Vitamin B12 is a supplement used to support the creation of red blood cells, which transports oxygen to your cells for proper functioning. If you’re low on vitamin B12, you’ll experience a lack of energy and severe fatigue.
Below, you’ll find the best vitamin B12 supplements on the market, ranked and reviewed by our expert health panel.
1. LiveWell Vegan B12
Formulated to support your metabolism and nervous system, LiveWell’s Vegan B12 is the best of the best. Research shows that it’s a natural mood booster and improves your memory.
What we like: LiveWell’s Vegan B12 comes in high doses of 5000 mcg to help improve your clarity, energy, and focus. Its fresh lemon flavor is tasty, and promotes energy metabolism and boosts cellular reproduction, which is critical for great health for major organs in your body.
Flaws: It could contain more essential vitamins. Regardless, it’s still our #1 B12 supplement of 2020.
2. Transparent Labs
Transparent Labs B complex helps to increase your energy, carbohydrate metabolism, and the quality of your hair, skin, and nails. It has no artificial sweeteners, artificial coloring, or artificial preservatives, and it’s gluten-free non-GMO.
What we like: Transparent Labs B complex is packed with vital vitamins, including vitamin C, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, vitamin B12, biotin, pantothenic acid, inositol, and choline bitartrate. It helps to improve your immune system, longevity, and brain function.
Flaws: This supplement only has 1000 mcg of B12, which is a bit low.
3. Nature’s Bounty
Nature’s Bounty B12 supplement helps you convert food into energy by supporting energy metabolism. The essential vitamins of this vitamin B12 are important for your overall health and nervous system.
What we like: Nature’s Bounty products are overseen by scientists, manufacturing specialists, and quality experts to produce the highest quality supplement. You won’t find any fillers, additives, or unnecessary ingredients.
Flaws: It doesn’t taste as good as some of the other B12’s may taste.
4. Jarrow Formulas
Jarrow Formulas B12 protects your brain cells and nerve tissue. It’s best for vegans and vegetarians
What we like: Since this supplement is methyl B-12, it absorbs better than other vitamin B12 products. Methyl B-12 improves your brain health, energy, and overall well-being.
Flaws: The quality of the ingredients isn’t as strong as they could be.
5. Nature’s Made
With this supplement, you’ll have a better functioning nervous system and convert food into cellular energy.
What we like: Nature Made B12 is the #1 pharmaceutical recommended vitamin B12 product. It’s extremely clean, so its excellent for purists.
Flaws: It’s not the best for vegans and vegetarians.
This supplement provides you with healthy nerves and blood cells to remove carbon dioxide and other toxins from your body. It helps improve your nervous systems since it contains 5,000 mcg B-12 fast-dissolving tablets.
What we like: It’s an advanced formula, and it’s tablets dissolve 30 times faster than other pills. This tablet is also amazing with its mouthwatering strawberry flavor.
Flaws: This vitamin B12 is made of cyanocobalamin, which doesn’t absorb into your tissues as good as methylcobalmin.
7. MaryRuth Organics
If you want a vitamin B12 that tastes delicious, this is the supplement to get. Its gummies are a tasty strawberry flavor and give you an energy boost and better health.
What we like: Mary Ruth’s B12 only has 5 calories per serving, which is great since its a gummy formula. It uses only the best ingredients to ensure quality and purity.
Flaws: Because it’s a gummy formula, it doesn’t absorb into your system fast.
8. Garden of Life B12
One spray of this vitamin B12 provides you with 500 micrograms of vegan B12 as methylcobalamin. This supports energy, metabolism, and heart health.
What we like: It’s whole food B-12 concentration spray is made from real organic foods. It’s a liquid vitamin that has a tasty raspberry flavor.
Flaws: This vitamin only has 500 mcg of B12, and it’s a spray.
Sundown is a vegan formula that supports your energy. It’s non-GMO and has no artificial flavors, dairy, or gluten.
What we like: Its products are made in the United States with only selected ingredients made up of the purest properties.
Flaws: This supplement is made of cyanocobalamin.
This supplement promotes red blood cell formation, energy, and metabolism. It converts food into fuel to be used as energy.
What we like: Its raspberry flavor supports cognitive and immune health.
Flaws: It has 2g of sugar.
Who Should Buy Vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is beneficial for anyone, although it’s used by people who are deficient in vitamin B12. Being deficient in vitamin B12 can lead to many health consequences. Without adequate vitamin B12, you will most commonly experience fatigue and a lack of energy. That’s because vitamin B12 is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, which is essential to transport oxygen through your bloodstream.
If you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 from your diet alone, then a vitamin B12 supplement is necessary. Many vegans and vegetarians struggle to get enough vitamin B12 because vitamin B12 is abundant in animal products, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.
A vitamin B12 supplement is just as effective as a vitamin B12 injection, and it will save you time and money. You’ll have more energy and better mental health when supplementing with a quality vitamin B12 supplement.
How We Ranked
We made sure our highest ranked vitamin B12 supplements had the correct doses to reap the greatest rewards. LiveWell is our number one ranked vitamin B12 supplement because it’s extremely bioavailable since it contains 5000 mcg of daily dosage to supercharge your energy and replenish clarity and focus. Natrol is an advanced formula tablet that dissolves 30 times faster than pills and also has 5,000 mcg B-12.
Garden of Life ranked well because one spray of this supplement gives you 500 micrograms of vegan B12 as methylcobalamin. This is the best form of vitamin B12 because it absorbs more efficiently into your tissues. Jarrow Formulas was among our top 5 ranked since it’s a methyl B-12 and absorbs better than other vitamin B12 products.
Since you’ll be taking this supplement daily, a tasty flavor was factored in when researching each vitamin B12 supplement. Solimo is the last ranked on our list, but it sneaked in because of its delicious raspberry taste – while also supporting cognitive and immune health. MaryRuth Organics is another tasty supplement with its luscious strawberry flavor, and it only has 5 calories per serving.
Vitamin B12 can prevent anemia. Anemia is when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells to carry oxygen to your tissues. This is critical for your body to survive and work adequately because your organs must have oxygen to function. You may experience fatigue, skin pallor, shortness of breath, lightheadedness, dizziness, or a fast heartbeat if you have anemia.
If your vitamin B12 levels are too low, you could have a lower count of red blood cells. One study shows the benefits of vitamin B12 as a treatment option for pernicious anemia (1). This type of anemia is when your body can’t absorb enough vitamin B12.
You can increase your vitamin B12 naturally by eating animal products, such as meat, poultry, shellfish, eggs, and dairy products, although it’s beneficial and more effective to take a high dosage vitamin B12 supplement.
Vitamin B12 can prevent birth defects. A study found that women were three times more likely to give birth to a child with birth defects when their vitamin B12 levels were below 250 mg/Dl (2).
The most common birth defects are heart defects, cleft lip and palate, Down syndrome, and spina bifida. They’re caused by genetic factors and environmental injuries, including infection, radiation, and drug exposure. Although, improving your vitamin B12 levels can decrease the risks of these defects from forming because a vitamin B12 deficiency affects the fetus.
Vitamin B12 may decrease your risk of osteoporosis. A study of more than 2500 adults found the ones with lower vitamin B12 levels to have a lower bone mineral density as well (3). Bone health is important for you to move properly, and your bones protect your brain, heart, and other organs from injury.
Of course, vitamin D is an important vitamin for your bone health, but little is known about the detrimental effects a vitamin B12 deficiency can have on your bone health. In fact, it’s recommended you combine vitamin D and vitamin B12 for healthy bones.
Women are especially noted to experience less bone density when their vitamin B12 levels are low (4).
Vitamin B12 could reduce your risk of macular degeneration. Macular degeneration is an eye disease that could get worse as you age. It’s from the result of your macula, a small central portion of your retina, wearing down, and it’s the leading cause of permanent vision loss if you’re over the age of 60.
One study concluded that supplementing with a vitamin B12 agent may reduce the risk of macular degeneration in women. Over 5,000 women aged 40 or older were examined to support this (5).
Vitamin B12 could improve your mental health. One study discovered that patients with depression improved their symptoms better when they combined vitamin B12 with antidepressants as opposed to taking antidepressants alone. It linked vitamin B12 deficiency to individuals being twice as likely to suffer depression (6).
Depression can arise from abuse, such as physical, environmental, or drug abuse, or from a chemical imbalance in your brain. Vitamin B12 can help balance out any chemical imbalances in your brain by increasing your GABA, dopamine, and serotonin levels. These are all crucial neurotransmitters to feel calm and happy.
Of course, it’s always advisable to seek medical help if you’re suffering from anxiety or depression.
Vitamin B12 may enhance your memory. In 2016, one study found a correlation between combining vitamin B12 with omega-3 fatty acids. This dynamic duo slows the effects of dementia (7).
Vitamin B12 prevents the loss of neurons that are responsible for your memory. This is especially important to take care of as you age since memory loss is more prevalent as you get older.
Vitamin B12 could boost your energy. Since vitamin B12 is crucial for creating red blood cells in your body, it plays a huge role in your energy levels. If you’re not supplying your body and tissues with enough oxygen, you can expect to experience some serious fatigue.
One study linked fatigue to vitamin B12 deficiency (8).
Vitamin B12 might improve your heart health. Blood homocysteine is a type of amino acid that increases your risk of heart disease. A vitamin B12 deficiency raises your homocysteine levels, but studies show that you can offset this with a vitamin B12 supplement (9).
Vitamin B12 could improve your hair, skin, and nail health. Low vitamin B12 levels are associated with dermatologic symptoms that negatively affect your hair, skin, and nails (10). Your cells affect your skin health, and since vitamin B12 helps with cell production, it’s good for your skin. Also, oxygen-rich blood cells are important for hair follicles, so it’s vital for hair growth.
Q: What is vitamin B12 good for?
A: Vitamin B12 is primarily good for your blood cells among many other benefits. Vitamin B12 prevents anemia, birth defects, osteoporosis, and macular degeneration. It enhances your mental health, memory, energy, heart health, and hair, skin, and nail health. Being deficient in vitamin B12 could make you anemic. If your vitamin B12 levels are low, you could experience strange sensations, numbness, or tingling in your hands, legs, and feet.
Q: What foods contain vitamin B12?
A: Vitamin B12 is in animal products including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk. With that being said, vegans and vegetarians struggle to get adequate B12 from diet alone. Vegetables and fruits don’t contain any B12.
Q: How much vitamin B12 should you take daily?
A: For adults, it’s recommended that you take 2.4 micrograms of vitamin B12 daily, although you can safely consume more since the body absorbs the vitamin B12 that’s needed and excretes the rest that you don’t use through your urine. However, overdosing in B12 can lead to some skin problems, such as acne and rosacea.
Q: What happens when your vitamin B12 is low?
A: When your vitamin B12 is low, you can have anemia, which is a deficiency in your red blood cells. This will cause fatigue, damage to your nerves, and cognitive impairments. Increasing your vitamin B12 will substantially increase your energy levels and improve your mood.
Q: What medications should not be taken with vitamin B12?
A: Medications that decrease the absorption of vitamin B12 should not be taken with vitamin B12. These medications include colchicine, metformin, extended-release potassium products, antibiotics, anti-seizure medications, and heartburn medications.
Q: How long does it take vitamin B12 supplements to work?
A: You can expect results from vitamin B12 within 48 to 72 hours of taking one. However, it can take a few months to notice substantial improvements.
Q: Which fruit is rich in vitamin B12?
A: Unfortunately, vitamin B12 isn’t found in fruits. You can find vitamin B12 in animal products, such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and milk.
Q: How long does it take to recover from vitamin B12 deficiency?
A: It takes time to recover from vitamin B12 deficiency. The results may be gradual and you may not see substantial improvement for 6 to 12 months. In the first few months, you may not notice anything.
Q: Should I take vitamin B12 in the morning or night?
A: It’s best to take vitamin B12 in the morning since it can boost your energy. If you take it at night, it may cause restlessness since it can give you a boost in energy.
Q: Does vitamin B12 make you sleepy?
A: No, vitamin B12 does not make you sleepy. In fact, it provides quite a bit of energy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, a vitamin B12 deficiency can make you sleepy though since fatigue is the main side effect. Being low in vitamin B12 causes the body to have fewer red blood cells, which is responsible for transferring oxygen to the other parts of your body.
Q: Does vitamin B12 give you energy?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 converts the food you eat into glucose, which gives you energy. Vitamin B12 also makes red blood cells, which bring oxygen to your tissues, and this gives you more energy.
Q: How do you know if your vitamin B12 is low?
A: If your vitamin B12 is low, you’ll experience weakness, tiredness, or lightheadedness. Other possible symptoms are heart palpitations, shortness of breath, pale skin, or a smooth tongue.
Q: Can vitamin B12 cause hair loss?
A: No, vitamin B12 can promote hair growth, but a vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to hair loss. A vitamin B12 supplement will make your blood cells rich with oxygen, which helps with hair growth.
Q: Can low vitamin B12 cause weight gain?
A: There isn’t much evidence to suggest that vitamin B12 can cause weight gain. However, since it does cause fatigue among other side effects, this could lead to weight gain since you may not have the energy to workout. Exercising requires energy and a vitamin B12 deficiency may make physical activity unbearable.
Q: Does vitamin B12 raise blood pressure?
A: No, vitamin B12 doesn’t raise blood pressure. Vitamin B12 could lower your risk of hypertension since it prevents the build-up of the amino acid homocysteine. This amino acid is associated with heart disease, and high blood pressure is linked to heart disease. Since vitamin B12 can improve your blood pressure, it’s excellent for your heart health. Your brain and heart are two vital organs for your body, so improving these two organs will have immense benefits for your body.
Q: Does vitamin B12 help you lose weight?
A: Vitamin B12 can help you lose weight since it gives you more energy and speeds up your metabolism. If you have more energy, it will be a lot easier to exercise and make progress with your fitness. Furthermore, vitamin B12 prevents osteoporosis. If your bones are stronger, you can lift weights and push yourself in the gym, which helps significantly with weight loss.
Q: What is the best form of vitamin B12?
A: Methylcobalamin is the best form of vitamin B12 since it seems to be better absorbed in your tissues than cyanocobalamin. Your brain, liver, and nervous system will use this form better, and many of the vitamin B12 we have ranked on our list contains this vitamin B12 complex. Garden of Life is a vitamin B12 with methylcobalamin to give you energy and better heart health. Jarrow Formulas is another vitamin B12 that protects your brain cells and nerve tissue, and it’s a methylcobalamin B12.
Q: Why does vitamin B12 make me tired?
A: Vitamin B12 only makes you tired if you’re deficient in it. If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, your body won’t be able to transport oxygen to the rest of your body to provide your body with energy.
Q: How much vitamin B12 should I take for nerve damage?
A: You should avoid taking any more than 200 milligrams of vitamin B12 a day to prevent nerve damage.
Q: Is banana rich in vitamin B12?
A: No, bananas don’t contain any vitamin B12. You can find vitamin B12 in animal products.
Q: How can I increase my vitamin B12 naturally?
A: To increase your vitamin B12 naturally, eat more beef, liver, chicken, and fish.
Q: What fruits and vegetables are high in vitamin B12?
A: No fruits or vegetables are high in vitamin B12.
Q: Can low vitamin B12 cause anxiety?
A: Yes, since vitamin B12 deficiency affects your nervous system and red blood cells, it can cause anxiety. Low vitamin B12 can also lead to other psychiatric symptoms, such as panic, depression, and hallucination.
Q: Does exercise reduce vitamin B12?
A: No, exercise actually increases your vitamin B12.
Q: Does vitamin B12 keep you awake at night?
A: Since vitamin B12 can boost your energy, it could keep you awake at night if you take it in the evening. For this reason, it’s best to take it in the morning.
Q: Should I take vitamin B12 before bed?
A: Taking a vitamin B12 supplement can improve your sleep by regulating your level of tryptophan, which is an amino acid critical for sleep. However, since vitamin B12 can boost your energy levels, it’s best to avoid taking vitamin B12 at night, or it could cause insomnia.
Q: Can you take vitamin D and vitamin B12 together?
A: Yes, since vitamin D and vitamin B12 are dietary supplements, you can take them together. This will be great for your bone health since both vitamins help support strong bones and prevent osteoporosis.
Q: Does vitamin B12 help with depression?
A: Yes, low levels of vitamin B12 can cause depression, so increasing your vitamin B12 intake can improve depressive symptoms. It’s recommended to take 1 milligram per day of vitamin B12 to help alleviate depression. Vitamin B12 increases your serotonin levels, which is a neurotransmitter that can cause depressive symptoms if it’s too low.
Q: Does vitamin B12 help with anxiety?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 can help with anxiety. It will improve your red blood cell count and nervous system, which can decrease anxiety. It’s also an excellent supplement to take to help with depression.
Q: What does a vitamin B12 deficiency tongue look like?
A: A vitamin B12 deficiency tongue makes the tongue sore and a beefy-red color. It can also cause glossitis and swelling of the tongue, making it look smooth.
Q: Does vitamin B12 make you urinate more?
A: Vitamin B12 doesn’t cause you to urinate more unless you overdose on it. If you take too much vitamin B12, it will cause you to urinate more because any excess vitamin B12 gets excreted in your urine.
Q: Can low vitamin B12 cause joint pain?
A: Yes, low vitamin B12 can cause joint pain since a deficiency can cause osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 along with vitamin D is beneficial for your bone health.
Q: Does vitamin B12 stop grey hair?
A: A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause grey hair and taking vitamin B12 could reverse it.
Q: Who needs vitamin B12 supplements?
A: Some people will obtain enough vitamin B12 through foods alone, however, anyone can benefit from a vitamin B12 supplement, especially if you’re not getting enough from foods. Older adults, people on strict plant-based diets, and anyone with a digestive disorder may benefit from a vitamin B12 supplement the most.
Q: Should you take vitamin B12 with food?
A: Vitamin B12 is better taken on an empty stomach because it will absorb into your system better.
Q: Does vitamin B12 make your heart race?
A: A vitamin B12 deficiency could make your heart race along with shortness of breath. That’s because low vitamin B12 levels means you’ll have less red blood cells, and your heart may beat faster to compensate.
Q: How do vegans get vitamin B12?
A: Vegans can get foods that are fortified with vitamin B12, such as plant milk, some soy products, and some breakfast cereals, but the best way for vegans to get vitamin B12 is to take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Q: Why do you put vitamin B12 under your tongue?
A: Sublingual vitamins are vitamins you take by dissolving the tab under your tongue. It’s supposed to absorb faster because it goes directly into your bloodstream instead of having to go through your gastrointestinal tract.
Q: Can vitamin B12 heal nerve damage?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 can heal nerve damage.
Q: How can vegetarians get vitamin B12 naturally?
A: Vegetarians can get vitamin B12 naturally from fortified foods, dairy products, eggs, nori, and shitake mushrooms.
Q: Can you get vitamin B12 from vegetables?
A: No, there aren’t any vegetables that contain vitamin B12.
Q: Can low vitamin B12 affect mood?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 affects the chemicals in your brain that can affect your mood. A vitamin B12 supplement can decrease your anxiety and depression.
Q: Can vitamin B12 deficiency make you emotional?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 deficiency can make you emotional. With low vitamin B12, you may experience agitation, irritability, negativism, confusion, disorientation, amnesia, impaired concentration and attention, and insomnia. You may also experience some psychiatric disorders, including depression, bipolar disorder, panic disorder, psychosis, and phobias.
Q: Does vitamin B2 help with running?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 helps with running. Vitamin B12 converts carbs into energy and since red blood cells are imperative for endurance activities, vitamin B12 will supply runners get more oxygen.
Q: Is vitamin B12 good for thyroid?
A: Yes, because vitamin B12 is important for thyroid function.
Q: Does vitamin B12 make you happy?
A: If you’re deficient in vitamin B12, then a vitamin B12 supplement will decrease any anxiety or depressive symptoms, which will make you happier.
Q: Does vitamin B12 help serotonin?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 helps with the formation of neurotransmitters, including serotonin.
Q: What happens if your vitamin B12 is too high?
A: Typically, any vitamin B12 that you take that goes unused will be excreted out of your body through urine, however, megadoses of vitamin B12 could lead to outbreaks of acne and rosacea.
Q: Does vitamin B12 deficiency cause leg pain?
A: Vitamin B12 deficiency may cause leg pain.
Q: How much vitamin B12 should a person take over the age of 65?
A: The recommended amount of vitamin B12 for adults is 2.4 micrograms per day, so a person over 65 should take about 2.4 micrograms daily.
Q: Do vitamin B12 supplements work?
A: Yes, vitamin B12 supplements provide your body with many benefits. In fact, a vitamin B12 supplement is just as effective as a monthly vitamin B12 injection. A vitamin B12 supplement improves your energy, mood, memory, heart, skin, hair, and nails. It can also reduce osteoporosis and your risks of anemia.
Q: How soon does vitamin B12 start working?
A: Vitamin B12 usually takes 24 to 72 hours to start working.
Q: Can you recover from vitamin B12 deficiency?
A: Yes, you should start noticing a few benefits within a few days of taking a vitamin B12 supplement, however, it can take a few months to fully recover.
Q: What is the name of vitamin B12?
A: Cyanocobalamin is the name of vitamin B12. It’s a highly complex essential vitamin and gets its name because it contains cobalt. Your bacteria naturally produce it, and it’s required for DNA synthesis and cellular energy production.
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin essential for the formation of red blood cells and ensuring the proper functioning and health of your nerve tissues.
Unfortunately, many people don’t get enough vitamin B12 from their diets alone, especially vegans and vegetarians. Without adequate vitamin B12, you may experience anemia, depression, and osteoporosis. This is what makes supplements so valuable.
For cpoe.org’s #1 recommended vitamin B12 supplement, click here.