After careful evaluation and hours of research, we have chosen the Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 as the best b12 supplement of 2018. It gives you numerous health benefits at an affordable price, quickly absorbed by the body, chewable and can be used by vegans and vegetarians. In terms of all-round quality, the Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 is our recommended supplement.
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a vitamin B12 supplement?
- 2 Best B12 Supplements Comparison Table
- 3 Our Review of the Best B12 Supplements of 2018
- 3.1 Overall Best Vitamin B12 Supplement
- 3.2 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Weight loss
- 3.3 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Vegans
- 3.4 Best B12 Supplement for Energy
- 3.5 Best Budget Vitamin B12 Supplement
- 3.6 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Seniors
- 3.7 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Anemia
- 3.8 Best Liquid Vitamin B12 Supplement
- 3.9 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Absorption
- 3.10 Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Memory
- 4 Types of Vitamin B12
- 5 Who is at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
- 6 What to look for when buying vitamin B12 supplements
- 7 What are the Health Benefits of taking Vitamin B12 Supplements?
- 8 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Vitamin B12 Supplements
- 9 In conclusion
Metabolism is a chemical process that provides energy to the cells, tissues, and organs in the body for them to perform their functions adequately. The vitamin B family is very important for your metabolism to function as it should. Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is a member of this family, and it is beneficial to the digestive system, cardiovascular system and the overall health of the body.
You would be surprised at the number of people suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency, with the number increasing in developing countries. Apart from its effect on the body metabolism, vitamin B12 also aids in the formation of red blood cells, the synthesis of DNA and improves the neurological functions of the body. It suffices to say that vitamin B12 is very important for full body function.
Vitamin B12 helps to regulate the amount of amino acid produced in the body. If your body produces too much amino acid, you run the risk of having a stroke or a heart attack. Pretty scary, right? It is, therefore, necessary that the body expends some of the excess amino acids.
You can find vitamin B12 in foods like eggs, fish, and offal. Fortified foods like grains and cereals also contain vitamin B12. People that do not have a proper stomach pH sometimes have issues with absorbing vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 is released from foods containing it during digestion. Hydrochloric acid and gastric protease react together in the stomach to release this vitamin into the bloodstream.
Before we proceed, let’s understand what a vitamin b12 supplement is.
What is a vitamin B12 supplement?
A dietary supplement is a product manufactured for the sole purpose of supplementing the diet. It is sometimes difficult to get all the vitamins needed by the body from food. Therefore, supplements are taken to provide these important vitamins. It can either be taken orally (capsule, tablet or liquid) or through injections.
A vitamin B12 supplement as the name suggests is taken to complement the vitamin B12 in the body. It is important to get the right amount of vitamin B12 for bodily functions and you may not get the adequate amount from your food. It is therefore important to take vitamin B12 supplements.
Best B12 Supplements Comparison Table
Our Review of the Best B12 Supplements of 2018
Finding the best B12 supplement can be difficult, with so many different brands of it available promising to work better than the rest so, in this review, we rank 10 of the best products, along with their features, pros and cons, to make things clearer for you when picking your supplement.
Overall Best Vitamin B12 Supplement
Jarrow Formulas is a trusted supplier of nutritional products based in Los Angeles, California. Their products can be found in numerous stores around the world. The Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 is one of the best nutritional supplements from Jarrow Formulas.
It supports a person’s mental health and improves the quality of sleep one gets. Apart from all these, it also supports the nervous system and cognitive health of a person.
The Jarrow Formulas Methyl contains methylcobalamin which does not have to be converted by the body thereby increasing its rate of absorption.
Some vitamin B12 supplements cannot be used by vegetarians and vegans but you do not have to worry if you are vegetarian or vegan, as the Jarrow Formulas Methyl is appropriate for you. Although it can be more expensive than the cyanocobalamin vitamin B12, it is very affordable considering how good it is.
It comes in a flavored form which makes it chewable. This is one of the reasons this product is popular among users because not everyone would want to use a supplement that does not taste good.
It also dissolves easily so within a few moments of taking it; your body starts getting the supply of vitamin B12 it needs. This vitamin B12 supplement also provides your body with the much-needed energy for its various functions.
Each tablet has 5000 mcg (microgram) of potency. This is quite a high dosage and is good for people that need such high dosage of vitamin B12. This is also one of its downsides.
Some users have complained that this supplement provides a dosage that is too high for them. This should not be an issue as you can get a prescription from your doctor to know what dosage is right for you.
This product has proven to be a great one, and we have chosen it as the overall best vitamin B12 supplement for you. Its chewable nature makes it the number one choice as far as vitamin B12 supplements go. Although each tablet is highly potent which could be an issue, it does not have to be. Just make sure you get the right prescription from your doctor.
Its affordable price means you can have access to this product. The fact that a trustworthy company produces it means you can be assured of getting good value for your money with this product. No wonder it is rated highly among vitamin B12 supplements.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Weight loss
Once you decide to shed some weight, you will need a healthy diet plan as well as regular visits to the gym. Some people do not know that there are vitamins that help in weight loss. Vitamin B12 is one of them. By increasing your rate of metabolism, you burn more calories. The energy boost it gives also helps you last longer when doing workouts.
Solgar – Methylcobalamin Vitamin B12 is a sublingual supplement. It provides a healthy dose of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin. It does not contain gluten, dairy, and wheat.
It is suitable for use by vegetarians though it does not say if vegans can also use it. It speeds up your body’s rate of metabolism as well as giving you energy which together helps in weight loss. Each serving provides you with 1000 mcg of methylcobalamin.
One drawback is that it dissolves slowly. Apart from this, it is a great product when it comes to providing you with adequate vitamin B12.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Vegans
Vitamin B12 has been a hot issue for vegans with different questions coming up. Can vitamin B12 be gotten from plants alone? Is it necessary to take extra supplements? A lot of the vitamin B12 the body uses is naturally available in meat sources.
By not eating meat, a person strictly taking vegan or vegetarian diet would need to take in vitamin B12 supplements so as not to be deficient in this essential vitamin.
As a vegan, you want to make sure that the supplement you take is gelatin-free which is often used in making capsules. It is equally important that the vitamin B12 supplement you take is very effective so that you will get the most out of it.
VeganSafe B12 is a highly rated supplement that comes in drops rather than tablets. This also makes it easy to use and absorb. It uses adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin which are very bioactive.
The fact that it is in liquid form makes its absorption easy and as such is suitable for people of all ages. If you like to take your supplement pure without any form of sweeteners, then, you should consider the VeganSafe B12.
One downside to this product is its price. Compared to some other vitamin B12 supplements, it is quite on the pricey side. Also, it is an acquired taste and some people would rather take supplements with well-flavored taste.
If you can overlook the price of this product, it is a supplement that provides you with the vitamin B12 needed for you to maintain a healthy body. There are not many supplements out there that are well suited for vegetarians and vegans.
After considering all its features, we have decided that the VeganSafe B12 is a great choice to use if you are vegan.
Best B12 Supplement for Energy
Nature Made vitamin B12 is one of the best vitamin supplements around. It is made into a soft gel pill and contains cyanocobalamin which is easily absorbed by the body. If you need a supplement that will improve your energy, then Nature Made is the best choice for you.
It aids fast metabolism which quickens the rate at which energy is delivered to the body. It is also a go-to product for those with low vitamin B12 levels.
As you age, your energy level generally drops. Therefore, it is important you get a vitamin B12 supplement that will help you live a life full of energy. It also helps the body in the formation of red blood cells and can also be used by vegans and vegetarians.
Each tablet contains 1000 mcg cyanocobalamin. This has received glowing satisfactory reviews from users as the high potency of some of its peers has proven to be an issue for some users.
Another great thing about this supplement is its affordability. Also, it is a time-release tablet. This means that the vitamins are released into the body over a period of time and not at once. So, you get a supply of vitamin B12 for a longer period of time.
For those that like their supplements 100 percent natural, well you do not have to worry. Nature Made B12 is a natural product; it does not contain artificial preservatives or colours.
It promotes good mental health while also providing the body with energy. It is a good choice for anyone looking for a vitamin B12 supplement to get that necessary vitamin for their body.
Best Budget Vitamin B12 Supplement
There are times when one needs a budget product. Some people believe that you have to spend a lot of money to get any product with reasonable quality. This does not have to be the case as there are products out there that are cheap and also provide good quality. All you just need is reliable information.
The Natrol Vitamin B12 is a cheap vitamin B12 supplement that contains cyanocobalamin. Each tablet contains 5000 mcg of active ingredient and dissolves fast. Also, it is available in a flavored form that gives it a pleasant taste. Though, some people prefer their supplements without any added sweetener.
It helps in the formation of red blood cells, improves the nervous system, improves your body’s energy level and is absorbed quickly. All these for its very affordable price. Although cyanocobalamin is not as effective as methylcobalamin, this supplement makes up for that with its 5000 mcg potency.
You do not have to worry about trying to save up to afford a vitamin B12 supplement that will help improve your general body functions. The Natrol Vitamin B12 is available at an affordable price without compromising on the health benefits.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Seniors
The importance of vitamin B12 in the body cannot be overemphasized especially for seniors. The body mostly gets this vitamin from food, but there are cases where a person’s body is unable to absorb the vitamin B12 it requires from food. This is common in older people. It is necessary for these people to get their vitamin B12 from supplements.
Seeking Health Active B12 is a supplement that optimizes your general health. Taking it improves the mental health as well as nervous system. It contains folate (also known as folic acid).
This product is quite interesting because it contains vitamin B12 in two forms (adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin). This offers you a wider range of benefits and improves the efficacy of the supplement.
One of its selling points is the fact that it dissolves quickly in your mouth. Also, it has been made to have a pleasant taste which makes taking it more comfortable. Each serving provides you with 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 and 800 mcg of folate which makes it good for women. It is suitable for use by vegans and vegetarians.
With Seeking Health Active B12, you are offered all the benefits you can get from vitamin B12. However, this product is a bit on the pricey side. If you can look beyond this, it is a great supplement especially for the older members of the community.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Anemia
Deficiency in vitamin B12 may lead to anemia. Anemia is when the level of red blood cells in the body is low. It is therefore important that a supplement that would provide the adequate amount of vitamin B12 the body needs is taken.
Nature’s Bounty B12 is a sublingual vitamin B12 supplement that aids in the production of energy for the body. With a 5000 mcg potency, each serving provides a high amount of vitamin B12 which aids in the formation of red blood cells. It contains 5000 mcg of cyanocobalamin and 100 mcg of dibencozide.
One drawback to using this product is the fact that it is not suitable for vegans, but it is suitable for vegetarians. This product is however inexpensive and provides a strong dose of vitamin B12. Another downside to this product is the fact that it does not dissolve quickly.
If you are not vegan and you can overlook the fact that it dissolves slowly, then, this product is right for you. It also helps with anemia as the strong vitamin B12 dosage it provides means you get enough of this very important vitamin for adequate red blood cell production.
Best Liquid Vitamin B12 Supplement
Not everyone likes swallowing pills. Sometimes you get tired of swallowing your pills. But you know that you have to take your supplement because of its benefits. So, what choice do you have? Well, you can decide to choose supplements in liquid form.
You do not have to worry about any adverse effect of getting your vitamin B12 from liquid supplements. In fact, they do have the advantage of getting absorbed more quickly than pills.
When it comes to liquid vitamin B12 supplements, the Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops is right up there. It boosts your mental health as well as improving the nervous system. It contains methylcobalamin which is easily absorbed into the body.
With this supplement, you can be sure that your body will receive the right amount of vitamin B12 as quickly as possible. Some users have complained about its taste, though, this is generally subject to preference.
For those that do not like their supplements containing synthetics and preservatives, the good news is, Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops is free of them. So if you are looking for a liquid supplement that is easily absorbed and improves your general body health, then the Vitamin B12 Liquid Drop is for you.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Absorption
The rate at which a vitamin B12 supplement is absorbed is another feature that is usually considered when choosing which supplement to get. Using a supplement that has a fast absorption rate means your body starts getting the vitamin B12 it needs as quickly as possible.
Also, it means it can be used by people whose bodies have a slow rate of absorption like in some older people.
The Sublingual Vitamin B12 comes in liquid drops. This makes it easily absorbed into the bloodstream and your body can get the maximum benefits quickly. It has a graduated dropper that is used to measure and take it.
Just as in most vitamin B12 supplements, it makes sure that the nervous system works as it should. It also aids in the production of red blood cells and improves mental health.
It has a cherry flavor that makes it popular among some users. This artificial taste can also be a drawback if you do not like your supplements having any added sweeteners or flavor.
Each serving is 5000 mcg potent. It contains methylcobalamin which makes its absorption fast as methylcobalamin is more readily absorbed by the body. It contains alcohol that maximizes the absorption although some users do not like the strong taste. It can also be used by vegans.
If you are looking for a fast absorbing supplement that supplies your body with the right amount of vitamin B12 it needs, then the Sublingual Vitamin B12 is an excellent choice for you.
Absorption of vitamin B12 is limited when it is taken in pill form so Sublingual Vitamin B12 which is in liquid form absorbs fast.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement for Memory
One of the benefits of having an adequate amount of vitamin B12 in the body is the mental health that it boosts. It is therefore important that the body gets a good supply of vitamin B12, especially in people whose memories are not as sharp as they should be.
From a reliable supplement producer, Garden of life vitamin B12 is a supplement that has received glowing reviews when it comes to the benefits derived from its use. Apart from the methylcobalamin it contains, probiotics and digestive enzymes have also been combined into it.
It also contains extracts from vegetables and fruits that add up to make it one of the richest vitamin B12 supplements. Taking this product also boosts the nervous system, aids the formation of red blood cells and improves the general health of the body.
Each serving provides you with 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin. One downside to this product is the probiotics used which is not enough to make it as potent as it should. Also, it is a product that is quite expensive.
It has been made to be suitable for vegetarians as well as vegans. It also serves as a good product for memory. If you can look beyond its price, it sure is a good product especially if you want to boost your mental health.
Types of Vitamin B12
Knowing the different forms of vitamin B12 available can help you select one that best suits you. Vitamin B12 is water soluble and comes in four basic forms which are:
It is the cheapest form of vitamin B12 found in supplements. It does not occur naturally so it is usually produced in a lab and is generally used to treat patients with low levels of vitamin B12 in their body.
It is the cheapest and most stable form of cobalamin. Though, the body expends more energy in converting it due to the cyanide molecule. This cyanide molecule is also what makes it stable.
It occurs naturally and is basically vitamin B12 that has a methyl group joined to it. Methyl groups play an important role in methylation. Methylation is the biochemical process that converts toxins in the body from fat-soluble or insoluble forms to water-soluble forms. The body then excretes these toxins as urine. We can basically say that methylcobalamin also acts as a detoxifying agent.
Methylcobalamin is the most active form of vitamin B12 in the body. It offers protection to the body’s nervous system and also protects the cardiovascular system by converting homocysteine in the body to methionine.
It is produced using natural bacterial reaction. It aids the body in making new proteins using carbohydrates and fat. It is the form of vitamin B12 found mostly in food. It is converted to methylcobalamin easily in the body, and it is sometimes used to treat cyanide poisoning.
Of all the forms of vitamin B12, it is the most naturally occurring form. The citric acid cycle is the process that creates adenosylcobalamin. It occurs naturally. Though, it is not as stable as the other forms of vitamin B12. This is also the rarest form you will find in supplements.
Who is at risk of Vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 can be found exclusively in foods that are got from animals like fish, eggs, dairy products, and meat. Some foods are also fortified with vitamin B12. People that do not take these foods are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency since their bodies do not have a way of getting this important vitamin.
Vegetarians and vegans are at high risk of its deficiency. Also, people whose bodies cannot adequately absorb the nutrient from food are at risk of its deficiency.
There are medical conditions that inhibit the absorption of vitamin B12 in the body. These conditions do not allow the body to get the required amount of vitamin B12 from food. People that have diseases such as pernicious anemia, celiac disease, and Crohn’s disease are at a higher risk.
Older people are also at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency than younger people because the ability of the body to absorb vitamin B12 reduces at old age. There are some medications that can disturb the absorption of vitamin B12 if taken for an extended period. People on these medications for a long time are also at risk.
It is important that you see your doctor to know if you are at risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
What to look for when buying vitamin B12 supplements
When you decide to get a vitamin B12 supplement for yourself, it is important you choose one that will work well for you and give you all the benefits of taking the supplement. There are a few things you should consider when buying one of these supplements.
Here are some questions you may ask before deciding on what to buy:
Is it safe for vegans or vegetarians?
If you are vegetarian or vegan, then you may not be able to take some vitamin B12 supplements, as not all of them are certified for vegans and vegetarians. You should find out about the products that are suitable for you before purchasing one.
Which form of vitamin B12 is it?
Vitamin B12 can exist in four different forms. Methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and cyanocobalamin.
- Hydroxocobalamin absorbs faster than the rest, but it is not usually found in the market.
- Cyanocobalamin is artificially made so some people might have a problem with its synthetic nature.
- Methylcobalamin occurs naturally and is the most active form of this vitamin.
You can decide on which one of the three vitamin B12 forms you want to be in the supplement you are getting. Most people recommend the methylcobalamin supplements, but the others also have their advantages.
Is it sublingual, liquid or spray?
These different forms of the supplement have distinct features. The tablets are usually chewed or taken with water depending on your preference while the liquid and spray forms go under the tongue for quick absorption.
Liquid or spray forms are best for children that are unable to swallow pills. Make sure you check for this before selecting a supplement to use.
Is it a supplement or fortified food?
If you want to take vitamin B12 supplements, it is crucial you get actual supplements. Some foods claim to be fortified with vitamin B12. While you can take these foods, if supplements are what you want then go and get vitamin B12 supplements.
What are the Health Benefits of taking Vitamin B12 Supplements?
The benefits derived from vitamin B12 supplements cannot be overemphasized. There are widespread benefits with some outlined here:
It boosts your energy level
Do you find yourself tired and sluggish? It could be that you are not getting the adequate amount of vitamin B12 that you need. Vitamin B12 is known to boost the level of energy in the body. For this reason, some energy drinks have vitamin B12.
Vitamin B12 helps prevent “brain shrinkage” which can lead to mental tiredness and dementia. Vitamin B12 is also good for memory. In all, vitamin B12 boosts mental health.
Helps prevent stroke
Vitamin B12 helps to lower the body’s level of cholesterol. So much that you may not need to take medications to lower your cholesterol level if you have enough vitamin B12 in your body. This, in turn, helps prevent stroke as the blood vessels are free of excess cholesterol.
Helps prevent heart diseases
Heart diseases are one of the major causes of death in our society today. It is therefore important to put attention to this and use supplements that can help avoid them.
It is definitely in your best interest to ensure that you have adequate vitamin B12 level in your system as it generally improves the cardiovascular system.
Helps prevent depression
There are different causes of depression and the deficiency of some vital vitamins is one of them. It is important for you to get the right amount of vitamin B12 to avoid depression due to its deficiency.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) on Vitamin B12 Supplements
It is normal for questions to come up when discussing these supplements. Some frequently asked questions from users about B12 supplements are:
What form of vitamin B12 should I take?
As discussed earlier, there are four forms of vitamin B12 with the different forms having different features. Methylcobalamin is the most easily absorbed of the forms, and it occurs naturally in foods containing vitamin B12. The body uses extra energy to convert cyanocobalamin to a useful form for absorption.
Generally, the three forms found in supplements (methylcobalamin, cyanocobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin) can be taken by almost anybody. If you want a specific one to choose, then, you can meet your doctor to recommend one for you.
What problems does vitamin B12 deficiency cause?
Vitamin b12 is very important for full body function. It is very important that the body gets the required amount of vitamin B12. Usually, you do not need to take vitamin B12 supplements as you will get it from the food you eat (except vegans and vegetarians).
In a case where a person cannot get vitamin B12 from food and does not use a supplement, then, the person will become deficient in vitamin B12. So what can this cause?
Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to neurological disorders and anemia. If the deficiency is mild, symptoms may not show. In cases of serious deficiency, symptoms of anemia may begin to show. Fatigue, weakness, light-headedness rapid breathing, pale skin color, and rapid heartbeat are some of the symptoms that may result.
Vitamin B12 deficiency can also lead to Glossitis. This occurs when the tongue is inflamed. The shape and color of the tongue changes, it gets swollen and results in pain. Glossitis can affect the way you speak and eat so it is important to avoid this by taking sufficient vitamin B12.
Other things that may result from the deficiency of vitamin B12 include disturbed vision, dizziness and breathlessness and even damage to the nervous system.
Who can benefit from taking vitamin B12 supplements?
To answer this question, everyone can benefit from using these supplements. Let us take a closer look at some sets of people that may benefit more from these supplements.
- Athletes – Vitamin B12 increases the body’s rate of metabolism which in turn increases the rate at which the body gets energy from food. This helps athletes by making sure they get enough energy.
- Those with anemia – Pernicious anemia occurs when the body does not have enough red blood cells. It can be caused when the body cannot absorb the required level of vitamin B12 it needs. Taking vitamin B12 supplements help in the formation of healthy red blood cells, so these supplements are beneficial to those with anemia.
- Vegetarians and vegans – Vitamin B12 is naturally found in foods that come from animals such as eggs, meat, and fish. Those that do not take these foods run the risk of having vitamin B12 deficiency. Taking vitamin B12 supplements is an excellent way of getting the required level of vitamin B12 for vegans and vegetarians.
- The elderly – There is generally a decrease in the production of gastric acid after the age of fifty which means the digestive system can no longer efficiently absorb vitamin B12 from food. Vitamin B12 supplements can serve as a good source of vitamin B12 for the older members of our society
Can you experience side effects?
Vitamin B12 supplements are generally safe, so there are barely cases of side effects. Having said that, some people experience itching, headache, nervousness or swelling. It is important to check the product for any known side effect or meet your doctor to help you in making your decision.
Recommended dosage varies for children adults, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women.
0-6 months – 0.4 mcg per day
7-12 months – 0.5 mcg per day
1-3 years – 0.9 mcg per day
4-8 years – 1.2 mcg per day
9-13 years – 1.8 mcg per day
14 and above – 2.4 mcg per day
Pregnant women – 2.6 mcg per day
Breastfeeding mothers – 2.8 mcg per day
Vitamin B12 is very important in the body. It is required for good mental health and increased energy levels. Vitamin B12 can be gotten from food. People that are unable to get this important vitamin from their food, therefore, need to take supplements.
There are numerous supplements to choose from and we have discussed some important factors to look out for when choosing the right vitamin B12 supplement for you. You can also meet your doctor for recommendations.