabolism of proteins and amino acids. Each tablet serves 1000mcg of B12 methyl, 400mcg of methyl folate and 1.5 mg of pyridoxal 5-phosphate. One bottle contains 100 lozenges.
The other ingredients include stearic acid that is sourced from a vegetable, natural lemon flavor, and magnesium stearate which is also from a vegetable source. It also contains rebiana which is a stevia extract, to sweeten the supplement.
The supplement does not contain gluten, wheat, soybeans, dairy, egg, fish, shellfish, peanuts or tree nuts. The lozenge form allows the release of the vitamin directly into the bloodstream without entering the digestive system. This permits no loss of potency of the vitamin B12. The lozenge usually has a flavor added so that it can be kept in the mouth and not swallowed. The size of the tablet is 0.5mm in diameter.
- Lozenge form allows for quick absorption
- Naturally sweetened
- 100 lozenges per bottle
- Gluten-free product
This product from Salt Lake Supplement offers you vitamin B12 that gets absorbed quickly and delivers the essential nutrients directly into the bloodstream. In this way, more of the vitamins enter the body system. The product is made from non-GMO ingredients and is suitable for vegetarians and vegans. It does not contain gluten, yeast, wheat, milk or other milk products. No soy, sugar, lactose artificial colors or flavors are added to it.
Each bottle contains 60 ml of the liquid which is sufficient for 60 days. The bottle should be shaken well before use. The doppler should be filled halfway and held under the tongue for 20 seconds before swallowing. This has to be repeated for the second half. Each serving delivers 1000mcg of vitamin B12.
The supplement is manufactured in the city of Utah, USA, with natural ingredients sourced from inside the country. The manufacturing facility is FDA approved and follows the standards of GMP. The supplement is third-party tested to verify only the best quality ingredients are used. The liquid contains vitamin B12, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid.
- One bottle is sufficient for 60 days
- Gluten-free product
- Manufactured in an FDA approved facility
- Third-party tested to verify the quality
The Dosage and Side Effects of Vitamin B12
The amount of vitamin B12 intake depends upon the age of the individual. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms require more vitamin B12 than their counterparts. While children below 8 require about 1.2 mcg of vitamin B12 per day, this doubles to about 2.4 mcg when they hit their teens.
Adults also require only 2.4 mcg per day while pregnancy raises this requirement to 2.6 daily. Breastfeeding moms have the highest requirement at 2.8 mcg of vitamin B12 every day.
Now, most people have a major and valid confusion – If we require just 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 a day, why do B12 supplements offer absurd amounts of 1000 to 5000mcg of this vitamin. Researchers have observed that only about 2% of vitamin B12 is absorbed by the body from supplements.
A 2008 study recorded that just 9.7 mcg of vitamin B12 was absorbed from the administration of a 500 mcg supplement. Other studies have also noted that intake of over 1000 times the recommended vitamin B12 had no major side effects. This is because vitamin B12 is water-soluble and excess vitamin B12 is flushed out of your body through your urine.
The Final Note
Vitamin B12 has many important roles in the healthy functioning of the human body including DNA synthesis and the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells. Any deficiency of this vitamin in your body can cause a host of health issues from fatigue and weakness to skin hyperpigmentation and even memory loss.
Though vitamin B12 can be naturally found in animal foods such as fish, chicken, eggs, and dairy, vegans and vegetarians may find themselves deficient as plants tend to lack this vitamin. B12 deficiency is also common among the elderly due to reduced absorption that results from the natural decrease in stomach acids.
Foods fortified with vitamin B12 or vitamin B12 supplements help overcome such deficiencies. Make sure to choose a supplement from a reputed manufacturer. Supplements with Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12) tend to have more bioavailability than other forms of vitamin B12.