Top 5 Best Vitamin B12 Supplements | Smarter Reviews

Top 5 Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

Here you'll find out how to identify the best vitamin B12 supplements to buy, and what you need to avoid.

Top 5 Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

When was the last time you had your vitamin B12 level checked? It may have been longer than you think.

Vitamin B levels are not typically checked as part of routine blood work, meaning you could easily be one of the 15% of people with a vitamin B12 deficiency or one of the almost 40% that are borderline. (1) This leads to a crucial question: Why is this even important?

To help you understand why your vitamin B12 level is so important, here’s a quick look at what vitamin B12 is, what vitamin B12 supplements are, and who might benefit from them. We’ve looked at 5 of the top vitamin B12 supplements and used our ranking system to find the best one currently available.

What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is simply a water-soluble vitamin, or nutrient, that your body absolutely needs to ensure your nerves and blood cells stay healthy (2) It plays an essential role in the formation and metabolism of your red blood cells (RBCs), as well as in your ability to produce DNA (the genetic material in your cells).

In regards to your nerve cells, vitamin B12 helps maintain their overall health and works to form their protective covering, known as the myelin sheath. At the same time, vitamin B12 helps to prevent you from developing megaloblastic anemia, which is characterized by extreme tiredness and weakness.

When your B12 levels are low, your production of RBCs, which carry oxygen throughout your body, is negatively affected.

When your body doesn’t have enough RBCs to do this, you’ll become very tired and weak. You may also experience neurological symptoms, such as tingling and numbness in your hands and feet.

What Are Vitamin B12 Supplements Used for?

Obviously, vitamin B12 supplements are used to increase the level of vitamin B12 in your body. In addition, there are people who will take these supplements to ensure they maintain stable levels.

B12 supplements are frequently used by vegans to make certain they are consuming enough B12 in their daily diet. This is important because, with the exception of foods fortified with B12, animal foods are almost the exclusive source of B12 in the American food supply (3)

Who Could Benefit from a Vitamin B Supplement?

If your doctor tells you that your vitamin B12 levels are normal, you may not need a vitamin B12 supplement. However, most people will benefit from them, including:

  1. Anyone over the age of 50. This age group has the highest risk of suffering from a deficiency. (4)
  2. Vegetarians and vegans. Make sure the supplement is compatible with your diet.
  3. Anyone with specific health conditions. Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, or pernicious anemia because these conditions often decrease your body’s ability to absorb B12.
  4. If you've had gastrointestinal surgeries. A gastric bypass, for example.
  5. Anyone who often struggles with weakness, extreme fatigue, difficulty thinking and recalling information, sensations of pins and needles, breathlessness, dizziness, and mouth ulcers, which are all signs of a deficiency.

Warning Signs and Reasons to Avoid Buying a Vitamin B12 Supplement

Synthetic forms of b12

Look out for any containing cyanobalamin or hydroxycobalamin.

Extremely high doses

Unless your physician has okayed them, taking too much vitamin B12 can cause negative side effects.

Supplements from unknown manufacturers

Those with a label in a language you do not understand or any product marketed almost entirely via mass email should be especially avoided.

What to Look for when Choosing a Vitamin B Supplement

When you start to look for a B12 supplement, it is very easy to be overwhelmed. Here are the top things you should look for:

Contains methylcobalamin

As a naturally sourced form, methylcobalamin is better absorbed by the body than the synthetic form, cyanocobalamin. Research also shows that it stays in your body longer and at a higher level than cyanobalamin. (5)

Opt for well-known manufacturers

While lesser-known manufacturers may be just as good as their counterparts, you can’t always count on this. Opting for a manufacturer that you can trust is only using the highest-quality ingredients and is testing them for purity and potency.

Look for liquid, spray, or sublingual supplements

Liquids, sprays, and sublingual (under the tongue) supplements start to work immediately, unlike tablets that must be digested first.

Try a gummy version

These also begin to work fast and have the advantage of a great taste.

Pay attention to the dosage

You’ll see supplements with anywhere from 500 mcg of vitamin B12 to more than 5,000 mcg, making it impossible to know which one is best for you.

Remember, you should always speak with your physician before starting any type of supplement. He or she can also advise you on a good dosage to start off with.

Secrets of a High-Quality Vitamin B12 Supplement

Taking too much is just a waste

Your body will only absorb as much vitamin B12 as it needs. The rest will just leave your body in urine.

Price does not always equal quality

Don’t buy the most expensive product just because you think it must be the best.

OUR SPECIALIZED RANKING SYSTEM

Now, that you have a better understand of vitamin B12 and how you can benefit from the supplement, it’s time to look at some of the most popular supplements on the market. At Smarter Reviews, we employ a comprehensive evaluation system to analyze and measure the full value of products. This is based on ingredients, safety, potential effectiveness, return policies, and overall customer satisfaction. We call our method the Smarter Reviews Ranking System.

TOP 5 Vitamin B12 SUPPLEMENTS

We looked at 5 of the most popular Vitamin B12 supplements currently available. Here's what we found.

1. Vitafusion Extra Strength B12 Gummies

Total Ranking

647 votes

9.6/10

A+

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    9.7/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    9.4/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    9.6/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.3/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    9.8/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • No high fructose corn syrup, dairy, synthetic dyes, and gluten
  • Numerous other vitamins also included
  • Made in U.S.A.

CONS

  • Does not have a return policy or guarantee
  • Not vegetarian or vegan (contains pork skin)
The Bottom Line

According to the package, it also contains vitamins A, C, D, and E, though they are not listed on the ingredients label. At least half of reviewers report they are repeat buyers.

The company was recently awarded the Chef’s Best Excellence Award, given to brands that surpass quality standards established by independent professional chefs. Customers compliment the “great taste that makes me look forward to taking them,” as well as their “potency that makes me so much better and gives me energy. With that in mind, making Vitafusion Exra Strength B12 Gummies our #1 pick was an easy decision.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

Learn About Our Top Pick

2. Puritan's Pride Vitamin B12

Total Ranking

310 votes

8.9/10

B+

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    8.8/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    9.3/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    8.3/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Supplements are inspected as many as 15 times during the manufacturing process
  • Money-back guarantee
  • Vegetarian

CONS

  • Contains 500 mcg of vitamin B12 as cyanocobalamin
  • Synthetic form of B12 may not be helpful for those with absorption problems
  • May not be suitable for vegan diets
The Bottom Line

Puritan’s Pride has a longstanding reputation for producing excellent supplements for both humans and pets. According to their official website, supplements are inspected as many as 15 times during the manufacturing process to ensure purity, potency, and consistency.

Also, the smaller dose than most other supplements means you can worry less about taking too much. That said, thanks to a return policy that is effective for up to one year after the purchase date, trying out a new supplement like Puritan's Pride is a fairly risk-free decision.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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3. Nature Made Vitamin B12

Total Ranking

328 votes

8.6/10

B+

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    8.5/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    8.7/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    8.4/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    9.1/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    8.2/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • #1 Pharmacist Recommended Brand of Letter Vitamin
  • Can return your purchase for a full refund with no questions asked
  • Established reputation for high-quality supplements
  • Vegan-friendly

CONS

  • Use of of the synthetic cycanocobalmin
  • Some users complain of upset stomach
The Bottom Line

Most customers are highly satisfied with how this supplement works. Reviews often state “work great,” “tons of energy and I feel a lot better than ever before,” and “small, easy to swallow.

Nature Made has a well established reputation for high-quality supplements. Typically, they are very effective, which is likely to be the case with these as well. In fact, many pharmacists and doctors choose Nature Made for their patients based on the brand's long history of top-notch products.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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4. Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12

Total Ranking

581 votes

7.3/10

C

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    7.7/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    7/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    7.1/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    8.2/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    6.5/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Well-established manufacturer
  • Packaged and tested at a cGMP facility (Current Good Manufacturing Practices)
  • Returns allowed for 30 days after purchase*

CONS

  • *Returns only allowed for purchases made through company website
  • Dosage may be higher than needed
The Bottom Line

Jarrow Formulas has been producing quality supplements for more than 40 years, so there is no reason to be concerned about the safety of their B12 lozenges.

Based on the information available through the manufacturer’s website, as well as countless customer reviews, this supplement is very effective. Multiple users report they have relied on Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin 500 mcg Lozenges for years, thanks to the constant positive effects.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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5. Nature's Bounty Vitamin B12

Total Ranking

576 votes

7.2/10

C

Overall Grade

  • Ingredient Safety
    8.4 Avg.

    7.1/10

  • Projected Effectiveness
    8.1 Avg.

    6.5/10

  • Value
    8.2 Avg.

    6.5/10

  • Return Policy
    8.8 Avg.

    8.3/10

  • Customer Satisfaction
    8.0 Avg.

    7.4/10

    Vote and Review

Vote and Review

5/10

PROS

  • Suitable for vegetarians
  • Products undergo extensive quality testing

CONS

  • 5000 mcg is a significant dose
  • No return policy
  • Consumers report the tablets are prone to breakage during shipping
The Bottom Line

For over 45 years, Nature’s Bounty has produced high-quality supplements that undergo strenuous testing, including an analysis in a microbiological lab to guarantee the product is pure and free of bacteria.

Each quick dissolve tablet contains 5000 mcg of vitamin B12 as cyanocobalamin and coenzyme B12 as dibencozide, a form of B12 that helps your body process protein, while also increasing muscle mass and strength.*

*Results are based on the Smarter Reviews Ranking System and do not necessarily reflect typical results from the use of these products. Please visit product websites for more information.

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Citations

  1. https://www.womenshealthmag.com/health/signs-of-b12-deficiency

  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

  3. https://nutritionstudies.org/12-questions-answered-regarding-vitamin-b12/

  4. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/

  5. https://www.justvitamins.co.uk/blog/cyanocobalamin-versus-methylcobalamin/#.WphjZGrwaUk

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