best vitamin b12 supplement

Vitamin B12 Supplements: Test & Reviews

Author: Anne Jonson

Diet & Nutrition Expert

Welcome to our great vitamin B12 test. Here we present you all the products we have tested in more detail. 

We want to make the purchase decision easier for you and help you find the best vitamin B12 for you.

You can also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. You will  find important information on this page that you should definitely pay attention to if you want to buy vitamin B12.

  • Vitamin B12 belongs to the group of water-soluble B vitamins. The main occurrence of vitamin B12 is in animal products and only in very small amounts, which are not sufficient for the daily needs of humans, in plant products.
  • Vitamin B12 supplements are particularly interesting for vegans, vegetarians and people who, due to intestinal and stomach problems, take in less vitamin B12 than they consume.
  • Vitamin B12 is mainly administered via tablets, capsules, drops, ampoules and ointments. Ointments with vitamin B12 active ingredients are used more for skin problems and less to keep the vitamin B12 balance at the recommended level.

Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

Best liposomal vitamin B12 liquid

This vitamin B12 preparation from Sundt Supplements is liposomal nasal drops. The vitamin B12 is incorporated into liposomes and thus has a much higher bioavailability than comparable products.

This means that the vitamins can be absorbed by your body faster, more effectively and also in larger quantities. Your metabolism and your nervous system can be optimally supported. In addition, a vitamin B12 deficiency is prevented – this is particularly important for vegans.

This product is available in a 5 ml vial and is equipped with a pump mechanism. So you can easily apply it with sprays. The drops are free of any unnecessary additives, genetic engineering, sugar and gluten. They are also vegan.

Best vitamin B12 drops

These vitamin B12 drops from natural elements are also dosed slightly higher with 1000mcg vitamin B12 per daily dose, which according to the manufacturer corresponds to 5 drops. Approx. 1700 drops can be extracted from one bottle. The drops have been tested for their active ingredient by an independent laboratory and are free from additives. A small amount of alcohol was added to preserve the drops.

What convinced us about this product was the constant exchange with scientific institutions during product development and the further development of existing products. It should be noted that the drops contain 5.8% alcohol and are therefore not suitable for children, adolescents, pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Best vitamin B12 ampoules

The vitamin B12 forte ampoules from Hevert contain high-dose cyanocobalamin. Other ingredients are: Vitamin B12 cyano complex, ammonium sulfate, sodium chloride, hydrochloric acid solution and water for injections.

If there is insufficient intake through diet or an inability to absorb vitamin B12, a vitamin B12 cure can help. The ampoules from Hevert are ideally suited for this.

Best vitamin B12 cream

The vitamin cream from Dr. Biechele is perfect for stressed skin and moisturizes at the same time. The main ingredients of the ointment are vitamin B12 and avocad oil. Vitamin B12 promotes moisture retention in the skin and thus prevents the aging process. The avocad oil contributes to a higher skin elasticity and increases cell regeneration.

The ointment is ideal as a facial care product. To do this, you can simply apply a thin layer in the morning and evening after you’ve already cleaned your face.

Questions to Consider Before Buying Vitamin B12 supplements

What is vitamin B12 and what is it good for?

Vitamin B12 belongs to the group of water-soluble B vitamins. There are eight different B vitamins in total. These differ in terms of structure and functionality. B12 is a collective name for various compounds with a similar chemical structure, the so-called “cobalamins”.

If vitamin B12 gets into the body through food or supplements, it is absorbed through the small intestine with the help of a special protein – the “intrinsic factor”. The water-soluble vitamin is important for the production of red blood cells (erythrocytes), the function of nerve cells, detoxification and the breakdown of fatty acids.

Vitamin B12 is not as well known to many as vitamin C or the supplement zinc.

Which foods contain vitamin B12?

B vitamins in general are found in both animal and vegetable foods. Vitamin B12 in particular, however, predominantly in animal sources. That means in: meat, fish and, to a lesser extent, in eggs and other dairy products.

Who Needs Vitamin B12 Intakes?

Vitamin B12 is also found in some plant-based foods, such as spinach, broccoli, and some types of algae. However, the content is so low that it cannot meet the human requirement for vitamin B12.

This is especially important for vegans and vegetarians, who are known to not consume any animal products or only consume animal products. If you are a vegetarian, you can cover your vitamin B12 requirements with a balanced diet, eggs and dairy products.

Vitamin B12 is the only water-soluble vitamin that can be stored in the body for a long time. It is mainly stored in the liver.

If, on the other hand, you are vegan, you should make sure that you regularly have your vitamin B12 content tested – for example in a laboratory with a blood test. This means that if necessary, a vitamin B12 deficiency can be counteracted or prevented by adding vitamin B12 to the body via dietary supplements.

Vitamin B12 supplements do not require a prescription and can be taken without a doctor. Nevertheless, you should check with your doctor whether you really need additional vitamin B12.

What are the causes and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency?

Causes

If more vitamin B12 is consumed than is absorbed, there is a deficiency of vitamin B12. This often affects people with a strictly vegan diet or pregnant women, as they have an increased vitamin B12 requirement due to pregnancy.

Since vitamin B12 can be stored for several years, a vitamin B12 deficiency is often only found after several years of undersupply.

Other causes for too little vitamin B12 in the body can be: inflammation of the intestine, gastric acid-inhibiting drugs, gastrites and partial resection of the stomach.

Symptoms

If the vitamin B12 store is used up beforehand, the first mild symptoms such as mood swings, weakened immune system, tiredness and exhaustion appear.

If the depletion of the vitamin B12 store is not counteracted and the body hardly has any vitamin B12 available, more severe symptoms occur. These include: dementia, nerve pain, anemia, coordination disorders, etc.

How can I find out my vitamin B12 values?

You need to know your vitamin B12 levels so that you can anticipate a deficiency in vitamin B12 or gain certainty at the first signs. There are different possibilities for this.

A simple way of determining your vitamin B12 content is a so-called “MMA urine test”. The amount of methylmalonic acid in the urine is determined and the amount of vitamin B12 in the body is determined. The rate of vitamin B12 can also be determined using a blood test. “Holo-TC tests” or “serum tests” are used for this.

Can I take vitamin B12 and iron together?

You can and should even make sure you’re getting enough iron and vitamin B12. Fatigue and exhaustion can be due to an iron deficiency. There are special complexes that contain both iron and vitamin B12.

What other B vitamins are there?

As already mentioned, there are seven other B vitamins in addition to vitamin B12, i.e. eight in total. The following vitamins are now counted among the B vitamins: Vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9 and B12.

The earlier vitamins B4, B8, B13 and B15 are now among the vitamin-like substances, the so-called “vitaminoids”.

As you may have noticed by now, the list is not steadily increasing; some numbers have been left out. This is because the missing B vitamins in the list are no longer assigned to vitamins.

What side effects can a vitamin B12 overdose have?

There are hardly any undesirable side effects from an increased intake. Because unlike other vitamins, excess vitamin B12 is simply excreted and no longer absorbed by the body. However, there are known cases in which high-dose vitamin B12 injections lead to acne breakouts. After stopping vitamin B12 supplements, the acne will subside on its own after a few weeks.

Is vitamin B12 only suitable for humans?

Not only humans need an intact vitamin B12 balance, animals also need the B vitamin for their metabolism. There are corresponding preparations for dogs, cats and horses.

In animals, the vitamin B12 deficiency manifests itself in abnormal behavior such as eating feces or constant scratching. Young animals in particular need higher amounts of vitamin B12.

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What types of vitamin B12 supplements are there and which one is right for you?

Vitamin B12 tablets: Advantages & Disadvantages

Tablets are one of the most popular ways to take vitamin B12. It is important to know that in addition to various forms of vitamin B12, the tablets also contain additives. Additives can be problematic due to incompatibilities. So find out exactly which additives you can tolerate and which you can’t.

Basically, there are two types of vitamin B12 tablets: lozenges and (conventional) tablets. With lozenges, the vitamin is absorbed through the oral mucosa, which is useful when absorption through the intestine is difficult. However, they also contain more additives. With normal tablets, the active ingredient is absorbed through the intestine.

Vitamin B12 capsules: Advantages & Disadvantages

The capsules contain vitamin B12 without additives. They are therefore dosed higher on average than tablets, for example. Capsules are especially good if you have stomach or intestinal problems. In addition, many vitamin B12 capsules are also hypoallergenic, lactose-free and vegan.

Vitamin B12 drops: Advantages & Disadvantages

If you can’t or maybe don’t want to swallow tablets or capsules, you can use drops. When using drops, you can easily add the liquid to your food and thus cover your need for additional vitamin B12. Dosing is child’s play with the dropper attached to the bottle. The recommended amount is about 0.5 ml per day, depending on the concentration of vitamin B12 in the liquid.

Vitamin B12 ampoules: Advantages & Disadvantages

In the case of a particularly strong vitamin B12 deficiency, an injection can lead to the desired result. Ampoules are used for this.

On average, ampoules contain between 1 and 3 ml of vitamin B12. You can inject the liquid yourself at home.

Vitamin B12 cream: Advantages & Disadvantages

Vitamin B12 ointments are mainly used for the local treatment of skin diseases. Such ointments contain cyanocobalamin, which has an anti-inflammatory effect and thus alleviates the discomfort. For this, the ointment is usually applied several times a day, relatively thinly. Do not inject at home.

Purchase criteria: Use these factors to compare vitamin B12 supplements

Concentration

When choosing your vitamin B12 preparation, the concentration of the B12 content is decisive. The concentration of vitamin B12 in the preparations can range from 3 – 5000 µg. Tablets cover the entire spectrum of concentrations. On the other hand, ampoules are more concentrated on average. Depending on whether you want to replenish your body memory or just want to cover your recommended daily requirement, the concentration of your preparation should also vary.

Additives

An overview of the most common additives and their properties:

  • Cellulose (E 460): Safe, vegetable additive that is excreted undigested by the body
  • Microcrystalline cellulose: Like cellulose, but can pass through the intestinal wall, consequences unknown, but negative consequences are not yet known
  • Glycerin (E 422): Chemically synthesized or vegetable. Vegetable glycerine is considered harmless
  • Calcium phosphate (E 341): is considered harmless, in large quantities it has a negative impact on the calcium balance
  • Stearic acid (E 570): saponification from vegetable or animal oils and fats, genetic engineering possible
  • Silicon dioxide (E 551): Made from sand, also approved for organic products. Often contains nano-particles, the risks of which cannot yet be assessed.
  • Xylitol (E 967): Made of birch wood, can have a laxative effect, genetic engineering possible
  • Sorbitol (E 420): May have a laxative effect, genetic engineering possible
  • Magnesium stearate, magnesium salts of fatty acids (E 470 b): Magnesium compounds of saturated fatty acids, can be of vegetable or animal origin, genetic engineering possible, adverse effects on the release of active ingredients proven in studies
  • Aspartame (E 951): sweetener, suspected of being extremely harmful, consumer advocates strongly advise against genetic engineering possible

Substances

In addition to vitamin B12, some preparations also contain so-called functional substances. Substances have additional functions that make them more comfortable to use. This is often the case with ointments. For example, many ointments contain substances that provide moisture or relieve itching.

Area of application

Not all vitamin B12 supplements are suitable for the same uses. Tablets, capsules, drops and ampoules are mainly used when there is a deficiency in vitamin B12. Ointments that contain vitamin B12 are less suitable for this. These are used more for the external treatment of inflamed or flaky skin.

Laboratory tested

Unless you are a doctor or pharmacist yourself, it is difficult to understand which ingredients belong in a high-quality vitamin B12 preparation. But so that you can be sure that the ingredients are of high quality and that no undesirable side effects are to be expected, the ingredients should be tested by a laboratory. In the product description, manufacturers indicate whether the preparation has been tested by a laboratory or not.

Facts about Vitamin B12

How is vitamin B12 produced?

Vitamin B12 is naturally produced by microorganisms. The microorganisms, especially bacteria, are found in the digestive tract of animals or on the surface of plants. Vitamin B12 is also produced by the body, but it cannot be absorbed through the colon wall, i.e. be absorbed into the bloodstream.

What is a vitamin B12 therapy / cure and how long does it take?

Vitamin B12 therapy can be divided into two phases. Therapy begins with an initial phase. In this, high-dose preparations are administered to replenish the body’s stores. The short, high-dose phase is intended to cover the vitamin B12 requirement beyond the daily requirement and thus quickly replenish the stores.

The subsequent second phase is the maintenance phase. Here the daily requirement should be covered and a constant level of vitamin B12 should be kept.

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