9 Best B12 Supplements of 2022 – SI Showcase

9 Best B12 Supplements of 2022 – SI Showcase

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Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that helps to keep your blood and nerve cells healthy. It’s also used in energy supplements. While consuming Vitamin B12 doesn’t directly cause an energy boost, a B12 deficiency can cause fatigue, and B12 supplementation can alleviate deficiency related tiredness. Along with fatigue, B12 deficiency can lead to a wide range of symptoms, including pale skin, appetite loss, nausea, numb hands and feet, dizziness, depression and irritability, to name a few. The recommended dietary intake for B12 in the U.S. is about 2.4 micrograms a day for most adults, according to the National Institutes for Health.

This essential nutrient is abundantly present in animal products, but some people don’t get enough of it, whether because of a plant-based diet or a lack of the stomach acid needed to absorb B12 from the food they eat. If you have a B12 deficiency, you’ll likely benefit from a B12 supplement. With so many options available, it can be difficult to determine the best option for you, particularly if your doctor doesn’t recommend a specific brand. To help you find the best B12 supplement, we looked at taste, quality and cost. We also included a guide to finding the right form and dose for your needs.

Our Picks for the Best B12 Supplement:

Pre-Kaged Pre-workout

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Powder
  • Dose: 42 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 20
  • Certifications: Third party tested, Informed Sport Certified
  • Cost Per Serving: $3
  • Best For: Athletes and people with celiac disease

Highly rated by Amazon reviewers, this Kaged product was created as a pre-workout supplement to enhance athletic performance. It comes as a powder that you mix with eight to 12 ounces of water and drink 30 to 60 minutes before a cardio or weight training session.

In addition to B12, it contains several other substances that are thought to boost energy levels. Most notably, each scoop provides 188 milligrams of caffeine, which is a little more than you’d get from 12 ounces of drip coffee. Other energy-enhancers include:

This supplement is non-GMO, gluten-free, free of artificial flavors or colors and, most important for competitive athletes, free of banned substances.


  • Contains a combination of energy and alertness boosters
  • Free of banned substances
  • Contains no artificial flavors or colors


  • 188 milligrams of caffeine may be too much for people who are caffeine-sensitive
  • Expensive ($3/serving)

If cost is an issue, Key Nutrients Pre-Workout is a solid runner up. With a diverse blend of performance enhancers, it will run you just $0.46 per serving. Another good option for people who want even more caffeine: Jacked Factory Altius Pre-Workout. At $2 a dose, it’s only slightly less expensive than Kaged, but it contains a whopping 325 milligrams of caffeine. That’s equivalent to more than three cups of drip coffee. It also contains creatine and a number of other performance enhancers.

Garden of Life MyKind Organics B12 Spray_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Liquid spray
  • Dose: 500 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 140
  • Certifications: USDA Organic, Non-GMO Project Verified, NSF Gluten-Free, Vegan.org Certified Vegan
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.09
  • Best For: Seniors, people who struggle to swallow pills, those on a budget

According to the National Institutes of Health, somewhere between 10 and 30 percent of people older than 50 do not have enough stomach acid to fully break down the B12 they would otherwise get from food. Older adults are also more likely to take medications that suppress stomach acid, including proton-pump inhibitors, H2 blockers and over the counter antacids.

If you’re not consuming B12-fortified foods and/or a multivitamin that contains B12, a standalone supplement can help. Unlike food, supplements are already packaged in a form that can be absorbed by the body. They don’t need stomach acid to break them down.

For older adults, the Garden of Life B12 Spray stands out from the pack. When you’re already on a lot of medications, swallowing even just one more pill can be a drag. This sweet-tasting spray offers an easier and more comfortable alternative. Though more research is needed, it’s thought that the spray absorbs into the blood via the mouth, bypassing the stomach and intestines. The end result? More B12 can get to your bloodstream, where it’s needed.


  • Spray form is easy to consume
  • One container should last several months
  • Also contains a blend of antioxidant superfoods (beet root, carrots, spinach, kale and cabbage, to name a few)
  • Organic, vegan, kosher, gluten-free, no added sugars


  • Not intended for use by children
  • Must be refrigerated
  • Must be consumed within 90 days of opening

If you’re looking for an all-in-one multivitamin rather than a standalone B12 supplement, a good alternative is the Ritual Essential Multivitamin 50+, which, as the name implies, is specifically formulated for people older than 50. Another top contender is the Transparent Labs Multivitamin.

MegaFood Vegan B12_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Cyanocobalamin
  • Type: Tablet
  • Dose: 500 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Certifications: B corporation, Non-GMO Project Verified, NSF Gluten-Free, Vegan
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.50
  • Best For: Vegans, people concerned about the environment, people with common food allergies

There’s a reason your grandparents once thought of liver as a superfood. With 70 micrograms of B12 per three ounce serving, liver contains a whopping 2,944 percent of your daily B12 needs. Problem is, it’s on the “don’t eat” list for vegans and vegetarians, along with all other forms of meat, dairy and eggs—all rich in B12. Though vegans sometimes look to brewer’s yeast for B12, the yeast doesn’t naturally contain the vitamin. The vitamin is only present if the yeast has been fortified with it, according to experts at Harvard.

Supplementation can also be tricky for vegans since many supplements contain gelatin and other animal derived ingredients. The MegaFood Vegan B12 tablets, however, are vegan-friendly. That means they’re not only free from dairy and other animal products, but this vegan-friendly option was also produced without the use of insect-killing pesticides. In addition to B12, the tablets also include Vitamin B6 and folate (also called folic acid). This trio of vitamins is thought to work together to reduce levels of homocysteine, an amino acid in the blood that may contribute to heart disease.


  • Made from plants
  • Contains a blend of all needed B vitamins
  • Vegan, gluten- and pesticide-free


  • Must be able to swallow tablets
  • Must be consumed within 90 days of opening

If you’re not into swallowing tablets, we also recommend Athletic Greens AG1. In addition to B12, each scoop contains a blend of vitamins, minerals and superfoods—and it’s free of animal byproducts, as well as pesticides. The powder form mixes easily in water and has a pleasant citrus flavor.

Country Life Methyl B12_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Lozenge
  • Dose: 5,000 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 60
  • Certifications: Non-GMO, Certified Gluten Free by GFCO, AVA certified vegan
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.32
  • Best For: People with a severe deficiency, people concerned about absorption, vegans

Three natural forms of Vitamin B12 are commercially available: methylcobalamin (MeCbl), adenosylcobalamin (AdCbl) and hydroxocobalamin (OHCbl), all of which have been shown in clinical studies to improve Vitamin B12 status. Many people argue that some forms of B12 are more absorbable than others, though research has failed to support this belief, according to experts at the National Institutes of Health.

If absorption is your main concern, don’t worry too much about whether your supplement contains methylcobalamin (the active form of B12 in the Country Life product) or another B12 type. What makes the Country Life product standout from the pack isn’t the type of B12, but rather the dose. At 5,000 micrograms, this supplement floods your digestive tract with the vitamin. For example, let’s say that due to a lack of stomach acid, you’re only absorbing one percent of what you eat. Well, one percent of 5,000 is a lot more B12 than one percent of 1,000, which is the dose of most other commonly available supplements.


  • Lozenges are great for people who dislike swallowing pills
  • High dose supports maximum absorption
  • Kosher, vegan and free of yeast, salt, sugar, preservatives, artificial colors, magnesium stearate and GMOs
  • Recyclable packaging
  • Made in a facility that supports wind power


  • Exceeds recommended upper limit for B12 (1,000 micrograms), so it contains more B12 than most people need or should consume daily
  • Not suitable for kids
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B12_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Capsule
  • Dose: 1,000 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Certifications: Non-GMO, Vegan Action certified, B Lab, Star-K Kosher, NSF Gluten-Free
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.42
  • Best For: People with diabetes, raw foods enthusiasts, vegans

B12 deficiency is common in people with type two diabetes mellitus, possibly because a common diabetes medicine, Metformin, reduces absorption. The Garden of Life Code Raw B12 supplement comes in a dose shown to benefit people with diabetes. In addition to B12, the supplement also contains a 60 milligram probiotic blend of several different types of digestive enzymes and prebiotic fibers, plus a 20 milligram blend of 23 raw organic fruit and vegetables, antioxidants and nutritional cofactors. It’s marketed as “raw” because no high heat, synthetic binders, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners were used to make it.


  • Has a dose that’s effective for those with diabetes
  • Contains probiotics and prebiotics
  • Contains raw organic fruits and vegetables
  • Kosher, vegan, non-GMO, gluten-free


  • Comes as a capsule, which may be difficult to swallow for some people
  • Contains more than just B12
Thorne Vitamin B12_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Capsule
  • Dose: One milligram (1,000 micrograms)
  • Servings Per Container: 60
  • Certifications: Gluten-, dairy- and soy-free
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.33
  • Best For: People with common food allergies, people with celiac disease

Unlike cyanocobalamin, which is synthetic B12, methylcobalamin is a natural form of B12 that’s bioidentical to the B12 naturally occurring in foods like chicken, fish and eggs. Because of this, it takes less work for the body to digest and use it, whereas cyanocobalamin must first be processed in the liver, where it’s broken down to cobalamin and cyanide and then converted to active B12. Methylcobalamin is also thought to be an important component in a biological process called methylation, during which harmful genes can be switched off.

The Thorne version of this supplement comes as a capsule taken three times a day. If you have food allergies or celiac disease, know that Thorne uses an outside lab to test their supplements, ensuring they are free of gluten, soy, dairy and impurities.



  • Comes as a capsule, which may be difficult to swallow for some people
Nature Made Sublingual B12_Source iHerb

Key features & specs

  • Form: Cyanocobalamin
  • Type: Lozenge
  • Dose: 1,000 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 50
  • Certifications: USP verified
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.18
  • Best For: People on a tight budget, people who struggle to take vitamins regularly

At just $0.18 a serving, the Nature Made Sublingual B12 lozenges are budget friendly. That’s primarily due to synthetic B12 (cyanocobalamin) being used to make the supplement. This form of B12 tends to be less expensive than natural types that are bioidentical to the B12 found in food.

Don’t let the synthetic form put you off, though. Nature Made is a trusted supplement brand, and this product comes with USP verification. One of the top third party reviewers, the USP symbol indicates that the supplement contains what’s listed on the bottle, will break down and release in the body, uses FDA good manufacturing practices and does not contain harmful contaminants.

This particular supplement is a great option for people who struggle to swallow tablets, as well as anyone who needs an incentive to take their supplement regularly—customer reviews indicate that the cherry flavor is “like eating candy.” As one reviewer wrote on the manufacturer’s website, “Finally a vitamin my husband is actually still taking without me nagging him to take.” It’s also a good fit for those who struggle to swallow pills, since these lozenges dissolve under your tongue.


  • USP verified for potency and ingredients
  • Great for people who struggle to swallow pills
  • Big dosage packed into one serving
  • Sugar-free


  • Some people may not like the cherry flavor
  • The body has to work harder to process synthetic B12
Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid_Source Swanson

Key features & specs

  • Form: Methylcobalamin
  • Type: Liquid
  • Dose: 5,000 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 30
  • Certifications: Made in a GMP Certified facility
  • Cost Per Serving: $1.13
  • Best For: People who struggle to swallow pills, people with common food allergies, those with a severe B12 deficiency

One dropper of Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid contains 5,000 micrograms of B12, along with apple juice concentrate, natural vegetable glycerin, citric acid, black currant juice, purified stevia leaf extract and potassium sorbate. This dosage is five times what some physicians suggest for people looking to remedy a B12 deficiency, according to an expert at Harvard, so it’s a good option for those with a severe B12 deficiency. (Pure Encapsulations also has a B12 liquid spray with 1,000 micrograms per serving).

Liquid supplement formulations are helpful for people who have trouble swallowing pills. Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid is sweetened with purified stevia and comes with several glowing customer reviews regarding its taste. Manufactured in Canada, the supplement is free of yeast, wheat, gluten, soy, dairy, corn, starch, GMOs and artificial colors. Be sure to store it in a cool, dry place.


  • Free of common food allergens, including gluten
  • Easier to consume for people who struggle to swallow pills
  • Effective dose of B12 for combating a deficiency
  • Packaging can be recycled


  • Must be stored in a cool dry place
  • More expensive than other B12 supplements
vitafusion B12 Gummies_Source Swanson

Key features & specs

  • Form: Cyanocobalamin
  • Type: Gummy
  • Dose: 3,000 micrograms
  • Servings Per Container: 45
  • Certifications: Made in the USA
  • Cost Per Serving: $0.35
  • Best For: People who struggle to swallow pills, people who are environmentally conscious, people who prioritize USA made products

Customer after customer has raved about the pleasant cherry flavor of these chewable vitamins, both on Amazon and on the manufacturer’s website. That yum factor can be key for people who dislike taking vitamins. As one Amazon reviewer noted, “It makes it a pleasure to open my medicine cabinet.” Another Amazon reviewer wrote, “Vitafusion has it down pat! Best flavors, great results, and my family doesn’t give me a hard time about taking these each morning. These are so good, it’s almost like I am giving them candy in the morning.”

Each chewable supplies 3,000 micrograms of B12, which is three times the daily upper limit. It’s likely the higher dose will help more B12 get into your body. For example, let’s say that due to a lack of stomach acid, you’re only absorbing one percent of what you eat. Well, one percent of 3,000 is more B12 than one percent of 1,000. Before taking this or any other higher dose supplement, however, it’s a good idea to talk to a healthcare pro.


  • Gummy form may be easier to consume for those who struggle with swallowing pills
  • Customers report that the flavor is nice
  • Gluten- and dairy-free
  • No high fructose corn syrup
  • Environmentally-focused company mission


  • Each gummy supplies 15 calories and three grams of added sugar
  • Customers complained that the gummies can stick together
  • Contains tree nuts

Forms of Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 contains the mineral cobalt, which helps explain why the four types of B12 all have the root word “cobalamin” in them. There are three natural forms of B12:

  • Methylcobalamin
  • Adenosylcobalamin
  • Hydroxocobalamin

All three natural B12 forms are bioidentical to the B12 that naturally occurs in the human body, as well as in foods like chicken, fish and eggs.

Another form of B12, cyanocobalamin, is synthetic. Often used in food fortification, cyanocobalamin first needs to be broken down to cobalamin and cyanide, which is then converted to active B12. Because cyanocobalamin is more stable and cheaper than natural B12, it’s often used in food fortification.

Research has not shown that any natural form of supplemental Vitamin B12 is better than the others. All natural B12 forms help to improve B12 status in people who are deficient. On the other hand, cyanocobalamin, the synthetic form of B12, has been shown to be excreted at levels three times higher than natural B12. Natural B12 also seems to be better absorbed.

If you’re unsure of the type of B12 that will work best for you, talk with your healthcare provider about the pros and cons.

Best Time to Take a B12 Supplement

Because B12 is water soluble, take it with a glass of water on an empty stomach. It’s safe to take the vitamin at any time during the day, though some people prefer morning because they find the vitamin energizing. This is especially true of Vitamin B12 supplements that are packaged with other energizing components, such as caffeine.

Best Way to Take a B12 Supplement

There’s no one right way to take B12 that works best for every single person. It depends on a number of factors. If you struggle to swallow big capsules, then a gummy, lozenge or spray may work best for you. Use the type that fits your preferences and lifestyle.

Who Could Benefit From a B12 Supplement

Vitamin B12 deficiency is more common among certain groups of people: those over 50, those taking certain medicines, those with certain health conditions and vegans or vegetarians.

Those ages 50+

Stomach acid is needed to separate Vitamin B12 from other components in food. As you age, your digestion changes, leading to a decrease in stomach acid production. Also, certain age-related conditions, such as reflux and gastritis, are often treated with medicines that reduce levels of stomach acid and/or the intrinsic factor (stomach proteins) needed to transport B12 into the bloodstream. (Think of intrinsic factor as an escort. This stomach protein binds to Vitamin B12 so it can gain entrance into the bloodstream. Without intrinsic factor, B12 passes back out of the body in urine.) Because of the reduced stomach acid and proteins, it’s estimated that about 10 to 30 percent of people older than 50 will need a B12 supplement.

Those taking certain medicines for health conditions

The use of certain medicines (especially Metformin and acid blockers) can reduce the volume of stomach proteins needed to process B12. Some health conditions, such as autoimmune conditions that target parietal cells (such as pernicious anemia or Sjögren’s syndrome) will also affect these stomach proteins. If you’ve undergone stomach or intestinal surgery, your food may bypass the part of the stomach that produces the proteins needed to process B12. Also, Crohn’s disease, celiac disease, stomach inflammation (called gastritis) and other intestinal conditions can reduce B12 absorption in the intestine.

Vegan and vegetarians

Vitamin B12 is found only in animal products like meat, fish, dairy and eggs. Because of that, people on strict vegetarian diets that do not include animal products will need to either consume foods fortified in B12 (such as nutritional yeast or breakfast cereal) and/or take a supplement.

Who Might Not Benefit From a B12 Supplement

Some people can get all of the B12 they need from food alone—no supplements required. This includes people who are younger than 50, those who eat meat and dairy products, those who aren’t taking medicines that reduce B12 and those who haven’t had stomach or intestinal surgery. Because B12 is a water soluble vitamin, a supplement likely won’t harm those with enough B12, but it likely won’t benefit them either. That said, you should always check with your healthcare provider before taking this or any other supplement.

Also, if you are sensitive to cobalamin, know that it is present in B12 supplements. If this is the case, you’ll definitely want to talk to your doctor before taking any B12 supplement.

Signs You Are Vitamin B12 Deficient

Because the body uses B12 to make fatty acids and myelin, deficiency can lead to a wide range of symptoms. These symptoms include:

  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Heart palpitations
  • Mouth or tongue soreness
  • Pins and needles sensations in hands and feet
  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Blurry vision
  • Headaches
  • Mood swings
  • Personality changes

Side Effects of B12 Supplements

Because excess B12 is excreted in the urine, it’s rare for people to experience side effects. When taken at high levels, however, some people experience nausea, headache and/or diarrhea. If you are allergic to cobalamin, you should not take B12 without talking to your doctor.

How to Choose the Best B12 Supplement For You

When choosing a Vitamin B12 supplement, you’ll want to consider several factors, including the form, the type, safety, quality, cost, dosage and other ingredients.


There are three natural forms of B12 (methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin) and one synthetic form (cyanocobalamin). The natural forms all work equally well, but according to some research, the synthetic form of B12 is not as well absorbed.


Vitamin B12 comes as tablets, capsules, lozenges, powders, sprays, gummies and liquids. All of these forms come with their own sets of pros and cons. If swallowing pills is not an issue for you, tablets and capsules may give you the best bang for your buck. However, if pills are uncomfortable for you, one of the other options may work better.

Safety and quality

Look for products that are tested and verified by third parties. Seals of approval are usually displayed on the product’s packaging. In the U.S., the certifying organizations are ConsumerLab.com, NSF International and the US Pharmacopeial Convention (USP).

Some supplements are free of gluten, additives, sugars, dairy, eggs, nuts and/or animal products, while others are not. Take care to ensure your supplement complements any special diets you may be following.


Vitamin B12 supplements range in price from just $.06 to $3 a dose. Higher quality supplements usually cost more because they are more expensive to produce.


Your body likely will only absorb somewhere between one and two percent of the supplemental Vitamin B12 you consume, which is why the listed doses of supplements are so high (often thousands of times higher than the dietary reference intake for the vitamin). Talk with your healthcare provider to determine the best dose for you.

Other ingredients

Some supplements contain only B12, whereas others are formulated with additional B vitamins (known as a B complex) or extra ingredients to promote energy. To determine the best formula for you, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider.

How We Chose the Best B12 Supplements

To find and rank the best B12 supplements, we looked at several factors, including quality, customer reviews, cost and supplement type.


Because supplements are not tested or regulated by the FDA, it’s important to look for supplements that have been third party tested and/or certified by an outside organization. When we choose supplements, we use a thorough vetting process to ensure that they contain research-supported ingredients and do not contain ingredients known to be harmful. We also look for companies that are Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certified. That ensures the company uses FDA quality standards.

Customer reviews

We read what customers say about the supplements we consider, and we take those reviews seriously. Not only do we look for products with five-star review averages, we also make sure the manufacturer addresses any customer concerns that come up.


Though we don’t exclude expensive supplements, we do our best to include a diverse range, allowing you to find a supplement that matches your budget.

Delivery method

We know that some people struggle to swallow pills. That’s why we do our best to include an array of supplement types, ranging from sprays to gummies to lozenges.

B12 Supplement FAQs

How much B12 do I need in a day?

The dietary reference intake for B12 in the U.S. is about 2.4 micrograms a day for most adults, according to the National Institutes for Health. Slightly more is needed during pregnancy or breastfeeding. If you’re at a high risk for deficiency, you may need a supplement that supplies a lot more than that amount. To determine the best supplemental amount for you, it’s best to talk with your healthcare provider.

What medications should not be taken with B12?

Several medicines and supplements can reduce your body’s ability to absorb B12. These include Metformin, proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole), Vitamin C, aminosalicylic acid (Paser) and Colchicine (Colcrys). Talk to your doctor about your prescription and over-the-counter medications before taking B12 or any other types of vitamin supplements.

What happens if your B12 is too high?

According to the NIH, B12 has not been shown to cause harm, even at high doses. The Dietary Reference Intakes don’t list a tolerable upper limit for it. Still, you should always get cleared by your doctor before taking this or any other types of vitamin supplements.

Can B12 cause health problems?

Though B12 vitamin deficiency is associated with a wide range of health problems, there’s little risk for taking too much of the supplement. Though you should always talk with your doctor before taking any new supplement, supplemental B12 has not been associated with issues like cardiovascular problems, weight gain, anxiety or neuropathy, to name a few. In fact, neuropathy may be caused by too little B12 rather than too much.

What is the fastest way to increase B12?

Physicians treat severe B12 vitamin deficiency with intramuscular B12 injections in order to restore levels as quickly as possible. Then, once levels are restored, they prescribe higher-dose supplements. This care should be received only under the direction of a physician.

Which form of Vitamin B12 is best?

There isn’t one best form of B12, though the bioavailability of Vitamin B12 from dietary supplements is about 50 percent higher than that from food sources.

Can B12 help with weight loss?

Vitamin B12 shots or injections probably don’t help with weight loss, especially if your B12 level is normal. If you’re deficient in B12, however, supplemental B12 may give you more energy, which could allow you to exercise more and burn more overall calories.

Final Thoughts: Is Taking B12 Worth It?

B12 deficiency can cause some miserable symptoms, but taking a B12 supplement can help. You’re at a higher risk of B12 deficiency if you’re over the age of 50, use medications that interfere with B12 absorption, follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, have recently had intestinal surgery or have issues like gastritis, H-pylori, celiac disease or Crohn’s disease. If your doctor hasn’t already suggested a supplement brand, this list of the best B12 supplements is a good place to start your search.

Prices are accurate and items in stock as of publish time.

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