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Vitamin B12 (aka cobalamin) is a vitamin that plays an important role in red blood cell production, brain health, and DNA synthesis.

A lot of the time, B12 needs are easily met with food, but 1.5 to 15 percent of people can still have a deficiency. Luckily, you can supplement vitamin B12 by taking a multivitamin — or take it solo by softgel, capsule, dissolvable tablet, gummy, or even liquid spray.

If you need a B12 boost, here are the best vitamin B12 supplements, plus tips for choosing the right supp for you. We got you, B!

When choosing the best B12 supplements, we looked at a few criteria.

Quality is key

Supplements are not tested or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the same way that drugs are, so it can be tough figuring out which brands to trust. But because quality is key to a good supplement, we put our products through a thorough medical and business vetting process. In that vetting process, we verify that the product uses evidence-supported ingredients and make sure the company doesn’t make any unacceptable health or disease claims.

We also make sure the company is either Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certified and/or compliant, which means it follows specific quality standards set forth by the FDA. These standards include meeting specifications for identity, purity, strength, composition, and limits on contaminants and ensuring supplements are manufactured, packaged, and labeled in high quality, transparent facilities. We also check to see whether the company has received FDA/FTC warning letters for failing to comply with these standards.

Meets many needs

Everyone needs B12, but not everyone has the same lifestyle. We included products with various B12 levels that work for different dosage needs, as well as vegans, vegetarians, and those with allergies.

Only the best reviews

We chose products that were as close to 5 star ratings as possible with thousands of reviews.

Best vitamin B12 and multivitamin combo

1. Ritual Multivitamin Capsules – 60 count

  • Price: $$$
  • Supplement type: multivitamin capsule
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP certified, United States Pharmacopeia (USP) certified for Women 18+ Multivitamin

Not only are these multivitamin supplements vegan, but they’re clinically backed to provide B12 and other nutrients that tend to be missing in our diet. There’s no fillers, artificial colors, or unneeded vitamins or minerals — sometimes, less is more!

Considerations: Since B12 is tagging along with many other vitamins and minerals, check with your doc that you’re A-okay to be taking a multivitamin at these dosages.

How to take it: Take 2 capsules daily to get in 8 micrograms of B12.

Best subscription service for vitamin B12 supplements

2. Care/Of Vitamin B12 Capsules – 30 days

  • Price: $–$$$ (varies)
  • Supplement type: capsule
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Take a quick online quiz about your lifestyle and get your vitamin recommendations with the reasons why they were selected for you. You can either get the B12 on its own, or go with the B complex, which contains all of the B vitamins (bonus: they are both vegan).

Considerations: Although you can alter what vitamins are sent to you, the personalized subscription may wind up being more costly than buying the supplement solo.

How to take it: Take 1 capsule with a meal to get in 250 micrograms of vitamin B12.

3. Persona Vitamin B12 Capsules – 28 days

  • Price: $–$$$ (varies)
  • Supplement type: capsule
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Similar to Care/Of, Persona offers a quiz that’ll give you personalized vitamin recommendations that they’ll send directly to your door every month. Not only that, but a subscription gives you access to expert nutritionists to get any questions answered or advice about your supps.

Considerations: Again, personalized vitamins may have you paying a little bit more depending on which vitamins you want delivered.

How to take it: Take 1 capsule daily for 500 micrograms of vitamin B12.

Best soft gel vitamin B12 supplement

4. Nature Made B12 Softgel – 150 count

  • Price: $$
  • Supplement type: softgel
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP certified, USP verified

Why we chose it: Thousands of pharmacists have rated Nature Made as a top vitamin and supplement brand for 23 years. This B12 soft gel is made without gluten, artificial flavors, or synthetic dyes. It’s a true classic one-a-day supplement.

Considerations: It’s not meant for everyone. The use of gelatin isn’t suitable for vegans and it contains soybean oil, which you’ll have to avoid if you have a soy allergy.

How to take it: Each softgel contains 1000 micrograms of B12 and you’ll take one a day with water and a meal.

Best high dose vitamin B12 supplements

5. Natrol Vitamin B12 Fast Dissolve Tablets – 200 count

  • Price: $
  • Supplement type: fast dissolve tablet
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP certified

Why we chose it: No water necessary for these fast dissolve tablets that you can take anywhere, anytime. It’s a great option if you deal with food allergies because it’s free of milk, egg, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, and soy.

Considerations: To get its sweet strawberry flavor with each dosage, this supplement uses xylitol. It’s a sugar alcohol that’s often well-tolerated, but can cause digestive discomfort because it can pull water into your intestine.

How to take it: 1 tablet taken each day will give you a whopping 5,000 micrograms of B12.

6. Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 Methylcobalamin Lozenge – 65 count

  • Price: $
  • Supplement type: lozenge
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Why we chose it: This is another high dosage option, but you take it like a cough drop lozenge once a day (or you can chew it). These berry flavored lozenges are gluten free, contain only natural colors and flavors, and are suitable for vegans.

Considerations: This product also uses sugar alcohol in the form of xylitol and mannitol. This gives the lozenge a nice sweet flavor but could also give you stomach pains and a frantic trip to the bathroom if you’re sensitive to it.

How to take it: You’ll get in 5,000 micrograms of B12 with 1 lozenge a day.

Best chewable vitamin B12 supplement

7. Jarrow Formulas Methyl B12 Chewable 60 count

  • Price: $
  • Supplement type: chewable lozenge
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP certified

Why we chose it: This chewable has over 13,000 reviews and high star ratings online. Bonus for all of us that are forgetful, you only need to take this supplement every few days and because it’s chewable, it’s better absorbed by your bod.

Considerations: The sugar alcohol xylitol is in this supplement as well but may not be as tough on your gut if you’re only taking it every few days.

How to take it: Dissolve in mouth or chew 1 lozenge every 3 to 4 days with a meal. This will provide you 5000 micrograms of B12.

Best gummy vitamin B12 supplements

8. Vitafusion Vitamin B12 Gummy – 140 count

  • Price: $$
  • Supplement type: gummy
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP certified

Why we chose it: If you want a great tasting supplement, get this in your medicine cabinet stat. Reviewers love the raspberry flavor, and the gummy form makes taking this vitamin a little more of a treat.

Considerations: The addition of glucose syrup and sugar means these gummies contain extra calories and carbs. While the serving size (2 gummies) only contains 4 grams total carbs, this could be a dealbreaker for anyone following a low carb diet like keto or who wants to avoid a supplement with added sugar.

How to take it: Thoroughly chew 2 gummies per day to get in 1000 micrograms of B12.

9. Solimo Vitamin B12 Gummy – 100 count

  • Price: $
  • Supplement type: gummy
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Why we chose it: Gelatin is a common ingredient used in gummies, which makes it a no-no for vegans. Solimo went the pectin-based route, which is a fiber from fruits. On top of being a vegan-friendly pick, it’s also ideal if you’re allergic to gluten, wheat, dairy, soy, and egg (since it’s free of them).

Considerations: Again, this gummy contains added sugar to make it taste delish and feel less like a supplement. Even though it’s a small amount (2 grams to be exact), this might not be for you if you’re trying to avoid added sugar.

How to take it: Chew 2 gummies completely to get a 3000 micrograms dose of B12 in each day.

Best capsule vitamin B12 supplement

10. Doctor’s Best Fully Active B12 Capsule 60 count

  • Price: $
  • Supplement type: capsule
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Why we chose it: One of the most affordable B12 supplements on the list, you can get 2 months’ worth of active B12 supplements at about the same cost of a fancy cup of coffee. It also can be taken by vegans and vegetarians. Plus, it’s free of GMOs, gluten, sugar, and soy.

Considerations: Some people may have complications with swallowing capsules, and they take longer for your body to break down compared to chewables or gummies that are broken down when chewed. That means capsules may take longer to absorb.

How to take it: Take 1 capsule daily with a meal to get in 1500 micrograms of B12.

Best vegan vitamin B12 supplement

11. MaryRuth’s Methyl B12 Organic Liquid Spray 1 fluid ounce

  • Price: $$$
  • Supplement type: liquid spray
  • Quality and safety standards: cGMP compliant

Why we chose it: Not only does this supplement set itself apart by being a spray, it’s a tasty berry flavor with no added sugar. It’s vegan and kid-friendly, and made with organic ingredients (if that’s your style). It’s free of gluten, wheat, yeast, soy, and GMOs.

A 2016 study found that B12 supplements that are mixed with saliva are broken down and absorbed better than supplements that are swallowed whole — like capsules or softgels. So liquids like this can help you reach the recommended B12 levels in an ASAP fashion.

Considerations: One downfall is that it’s the most expensive supplement on this list, lasting you only a few months before you need to restock.

How to take it: Just 4 sprays in your mouth daily gives you 3000 micrograms of B12.

Type of B12: Methylcobalamin vs. cyanocobalamin

There are different forms of B12 supplements, but they’re all effective for improving B12 levels.

The most popular B12 supplements usually come from cyanocobalamin or methylcobalamin. They’re nearly identical with just a slight difference in molecules. Methylcobalamin is identical to the form of B12 that’s found in foods like fish, meat, eggs, and milk. Cyanocobalamin is a synthetic version.

A 2017 study found that both cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin have similar bioavailabilities for the general population (aka they’re both equally able to enter your bloodstream and boost B12 levels), but absorption of either version of B12 could be affected by genetics. There’s limited research telling us which type of B12 is better for certain people, so it might take a little trial and error to find the one that works best for you.

But in general, cyanocobalamin is known for being more stable and cheaper than methylcobalamin. Work with your doc if you’re having a hard time figuring out which makes more sense for you.

Type of supplement

Not a fan of choking down a capsule? Opt for gummies, chewables, or liquids. Plus, a 2016 study found that B12 supplements that are mixed with saliva are broken down and absorbed better than supplements that are swallowed whole.

Combo or solo

If you’re a two-birds-one-stone type of person (or if your doc wants you to take other vitamins), you can check out a combination supplement like a B complex or multivitamin that contains B12 in it.

Some experts recommend taking B12 supplements on their own because they can bind with or interact with other ingredients, so it’s a good idea to chat with your doc before making this call.

High quality

Supplements aren’t regulated by the FDA in the same way as other drugs, so you should always do a little extra research before choosing a supplement brand. Here are a few things to look for when you’re researching a brand and its products:

  • cGMP compliant or certified. Any company that manufactures a supplement should follow current good manufacturing practices. This means that they meet requirements set out by the FDA that help ensure supplements are manufactured in a high quality facility.
  • Certificate of analysis (COA). Supplement companies should either have a certificate of analysis available on their websites or available upon request. These certificates prove that the product actually contains what the brand says it does. These can be internally verified (aka the company does their own testing) or third party verified.
  • Third party testing. Some companies will go a step further and have their products and manufacturing process tested and certified by a third party company. This is another check to make sure the supplements actually contain what the company says and that they’re really following the FDA’s guidelines for creating high quality supplements.

Although B12 is a water-soluble vitamin (aka you’ll pee out the excess your bod doesn’t use), you still shouldn’t add a supplement without a trip to your doctor to test your vitamin levels. Doing this will give you a better idea of the severity of a B12 deficiency (if there is one) and how much B12 you should be taking on the reg.

The recommended daily intake of B12 is 2.4 micrograms, but many experts believe the current RDA for vitamin B12 is way too low. Taking between 6 and 10 micrograms a day may help ensure you’re getting enough B12.

Not enough B12 comes with some serious side effects. National Institutes of Health lists the characteristics of B12 deficiency as:

Certain people might also be more likely to need a vitamin B12 supplement:

If you’re vegan or vegetarian

If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, you’re at a higher risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency since meat, eggs, poultry, and other dairy animal products are the main sources of B12.

There are def still vegan and vegetarian-friendly foods that are rich in vitamin B12 — like fermented foods, fungi, and yeast — but these may not be as bioavailable (or as easily absorbed). Research also indicates these forms may compete for absorption with bioavailable forms of B12, potentially making a deficiency even worse.

Chat with your doc about the potential need to supplement with B12. If you do end up deciding to start taking it, make sure that you’re thoroughly checking ingredient labels since some capsules and gummies can use animal products in them. Your best bet is looking for a vegan certified product.

If you take certain medications

If you take certain medications (like metformin, Prilosec, or Pepcid), you might need more vitamin B12. These meds can interfere with B12 absorption, so it’s recommended you take 500 to 1,000 micrograms a day since only a small proportion of the B12 supplement gets absorbed.

If you’re pregnant

In general, pregnant women are at risk for deficiencies because growing a baby is a lot of work for your bod. That’s why it’s so common for women to supplement with prenatal vitamins. And while vitamin B12 deficiency isn’t one of the most commonly found nutritional deficiencies in pregnant women, adequate B12 levels are really important for your growing babe’s development, so it’s always a good idea to talk with your doc if you suspect you could have a deficiency.

If you’re over age 50

As you get older, your bod starts to produce less stomach acid, which is needed to absorb vitamin B12. Less absorption = less B12 your body can utilize. The National Institutes of Health recommends anyone over 50 using dietary supplements or eating fortified foods because their bodies are more likely able to absorb B12 from those sources.

If you have certain stomach or intestinal conditions

If you have atrophic gastritis, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease, or have had stomach or intestinal surgery, it’s possible you’re not able to properly absorb vitamin B12 from foods and need to use dietary supplements to meet your daily intake needs.

First things first, is knowing how much B12 you even need. The recommended daily intake for adults is 2.4 micrograms, but it’s believed that’s not enough. If you’re a mama-to-be or currently breastfeeding, your requirements bump up to 2.6 micrograms and 2.8 micrograms, respectively.

When it comes time to take your B12 supp, you’re free to toss it down the hatch morning or night. A lot of claims state that B12 boosts your energy and shouldn’t be taken before bed, but there’s no research to back that up. In fact, a 2021 study found that higher levels of vitamin B12 may be linked with better sleep quality and decreased use of sleep medication.

Vitamin B12 is part of the water-soluble vitamin team, meaning your body removes any of the excess vitamin every time you pee. Since your body only absorbs what you need, vitamin B12 does not have an upper limit (UL) which is the maximum amount of a vitamin you can take without side effects.

That said, there are still some risks associated with supplementing vitamin B12 if you aren’t deficient:

  • A 2015 study found that excess vitamin B12 is associated with acne and rosacea.
  • A 2019 study found that vitamin B12 supplementation can be associated with an increased risk of colon cancer in older adults when taken at high doses.
  • A 2017 study conducted on hospitalized patients found that patients with elevated B12 levels needed to stay in the hospital longer and were at a higher risk for death.
  • A 2019 study found that B12 supplementation during chemotherapy was associated with poorer outcomes.

Keep in mind that all of these studies suggest to only supplement with vitamin B12 in the case of a documented deficiency. That means you should definitely talk with your doc before starting a vitamin B12 supplement.

If you’re not getting enough vitamin B12 from the foods you eat, a supplement might be a good way to get enough of this vital nutrient every day. Thankfully, vitamin B12 supplements come in a wide range to meet the needs of everyone, whether it’s avoiding all animal products or wanting something more personalized.

Although risk of toxicity is very rare, here’s another reminder to only start taking a supplement when your doctor approves.

If you bring your doc into the conversation, do the right research before buying, and make sure you’re taking the right dosage, you’ll be one step closer to feelin’ like a bad B. 😎