Ranking The Best Vitamin B12 Supplements Of 2021
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient thats difficult to get in large amounts in many food sources, especially if you are a vegetarian or a vegan.
It functions almost like a hormone, and plays a role in a huge number of bodily functions essential for health.
If you arent sure how much vitamin B12 you need and where you should get it from, weve got you covered.
Our researchers dug into the scientific research to scout out the best vitamin B12 supplements and ranked them. On top of that, weve gone in-depth on the science of B12 supplementation.
For those whore serious about taking the most potent B12 supplement on the market, Live Conscious B12 does not mess around.
Live Conscious B12 provides one of the most potent B12 supplements on the market at 5000 mcg per serving. Its designed to be used sublingually and contains the most bioavailable form of B12, methylcobalamin. This ensures that more of the B12 gets to go where it needs to. Its manufactured in the USA, under string GMP guidelines.
Its also free of soy, gluten, shellfish, dairy, and GMOs. Live Conscious goes the extra mile by providing third-party testing to ensure the purity and quality of its B12 supplement.
If youre going to take a B12 supplement for energy, memory, and immune system function, Live Conscious B12 is your best choice.
BodyNutritions overall #1-rated B12 winner of 2021.
In B-Complex you receive over 1,000 mcg B12 in its highly active methylcobalamin state.
Bronson Vitamin Sustained Release B12
As one of the few companies to offer a slow release form of vitamin B12, Bronson Vitamin already has some advantage.
When dealing with high doses of B12 , like the 1000 mcg in this supplement, its advantageous to formulate the tablet so that the body has a longer period of time to absorb it.
Still, Bronson gets beat out by other supplements that have independent lab testing of their purity and dosages.
Which Fruits Are Rich In Vitamin B12
Heres a list of vitamin B-12 foods to help you meet your nutrition goals:
- Clams. 84.1 mcg per 3 ounces.
- Beef liver. 70.7 mcg per 3 ounces.
- Fortified breakfast cereals. 6.0 mcg per 1/2 cup.
- Salmon. 4.8 mcg per 3 ounces.
- Trout. 3.5 mcg per 3 ounces.
- Milk. 1.2 mcg per cup.
- Yogurt. 1.1 mcg per cup.
- Ham. 0.6 mcg per 3 ounces.
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Do You Need A Vitamin B12 Supplement
Since the symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are fairly commonespecially mid-pandemicit can be challenging to determine if your levels are too low. Symptoms are broad and include fatigue, weakness, loss of appetite, weight loss, and pernicious or megaloblastic anemia. Nerve problems, such as numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, are also a risk, Somer says. Over time, a deficiency of B12 can cause problems with balance, confusion, depression, poor memory and dementia, and it can even cause permanent damage to the nervous system. That means treating a deficiency as soon as possible is crucial.
A deficiency can result from several causes:
- Poor dietary intake of vitamin B12, especially in vegetarians and vegans
- Low secretion of either hydrochloric acid or intrinsic factor, two gastric substances required for the vitamins absorption
- Medications that impact vitamin B12 absorption, such as metformin and some drugs used to treat heartburn or acid reflux
While poor intake is rare, poor absorption is not uncommon, especially as people age. As a result, about 15% of Americans are low in vitamin B12, Somer says. A physician can order blood tests to assess your vitamin B12 status, but if you suspect a nutrient deficiency, a comprehensive nutritional analysis may also be beneficial, Gray says.
Side Effects Of Taking Vitamin B12 Supplements
Vitamin B12 is part of the water-soluble vitamin team, meaning your body removes any of the excess vitamin every time you pee. Since your body only absorbs what you need, vitamin B12 does not have an upper limit which is the maximum amount of a vitamin you can take without side effects.
That said, there are still some risks associated with supplementing vitamin B12 if you arent deficient:
- A 2015 study found that excess vitamin B12 is associated with acne and rosacea.
- A 2019 study found that vitamin B12 supplementation can be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in older adults when taken at high doses.
- A 2017 study conducted on hospitalized patients found that patients with elevated B12 levels needed to stay in the hospital longer and were at a higher risk for death.
- A 2019 study found that B12 supplementation during chemotherapy was associated with poorer outcomes.
Keep in mind that all of these studies suggest to only supplement with vitamin B12 in the case of a documented deficiency. That means you should definitely talk with your doc before starting a vitamin B12 supplement.
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Why Is Methylcobalamin Superior
Methyl B12 exhibits distinct neuroprotective properties. It balances the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. It promotes axonal transport and regeneration, and it improves electrophysiologic parameters in sensory nerves. Of all B12 forms, its the most effective treatment for neurological symptoms .
As a consequence, it has many applications in a range of illnesses other than B12 deficiency and pernicious anemia, among them Alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, Bells palsy, neuropathies, Crohns, even autism. Recently methyl B12 has been shown to inhibit tumor growth and malignant cancer cells in mice. Future looks bright!
Produces clinical results far superior to cyano or hydroxy B12 shots.
Is It Good To Take Vitamin B12 Tablets
It is generally considered safe to take vitamin B-12 supplements at appropriate doses. Vitamin B-12 is recommended for adults to consume two portions per day, however. The doses of 4 micrograms and higher have been found to be safe. Urine is only absorbed by the body when it is needed, and any excess is absorbed by the body.
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Buying Guide For Best B12 Supplements
Vitamin B12 is one of the 13 essential vitamins your body needs to maintain health, growth, and vitality. It plays an important role in metabolism and red blood cell production. Its also one of the vitamins youre most likely to be deficient in, especially if you are middle-aged or older. Luckily, taking a B12 supplement daily is an effective way to make sure youre getting enough of this vital vitamin.
But while there are many vitamin B12 supplements on the market along with various multivitamin and B vitamin blends containing this essential nutrient choosing the right one can be a puzzle. With so many different types, doses, and brands, how do you find the best B12 supplement for your needs?
How Do I Take Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 supplements come in the form of lozenges, vitamins, tablets, sublingual tablets , lollipops, patches, and intravenous B12 administered by a doctor. Vitamin B12 is water-soluble so it can be taken with or without a meal and is best taken in the morning. Do not take vitamin B12 with grapefruit or grapefruit juice.
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Solgar Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12
Solgar Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12 is a sublingual vitamin B12 product that contains a powerful dose of methylcobalamin. It is gluten, wheat, and dairy-free as well as certified kosher. Its non-GMO and vegan friendly.
Whats in it:
- One Serving contains
- 5000 mcg Vitamin B12
Who makes it: Solgar is a nutritional supplement brand that has been around since 1947. They pride themselves on providing their customers with top quality, innovative, and science-based products. Their products are designed with total health and wellbeing in mind.
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What Are The Symptoms Of A Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Symptoms of B12 deficiency include memory issues, moodiness or depression, muscle weakness, extreme fatigue, low blood pressure, numbness or tingling in arms and legs, shakiness, an unsteady gait and incontinence the same symptoms that mimic the downside of aging for many. For this reason, and because its possible to have only one or two of the symptoms, our recommendation is to consider a vitamin B12 deficiency if any of the symptoms exist. In addition, researchers have reported that these symptoms may occur when vitamin B12 levels are just slightly lower than normal and are considerably above the levels normally associated with anemia.
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In What Foods Is Vitamin B12 Found
Vitamin B12 is found in animal products . Breakfast cereals and enriched soy or rice milk are also often fortified with B12. Both beef liver and clams, an odd combination, have incredibly high levels of B12, but omega-rich salmon and trout have good levels, and there is some B12 in chicken, tuna, yogurt, milk, eggs and cheese. Virtually all multivitamins contain B12, but usually in the cyanocobalamin form, which is not as easily absorbed as the methylcobalamin form.
What Other Drugs Interact With Cyanocobalamin
If your doctor has directed you to use this medication, your doctor or pharmacist may already be aware of any possible drug interactions and may be monitoring you for them. Do not start, stop, or change the dosage of any medicine before checking with your doctor, health care provider, or pharmacist first.
- Cyanocobalamin has no known severe interactions with other drugs.
- Cyanocobalamin has no known serious interactions with other drugs.
- Moderate interactions of cyanocobalamin include:
This information does not contain all possible interactions or adverse effects. Therefore, before using this product, tell your doctor or pharmacist of all the products you use. Keep a list of all your medications with you, and share this information with your doctor and pharmacist. Check with your health care professional or doctor for additional medical advice, or if you have health questions, concerns, or for more information about this medicine.
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If Youre Vegan Or Vegetarian
If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, youre at a higher risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency since meat, eggs, poultry, and other dairy animal products are the main sources of B12.
There are def still vegan and vegetarian-friendly foods that are rich in vitamin B12 like fermented foods, fungi, and yeast but these may not be as bioavailable . Research also indicates these forms may compete for absorption with bioavailable forms of B12, potentially making a deficiency even worse.
Chat with your doc about the potential need to supplement with B12. If you do end up deciding to start taking it, make sure that youre thoroughly checking ingredient labels since some capsules and gummies can use animal products in them. Your best bet is looking for a vegan certified product.
Common Questions About Cyanocobalamin
Cyanocobalamin is a manufactured version of vitamin B12. It works by increasing levels of vitamin B12 in your blood.
You need vitamin B12 to stay healthy. Its used to make red blood cells and keep your nervous system healthy.
Having enough vitamin B12 allows your body to make red blood cells that work properly to carry oxygen around your body.
If you have been diagnosed with low vitamin B12 levels, taking cyanocobalamin helps reduce symptoms such as tiredness and lack of energy or being short of breath.
Vitamin B12 supplements will only improve symptoms such as tiredness and lack of energy if they are caused by low vitamin B12 levels.
It may take a few weeks before your vitamin B12 levels and symptoms start to improve.
If you have hydroxocobalamin injections to boost your vitamin B12 levels at the start of treatment, the cyanocobalamin tablets may start to work within a few days.
Your doctor or pharmacist will advise you how long you need to take cyanocobalamin tablets.
You may be able to stop taking cyanocobalamin when your vitamin B12 blood levels are back to normal.
However, you may need to take it for the rest of your life if your diet does not have enough vitamin B12 or you cannot absorb enough vitamin B12 from your food.
Vitamin B12 supplements containing cyanocobalamin can be bought as tablets , capsules, mouth sprays, and drops.
If you stop taking prescribed cyanocobalamin tablets, your vitamin B12 levels may start to go down.
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How To Know If You Need A Vitamin B12 Supplement
Although B12 is a water-soluble vitamin , you still shouldnt add a supplement without a trip to your doctor to test your vitamin levels. Doing this will give you a better idea of the severity of a B12 deficiency and how much B12 you should be taking on the reg.
The recommended daily intake of B12 is 2.4 micrograms, but many experts believe the current RDA for vitamin B12 is way too low. Taking between 6 and 10 micrograms a day may help ensure youre getting enough B12.
Not enough B12 comes with some serious side effects. National Institutes of Health lists the characteristics of B12 deficiency as:
- megaloblastic anemia
- neurological issues, such as difficulty with balance, depression, and confusion
Certain people might also be more likely to need a vitamin B12 supplement:
What Are The Uses & Benefits Of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 supports your bodys ability to make hemoglobin, which is a compound that allows oxygen to be transported through the body in your bloodstream. It is also important to the formation of red blood cells, making vitamin B12 highly beneficial to your cardiovascular system. It also is beneficial to your nervous system because it helps maintain healthy myelin, which is a fatty substance that supports nerve function.
It is a very important nutrient and one that is often deficient in modern diets. The following vitamin B12 uses have been observed:
Most of the benefits of vitamin B12 come from fixing or avoiding a deficiency. While the vitamin can have many benefits, its unlikely to offer much to someone who is already getting enough B12 from their diet.
Overall, vitamin B12 is an important nutrient that many of us dont get enough of. It supports the metabolism, digestive system, hair, skin, nails, the nervous system, and many other aspects of our overall health.
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Vitamin B12 Dosage: How Much Should You Take Per Day
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient thats required for many crucial processes in your body.
The ideal dose of vitamin B12 varies based on your gender, age, and reasons for taking it.
This article examines the evidence behind the recommended dosages for B12 for different people and uses.
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that plays a critical role in several of your bodys processes.
Its necessary for proper red blood cell production, DNA formation, nerve function, and metabolism .
Vitamin B12 also plays a key role in reducing levels of an amino acid called homocysteine, high levels of which have been linked to chronic conditions like heart disease, stroke, and Alzheimers .
Additionally, vitamin B12 is important for energy production. However, theres currently no evidence that taking B12 supplements increases energy levels in people who are not deficient in this nutrient .
Vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products, including meats, seafood, dairy products, and eggs. Its also added to some processed foods, such as cereal and nondairy milk.
Because your body can store B12 for several years, serious B12 deficiency is rare, but up to 26% of the population may have a mild deficiency. Over time, B12 deficiency can lead to complications like anemia, nerve damage, and fatigue.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can be caused by not getting enough of this vitamin through your diet, problems with absorbing it, or taking a medication that interferes with its absorption .
Symptoms Of B12 Deficiency
Your body requires vitamin B12 for important functions, like metabolism, production of blood cells, and brain health. Deficiencies of the nutrient can cause a range of mild to severe side effects.
Vitamin B12 blood levels of 200 picomoles per liter or below are typically considered low, though diagnosing a true deficiency can be complicated (
In many cases, it can take years for these types of symptoms to appear.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to develop. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, psychosis, dementia-like symptoms, irritability, and more.
In severe cases of malabsorption or in people with risk factors for vitamin B12 deficiencies, a liquid supplement could help prevent deficiency and associated symptoms. It may even have a few additional health benefits.
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How Do I Know If I Should Take Liquid B12 Methylcobalamin Supplement
The only way to know for sure if you need a B12 supplement is to get a blood test to determine how much B12 is in your body. The accepted range for B12 is between 254 and 1,320 picograms per milliliter of blood serum. However, Cooper Clinic physicians like to see at least 450 picograms per milliliter of blood serum or higher.
Doctors Best Fully Active B12
Doctors Best Fully Active B12 is a vitamin B12 supplement that comes in veggie capsules. It is extremely inexpensive and uses methylcobalamin, which provides additional benefits. It is suitable for vegans and helps vitamin B12 deficiency. Its also non-GMO, gluten free and soy free.
Whats in it:
- One Serving contains
- 1500 mcg Vitamin B12
Who makes it: Doctors Best is a physician founded vitamin brand that was founded in 1990. They offer more than 200 different products, and most are made with well-researched and branded ingredients. All of their manufacturing facilities are GMP certified.
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