Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin which plays a major role in forming red blood cells and the regular functioning of the brain and nervous system. Vitamin B12 cannot be produced by plants or animals, instead being produced by bacteria. Vitamin B12 is typically consumed through animal food products such as meat, fish, or dairy products. As an instrumental component of brain and nervous functioning and our production of red blood cells, a healthy intake of B12 is necessary to live a sustained, balanced, healthy life.
Top B12 Supplement Comparison Table 2016
Nature Made Vitamin Sublingual
|#1 pharmacist recommended brand|
Converts food into energy
Helps maintain a healthy homocysteine level
Great for cardiovascular health
|50 Tablets||(4.5 / 5)||$$|
Deva Vegan Vitamins, Sublingual
|Dietary Supplement With Folic Acid|
B6 Vegan Sublingual Certified
No after taste
|90 Tablets||(4.5 / 5)||$|
Vitafusion Energy B12 Gummy Vitamins
|500 mcg of B-12|
Helps energy metabolism
Best Tasting Gummies
|250 Gummies||(4.5 / 5)||$|
Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin 5000mcg
|Cherry-flavored chewable vitamin|
Promotes Healthy homocysteine levels
5000 micrograms per lozenge
|60 Lozenges||(4 / 5)||$$$|
Now Foods B-12 2000mcg
|3 Forms of B-12 including Co-enzyme Forms|
Nervous System Health
|100 Lozenges||(4 / 5)||$|
Uses for B12
B12 is a something that you should regularly be taking to maintain consistent health, specifically that of the brain and nervous system, as well as the production of red blood cells. Therefore, B12 is part of a balanced lifestyle and should be regularly incorporated into a diet. Vitamin B12 is most commonly used in the treatment of vitamin B12 deficiency, cyanide poisoning, and hereditary deficiency of transcobalamin II. It also administered during the Schilling test in order to detect pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency
Vitamin B12 deficiency can cause long-term and serious damage to the body, specifically the brain and nervous system. Fatigue, depression, and poor memory can be experienced and can even lead to mania and psychosis. Since vitamin B12 deficiency can potentially lead to depression, irritability, and even psychosis, as well as contributes to poor growth and development, it is crucial to ensure you supplement your B12 intake if inadequate. In cases of cyanide poisoning, intravenously administering hydroxocobalamin will help counteract the toxicity of the cyanide ions. Plants are a low source of B12, so vegetarians and vegans may want to consider taking vitamin B12 supplements to make up for this deficiency.
Synthetic Production of B12 Supplements
The only natural producers of vitamin B12 are bacteria and archaea, since they have the necessary enzymes for its biosynthesis. This natural form of vitamin B12 is hydroxocobalamin. The first completion of the synthesized production process was done in 1972 by Robert Burns Woodward and Albert Eschenmoser.
Synthetic forms of B12 are created through bacterial fermentation-synthesis, which are then used as dietary supplements to traditional intake of B12. Supplemental forms of B12 such as cyanocobalamin have greater stability and lower costs than natural B12, making its dietary use relatively prevalent. This most common synthetic form of B12 produces a cyanide ion, but it is a small amount, even lower than the amount we consume on a regular daily intake of food, and is safe for regular consumption. The non-cyanide forms of synthetic B12 are methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, and are considered healthier than cyanocobalamin. These also have less related side effects since many side effects are associated with cyanide than with other factors.
The Best Way to Take B12
The two most common ways of taking B12 supplements are using oral and injection methods. When digesting oral supplements, your body has to take time to process this. It also has to extract the nutrients you need, meaning that it actually loses some of its potency and ability when being broken down by your body.
Therefore, as opposed to intramuscular injections, the oral methods of ingestion means that there is some loss of nutrients through the process. Typically, injection is a method of taking B12 based on a prescription, but B12 supplements for injection are relatively available to purchase. Injection and patch methods are typically used when regular digestive absorption is impaired.
However, with high potency oral supplements becoming more powerful and more widely available, the need for these methods has steadily decreased. For patients that require B12 doses regularly and have an inability or aversion to taking the oral administration, the intramuscular injections are a great alternative.
B12 Supplement Dosage
Vitamin B12 consumption is extremely safe and there are virtually no known problems associated with its intake. Children and infants should have a controlled intake, but there are rarely adverse side effects from consuming too much B12, and overdoses are relatively unheard of.
Therefore, recommended doses as set by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies are intended to give the recommended intake for healthy individuals, and there are rarely potentially adverse effects. These effects have been isolated to a few cases, and B12 is usually only a risk of overdosing when in combination with other illnesses and medicines. Consult with a healthcare professional if you have an illness or issue that may be affected by B12. However, in general, vitamin B12 is safe to consume.
In fact, there is no set Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin B12, meaning there is no real cap on how much should be consumed for a healthy dose. They do set recommended doses to maintain what is necessary, and it is suggested that you follow this. However, in terms of safety, there is no real risk with consuming large doses of B12.
Nature Made Vitamin B-12
Adverse Effects of B12
Vitamin B12 has extremely few reported cases of side effects, and in general it is healthy – and even necessary – for regular consumption in adults and children. Since B12 affects the production of red blood cells, the main side effects reported have been hematologic, involving blood flow in the body. Peripheral vascular thrombosis, the unmasking of polycythemia, and fatal hypokalemia and gout caused from treating megaloblastic anemia have all been reported in conjunction with the use of B12. Its cyanocobalamin form has also been linked to speeding up and worsening optic atrophy when used to in the early stages of treatment for Leber’s disease. Although there have been these reported incidents of side effects from the use of B12, its use as a supplement is widely heralded as extremely safe.
Allergies directly caused or even associated with vitamins is extremely uncommon. If you are allergic to cobalamin vitamin B12 could be an irritant, but it should not be a serious problem. Determine whether you think it is safe based on the level of your allergy and recommendations of a healthcare professional.
Best Brands That Sell B12 Supplements
There are a variety of brands that produce B12 supplements, most of them specializing in the production of nutrient supplements in general, including vitamins, minerals, and other sources.
Jarrow Formulas is a Los Angeles based company, specializing in the formulation and supply of superior nutritional supplements. There motto reflects this focus: “Superior Nutrition and Formulation”. They produce a variety of nutritional health products, ensuring purity, value, and potency, maintaining a standard of quality and customer service.
Jarrow Formulas B12 Supplements are extremely popular on the market, and are even the best seller on Amazon for Vitamin B12 Supplements. With this line of product, you not only have the Jarrow Formula guarantee of quality and performance, but you have the customers backing a product that works! Their Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin 5000mcg, 60 Lozenges are the best seller on Amazon for B12 supplements. These are chewable, cherry-flavoured products for easy consumption.
Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin 5000mcg
Vitafusion Energy B12 Gummy Vitamins, Very Raspberry
Vitafusion can best be summed up with their motto: “We Make Nutrition Taste Good”. Vitafusion is a nutrition supplement supplier that has worked to develop a variety of good tasting, gummy vitamins and supplements that enable customers to get healthy nutrients in a tasty, easy to consume package. As with many medications and supplements, they don’t taste good and are a hassle to take.
Vitafusion attempts to rewrite this tradition, making a product that is easy, convenient, and effective, all in an incredible delivery method that make people want to take them! Their Vitafusion Energy B12 Gummy Vitamins, Very Raspberry 500mcg, 250 Count are a prime example of how effective their gummy products are in making supplements appealing and convenient.
Nature Made doesn’t just talk the talk, they walk the walk. As a company that prides themselves on being centred around customers health and well-being, oriented to make sure people live healthier lives, they prove this through action. For 20 years Nature Made has supported public studies and participated in clinical trials.
On top of this, they have continuously made findings available to researchers, healthcare professionals, and retailers to ensure that top quality products are being produced and that real, helpful information is brought to the public.
They have diversified their products to include gummy products, making them more easily accessible to those that are adverse to using traditional pills or injections, without sacrificing on performance. Their Nature Made Vitamin B12 Timed Release Tablets 1000 mcg, 160 Count are time released products that have no artificial colours or preservatives. Another great similar product is their Nature Made Vitamin B12 1000 mcg Sublingual, 50 Count helping to provide you with adequate energy.
Nature Made Vitamin B-12 Timed Release Tablets
Best B12 Supplement for Energy
There is no arguing that vitamin B12 is a nutrient that provides energy to the body, and helps to keep you vitalized. However, this product is often sold as an ‘energy booster’ no matter what type or form it is in, increasing energy, concentration, memory, and mood. Vitamin B12 is even used in Energy drinks, such as 5-Hour Energy and MiOEnergy products. While B12 does provide energy, there are debates about how this energy functions in practice. The reality is that it will only provide a significant or noticeable amount of those factors when there is evidence of a B12 deficiency. There is however, no solid evidence that supports the claim that B12 functions independently as an energy booster. It does provide energy to the body, and a healthy, consistent dose of B12 can increase your typical energy feeling, but that is not to be confused as an energy booster. It does not provide your body with a limited term boost of energy, rather, it keeps your body in a typically healthy and energetic state, helping to increase things like concentration and mood.
In reality, all B12 Supplements will function as a source of energy. In the event of B12 deficiency, you will notice an increase in energy. For regular use, B12 will help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and will therefore increase your general energy levels, although you will not necessarily feel an energy boost; you will just generally have more energy and feel in a better shape than when not taking B12. Some products are geared more towards selling and marketing B12 supplements as energy boosters though Although these are not necessarily energy boosters in the way they are being marketed and sold, some products do provide fast acting products, meant to allow B12 to enter your system quickly. These could theoretically give you energy faster than slower methods, if you are experiencing a deficiency. Fast acting B12 supplements are on the market since many people do not want to use injection methods, such as Now Foods B12 Instant Energy Packets 75 Box. These come in portable packets that allow you to keep on with you at all times; whenever you feel you need to you can take one to get the boost of energy and B12 you need. VeganSafe B12 Vitamin by Global Healing is a liquid product containing both methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. These are the two most active forms of B12, meaning that they should be more productive and fast than other sources. The liquid method of taking B12 also increases the rate at which your body absorbs it, since you do not need to break it down or digest it.
There is no argument that B12 is a healthy and necessary component of any regular adults lifestyle, providing the body with production of red blood cells and the functioning of the brain and nervous system. This also makes B12 essential for growth and development in children as well. Because vitamin B12 is found mostly in animal products such as meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products, it can be very difficult for vegetarians and vegans to ensure they are getting their regular dose of the vitamin. For many people, B12 supplements are a great alternative to naturally taking the vitamin, helping you maintain a balanced lifestyle!