Welcome to our article on vitamin B12 supplements. In this guide we have gathered detailed information about its benefits, characteristics, the different types, and all the interesting facts about this nutrient. As you will find out in this article, vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of our body.
Thanks to this nutrient, red blood cells and our neurons can work under optimal conditions. Unfortunately, after the age of fifty people begin to lose the ability to absorb this vitamin. Another group at risk are vegans and vegetarians, as their diet lacks foods that provide this important vitamin.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: Best vitamin B12 supplements on the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about vitamin B12
- 3.1 How does vitamin B12 work in our body?
- 3.2 Which foods contain high levels of vitamin B12?
- 3.3 Do I need to use vitamin B12 supplements if I am vegan or vegetarian?
- 3.4 Is it possible to have a cobalamin deficiency if I’m not vegan or vegetarian?
- 3.5 What are symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
- 3.6 What are the potential repercussions of a sustained vitamin B12 deficiency?
- 4 How does a vitamin B12 deficiency occur?
- 5 What types of vitamin B12 are there and which one is right for me?
- 6 Purchase Criteria
- 7 Summary
- Vitamin B12 supplements allow you to correct a vitamin deficit or to supplement your diet if it is lacking this important nutrient.
- The vitamin comes in pills, capsules, drops, and injections. Tablets and capsules are available in various forms and at different price points.
- Tablets and capsules are ideal for people who have no difficulty in swallowing them. Drops and injections are especially suitable for people suffering from severe B12 deficiency or those who want a more immediate effect.
Ranking: Best vitamin B12 supplements on the market
Next, we’ll show you the best vitamin B12 supplements in the Canadian market. This section will allow you to decide which product best suits your specific needs. We will also show you special products for vegetarians or vegans.
No. 1: Webber Naturals, Vitamin B12 1,000 mcg (sublingual tablet)
Webber Naturals’ vitamin B12 methylcobalamin sublingual tablet helps produce red blood cells and prevent vitamin B12 deficiency. Methylcobalamin is the most active form of vitamin B12 and this product contains 1,000 micrograms of it. It is active immediately upon absorption. These sublingual tablets simply dissolve under your tongue. The 1,000mcg tablets come 80 per pack.
This option is a Canadian bestseller company and product. Consumers report this product has helped with depression and with boosting energy levels. The suggested use: If the product is not prescribed by a therapist, it is recommended to place one tablet under the tongue daily.
No. 2: Jamieson, vitamin B12 1,200 mcg (timed release tablets)
Its active substance is methylcobalamin and it contains 1,200 micrograms (mcg) in each tablet. Jamieson vitamin B12 tablets gradually releases vitamin B12 throughout the day to improve absorption efficiency and potency.
Jamieson is a Canadian company leading the way to better industry standards by being early adopters of TRU-ID. TRU-ID is a DNA certification program which utilizes the latest in DNA technology to trace active ingredients in supplements back to their specific botanical origin, thus certifying their authenticity.
No. 3: Nature’s Bounty, Vitamin B-12 1,000mcg (tablets)
Nature’s Bounty vitamin B12 contains 1,000 mcg of the active ingredient methylcobalamin and this package comes with 200 coated tablets. Most reviews are very positive and customers report expectations being exceeded as they felt increased energy and faster metabolism. These easy-to-swallow pills are vegetarian friendly and gluten free.
Nature’s Bounty is a company with offices and distribution in The United States, Canada, The UK, The Netherlands, South Africa, and New Zealand. Their international presence demonstrates their commitment to supporting wellness by creating products consumers want, making them easy to find and available internationally.
No. 4: MegaFood, Vitamin B12 vegan (tablets)
This product contains 30 tablets, a month’s worth. Each MegaFood tablet contains vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, organic beet root, S. cerevisiae, silica and vegetable lubricant. The capsules themselves are made with plant cellulose. This product is also non-GMO, vegan, certified kosher, dairy-free, soy-free, and gluten-free.
The recommended dose for this supplement is 1 tablet a day and it may be taken any time throughout the day, even on an empty stomach. Customers have reported feeling great after taking this supplement and noticing a positive difference on how their body processes it, which is attributed to the lack of synthetic ingredients.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about vitamin B12
An important function of vitamin B12 is facilitating the transfer of fragmented carbon atoms, specifically methyl and hydroxyl. The B12 protein also participates in the exchange of hydrogen atoms, which makes it essential to human health.
How does vitamin B12 work in our body?
This vitamin participates in different important processes in the human body, such as DNA synthesis and the metabolization of fats, hormones, and neurotransmitters. Vitamin B12 is also involved in the creation of blood, cell division, and it plays a very important role in regulating the nervous system.
Since this amazing vitamin does so much to care for our immune system, it is important that we maintain optimal levels of it.Thanks to the role that vitamin B12 plays in the maintenance of defenses, its correct supplementation can help you fight different symptoms of various diseases such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Diseases of the nervous system
- Mental illness such as depression, dimentia and schizophrenia
- Autoimmune diseases
Which foods contain high levels of vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 can only be synthesized by microorganisms; consuming meat is the only way to absorb the vitamin B12 in it. A vegetable source of vitamin B12 is found in legumes.
However, it is important to mention that vegetable sources contain much lower levels of vitamin B12. For this reason, if you are vegan or vegetarian, experts often recommend an increased supplementation of this essential vitamin.
View this post on Instagram
Vitamin B12 is produced by certain types of bacteria so it therefore shouldn’t be surprising that it can be found in many fermented products such as miso and kombucha. Mushrooms: Golden chanterelle and black trumpet mushrooms were found to contain between 1.09-2.65 ug/100 g of B12, dried shitake mushrooms were found to contain 5.62 ug/100g and white button mushrooms were found to contain the least with (.26 ug/100g). #vitaminb12 #veganmeme #foodgraphic #b12 #infographic #nutritiongraphic #kombucha #miso #tempeh #vegan #lucumamagazine
Do I need to use vitamin B12 supplements if I am vegan or vegetarian?
It is highly recommended that you take vitamin B12 supplements if your diet is strictly vegan or vegetarian. The reason being that the main sources of vitamin B12 are usually foods such as meat, fish, and other seafood.
Vegetarians, despite consuming milk and eggs regularly, should also supplement, as their vitamin B12 intake may be deficient. If you’re not sure about your condition, it’s best to get a blood test and check that all blood levels are in order.
Is it possible to have a cobalamin deficiency if I’m not vegan or vegetarian?
Yes, people with poor nutrition may also be deficient in vitamin B12. Also, some people may not be able to absorb cobalamin properly due to health problems or gastrointestinal diseases. We particularly recommend that these at-risk groups check their vitamin B12 levels.
What are symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Unfortunately, vitamin B12 deficiency is very common, especially if your diet does not include meat. Another group at risk are the elderly, as their systems often have trouble absorbing the vitamin efficiently.
The most common symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are the following:
- Pale or yellow skin
- Vision problems
- Mood swings
- Mouth sores
- Tiredness and fatigue
What are the potential repercussions of a sustained vitamin B12 deficiency?
The repercussions of a long-term vitamin B12 deficiency are closely related to its deficiency symptoms. For example, people with vitamin B12 deficiency are constantly tired, as their bodies are unable to produce enough red blood cells to supply the body with enough oxygen.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in the production of myelin, an important substance for a well-functioning nervous system. Other long-term problems caused by a deficit of this vitamin are: anemia, tiredness, and dizziness – problems closely linked to a lack of oxygen in the body.
How does a vitamin B12 deficiency occur?
Developing at a vitamin B12 deficiency is a slow process, our vitamin B12 reserves are stored in the liver and usually last two to three years. Therefore, becoming deficient in this vitamin would mean that all our reserves have been totally depleted. It is at this point that we would begin to notice the first symptoms.
Next, we’ll explain the possible causes of a cobalamin deficiency:
- Low vitamin B12 intake
- Problems absorbing vitamins
- Increased need for vitamin B12 (ie: aging, pregnancy)
A low intake of vitamin B12 is common among vegans, vegetarians, and people with poor nutrition.
Vegan people have the option of consuming certain cereals fortified with this vitamin, although it will still be difficult for them to reach the recommended daily intake.
Some people require a higher intake of this vitamin, such as pregnant women or people suffering from autoimmune diseases. In these cases, a higher intake of vitamin B12 is recommended, making supplementation an excellent option.
The body’s absorption of cobalamin may be affected by certain conditions. A deficit is usually attributed to the following circumstances:
- Gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastritis or Crohn’s disease
- Complications in the liver
- Chain smoking
- Consumption of birth control pills
What is the recommended dose of vitamin B12?
The recommended daily dose of vitamin B12 will depend on the individuals health conditions. In the table below you can see the different doses:
|Healthy people||Low, 3-50 µg|
|Vegans and vegetarians||Medium, 100-250 µg|
|Pregnant women||High, 251-500 µg|
|People with severe stomach problems||Very high, 501-3,000 µg|
|People with severe vitamin B12 deficiencies||Megadosis, over 3000 µg|
How much do vitamin B12 preparations cost?
In general, the price varies according to the quality of the preparation and the brand. However, the higher the dose of vitamin B12, the cheaper the price.
In the following table, you will be able to see the different prices of cobalamin preparations:
|Sublingual tablets (30 piezas)||aprox. 7-30 CAD$|
|Softgels (30 piezas)||aprox. 20-30 CAD$|
|Spray or drops (100 ml)||aprox. 27-37 CAD$|
|Injections (100 ml)||aprox. 10-60 CAD$|
In general, sublingual tablets are the significantly cheapest version of vitamin B12, while injections are the most expensive. Keep in mind, injections are essential for pregnant women and people with severe cobalamin deficiencies.
What types of vitamin B12 are there and which one is right for me?
Basically, there are seven presentations of vitamin B12 on the market:
- Regular or sublingual tablets
- Spray and drops
- Injections and ampoules
Each type has a different concentration of vitamin B12. Each product also has its advantages and disadvantages. For this reason, we recommend you know your specific needs so that you can select the best preparation for your lifestyle.
Below, we will introduce you to the different types of vitamin B12, as well as their benefits and characteristics:
|Sublingual tablets||Capsules||Spray and drops||Injections and ampoules|
|Low||Moderate||Moderate||Low or high|
|Easy to ingest.||Can be difficult to swallow.||Very easy to ingest.||Difficult to ingest.|
|Contains flavors and other materials||Pure: contain few added ingredients||Contains certain extra ingredients||Certain ampoules or injections contain cyanocobalamin, a synthetic compound|
|Long-term effects, since the daily dose is low.||Long-term effects, since the daily dose is low.||Long-term effects, the vitamin begins its effect at the time of intake.||The dose is very high, therefore its effect is greater and immediate.|
Taking into account all the above characteristics, we found that in general the best method of ingestion for the normal population is tablets or capsules.
Here we present the most important purchasing factors to take into consideration when choosing vitamin B12 supplements. First and foremost, you should look at:
- Side Effects
- Active Ingredient
If you need to correct a serious vitamin B12 deficiency, ampoules are ideal for you. Other similar, more drastic options are injections, prescribed for severe symptoms of nutrient deficiency. If your case is not serious, the normal effectiveness offered by over-the-counter pills and capsules is enough.
Certain types are not recommended for people with sensitivities, as they contain additives such as magnesium stearate. Other kinds may cause heartburn or headaches. This is why we recommend that you research the ingredients and their side effects before buying a product.
The cost of a product is relevant when you are making a purchase, but there are more factors to consider. For example, certain options include money-back guarantees if you are not satisfied. Remember that price is closely related to quality.
The most common allergens are eggs, milk, soy, gluten, peanuts, and other nuts. If you are allergic, we recommend that you buy vegan options, as they are usually allergen-free.
Another less common element that can cause allergies is the active substance of vitamin B12: cyanocobalamin. It can be present in ampoules and injections and cause severe allergic reactions.
Vitamin B12 is presented in different forms and types on the Canadian market. The most common versions of vitamin B12 are cyanocobalamin – of synthetic origin – and the natural forms: hydroxocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and methylcobalamin.
- Cyanocobalamin: this substance is created from a combination of vitamin B12 and cyanide. Although easy to synthesize, it can cause severe allergic reactions. Therefore, we do not recommend this substance to smokers and people with kidney problems, as cyanide can cause complications.
- Hydroxocobalamin: this substance is usually found in cobalamin injections and is usually used in high doses for body detoxification. Its advantage is that it does not release harmful toxins to the body.
- Methylcobalamin: is a biological/active form of vitamin B12. Its great benefit is that the body can process it directly. This substance is biologically identical to vitamin B12, so it can be stored in the liver without any problems.
- Adenosylcobalamin: like methylcobalamin, this substance is an active form of vitamin B12. Similarly, adenosylcobalamin can be stored in the liver for the cobalamin reserve.
Aromatic substances are usually very useful, especially when you are very sensitive to odours. Children are specifically susceptible to scents.
There are different types of aromatic substances. Here are the most common ones:
- Natural aromatic extracts: these come from natural sources such as clove oil, rose water, and vanilla.
- Natural-identical aroma extracts: these extracts are generated synthetically so that they are biologically the same as the natural versions. An example is synthetic vanilla.
- Artificial flavour extracts: these are generated synthetically.
As a rule of thumb, we recommend that you always take the more natural path.
As you’ve been able to read throughout our article, vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of many of our bodies’ functions. There are also several types of vitamin B12 and you should choose the one best suited to your specific needs.
Vitamin B12 supplementation is especially important for vegans, vegetarians, and people over the age of fifty. It is important that you are a conscientious consumer; do not be fooled by labels and advertising.
If you liked our guide to vitamin B12, leave a comment or share the article.
(Featured image source: Srihon: 58137272/123rf.com)