The Best B12 Supplements You Can Buy
Edited and medically reviewed by ✔️ Team of BestInSupplements | Written by Katelyn Johnson (B.S. and M.S. in Nutrition Science)
There is no denying the importance of B12 when it comes to our health. Here we list the best B12 supplements you can buy and cover everything you need to know about their benefits, ingredients, uses, and more.
Vitamin B12 (also known as cobalamin) is a B vitamin that is essential for the development and maintenance of the central nervous system, red blood cell production, brain health, and DNA synthesis 1.
Vitamin B12 is naturally present in animal-derived foods such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products 2. Additionally, some breakfast cereals and nutritional yeasts fortified with B12 offer a readily available, high bioavailability source of the B vitamin 3,4.
Collagen can help you to improve your overall health: The Best Collagen Gummies You Can Buy
B12 requirements are usually met through food. And yet, up to 15% of Americans are still deficient. So, what happens when you're not getting enough B12 from food?
A vitamin B12 deficiency can cause health complications, including fatigue, digestive upset, and neurological issues like nerve damage, memory loss, and depression 5.
As a result, many people turn to vitamin B12 supplements to help them meet their nutrient needs and avoid deficiency.
Here You Will Discover More About:
Benefits of B12 Supplements
Vitamin B12 is commonly found as a supplement in multivitamins, but it can also be taken on its own. There are various types of B12 supplements, but they are all effective at increasing B12 levels. As Vitamin B12 is essential for overall health, supplementing ensures your body is functioning at peak performance.
Healthy Fetus and Pregnancy
B12 is required for the development of a healthy brain and nervous system in babies. According to one 2014 study, women with B12 levels below 150 mg/dL have a fivefold increased risk of their fetus developing birth defects 6.
Low bone mineral density has been linked to B12 deficiency. Over time, the lower the density, the more fragile and delicate your bones become. According to one 2015 study, an increase in B12 concentration is associated with a 4% decrease in fracture risk 7.
Mood and Mental Health Improvements
A 2015 study discovered that B12 supplements can help improve depression symptoms in people who are deficient in B12 8.
Dopamine also helps with your mood: The Best Dopamine Supplements You Can Buy
Best B12 Supplements You Can Buy
Although vitamin B12 is essential for optimal health, some people struggle to maintain adequate levels without the help of a B12 supplement. If you are struggling to keep up with B12 requirements, investing in a quality supplement will get you there. The following list contains the best B12 supplements you can buy.
Best Soft Gel: Nature Made B12
Nature Made is one of the top-rated vitamin and supplement brands. Their B12 soft gel contains no gluten, artificial flavors, or dyes. It's a true one-a-day supplement.
Each soft gel contains 1,000 micrograms of B12, and you should take one daily with water and a meal. Nature Made Vitamin B12 1000 mcg Softgels, 150 Count for around 15 dollars on Amazon
Vegans should use caution and read the ingredient label; gelatin is typically sourced from animal byproducts. Additionally, those with a soy allergy should avoid the ingredient soybean oil.
Best High Dose: Natrol Vitamin B12
The fast-dissolving tablets from Natrol Vitamin B12 require no water and can be taken anywhere, at any time. It's a great option for people who have food allergies because it's free of milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy.
1 tablet per day will provide you with a whopping 5,000 micrograms of B12. Natrol Vitamin B12 5,000 mcg Fast Dissolve Tablets, 200 count on Amazon is available for less than 20 dollars.
Take in mind this supplement contains xylitol, which gives it a sweet strawberry flavor with each dose. It's a sugar alcohol that's usually well-tolerated, but its ability to draw water into your intestine can cause digestive discomfort.
Amazon Elements Vitamin B12
Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 is another high-dose choice, taken once a day like a cough drop lozenge (or you can chew it). These berry-flavored lozenges are gluten-free, vegan, and contain only natural colors and flavors. They are also produced in a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) facility that is regulated by the FDA in order to ensure quality.
One lozenge a day will provide you with 5,000 micrograms of B12. Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 5000 mcg Lozenges, 65 count on Amazon is available for around 12 dollars.
Sugar alcohol in the form of xylitol and mannitol is used in this product. This gives the lozenge a nice, sweet flavor. If you are sensitive to a sugar alcohol, it may cause stomach pains and digestive upset.
Best Chewable: Jarrow Formulas B12
This chewable B12 supplement uses the most bioavailable form of B12 (methylcobalamin). It has received over 11,000 positive reviews and five-star ratings on the internet. You only need to take this supplement every few days, which is great for those of us who are forgetful.
Take 1 lozenge every 3 to 4 days with a meal, dissolved in the mouth or chewed. This will provide you with 5,000 micrograms of vitamin B12. Jarrow Formulas B12 5000 mcg Chewable Tablets, 60 count costs around 18 dollars.
Don't forget that the sugar alcohol xylitol is also in this supplement, but it may not be as harsh on your stomach if you only take it every few days.
Best Gummy: Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin B12
If you would like a tasty supplement, put this in your medicine cabinet right away. Reviewers enjoy the raspberry flavor of Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin B12, and the gummy form makes taking this vitamin more enjoyable.
But there is one thing! Because of the addition of glucose syrup and sugar, these gummies contain calories and carbs in addition to B12. This could be a deal-breaker for anyone on a low-carb diet or who prefers to avoid supplements with added sugar.
With this supplement, you will get 1,000 micrograms of B12, if chew two gummies thoroughly each day. Vitafusion Extra Strength Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg Gummies, 90 Count is available for around 11 dollars.
Solimo Vitamin B12
Gelatin is a common ingredient in gummies, making them unsuitable for vegans. Solimo chose a fiber derived from fruits called pectin. This raspberry-flavored gummy can be enjoyed by vegans as well as those who are allergic to gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, and egg (because it is free of them).
Once again, this gummy contains added sugar to make it appear more like candy than a supplement. Even though it is a small amount (2 grams), if you are trying to avoid excess sugar, this may not be for you.
Chew 2 gummies completely to get a daily dose of 3000 micrograms of B12. Solimo Vitamin B12 3,000 mcg, 100 count costs less than 10 dollars.
Best Capsule: Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12
One of the most cost-effective B12 pills on the market is Doctor's Best Fully Active B12, you can receive two months' supply of active B12 supplements for the price of a gourmet cup of coffee. Vegans and vegetarians can also use it. It is also free of GMOs, gluten, sugar, and soy.
To receive 1,500 mcg of B12, take one capsule daily with a meal. You can buy Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12 1,500 mcg, 60 veggie caps for only $5.
Some people may have difficulty swallowing capsules, and they take longer for your body to break down than chewable or gummies, which are pre-broken down when chewed. As a result, capsules may take longer to absorb.
Best Drops: Salt Lake Supplements Vitamin B12 Liquid
Salt Lake Supplements Vitamin B12 Liquid is heavily marketed as a vitamin B12 supplement, but it is actually a B complex supplement. That is, in addition to B12, it contains B2, B3, B5, and B6.
B complex vitamins have been shown in studies to help reduce stress and improve cognition 9. Not only that, but a 2013 study discovered that taking a B complex vitamin for 60 days reduced depression and anxiety symptoms in 60 adults 10.
How to use this liquid supplement? Shake it well before each use. Fill the dropper halfway, then squirt it under your tongue for 20 seconds and hold it there. After that, swallow the supplement and follow the same instructions again to ensure you get the full dose (1 ml). One full dose contains 1,200 micrograms of vitamin B12.
The cost of Salt Lake Supplements Vitamin B12 Liquid, 2 Fl Oz is around 20 dollars.
Because it is a liquid, proper dosage may be more difficult than with a capsule or gummy (especially after you check out those dosage instructions). It's also another supplement that contains sugar alcohol in the form of sorbitol, which may cause stomach aches.
Best Vegan Option: MaryRuth’s Methyl B12 Organic Liquid Spray
This supplement distinguishes itself not only by being a spray but also by having a tasty berry flavor with no added sugar. It's vegan, kid-friendly, and made with organic ingredients (if that's what you're looking for). It is gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, and GMO-free.
Although additional research is needed, a 2013 study conducted by the Cardiff School of Pharmacy & Pharmaceutical Sciences discovered that B12 sprays may be absorbed faster, efficiently providing you with the recommended levels of B12 11.
Discover this liquid electrolyte supplement: Liquid IV Reviews, Ingredients, Does It Work?
4 sprays in your mouth daily provide 3,000 micrograms of B12. MaryRuth’s Methyl B12 3,000 mcg Organic Liquid Spray, 1 Fl Oz on Amazon is available for more than $20.
One disadvantage is that it is the most expensive supplement on this list, lasting only a few months before needing to be replenished.
How To Choose The Best B12 Supplement
When selecting the best B12 supplements, keep the following in mind:
- Reviews. Choose a supplement with the highest number of reviews that are as close to 5 stars as possible.
- Quality is essential. Try your best to find a supplement that is made under strict quality control standards and is backed by healthcare professionals.
- Caters to individual needs. Everyone requires B12, but not everyone has the same lifestyle. If you are a vegan or vegetarian, find a B12 supplement that meets your dietary needs and restrictions. If you suffer from allergies, carefully select a supplement that is safe for you to use.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Stabler SP. Vitamin B12. In: Marriott BP, Birt DF, Stallings VA, Yates AA, eds. Present Knowledge in Nutrition. 11th ed. Washington, DC: Elsevier; 2020:257-71.
- Watanabe F, Yabuta Y, Bito T, Teng F. Vitamin B₁₂-containing plant food sources for vegetarians. Nutrients 2014;6:1861-73.
- Damayanti D, Jaceldo-Siegl K, Beeson WL, Fraser G, Oda K, Haddad EH. Foods and supplements associated with vitamin B(12) biomarkers among vegetarian and non-vegetarian participants of the Adventist Health Study-2 (AHS-2) Calibration study. Nutrients 2018;10:722.
- Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B(6), Folate, Vitamin B(12), Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 1998.
- Molloy, A. M., Kirke, P. N., Troendle, J. F., Burke, H., Sutton, M., Brody, L. C., ... & Mills, J. L. (2009). Maternal vitamin B12 status and risk of neural tube defects in a population with high neural tube defect prevalence and no folic acid fortification. Pediatrics, 123(3), 917-923.
- Dai, Z., & Koh, W. P. (2015). B-vitamins and bone health–a review of the current evidence. Nutrients, 7(5), 3322-3346.
- Petridou, E. T., Kousoulis, A. A., Michelakos, T., Papathoma, P., Dessypris, N., Papadopoulos, F. C., & Stefanadis, C. (2016). Folate and B12 serum levels in association with depression in the aged: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Aging & mental health, 20(9), 965-973.
- Kennedy, D. O., Veasey, R., Watson, A., Dodd, F., Jones, E., Maggini, S., & Haskell, C. F. (2010). Effects of high-dose B vitamin complex with vitamin C and minerals on subjective mood and performance in healthy males. Psychopharmacology, 211(1), 55-68.
- Lewis, J. E., Tiozzo, E., Melillo, A. B., Leonard, S., Chen, L., Mendez, A., ... & Konefal, J. (2013). The effect of methylated vitamin B complex on depressive and anxiety symptoms and quality of life in adults with depression. International Scholarly Research Notices, 2013.
- Butler, C. C., Vidal-Alaball, J., Cannings-John, R., McCaddon, A., Hood, K., Papaioannou, A., Mcdowell, I., & Goringe, A. (2006). Oral vitamin B12 versus intramuscular vitamin B12 for vitamin B12 deficiency: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. Family practice, 23(3), 279–285. https://doi.org/10.1093/fampra/cml008
Every editorial product is independently selected, though we may be compensated or receive an affiliate commission if you buy something through our links.