FREE MEAL PLAN

100% Vegan Meal Plan Calories & Macros Recipes & Grocery List

Top Vegan B12 Supplements | What Every Vegan Should Know Before Buying

*This site contains affiliate links to products. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.*

Share

Whether you are transitioning to a vegan lifestyle or have been vegan for a while, Vitamin B12 supplements are one you should pay attention to for your overall health.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is often associated with vegans and vegetarians, however, it is an issue that affects vegans and meat-eaters alike. Actually, researchers in the US have found that nearly 40 percent of people are deficient in this nutrient.

So if you are wondering if you should take a B12 supplement as a vegan, the answer is YES.

Which one is the best Vegan b12 supplement? We have done the research for you and will give you all the details in this article.


Best Vegan B12 Supplement
Editor’s Choice: Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements

✓ It contains methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bio-available forms of B12.

✓ The liquid formula is light, sweet and also makes it highly absorbable and ultra-potent.

It Is certified organic, free of gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, nuts, sugar, artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, and fillers.


Vegan B12 Supplements | What is Vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 is a nutrient equired for many vital functions in the body such as keeping the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helping make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Sounds important right?

Vitamin B12 also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people feel tired and weak.

Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal products such as fish, meat, poultry, eggs, milk, and dairy products. It is not present in plant foods, except they are fortified like fortified breakfast cereals and plant-based milks which are readily available sources of vitamin B12 for vegans [1,2,3].

Vitamin B12 is produced in nature by certain bacteria and synthesized in the gut flora in humans and other animals. However, humans cannot absorb this as it is made in the colon, downstream from the small intestine, where the absorption of most nutrients occurs.

While Vitamin B12 deficiency is widespread in all populations, meat-eaters could technically get it from animal products (although is a very complex process) but vegans need to take a Vitamin B12 supplements by all means.

Vegan B12 Supplements | Do you really need them?

The short answer is YES.

Vegan B12 Supplements

However, for reasons unknown, there are some vegans who pride themselves in not ‘needing’ B12 supplementation, basically denying every piece of scientific evidence that supports the opposite.

They like going around announcing they have been vegan for a long time, have never taken any supplement, and yet they are in perfect health.

While this might seem true in the surface, they probably haven’t taken a blood test in a while. Even if they would have, Vitamin B12 deficiency can take years before showing in test results, while in the meantime it’s been already causing —sometimes irreversible—damage to your body.

The arguments supporting that vegans don’t need b12 include stating that humans produce it on their intestine, others claim you can get it from algae or seaweed, and still, others proclaim you can get your B12 requirements by not washing your vegetables.

The truth is, such claims have not stood the test of time. In many cases, these people experience a health crisis, go back to eating meat, and claim a vegan diet for their problems.

In over 60 years of vegan experimentation only B12 fortified foods and B12 supplements have proven themselves as reliable sources of B12, capable of supporting optimal health.

For this reason, it is very important that all vegans ensure they have an adequate intake of B12 from proven sources such as fortified foods or supplements.

This will benefit not only our health but also ensure that myths of veganism not being sustainable are not spread around by people who refused to take their b12 supplements.

Vegan B12 Supplements | Why are they important?

Vitamin B12 is important for many essential bodily processes such as metabolizing and creating oxygen-transporting red blood cells.

It also plays a crucial role in the health of your nervous system (4) so having too little B12 in your diet can certainly take a toll on your body’s functioning.

When your vitamin B12 levels are low, you may experience many negative effects like pale skin, fatigue, mouth ulcers, dizziness, breathlessness, high temperatures, disturbed vision, and mood swings.

It can aslo lead anemia, nervous system damage, infertility and bone and heart disease (567).

So, as you can see, vitamin B12 is crucial for your overall health and not something to take lightly.

Vegan B12 Supplements | How much do you need?

Now that we have established B12 supplementation is 100% necessary, especially for vegans, let’s go into the details on how much exactly should you be taking.

According to the Institue of Medicine, the daily recommended intake for adults is 2.4 mcg per day, 2.6 mcg per day during pregnancy, and 2.8 mcg per day while breastfeeding.

Vegan B12 Supplements

You can meet your recommended dose of B12 by consuming fortified foods or by taking supplements. However, most vegans choose to take a supplement since it is a more accurate and easy-to-track method than having to keep track of every fortified food and its B12 content.

Some foods commonly fortified with B12 include non-dairy milks, cereals, meat substitutes, energy bars, and nutritional yeast.

Vegan B12 Supplements
Source: Institute of Medicina

However, it may be difficult to meet your B12 needs through fortified foods, since comparatively few products are fortified, and B12 fortification of foods is often at low levels.

Furthermore, you want to consider that B12 fortified foods contain the very same B12 that is put into supplements so obtaining your B12 through them is in no way more “natural” than taking your daily or weekly supplement.

If you are wary of taking supplements, you might find it helpful to get your blood levels checked for vitamin B12 before taking any.

When choosing your B12 supplements you’ find that Vitamin B12 supplements are sold in pills, lozenges (sublingual tablets), or drops. Pills are considered to not be optimal since B12 is absorbed poorly when swallowed.

Lozenges or drops are considered to offer better absorption from B12 since having them placed under your tongue enables B12 absorption through the capillaries in your mouth.

Vegan B12 Supplements | Cyanocobalamin Vs. Methylcobalamin

Vitamin B12 supplements are available in the market in two different forms:

  • Cyanocobalamin: a synthetic form of vitamin B12 found only in supplements
  • Methylcobalamin: a naturally occurring form that you can get through either food sources or supplements.

While cyanocobalamin needs to be converted into methylcobalamin or adenosylcobalamin to be bio-available, methylcobalamin is more “body-ready” and hence is believed to be a superior alternative.

However, no studies have managed to prove the superiority of one versus the other.

So far, both have shown to offers similar benefits, and research suggests that the differences in bioavailability between the two forms may be insignificant and that absorption could be influenced by factors such as age and genetics (7).

In conclusion, regardless of which form of B12 you take, both have been shown to successfully treat B12 deficiency. If you are feeling unsure about the inclusiveness of the studies, you can always alternate between the two different forms and ensure and optimal absorption.

Does needing a b12 supplement makes veganism an ‘unnatural’ diet?

To examine this question, we would need to first analyze what we consider ‘natural’ and we will probably not come to an agreement.

Is it natural to like our ancestor did ten thousands of years ago? in that case we would still be living in caves, drinking water from rivers and not washing our food.

In that case we would still be drinking dirty water, eating unwashed fruits and veggies, unintentionally eating feces and get our B12 the ‘natural’ way B12 needs.

But when putting those in comparison, taking a supplement sounds like a lot of a better idea.

To put other examples as reference…

is is unnatural for people to live in nordic countries because they need to take a Vitamin D supplement in the winter?

Is is unnatural for women to get pregnant because when they do they need to take Iron, Calcium and other supplements?

Is it unnatural for people not to die of diseases we now have a cure or a vaccine for?

The truth is, our species and lifestyle has evolved and we don’t get everything straight from the earth like we used to do but we have technology and conveniences that allow us to have a much more comfortable and longer life.

Finally, we’ve already established that B12 is not produced by animals, but by bacterial fermentation. Animals just have the capacity to absorb and accumulate B12 in their flesh and secretions which is then passed on to humans

Even more, it is a common practice to give sheep and cattle supplemental B12 in order for them to reach optimal levels, which means meat-eaters are indirectly supplementing B12 by eating animal products.

What to look for in a Vegan B12 Supplement?

1. Make sure it is vegan

While all of the products in this article are vegan, if you are checking different options, you want to check the ingredients since some might contain non-vegan ingredients or animal-based sources of B12.

Since vegans are a big market for B12 supplements, most vegans brands will advertise it quite obviously in the package but you can also make sure to read the back of the label and see if it’s vegan-certified.

2. Cyanocobalamin vs methylcobalamin forms

While there is no conclusive study proving methylcobalamin to provide significantly better absorption than cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin is a naturally existing form of B12 in humans so you might as well go for it when available.

Also, cyanocobalamin contains cyanide which some people argue is better to avoid.

If you decide to go for a whole-food-based vegan multivitamin, make sure it has significant amounts of vitamin B12 in the methyl form.

3. Choose a sublingual, sprays, or liquid.

Vitamin B12 is available in pills, lozenges, or liquid form. The benefits of sublingual, sprays or liquid forms mean that the vitamin doesn’t have to be digested before being used so they enter the bloodstream immediately.

Favor sublingual or liquid forms of vitamin B12 that don’t add refined sugars, food coloring, or other flavoring agents. The shortest the ingredient list, the better.

Best Vegan B12 Supplement

In general, Vitamin B12 supplements are very safe, easy to find, and affordable but with so many factors to consider and options available it can be overwhelming. tochoose the right one.

Here is a list of our favorite B12 supplements that are affordable, and effective and of course, 100% vegan.

Also, you might be confused about most of these products containing a much higher dose than the RDA but your body can only absorb a small percentage of it, and what it doesn’t absorb it will eliminate via your urine.

By sticking to the recommended frequency on each brand, there is no risk of overdosing.

1. Best Overall: Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements
Vegan B12 Supplements

Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12 is a high quality, vegan liquid B12 supplement that contains from methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bio-available forms of B12.

Adenosylcobalamin is the other naturally occurring form of B12 in the body (besides methylcobalamin) and brands like Global Healing Center just started combining them to maximize the absorption, retention, and benefits.

This is the latest version of the blend of the famous Global Healing Center’s famous Vegansafe B12. Combining Methylcobalamin & Adenosylcobalamin helps a faster and more efficient absorbion than other forms of B12.

The liquid formula is light, sweet and also makes it highly absorbable and ultra-potent.

Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12 is certified organic, free of gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, nuts, sugar, artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, and fillers.

Customer Review

I love this product. I have been suffering from chronic fatigue. Although I was taken supplements by mouth, it still wasn’t enough. My holistic doctor advised me to sublingual. I did my own research and came across your product! I am so thankful! I highly recommend your product!”

2. Best for Athletes: Transparent Labs Vitamin B Complex

Vegan B12 Supplements
Vegan B12 Supplements

Transparent Lab is focused on providing nutrition for athletes so with this B-Complex they provide 1,000 mcg of B12 in the form of methylcobalamin to keep your healthy levels they while boosting energy levels during workouts.

their B-Complex provides a full range of B-vitamins, as well as other vitamins like choline, inositol, and vitamin C t in crucial dosages to help improve overall brain function, support healthy hair and skin, and boosting immunity.

The product is Gluten and GMO-Free and it contains no artificial sweeteners, preservatives, or colorings.

Customer Review

I’ve been taking the B12 complex now for about a month, and I see a real difference in my energy levels. It’s great! Highly recommend. I bought one for myself and one for my friend, and he is also seeing a difference in energy levels.

3. Best Raw Formula: Garden of Life Vitamin Code B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements
Vegan B12 Supplements

Garden of Life’s philosophy is based around providing nutrients in the form that they are found in nature which is along with other foods and components and that’s what intentd to do with their B12 supplement.

For this reason, their b12is made with individually grown nutrients utilizing probiotic cultivation to produce RAW Food-Created Nutrients™. Fancy huh?

Vitamin Code B12 supplements are delivered in a whole food base of fruits and vegetables as you can see by the long list of organic ingredients in the label.

They pride themselves in offering a ‘raw’ supplement, which means that it is produced are produced below 115º F maintaining the nutrients, live probiotics and enzymes.

Vitamin Code raw powders are delivered in capsules without the use of fillers or binders, so you don’t have to worry about any unnecessary or harmful ingredients.

Customer Review

I was ill for a few months, no energy, weak, foggy-brained and lightheaded, no appetite. I had a blood test and was found to have a severe vitamin B-12 deficiency. Within a week of starting a daily regimen of these, I felt like a new person. My doctor told me to take this brand, as a whole food source was important to her, and she likes the quality of these. I am completely back to normal, feel great now.

4. Best High Dosage: Jarrow Formulas Vitamin B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements

Vegan B12 Supplements

Jarrow Formulas is a widely known and reputable so you could never go wrong with one of their products.

This version of their B12 offers the whopping amount of 5000 mcg in lozenges that you can chew or let dissolve under your tongue.

This vegan B12 supplement comes in cherry, tropical, and lemon flavor. If you feel like enjoying some candy and want to get your B12 levels up then this is definitely one to consider.

The dosage is extremely high, at 5000 mcg per lozenge, so it is ideal for those with an already diagnosed b12 deficiency or symptoms of it.

If you are unsure of needing such a high dose I’d recommend starting with this product once a week and observing how you feel. Some people have reported getting breakouts or rashes but that is only a sign that they were taking too much of it.

Customer Review

“This chewable took my Vitamin B12 levels from dangerously low to so high I can only take them every other day. I have a problem with absorbing supplements, but this was not an issue here.
The flavor is decent and takes two seconds to chew up. Totally worth it. I’ve always been an energetic person, but with the help of this supplement, I stopped drinking my usual 2 cups a day of coffee and switched to one cup of decaf!”

5. Best Cyanocobalamin: Nature’s Bounty Vitamin B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements

Vegan B12 Supplements

All the other supplements on this page contain vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin or a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.

However, many other b12 supplements are in the form in cyanocobalamin, which is one of the most well-researched sources of vegan B12 and has proven to offer as many benefits as the previously mentioned forms.

Nature’s Bounty is one of the best in this category and provides vitamin B12 supplements in tablets of 1,000 mcg of Cyanocobalamin.

The company has a history of 50 years offering vitamins and nutritional supplements with Quality and consistency and this product is not an exeption.

These vitamins are easy to swallow, gluten-free and also free of any artificial colors and flavors. If you prefer not swaloowing them, they can also be dissolved in a hot drink to mask the taste.

If for whatever reason you prefer another form of B12, then cyanocobalamin isn’t for you.

Customer Review

“I don’t get much B12 since I’m vegetarian and had some sleeping problems. I had never had such problems before and think that reason is B12 deficiency. After 1-1.5 months I have much better sleeps, also I feel much more energized, started losing weight which I was trying with a healthy diet for about 2-3 months and lost only 1 kg during that time. After taking B12 + healthy eating, I lost 4 kgs in 1.5 months. Actually B12 helps to fasten metabolism. I’m going to continue taking it only once a week from now”

BONUS: Best All-In-One
Vedge Essential Vitamin B12 + Vitamin D3 + Omega D3

Vegan B12 Supplements

I’ve decided to include this product that is slightly outside the topic of the article because I believe many vegans would benefit from it. Especially if you are already considering B12 supplementation and, like myself, want to stay on top of your health and nutrition.

Unfortunately, Vitamin b12 deficiency is not the only one we should concern about. There are other nutrients that we should pay more attention to in order to ensure optimal intake levels.

Vitamin D

A recent study shows that 42% of Americans are Vitamin D deficient. Most Vitamin D comes from the sun (80%), however, a small amount does come from animal products (20%) so vegans are more at risk of not getting enough of it.

Omega 3

Finally, Omega 3’s, are incredibly important for normal cell function, lowering inflammation, and brain health. There are 2 types of Omega 3’s (DHA and EPA) which the body can not produce on its own and are only available in animal foods and algae.

Vedge Essential for Vegan

Vedge Essential combines Vitamin B12, Vitamin D3, and Omega3’s, in one capsule formulated especially for vegans. If you want to make sure to cover all your daily nutrients, this is definitely one to consider.

Customer Review

“Being able to take fewer supplements is fantastic. Vedge essential dropped me down from 4 to 2 total supplements I’m taking daily and I really really appreciate that. It’s also costing roughly what I was paying JUST for my omega 3s before… AWESOME!

Vegan B12 Supplements | Frequently Asked Questions

Who needs to take a Vitamin B12 supplement?

You need to take a Vitamin B12 supplement if you are in one of the groups for people at risk of suffering of a B12 deficiency such as:

  • People older than 51.
  • Those who’ve had surgery that removes the part of the bowel that absorbs B12
  • People on the drug metformin for diabetes
  • People following a strict vegan diet
  • Those taking long-term antacid drugs for heartburn

Unfortunately, symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency can take years to show up so it is not advisable to wait for them to show up before starting supplementation.

What are the signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency?

Vitamin B12 deficiency can present itself in various ways, making it difficult to identify. However, here are 9 signs and symptoms to pay attention to:

  • Pale or Jaundiced Skin caused by a lack of red blood cell production
  • Weakness and fatigue since your body isn’t able to produce enough red blood cells to transport oxygen throughout your body.
  • Pins and needles sensation which is a common sign of potential nerve damage.
  • Changes to mobility due to nervous system damage that changes the way you walk and move.
  • Mouth ulcers and Glossitis which is a condition in where your tongue gets inflamed, turned red and swollen.
  • Breathlessness and dizziness that occurs when the body is unable to transport enough oxygen to all its cells.
  • DIsturbed visions in rare cases where the nervous system damage caused by a B12 deficiency can affect the optic nerve.
  • Mood Changes in some people who may show signs of a depressed mood or conditions characterized by a decline in brain function like dementia.
  • High Temperature in rare occasions might be a sign of b12 deficiency.

How long after taking vitamin b12 will I feel better?

Is you are having symptoms of b12 deficiency, recovering might take some time and you will not experience any changes during the first few months of over-the-counter supplementation. Improvement will be gradual and will continue for 6 to 12 months.

You can always consult with your doctor who might prescribe you higher doses of B12 which can improve your symptoms faster.  

Can Vitamin b12 cause weight gain?

Vitamin B12 supplements are unlikely to affect your weight. Despite the many processes in which vitamin B12 is involved, there’s no evidence to suggest that it has any effect on weight gain or loss.


Best Vegan B12 Supplement
Editor’s Choice: Global Healing Center VeganSafe B12 Supplement

Vegan B12 Supplements

✓ It contains methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin, the two most bio-available forms of B12.

✓ The liquid formula is light, sweet and also makes it highly absorbable and ultra-potent.

It Is certified organic, free of gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, nuts, sugar, artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, and fillers.


Takeaway

Vitamin B12 supplements are essential for vegans since they are at risk of developing Vitam B12 deficiency.

Luckily, Vegan B12 supplements are widely available in the market in many forms and presentation.

We recommend choosing a Vitamin B12 supplement in the form of methylcobalamin and if possible in lozenges or liquid presentation.

Make sure to check the ingredients of your Vitamin B12 supplement to guarantee it is vegan and free of additives.

Share

A tiny request: If you liked this post, please share this?

Most people don’t share because they feel that us bloggers don’t need their “tiny” social share. But 

I built this blog piece by piece, one small share at a time, and will continue to do so. So your support is really appreciated! 

Pin it or Share it to your favorite Vegan Facebook Group!

The Share buttons are right above this message!

Or you can Follow me on Pinterest for more resources and tools on Plant Based Fitness & Bodybuilding


Thank you so much!

Leave a Comment

error: Content is protected !!
Thank you! Your Free Guide Is On Its Way To Your Inbox!
BUT WAIT… Check out this offer if you want to get faster and better fast loss results!

#1 FEMALE FAT BURNER

Burn Stubborn Fat Easily & Finally Achieve Your Body Goals

  • Reduce Cravings And Calorie Intake
  • Support Fast Metabolism
  • Boost Energy And Focus
  • Includes 3g daily dose of clinically proven ‘Glucomannan’
  • Cutting edge, natural ingredients – No harmful stimulants.
  • Thousands of satisfied customers.