Few vitamins have been as extensively studied and marketed to the public as vitamin B12, and it's quite likely that the B12 craze won't be stopping anytime soon. While vitamin B12 is definitely not the end-all-be-all of nutrition and fitness, the nutrient does play a crucial role in many of our body's functions, such as aiding blood cell production and sustaining brain health.
With so many brands and types of B12 to pick from, it can be hard figuring out exactly what products to try to get your B12 levels back on track. Here we rank some of the best supplement brands available on the market, selected to fit your specific health goals and dietary requirements!
Best b12 Supplements for Your Diet or Goals
Looking to improve your energy and beat fatigue or to maximize B12 absorption as a vegan? Or maybe you're looking at B12 supplementation as a way to accelerate your weight loss journey and boost bone health at a reasonable price.
Look no further than these recommendations to get your health back on track!
Best b12 Supplement For Energy
According to a growing number of studies, methylcobalamin is the best form of vitamin B12 to supplement out of the four available on the market when it comes to improving energy levels, as the methyl form of B12 focuses on aiding energy production within your body's cells.
For this reason, a 100% methylcobalamin B12 supplement might be the best option for those looking to boost their energy levels naturally. As most of the products available use the cheaper, more extensively studied cyanocobalamin form of vitamin B12, B12 methylcobalamin is certainly not as easy to come by.
We have created a 100% methylcobalamin vitamin B12 supplement spray that's designed for maximizing energy and boosting fast absorption, giving you 500mcg of B12 per serving in its convenient 2-month supply.
Our Top Pick: Future Kind B12 Spray
Best b12 Supplement for Vegans
It is possible for omnivores to obtain enough vitamin B12 from eating animals and animal products, but vegans and vegetarians who choose to avoid all or some of these foods must turn to B12 supplementation to get enough of this key nutrient.
Vegans need a B12 supplement that is not only free of all animal products and by-products but also specifically formulated to cater to their B12 consumption requirements, as they'll need much more vitamin B12 than a regular meat-eater to make sure they're getting enough.
Choosing a vitamin B12 supplement that's specifically made for vegans like Future Kind's Essential Vegan Multivitamin, which boasts a generous 400mcg of B12 per serving and targets the nutrients they are more likely to be deficient in (B12, vitamin D, and omega-3 fatty acids) is the best way to ensure your plant-based needs are fully taken care of!
Our Top Pick: Future Kind Essential Vegan Multivitamin
Best b12 Supplements for Weight Loss
Even though supplementing vitamin B12 (especially via hydroxocobalamin injections) has been recommended as a viable method for losing weight by some companies, there hasn't been a peer-reviewed study confirming its efficacy in aiding weight loss.
One study has found no correlation between changes in body weight and homocysteine levels in a group of slightly overweight adults, and the closest study to show a correlation between weight loss and B12 supplementation is a 2018 study on rats showing an improvement of energy metabolism as a result of supplementing B vitamins - which in turn, seems to have aided body weight reduction.
These results are certainly promising, but more research is needed in order to add vitamin B12 or vitamin B6 to the list of body-hacking vitamins that may help with weight loss. Until then, following a whole food plant-based diet is the best advice we can give to those wanting to shed some extra pounds in a healthy way!
Best b12 Supplements for Absorption
The synthetic form of B12, cyanocobalamin, must be converted into methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin first by our body in order to become active and be used to make red blood cells and DNA material, so those suffering from malabsorption issues or B12-related gene polymorphism will fare better by taking the two active forms of vitamin B12 directly. Supplementing both the methyl and adenosylcobalamin forms of B12 can boost bioavailability and absorption rates by taking full advantage of their natural synergetic relationship.
Absorption can also be boosted by choosing "quick dissolve" gel capsules or B12 spray which bypass the digestive system breakdown of the vitamin, getting the nutrient into your bloodstream that much faster.
Future Kind's Essential Vegan Multivitamin is once again our vitamin B12 supplement of choice, as it covers all the bases with convenient, easy-to-swallow softgel capsules and a formula that, unlike 99% of other supplement brands, expertly uses the methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin synergy to boost absorption.
Our Top Pick: Future Kind Essential Vegan Mutivitamin
Top b12 Supplements Based on Ingredients
As we have previously touched upon, vitamin B12 supplements generally come in three different forms: methylcobalamin, cyanocobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin.
Nowadays, there is a huge amount of options to be found for all forms of B12, so whatever your specific needs may be, you are guaranteed to be able to find something for you!
We have ranked these recommendations according to the purity of the ingredients used, price accessibility, and customer reviews. We have only selected products rated 4 stars and above on Amazon and products suitable for all consumers, from coeliacs to soy-allergy sufferers, vegans, and vegetarians.
5 Best b12 Supplements With Methylcobalamin
Future Kind B12 Spray
Pros - 100% vegan and free of unnecessary additives and bulking agents, this methyl spray is ideal for maximizing vitamin B12 absorption. It contains 60 servings per container (a two-month supply) with 500mcg of B12 per serving and comes with a pleasant wild berry flavor.
Cons - The price for this spray might be on the higher end of the scale for some
How To Take - Spray one serving (approximately five sprays) under the tongue every day or every other day.
Basic Greens B12 Energy Booster
Pros - This vitamin B12 supplement comes in sublingual drops to boost fast absorption and contains both the cyano and methyl B12 forms. The bottle contains 60 servings with a whopping 5000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving, all the ingredients are non-GMO and vegan-friendly.
Cons - The formula contains Stevia leaf extract (which some customers prefer to avoid) and comes with a higher price tag than other brands on the market.
How To Take - Squeeze 1ml (approximately 25 drops) under the tongue every 3 to 4 days.
Jarrow Formulas Methyl B-12
Pros - This methyl B12 supplement comes in chewable lozenges with a variety of pleasant fruit flavors, and comes in a range of dosages to fit every need (1000mcg, 2500mcg, and even a generous 5000mcg!).
Cons - Some customers report inconsistent quality in the lozenges, and questionable ingredients like stearic acid and magnesium stearate are added to the formula for bulk, rather than for any health benefit.
How To Take - Dissolve the lozenge in your mouth or chew it thoroughly every day (for 1000mcg) or 3 to 4 days with a meal (for 5000mcg).
Nature's Bounty Quick Dissolve B-12
Pros - A very accessible price and a convenient 1000mcg dosage per serving make Nature's Bounty one of the best no-nonsense vitamin B12 supplements. The micrologenzes also make for an easy-to-swallow option.
Cons - The formula contains the artificial sweetener mannitol which some people might want to avoid.
How To Take- Dissolve on microlozenge under the tongue every day.
Amazon Elements Vitamin B12
Pros - The chewable lozenges have a pleasant berry flavor and boast 5000mcg of B12 per serving. As a 2-month supply, this brand gives great value for the price.
Cons - The formula contains the artificial sweeteners xylitol and mannitol.
How To Take - Chew or hold on lozenge in your mouth every 3 to 4 days.
5 Best b12 Supplements With Cyanocobalamin
NOW Vitamin B-12
Pros - The chewable lozenges are easy to take and great for absorption, and the 250 count bottle offers excellent value for the price with each lozenge containing 1000mcg of vitamin B12.
Cons - The formula also contains folic acid, which some customers may prefer not to supplement every time they take their vitamin B12.
How To Take - Chew or let the lozenge dissolve in the mouth once a day with a meal.
Superior Source B-12
Pros - The fast-dissolve sublingual tablets (offering 1000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving) help with quick absorption and convenience, no water necessary!
Cons - The formula contains lactose, making the supplement unsuitable for vegans.
How To Take - Let one tablet dissolve under the tongue once a day with a meal.
Natrol Vitamin B-12
Pros - Boasting a convenient fast-dissolve technology and a generous 5000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving, this brand offers great value for the accessible price.
Cons - The formula contains many unnecessary additives like modified food starch, malic acid, stearic acid, and maltodextrin.
How To Take - Allow the tablet to dissolve in the mouth either once a day or once every 3 days.
Solgar Vitamin B12
Pros - Containing 250 servings with 1000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving, Solgar sublingual nuggets come in recyclable amber glass bottles.
Cons - The formula contains mannitol and other preservatives, and comes with a hefty price tag.
How To Take - Place the nugget under the tongue and let it dissolve once a day with a meal.
Nature Made B12
Pros - Arguably the most popular brand on Amazon, Nature Made B12 comes in a generous 150 count packaging with 1000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving, all in convenient softgel capsules.
Cons - It is not vegan or vegetarian-friendly as it contains gelatin, beeswax, and carmine - plus other additives and preservatives.
How To Take - Take one capsule daily with a meal.
4 Best b12 Supplements With Adenosylcobalamin
Ekopura Vitamin B12
Pros - The formula contains both the methyl and adenosyl forms of vitamin B12, boosting absorption. Ekopura's packaging is also plastic-free and contains 120 capsules of 1000mcg of vitamin B12 each.
Cons - The higher price tag might not be as accessible as other brands.
How To Take - Take one capsule a day with water.
KAL B12 Adenosylcobalamin
Pros - Instant-melt technology and a pleasant strawberry flavor make this brand one of the best on the market for pure adenosylcobalamin (found in 1000mcg per serving).
Cons - The formula also contains vitamin D3, zinc, and other nutrients some customers may not want to supplement.
How To Take - Let one tablet dissolve in the mouth once a day.
Pros - This brand contains a generous 3000mcg of vitamin B12 per serving and minimal additives.
Cons - The formula also contains folic acid, which some customers cannot metabolize.
How To Take - Let one lozenge dissolve under the tongue once a day.
Nutrigold B-12 Gold
Pros - This formula contains both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin for maximum absorption, boasting 2400mcg of vitamin B12 per serving.
Cons - The formula also contains sprouted extracts that some customers may want to avoid. The price tag is also much higher than similar brands.
How To Take - Take one tablet daily with a meal.
What Else to Know Before Buying a b12 Supplement?
Before you dive straight into filling up your Amazon shopping basket, there are a few facts about vitamin B12 you should get familiar with.
What Is Vitamin b12?
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin that's responsible for keeping our nervous system healthy, aiding DNA synthesis, and making the red blood cells that transport oxygen through our body.
On top of all that, vitamin B12 is also crucial (along with folate) to properly utilize the iron in our bodies and release energy from the food we consume — hence the energy-boosting properties usually attributed to B12.
B12 Deficiency Signs
Studies show that vitamin B12 deficiency is a common issue, especially among the aging population, with an estimated 3.2% of adults over the age of 50 suffering from severely low B12 levels.
The most common signs that you're not getting enough vitamin B12 from your diet or supplementation include chronic fatigue, lethargy, weakness, brain fog, and even severe mental health problems like depression. In more extreme cases, insufficient vitamin B12 levels can severely impact our nervous system by causing nerve damage and memory loss, so vitamin B12 deficiency is definitely something you don't want to play around with!
On the other hand, the benefits of keeping your vitamin B12 levels in check include improved energy and vitality, improved heart health, higher bone density, and the ability to prevent several birth defects associated with low B12 and folate.
B12 Supplements vs Fortified Food
Unfortunately, our body is not very good at absorbing B12, so it's best to opt for taking supplements containing 500 mcg of vitamin B12 or more (up to 1500/2000 mcg weekly). Aa a water-soluble vitamin, any excess of B12 will be flushed out of your system, so as a general rule of thumb it's always better to aim for getting more than less.
Theoretically, eating plant-based foods that are fortified with B12 like nutritional yeast, non-dairy milk, and cereal daily can be enough to boost your vitamin B12 intake to a sufficient level, but supplements should always be considered the most reliable option. In order to meet and surpass the RDI for B12, in fact, you'd need to incorporate at least three or more servings of B12-fortified foods per day — supplementing the vitamin is easier, cheaper, and infinitely more reliable!