The 6 Best Vitamin B-12 Supplements of 2021

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Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients required in trace quantities by the body for optimal health and functioning. However, unhealthy dietary choices often lead to deficiencies of these essential vitamins and minerals.

Based on our modern age lifestyle, we have become more prone to some deficiencies, and the shortage of vitamin B-12 in our body is one of them.

It is critical to note that, unlike many other vitamins, human bodies cannot synthesize vitamin B-12, and it must be sourced from our food (1).

A deficiency of vitamin B-12 can have serious health consequences. It is essential in forming red blood cells, the synthesis of our DNA, and is involved in other crucial roles like energy production, nerve function, and metabolism (2).

Lower vitamin B-12 levels have also been linked to higher chances of premature delivery and lower weight of newborn babies (3).

Shortage of this vital vitamin may lead to weakness and fatigue, loss of appetite, and even megaloblastic anemia. It can also host other symptoms, like depression, confusion, loss of memory, and soreness in the mouth. Lack of adequate levels of B-12 can be detrimental to the nervous system as well (4), (5).

Adding to the complication is the fact that some individuals are unable to absorb vitamin B-12 from foods as well. This is particularly true in the elderly (6). In many similar situations, people turn to vitamin B-12 supplements.

But what are their benefits, side effects, and what are some of the best options available? Let’s find out.

Best Vitamin B-12 Supplements: Our Picks

1. Best Vegan Vitamin B-12 Supplement: LiveWell Vegan B-12 Drops

2. Best Gluten-Free Vitamin B-12 supplement: Transparent Labs’ RawSeries Vitamin B Complex

3. Best Vitamin B-12 Chewable Tablets: Jarrow Formulas Methyl B-12

4. Best Fast-Dissolving Vitamin B-12 Supplement: Natrol Vitamin B-12

5. Best Vitamin B-12 Supplement Spray: Salt Lake’s B-12 Methylcobalamin Liquid Spray

6. Best Vitamin B-12 Gummies: Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin B-12 Gummies

1. Best Vegan Vitamin B-12 Supplement: LiveWell Vegan B-12 Drops

Since most natural sources of vitamin B-12 are in meats and dairy products, vegans have a hard time sourcing the right food materials and supplements to add to their diet. LiveWell’s Vegan B-12 is an excellent vegan vitamin B-12 supplement that can be taken by those who do not consume dairy and animal-based products.

About Vegan B-12 Drops

LiveWell is on a mission to provide holistic and natural health supplements at affordable prices. Their Vegan B-12 drops not only support your metabolism and nervous system but also improve energy and mood.

The B-12 in these drops is known to be one of the vitamins’ bioavailable forms, meaning that the body will absorb it easily. The drops contain a high dosage of 5000 mcg of vitamin B-12 per serving, which is more than 83000% of the daily required value.

This vegan supplement is made in the USA and free of soy, dairy, gluten, and GMO ingredients. It is manufactured under GMP guidelines and is devoid of any preservatives. The supplement also undergoes third-party to ensure safety and potency.

What it Contains:

Each serving size (1 ml) of the supplement has the following:

  • Vitamin B-12 (as Methylcobalamin) – 5000 mcg

Other ingredients include water, glycerin, and organic citrus extract.

One bottle of LiveWell’s Vegan B-12 contains 60 ml of the supplement, which means that it will last you for two months as the serving size is 1 ml per day.

You have to take the suggested serving size once a day by mixing it in 8 oz (around 236 ml) water. Bulk orders are usually eligible for discounts, and there is a money-back guarantee for 365 days.

The Pros:

  • 365-days money-back guarantee
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Free of preservatives, soy, and dairy
  • Third-party tested for safety and potency 

Summary: LiveWell’s Vegan B-12 Drops is a leading vitamin B-12 supplement available in the form of drops. Easily administered and absorbed, these drops contain a potent dose of vitamin B-12 and are also tested for quality.

2. Best Gluten-Free Vitamin B-12 supplement: Transparent Labs’ RawSeries Vitamin B Complex

The rising incidence of gluten intolerance has led to many manufacturers offering gluten-free versions of their popular products. Transparent Labs’ RawSeries Vitamin B Complex is one such gluten-free option for those who have a deficiency of vitamin B-12 and cannot consume gluten.

About RawSeries Vitamin B Complex

Transparent Labs is a well-recognized name in the health and wellness industry. They have a diverse range of health supplements for men, women, and athletes. The brand is known for uncompromising quality, and its RawSeries Vitamin B Complex supplement is no different.

Consisting of 11 vital nutrients, Vitamin B Complex also packs in other essential vitamins like folic acid, choline, inositol, and vitamin C alongside B-12.

The supplement is entirely free of all colors, preservatives, sweeteners and is made in GMP-certified facilities. What’s more, it is also non-GMO and gluten-free.

What it Contains:

With each serving offering 1000 mcg of Vitamin B-12, it does the job of fulfilling the vitamin deficiency in our bodies. Here are the other ingredients, per serving size:

  • Vitamin C – 40mg
  • Thiamine(B1) – 60mg
  • Riboflavin(B2) – 75mg
  • Niacin(B3) – 35mg
  • Vitamin B6 – 50mg
  • Folic Acid(B9) – 400mg
  • Vitamin B-12 – 1000mg
  • Biotin(B7) – 600mcg
  • Pantothenic Acid(B5) – 100mg
  • Inositol – 50mg
  • Choline Bitartrate – 50mg

Each container has 120 capsules, and the suggested dosage is one serving (or capsule) each day. In other words, you get 60 days of supply in each bottle.

Signing up for regular subscription-based deliveries or purchasing multiple products from their website usually enables steep discounts and offers.

The Pros:

  • Gluten-free
  • Non-GMO
  • No colors, preservatives, and sweeteners
  • Made in the USA in GMP-certified facilities 

Summary: Transparent Labs’ RawSeries Vitamin B Complex is an excellent vitamin B-12 supplement made in the USA. Containing a host of other essential vitamins as well, this holistic supplement is the best for those who are gluten-intolerant.

3. Best Vitamin B-12 Chewable Tablets: Jarrow Formulas Methyl B-12

Many people are averse to swallowing pills or taking supplements in other forms, owing to factors like sensitive gag reflexes or unpleasant taste. Chewable tablets are the best option for those who do not like to take pills or capsules.

About Methyl B-12

Jarrow Formulas has been in the health industry since 1977, thus, carrying decades of experience and reputation. Their Methyl B-12 supplement is available in the form of easily chewable lozenge-shaped tablets that can contain a highly bioavailable form of vitamin B-12.

In addition to improving the brain’s overall health, the manufacturers claim that the supplement also boosts energy levels.

The supplement contains Methylcobalamin obtained from natural foods and is easily bioavailable in the human body. What’s more, it doesn’t have added artificial sugar, gluten, soy, dairy, fish, or GMO ingredients.

Made in the USA, the product is also certified ‘Compact By Design’ from Amazon, which means that it is designed to reduce wasteful resources and reduce shipping and packaging’s carbon footprint.

What it Contains:

Available in the cherry, lemon, and tropical flavors, the dose of Methylcobalamin per serving size (one tablet) varies as per the flavor.

The cherry flavor has 500 mcg and 5000 mcg variables, whereas lemon is available in 1,000 mcg, and tropical contains 2500 mcg of Methylcobalamin or Methyl B-12.

Other ingredients include xylitol, cellulose, stearic acid, natural flavor, citric acid, magnesium stearate, and silicon dioxide.

Other than the 5000 mcg cherry flavor supplement, which contains 60 chewable tablets, all other varieties have 100 tablets per one bottle.

The recommended usage is dissolving the lozenge by placing it below your tongue or chewing one capsule every few days (the number of days depends on the serving size) along with your meals.

The Pros: 

  • Easy chewable form
  • Available in different flavors
  • Highly bioavailable form of B-12
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans

Summary: Jarrow Formulas’ Methyl B-12 supplement is available in the form of easily-chewable lozenge-shaped tablets. Containing a highly bioavailable form of vitamin B-12, the supplement is available in different flavors and doses.

4. Best Fast-Dissolving Vitamin B-12 Supplement: Natrol Vitamin B-12

Like chewable tablets or gummies, many people prefer smaller and easily-ingestible pills that dissolve quickly in their mouth, with or without water. For such individuals, Natrol’s Vitamin B-12 Energy Support might be a perfect choice.

About Vitamin B-12 Energy Support

Natrol, or a combination of the words ‘natural’ and ‘control,’ started as a cosmetic company in 1980 but eventually specialized in nutrition-based health and wellness supplements. Manufactured in the US, all Natrol products are subjected to strict manufacturing and quality standards.

Their Vitamin B-12 Energy Support has a high dose of vitamin B-12 per serving and dissolves up to 30 times faster than similar supplements.

Devoid of any milk, peanuts, soy, preservatives, artificial flavors, and colors, the product is suitable for vegetarians and very easy to swallow as well.

What it Contains:

Each serving size of one tablet contains 5000 mcg B-12 as cyanocobalamin.

Other ingredients are xylitol, cellulose gum, maltodextrin, crospovidone, modified food starch, magic acid, stearic acid, natural flavor, citric acid, beetroot extract, magnesium stearate, and silicon dioxide.

The supplement is available in two sizes and comes in a strawberry flavor: with 100 counts and 200 counts of the tablet.

You are required to take one tablet each day, with or without water.

The Pros:

  • Fast-dissolving
  • Free of artificial colors, preservatives, and flavors
  • Naturally-sweetened
  • 100% vegetarian

Summary: Natrol’s Vitamin B-12 is a vegetarian and fast-dissolving supplement that comes with a high dose of vitamin B-12 as cyanocobalamin. Dissolving up to 30 times quicker than other products, this supplement is best suited for those who despise large-sized pills that leave a bitter aftertaste.

5. Best Vitamin B-12 Supplement Spray: Salt Lake’s B-12 Methylcobalamin Liquid Spray 

For those who cannot fathom ingesting drops or tablets in any form, there are vitamin B-12 sprays available as well. Salt Lake’s B-12 Methylcobalamin Liquid Spray is an excellent alternative for those who want instant results without taking drops or pills.

About B-12 Methylcobalamin Liquid Spray 

Based in Salt City Lake, Utah, Salt Lake has a formidable range of health and wellness supplements that has helped countless people worldwide. Their B-12 spray generates instant results, and the company says it can give you a boost of energy and speed your metabolism into the next gear.

This vegan, sugar-and-gluten-free, non-GMO vitamin B-12 spray doesn’t contain yeast, wheat, dairy, soy, artificial colors, or flavors.

What it Contains:

In addition to 2500 mcg of vitamin B-12 (as Methylcobalamin) in each serving size of five sprays (or 1 ml), the spray also contains purified water, glycerin, citric acid, sorbitol, potassium sorbet, tart cherry juice, organic stevia leaf extract, and natural flavor as the inactive ingredients.

The manufacturers recommend taking one serving size, or roughly five sprays, every day.

The Pros:

  • Easy-to-use spray 
  • No artificial sugar, flavors, or colors
  • Suitable for vegans
  • Made in the USA under GMP guidelines 

Summary: Salt Lake’s B-12 Methylcobalamin Liquid Spray is one of the best alternatives for those who do not like taking pills or chewable pills. This easy-to-manage vitamin B-12 spray is suitable for vegans and comes with the assurance of quality as well.

6. Best Vitamin B-12 Gummies: Vitafusion’s Extra Strength Vitamin B-12 Gummies

Owing to people’s increasingly hectic lifestyles, many brands and manufacturers offer flavored gummies and flavored candy-like pills that can be taken on-the-go and as treats instead of supplements. They are also appealing to people of all ages.

Vitafusion’s Extra Strength Vitamin B-12 Gummies is one of the best in this category as their gummies combine health and taste.

About Extra Strength Vitamin B-12 Gummies

Certified by ChefsBest for their taste, these gummies are miles ahead of similar supplements in the market.

Make no mistake, just because they are gummies that don’t mean that they are loaded with sugar. They have no high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic dyes, artificial flavors, gluten, or dairy.

What it Contains:

Available in the natural cherry flavor, the gummies have 3000 mcg of vitamin B-12 (as cyanocobalamin), 15 calories, and 3 grams of carbohydrates (or sugars) per one serving size (or two gummies).

Other ingredients are tapioca syrup, water, gelatin, oil, wax, citric acid, lactic acid, natural flavor, pectin, and sodium citrate.

The directions for usage suggest adults taking two gummies every day and chewing them thoroughly. Each unit of the supplement contains 90 gummies, which means you have a supply for 45 days in one bottle.

The Pros:

  • Easy-to-chew
  • Free of artificial high-fructose corn syrup, synthetic colors, and artificial flavors
  • Certified for their taste by chefs
  • Gluten-and-dairy-free

Summary: One of the best vitamin B-12 gummies, Vitafusion’s Extra Strength Vitamin B-12 Gummies pack in the right set of ingredients that provide a natural boost. These easy-to-chew gummies have been certified for their taste and should be the first pick for gummy-lovers.

Dosage Directions for Vitamin B-12 Supplements 

Naturally, the dosage and direction varies as per the type of supplement and serving size. It is important to note that even high doses of vitamin B-12 have not shown any adverse effects in humans.

Thus, supplements containing up to many times the daily recommended value do not pose any adverse effects (7).

Depending on the dosage, you might be required to take one or two pills or gummies every day.

People taking vitamin B-12 supplements, whether in the form of pills, drops, spray, or gummies, should carefully look at all the ingredients to check for allergens.

If low levels of vitamin B-12 have been detected, it would be best to check with your healthcare practitioner to determine the right dosage.

Summary: As long as your vitamin B-12 supplement contains more than the vitamin’s daily recommended value, there should not be any significant issue. You should follow the manufacturer’s suggestions and your doctor’s advice to identify the best dosage for your vitamin B-12 supplement.

Potential Side Effects of Vitamin B-12 Supplements

Medical studies and research have not established any severe side effects due to taking high quantities of vitamin B-12. Unlike other vitamins, which may be toxic in higher doses, there are no set tolerable limits. Since vitamin B-12 is soluble in water, the excess is discharged along with urine (8).

Even supplements that provided more than a thousand times the daily recommended limit of vitamin B-12 (of 2.4 mcg) have shown no significant side effects (9).

This could be due to the fact that upon the consumption of a large dosage of vitamin B-12, only about 2% of it is absorbed by the body (10).

Intramuscular injections have also been used successfully without patients experiencing any adverse effects.

There are, however, some isolated cases where large doses of the vitamin, when injected in muscles, results in acne and rosacea. Furthermore, higher doses of vitamin B-12 may cause issues for people who have kidney-related health issues (11), (12).

Few studies have shown that people who take high doses of the vitamin may be at a higher risk of heart attack, stroke, or even death (13).

Finally, pregnant women who take very high B-12 supplement doses may increase the risk of autism in their children (14).

Summary: Vitamin B-12 has been found to be usually safe for consumption, even in higher doses. Unlike many other nutrients, since it is soluble in water, the excess tends to be removed from the body. A few cases and studies show that extremely high doses of vitamin B-12 might pose problems for pregnant women or those who have kidney-related problems.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How should I decide my Vitamin B-12 supplement dosage?

For people over 14 years of age, 2.4 mcg is the recommended daily intake for vitamin B-12. Thus, any supplement that gives you a higher dosage should meet the requirements (15).

Also, be mindful of the vitamin B-12 you will be consuming through food products like eggs, beef, and tuna. It is best to follow the manufacturer’s suggestion or the expert of medical opinion while deciding the dose of a vitamin B-12 supplement.

Are there any specific groups of people who should be mindful of their Vitamin B-12 levels?

The above-stated daily recommended limit is for people over the age of 14, but generally, with old age, a deficiency of vitamin B-12 is observed. Thus, it is advised that people over the age of 65 eat foods rich in the vitamin and take adequate supplements if necessary.

Similarly, pregnant women and those breastfeeding might require higher levels of the vitamin as well. This figure is at 2.6 mcg for pregnant women, and for breastfeeding women, it is 2.8 mcg (16).

What are some foods rich in Vitamin B-12?

Vitamin B-12 is abundant in meat and dairy products, and to an extent, in plant-based food sources. As a result, many vegetarians and vegans are unknowingly deficient in vitamin B-12 as they do not consume the right foods in the right quantity.

Meat sources such as beef, salmon, animal liver and kidneys, and dairy products like eggs and milk are great sources of vitamin B-12.

The options are limited to milk and its derivative products like cheese, butter, and yogurt for vegetarians. Cereals are also fortified with vitamin B-12 to contain considerable levels of vitamin B-12 (17), (18), (19), (20).

What is the Best Food Source for Vitamin B-12 for Vegetarians and Vegans?

Studies have shown that more than 85% of the vegetarian population might have low vitamin B-12. This makes it vital for vegans and vegetarians to include adequate portions of vitamin B-12 foods or supplements in their diets (21).

Milk is considered the best choice for vegetarians to ensure an adequate intake of vitamin B-12 as one cup of low-fat cow milk can give half the daily recommended value of the vitamin (22).

For vegans, fortified nutritional yeast can be a great way to add vitamin B-12 to their diet. For both these groups, cereal fortified with vitamin B-12 is also an easily-available option (23).

Many food products come with fortified vitamin B-12, and then there’s always the option of taking supplements.

The Final Note 

Vitamin B-12 is a crucial nutrient needed by our bodies. However, many people are a risk of being deficient in it. Vegetarians, vegans, and the elderly should keep an eye on their vitamin B-12 levels and provide their bodies with enough vitamins through foods or supplements.

There are many kinds and forms of vitamin B-12 supplements available in the market. You must choose the one that is best suited to your requirement and dietary preferences. Be sure to verify all claims, check all the ingredients, and consult your physician before making your decision.

Always take such supplements under medical experts’ guidance and combine them with healthy food choices and an active lifestyle for the best results.

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