Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

Vegans and vegetarians are at higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiency because this vitamin is not easily found in plant-based foods. This makes supplements an important part of your diet, so we’ve done a round-up of the best B12 vitamins for vegans.

What’s So Important About Vitamin B12?

This vitamin is important for several bodily functions, including nervous system health, forming oxygen-transporting red blood cells, and protein metabolism. 

Vitamin B12 is abundant in meat, but it’s not easy to find in plant-based foods. So if you follow a plant-based diet, you’ll need good supplements to make sure you have enough vitamin B12 in your body.

B12 deficiency can have neurological implications and lead to serious health issues, chronic illness, and memory loss.

5 Best B12 Vitamins (Our Reviews)

Vitamin B12 comes in tablet, spray, lozenge, and sublingual (drop) forms. Tablets aren’t easily absorbed in your system, so it’s best to choose one of the other three forms. 

Here are our top five vitamin B12 supplements for vegans and vegetarians.

1. Future Kind B12 Supplement Spray

Best B12 Supplement

This spray was developed in its active B12 form, methylcobalamin. This makes the B12 more bioavailable (easily absorbed) in your body. It also contains no wheat, gluten, milk or soy derivatives, sugar, or starch.

Being delivered in spray form means the vitamin is more rapidly absorbed through the blood vessels under your tongue and the linings of your cheeks. 

It’s recommended that you spray five times into your mouth, once per day, unless your physician has recommended otherwise. The good news is it has a berry flavor, so it’s pleasant on the taste buds too.

The Future Kind Vegan B12 Supplement Spray is on the more expensive side when compared to its peers, but at 500 mcg of vitamin B12 per spray, you’re getting a good dose of B12 in your daily five sprays.

And for those who look for earth-friendly products, the Future Kind Vegan B12 Supplement Spray is made from sustainable packaging, so you don’t have to worry about your carbon footprint. 

Pros

  • 500 mcg methylcobalamin B12 per use
  • Delicious flavor
  • Better absorption
  • Wheat and gluten-free
  • Sustainable packaging

 Cons

  • Not the cheapest option on the list

2. Live Conscious Vegan B12

Live Conscious Vegan B12 kicks it up a notch with a daily dose of 5,000 mcg of B12. These vitamins are delivered via a dropper, and this sublingual formula aims for maximum bioavailability.

It’s a 100% methylcobalamin B12 product and is third-party tested. This gives you the peace of mind that the ingredients and potency of the B12 as indicated on the label are 100% accurate.

With a citrus flavor, the liquid is dairy, gluten, and soy-free. The recommended dosage is 1 ml, dropped under the tongue, per day. Be mindful that the product contains over 8,000% of your recommended daily dose of B12, so the dosage instructions should be followed clearly.

The product doesn’t have adenosylcobalamin to assist with absorption by the liver, as some others do, but it does give a great energy boost. This is because vitamin B12 helps to convert carbohydrates into glucose.

Pros

  • Third-party tested
  • Pleasant citrus flavor
  • Energy-boosting
  • Maximum bioavailability

Cons

  • Energy boost not always experienced

Issues with dropper


3. Creative Concept Labs (CCL) Advanced B12 Spray

This product holds its unique selling point that it’s formulated with “nano-pure, delivery-optimized water.” This means that the formulation of the water that carries the vitamin delivers it directly into the bloodstream through the membranes in your mouth and throat.  

CL Advanced B12 Spray also has folic acid and vitamin B6 included, so you’re not just getting B12 from your spray.

The daily recommended dose of this berry-flavored spray is six sprays, twice daily. You can use it in the afternoon to negate that energy slump, or before a workout for an energy boost. 

It also improves focus and memory, so if you’re feeling a bit foggy, the CCL Advanced B12 Spray can help.

CCL is so confident in the effectiveness of their product that they offer a 60-day money-back guarantee, which we find quite comforting. You should note that this product contains five different additives – xylitol, purified water, glycerine, citric acid, and berry flavor. 

This can be an issue as xylitol in particular can cause stomach gassiness.

Pros

  • Pleasant flavor
  • Super-pure water
  • Additional vitamins
  • Energy booster
  • Improves focus

Cons

  • Additives can cause stomach issues

4. MyKind Organics B12 Spray Raspberry

This product is a little different. In addition to 500 mcg of vitamin B12, it also contains organic food blends. These include powdered kale, broccoli, spinach, celery, cucumber, green bell pepper, green onion, beetroot, carrots, tomatoes, garlic, ginger, asparagus, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, blueberry, raspberry, blackberry, and cherry.

These extracts help to improve the bioavailability of vitamin B12, along with having anti-inflammatory and antioxidant qualities. It’s made without binders and fillers, which lowers the risk of allergic reactions to any synthetic ingredients.

This spray is delivered a little differently from other sprays. It’s targeted at the back of the tongue, so the epithelial cells can absorb vitamin B12 directly into the bloodstream. And because it bypasses the digestive system, all the nutrition is absorbed directly into the body.

The daily recommended dose is one spray per day, which delivers 500 mcg in one spray.

This product is not recommended for children. On the downside, it can get moldy quite quickly due to being wholly organic and has been known to cause headaches in some users.

Pros

  • Contains multiple nutrients
  • High bioavailability
  • Good for allergy-sufferers
  • Great taste
  • No binders and fillers

Cons

  • Gets moldy quickly
  • Can cause headaches

5. Country Life Methyl B12 Lozenges

This Kosher and Halal product boosts your energy and stamina. Because it comes in a methylated form of B12, it’s easily digestible and absorbed into the body.

The daily recommended dose is one lozenge a day, which you should allow to dissolve fully in your mouth. One berry-flavored lozenge delivers 3,000 mcg of B12, along with some vitamin C and folate. 

Vitamin C boosts immunity to help in treating the common cold and a host of other infections. B12 can help to relieve physical and mental stress. Folic acid (folate) helps to support the stomach, bowel, and kidneys.

This Country Life product is free from dairy, gluten, wheat, salt, soy, and yeast, so it’s suitable for almost any dietary requirements. 

On the downside, it’s a little on the expensive side, and the lozenges take a while to dissolve.

Pros

  • Kosher and halal
  • Energy and stamina booster
  • High bioavailability
  • Added vitamin C and folate
  • Relieves stress

Cons

  • Quick pricey
  • Lozenges take a while to dissolve

The Vitamin B12 Need-To-Know Guide

Do Vegans Really Need Vitamin B12 Supplements?

Vegans need to pay attention to their B12 levels. This is because this vitamin is mostly found naturally in animal sources, including meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Most vegans consume just enough vitamin B12 through cereals, yeast extracts, and soy products to not suffer serious anemia or nervous system damage. 

But “just enough” doesn’t make for a healthy body, and the systems that need vitamin B12 to function at their optimum won’t be able to do so if you’re B12 deficient.

While the daily recommended vitamin B12 intake for adults who consume both meat and vegetables is 1.5 mcg, the daily recommended intake for vegans is 10 mcg per day. This is to make up for the lack of natural vitamin B12 sources obtained through your daily diet.

Signs Of Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Here are some of the signs to look out for that could give you a heads-up that you may be vitamin B12 deficient.

  • Numbness and tingling in the hands, legs, and feet
  • Anemia
  • Foggy brain, and difficulty thinking
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Swollen, inflamed tongue
  • Difficulty walking

There are some additional concerns about vitamin B12 deficiency that you should keep in mind. Just because everything’s smooth sailing now doesn’t mean it always will be, and it helps to know what to be on the lookout for.

Over 50s Are More At Risk

Older people tend to eat less, which increases the risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Importantly, as you age, your stomach produces less stomach acid which is key for B12 absorption.

Some older individuals even lose the ability to absorb vitamin B12 from natural sources, so supplements become a must.

Deficiency Can Be Caused By Heartburn Medications

Because heartburn medication is designed to suppress the overproduction of stomach acid, it stands to reason that some medications could affect the absorption of vitamin B12.

Research has discovered that taking medications that rely on proton pump inhibitors (like Nexium and Prilosec) for more than two years was linked to a 65% decrease in the body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12. 

Deficiency Can Be Mistaken For Dementia

Symptoms such as memory loss, difficulty thinking and reasoning, and disorientation are usually linked to dementia. However, these are also symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency. 

Taking Birth Control Pills Can Lead To Vitamin B12 Deficiency

If you’re on birth control for a long time, it can lead to issues with absorbing vitamin B12. Higher estrogen in these pills has been linked with folic acid and vitamin B12 deficiencies. 

Excessive Alcohol Intake Is Also A Culprit

More than the recommended maximum daily alcohol intake can lead to irritation of the stomach lining, which can affect the production of stomach acid. Also, because B12 is stored in the liver, and liver function is impaired by excessive alcohol intake, it can make it difficult for the liver to absorb the vitamin.

Which Is The Best Form Of Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is available as methylcobalamin (methyl carbon group + B12), which is an active natural ingredient in B12 supplements. Alternatively, you can get it as cyanocobalamin (Cyanide + B12), which is a synthetic form of vitamin B12. 

Don’t get alarmed when you read “cyanide.” The cyanide in cyanocobalamin is completely safe, even at high doses. 

Methylcobalamin is better absorbed and retained in our body’s tissues than its synthetic counterpart. It’s used more efficiently by the liver, brain, and nervous system, and is also important in the metabolism of the inflammatory protein homocysteine. 

The methyl group attached to vitamin B12 helps to detoxify the liver.

Adenosylcobalamin 

Then there’s adenosylcobalamin. Also known as dibencozide, this naturally forming version of vitamin B12 facilitates liver detoxification, as well as supporting the nervous system. 

It’s particularly beneficial for athletes, to support branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) metabolism, and is utilized as an energy source in the Kreb’s cycle – an important function in ATP production that helps with human movement.

Too Much Vitamin B12

While vegans need to take more vitamin B12 than those following meat-based diets, taking too much of the vitamin isn’t a great idea either.

Being water-soluble, overdosing with vitamin B12 isn’t dangerous. However, excessive dosages have been known to lead to outbreaks of acne and rosacea – a skin condition that results in redness and pus-filled bumps on the face.

There’s also evidence that suggests negative health effects to those who have diabetes or kidney problems. One study showed that people with diabetic nephropathy (kidney issues due to diabetes) experienced a more rapid decline in their kidney function from overdosing on vitamin B12.

Participants receiving high doses were also at greater risk of heart attack, stroke, or even death, compared to those receiving the placebo.

B12 Supplement for Vegans FAQs

What are Cyanocobalamin and Methylcobalamin in vitamin B12?

Methylcobalamin is a naturally occurring form of vitamin B12 that you get from food sources or supplements. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic form of B12 that you will find in supplements.  

How Much Vitamin B12 Should I Take Per Day?

This depends on the micrograms of B12 in the supplement you are taking, as well as your age, physiology, and whether you are vitamin B12 deficient or not.

You can have tests done to measure your vitamin B12 levels, then follow your physician’s or dietician’s guidance on dosage. You will also find dosage directions on the packaging.

Are There Natural Sources Of Vitamin B12 For Vegans?

Leafy greens are the best source of B12 for vegans and vegetarians. Spinach, kale, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts are all foods that every vegan should make sure to include in their diets.

You can also get a good dose of B12 from some legumes like lentils, almonds, split peas, and dried beans.

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