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Best Vegan b12 Supplements

Review and Buyers Guide

Edited by: Isabel Stewart , Last updated: November 25, 2020

EDITOR’S CHOICE
Blendtec

Classic Fit + GO jar

Easily absorbable b12
Excellent value for money
BEST LIQUID B12 SUPPLEMENT
Global Healing Center

Vegansafe b12

Perfect for those who dislike tablets
Fast b12 absoprtion
BEST VALUE VEGAN B12 SUPPLEMENT
Amazon Elements

Vegan b12

Great flavor
Brilliant value

Can vegans get vitamin b12 without the consumption of meat?

The b12 debate surrounding meat-eaters and vegans is one conversation that many people on plant-based diets have had to deal with at some point on their journey. 

The amount of misinformation surrounding this particular vitamin is at an all-time high, but we are going to set the record straight and help put aside any concerns with facts and easy to follow solutions.

The reality is that b12 is an essential vitamin for everyone no matter your diet, but especially for vegans, due to limited plant-based ways for vegans to get enough.

But don’t fear. 

Creating optimal b12 nutritional balance for both vegans and non-vegans can easily be achieved by using the right fortified foods and vegan supplements. The right foods and healthy supplementation will help bring a high level of homeostasis to your diet over the long term and avoids the potential downsides that can come from using meat as a primary b12 source.  

best vegan b12 supplement

In this article you’ll learn: 

  • the truth of where vitamin b12 comes from
  • the optimal amounts you will need in your vegan diet
  • and the best b12 supplements available to help anybody avoid potential deficiencies and stay on track during your vegan health journey.

Best vegan b12 supplements at a glance:

What is vitamin b12?

Vitamin b12 also known as cobalamin, is actually a bacterial microorganism[1] that plays an essential part in the formation of red blood cells. It is vitamin out of a group of water-soluble compounds that make up the vitamin B family and is the most complex out of all in terms of chemical structure. 

All the different forms of vitamin B work synergistically in a multitude of essential functions in the body but play the most substantial roles in the regulation of energy levels, healthy maintenance of nerves, and blood cells plus play a crucial role in the creation of DNA. [2]

Benefits of vitamin b12

  • Necessary for healthy red blood cell formation
  • Supports bone health and may help against osteoporosis
  • Efficient energy regulation within the body
  • Brain health
  • Eyesight health
  • Mood regulation

Vitamin b12 is of extreme importance to vegans since there aren’t many plant foods that contain high amounts. Unlike most of the other b vitamins that can be found predominantly in fruit, vegetables, and grains, b12 is more easily found in meat and dairy. Animal products contain more b12, mainly due to supplemental b12 fed to them by farmers and the b12 they may get through eating soil and feces.

Over 90% of vitamin b12 supplements created are fed to livestock [3]

It’s hard to *feed* plants b12 but prior to our extreme use of chemicals, humans would gain further b12 through remnants of it being left on grown crops, but due to our excessive levels of cleanliness and hygiene, most b12 is washed away.

So overall most plants will be void of or contain minimal vitamin b12.

Different forms of b12 vitamins in supplements

There are four main types of vitamin b12 we should be aware of:

  • Cyanocobalamin: Hardest for the body to use effectively, requiring four steps for the body to metabolize, making it the most inefficient form of b12. Many supplements still use this form. Nevertheless, we recommend avoiding any supplement that uses this form as the main base of their b12 formula.
  • Methylcobalamin: easiest for our bodies to use effectively
  • Hydroxocobalamin: converted to methylcobalamin in the body
  • Adenosylcobalamin: least used but rising in popularity. Very easy for the body to utilize like methylcobalamin. Supplements with a blend of this and methylcobalamin are pretty effective and do a better job then cyanocobalamin.

Top 5 vegan B12 supplements – (In-Depth Reviews)

1. Nested Naturals Vegan Vitamin B12 Editor’s Choice

FEATURES:

Number of servings: 90

Serving size: 2500mcg methylcobalamin

Free from:Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Non-GMO

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REVIEW SCORE:
96/100

With 90 servings per container, one of the highest on our list, especially with 2500mcg per serving, you are getting outstanding value for money with this supplement.

Each serving comes in an easily dissolvable methylcobalamin b12 tablet. Methylcobalamin is one of the most bioavailable and easy to utilize forms of b12, making Nested Naturals extremely effective for the majority of vegans. Many alternative b12 supplements use formulas based on cyanocobalamin, but this form is much harder for our bodies to use effectively. The use of methylcobalamin also means you get better value for money since less b12 is wasted in comparison to cyanocobalamin alternatives.

Nested naturals b12 supplement comes with a lifetime guarantee on each purchase, which is an amazing benefit that builds confidence in the brand. We were also pleased to see they give a percentage of proceeds to women and children in need through the vitamin angels charity, which we felt was a fantastic incentive.

Nested naturals take the vegan agility top spot for the best vegan b12 supplement. With 90 servings per bottle, it represents exceptional value for money plus the methylcobalamin b12 base, which means the body will efficiently observe each serving. The Nested Naturals come with a lifetime guarantee, which shows us they are completely confident in their product, and since they are a socially conscious company that gives back through each purchase, we felt they hit a perfect blend between health/value and environmental sustainability.

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Why we love it
Easily absorbable b12
Excellent value for money
Socially conscious company
things to be aware of
Other brands have slightly higher levels of b12 per serving

2. Global Healing Center Vegansafe B12 Best Liquid b12 supplement

FEATURES:

Number of servings: 60

Serving size: 2500mcg methylcobalamin & adenosylcobalamin

Free from: free from gluten, soy, dairy, GMOs, nuts, sugar, artificial flavors, synthetic dyes, & toxic fillers

Extra nutrients:Energized trace minerals

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REVIEW SCORE:
95/100

The VeganSafe b12 range has a large amount of b12 per serving at 2500mcg, with a formula based on 80% methylcobalamin and 20% adenosylcobalamin. Vegansafeis the only supplement out of our top picks that has the adenosylcobalamin variety of b12. Adenosylcobalamin is a natural form of b12 known to be useful for energy and muscle health.

Out of the four types of b12 available, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the two easiest forms for the body to utilize, making Vegansafe an excellent option for quick a release of b12 into the bloodstream without taxing the body.

The vegan safe b12 supplement is our number 1 liquid choice for those who want to avoid tablets or gummies. It has a high amount of b12 per serving at 2500mcg and is the only supplement to have a blend of methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. These are the two easiest forms of b12 for the body to assimilate.

The vegan safe b12 supplement consists of only three ingredients with no artificial flavors or fillers, making this perfect for vegans who want a healthy, clean, and efficient supplement.

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Why we love it
Fast b12 absoprtion
Perfect for those who dislike tablets
No artificial fillers, toxins or dyes
things to be aware of
Not as many servings as tablets

3. Amazon Elements Vegan B12 Best Value vegan b12 supplement

FEATURES:

Number of servings: 65

Serving size: 5000mcg methylcobalamin

Free from: Dairy-free, Gluten free

Extra nutrients:Natural berry flavors

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REVIEW SCORE:
93/100

Amazon is making moves in the supplement market, and their berry-flavored b12 supplement was one of our top picks due to containing the largest amount of b12 per serving at 5000mcg.

Like all of our top picks, the amazon elements b12 supplement avoids the use of cyanocobalamin since its a man-made form and harder for our bodies to use. They have instead gone for a formula based on 100% methylcobalamin, making absorption as simple as possible.

Amazon has added a QR-code on the front of the packaging that lets customers find out the origins, purity, and potency of their b12 supplement. This handy little feature is great for inspiring confidence in your purchase.

This supplement is an amazon brand so you can feel confident that if you dislike the product, it will be easy to return or refund and they have a number printed for you to call for any issues.

Overall, this is our top value for money b12 supplement since you get 65 servings at 5000mcg each, which is hard to beat on a cost basis. For vegans who already eat a high amount of b12 fortified foods, the serving size may be quite high. To stretch the longevity and value of your purchase, you could take one tablet every two days, which averages out your servings to 2500mcg per day instead of 5000. 2500mcg is closer to the RDA, so this is a fantastic way to make your purchase effectively last twice as long as intended.

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Why we love it
Excellent value for money
Great flavor
Easily absorbable
things to be aware of
Other brands have a higher number of servings

4. Revly Vegan Organic vitamin b12 Best b12 for energy balance

FEATURES:

Number of servings: 50 (2 gummies per serving)

Serving size: 3000mcg methylcobalamin and hydroxycobalamin

Free from: Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Organic and Vegan

Extra nutrients:organic natural flavorings from rasberries and carrots

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REVIEW SCORE:
93/100

Revly Vit b12 is our favorite gummy option out of the b12 supplements that we reviewed. The Revly b12 supplement has the 2nd highest amount of b12 per serving at 3000mcg, which is perfect for those trying to maximize their b12 absorption.

Revly is also the only brand to use a blend of methylcobalamin and hydroxocobalamin. Methylcobalamin is one of the quickest forms of b12 to absorb as well as being great for the brain, nerves, and blood whereas hydroxocobalamin takes slightly longer to absorb but is longer lasting overall and will have an extended effect in comparison to other forms of b12.

Hydroxocobalamin is good for detoxification of cyanide and Nitic oxide in your system, so the Amazon Elements blend is a great option for those who want to maximize the effects of a slow but continuous release of b12 throughout the day. This may help to keep your energy balanced for longer and help to avoid dips in energy.

The only gummy option out of all our top picks, so for those who prefer a sweet-tasting chewable option, then this is a brilliant alternative to the typical tablet supplements available.

If you are susceptible to the pectin ingredient used in the gummy formula, it would be best to choose the nested naturals or the vegan safe b12 as alternatives since they include minimal additives.

Overall exceptional for anyone who wants a blend of effective b12 sources that arent 100% methylcobalamin and with the hydroxocobalamin b12 added into the formula, this might be an excellent option for longer-lasting energy release while you go about your day.

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Why we love it
Supports balanced energy production
Tastes delicious
Organic flavorings
things to be aware of
Number of servings is not as high as the tablet alternatives

5. Garden of Life organic b12 spray Best tasting b12 supplement

FEATURES:

Number of servings: 140 servings liquid spray

Serving size: 500mcg

Free from: Gluten Free, Certified USDA Organic, Non-GMO Verified, Vegan Certified,

Extra nutrients: Certified organic food blend of various fruits and vegetables

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REVIEW SCORE:
91/100

My kind organics have produced a great vitamin b12 supplement using a fantastic blend of fruit and vegetables. The primary source of b12 in the My Kind Organics supplement is methylcobalamin, which is one the most easily absorbed forms of b12. In comparison to our other top picks, the amount of b12 per serving is on the lower end at 500mcg per spray.

The supplement is advertised as having 140 servings per bottle, but due to the smaller b12 amount, the serving size may have to be doubled from 500mcg to 1000mcg to come closer to sufficient amounts needed on a vegan diet.

This would mean the number of servings you get from one bottle would be halved from 140 to 70 servings per container, which is still quite high in comparison to other b12 supplements, especially liquid b12 supplements, which are usually below 50. One of the best value for money vegan liquid b12 options that we could find and also comes with a 1-year refund, which can make you feel more confident in your purchase.

A wonderful benefit of the My Kind b12 spray is the comprehensive blend of vegetables and fruits used in their formula. With ingredients ranging from organic spinach and carrots to parsley and kale, it can be a great addition to an early morning shake or smoothie. If you prefer to avoid tablets and excess additives, then the My Kind Organic b12 spray is a healthy alternative to boost your b12 levels while tasting great at the same time.

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Why we love it
Made with real fruits and vegetables
Tastes great
Great alternative to tablets
things to be aware of
Servings sizes are small in comparison to other brands

Vegan B12 Buyers Guide

What do we look for in a quality b12 supplement?

How many servings do you get per bottle?

  • Pay close attention to the amount of b12 per serving in each supplement. Some supplements may have 100 servings of 500 mcg of b12, where another supplement may have 50 servings of 2000 mcg. Some companies will try to sway a buyer with a high amount of servings, but the overall amount of b12 in the bottle is lower than another brand due to the serving sizes being so small. Aim for a serving size of 2500+ per serving and a minimum of 30-50 servings per purchase.
  • Our daily target amount of b12 is around 1 000 mcg factoring in a low absorption rate, so keep this in mind at all times. A high mcg per serving can also allow you to take one serving every few days if you choose to rather than daily, which would provide better value in the long run, especially if you already consume b12 fortified foods.

Type of vitamin b12 contained

  • The main forms of b12 to focus on are methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin. 
  • Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the easiest forms of b12 for our bodies to utilize. 
  • It takes more time for the body to metabolize, but its effects are last longer than all four forms of b12. We want to avoid supplements based on cyanocobalamin since its hardest for the body to make use of [4]
  • Studies have shown that it is better to consume a combination of b12 forms rather than consistently consuming only one [5] so a supplement with a variety of highly absorbable b12 forms may be beneficial.

Vegan label

  • There appears to be information going around the internet that b12 in supplements is extracted from animal ingredients, but most forms of vitamin b12 are created in labs where they manage the growth of the bacteria without using animal products. Look for a vegan label on the packaging to ensure no animal products were used in the creation of the supplement. 
  • B12 supplements should also not contain any dairy products

Value

  • How much does it cost per serving, and how much mcg are you getting per serving for the price? Always compare serving amounts to the overall cost of the product. Then compare the cost per serving to similar products to make sure you are getting the best value for money.
  • The second thing to pay attention to is whether the company provides a return or guarantee with the purchase. When a company offers a way for you to return your product if you are not satisfied, it instills confidence in your purchase and the brand.

Liquid, spray, gummy, tablet

  • There are four main forms of vitamin b12 supplement. 
  • Sublingual lozenges provide the best value for money. They dissolve in the mouth and get in the bloodstream quickly[6], slightly slower than a spray or liquid, but you get better value for money with a sublingual lozenge since you get much more servings per bottle. 
  • Keep in mind, some sublingual supplements can contain added sugar which may potentially cause stomach issues, so make sure you’re not sensitive to certain sugars before purchasing
  • Liquids and sprays are great options for those who want the quickest release of b12 into their system. The other benefit of a liquid or spray over a lozenge is that they have fewer ingredients overall, so you don’t need to worry about any unnecessary additives. 
  • The least popular but still effective option is gummies. Gummies are chewable forms of b12 very similar to sweets and are mainly used for children or adults who dislike tablets. The main downside to a gummy is that they may contain pectin, which some people are sensitive to. 
  • Check with your doctor before purchasing if you are unsure what your sensitive too or simply avoid supplements with pectin in all together to prevent complications.

How much vitamin b12 does a vegan need to avoid deficiencies?

Supplement amount recommendations

  • 500 mcg for adults and those who consume b12 fortified foods daily
  • 1000+mcg for people with higher demands such as pregnant women, stressed individuals, vegetarians and vegans, and physically active individuals [7]
  • Because b12 is best absorbed in small amounts [8] its best to have a consistent daily supplement with a lower dosage rather than a large amount of b12 in one go
  • As we age, we need more since our bodies become less efficient at utilizing b12, so we need to increase the dosage to make sure we are maintaining optimal levels as we get older so consuming above 2.4mcg per day through supplements and fortified foods can help to cover all bases.

Why do vegan b12 supplements have such a high dosage?

There are two ways that our bodies absorb vitamin b12. One is active-intake, the other is passive-diffusion.

B12 absorbed through the active method requires a molecule called intrinsic factor to transport it to the digestive system for efficient absorption. The downside is that your body can only absorb a small amount of b12 through intrinsic factor per serving. Meaning you would have to regularly supplement or eat a meal high in b12 for you to hit your RDA.

The alternative method is passive diffusion. The big downside to absorbing b12 through passive diffusion is that only 1% of the b12 is absorbed per serving. The benefit is that it doesn’t have the same intake limitation that the active method has.

Research shows that the upper intake limit of b12 is extremely high. 

Due to this, many supplement companies create their formulas with a higher dosage to allow you to hit your RDA through passive absorption.

  • This means that to hit the RDA effectively through supplementation, you need a high enough dose so that the 1% absorbed through passive diffusion is enough to hit your RDA. 
  • 500mcg is sufficient for most vegans on a balanced plant-based diet. However, servings of 1000mcg have still been shown to be safe.

Are there any efficient alternatives to b12 supplements?

Fortified B12 vitamin foods

One of the first things any vegan can do to start covering any b12 deficiencies is to consume fortified foods that contain b12 such as

  • Nut milk (almond, cashew, hazelnut, coconut, etc.)
  • Soy milk
  • Fortified cereals
  • Nutritional yeast

A blend of fortified foods and supplementation is the best solution to ensure you are getting enough.

Examples of ways you could spread b12 throughout your day:

  • A low dose vitamin b12 supplement
  • Fortified almond milk with your favorite oat bowl/ fortified soy milk with a fortified cereal
  • Stir-fried vegetables and tofu with two spoons of nutritional yeast

Frequently asked questions

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875026?dopt=Abstract
  2. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/
  3. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-b12?fbclid=IwAR0clxnWYdFUc62szS0a0mIL8ArVygDVxItV0Ag0ZLaiRoRWm_Ic7ndJOmU
  4. https://www.b12-vitamin.com/forms/
  5. https://www.nature.com/articles/ejcn2014165.
  6. https://www.consumerlab.com/answers/is-sublingual-vitamin-b-12-really-better-than-the-pill-form/sublingual_B-12/
  7. https://www.b12-vitamin.com/daily-requirement/
  8. https://www.vegansociety.com/resources/nutrition-and-health/nutrients/vitamin-b12/what-every-vegan-should-know-about-vitamin-b12
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11347287
  10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257642/
  11. https://www.b12-vitamin.com/if/
  12. http://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/efsa_rep/blobserver_assets/ndatolerableuil.pdf

Want to learn more?

For a more in-depth look into the Vegan diet and vitamin b12 check out our ultimate vegan B12 guide, giving you all the knowledge, food tips and research you need to help master vitamin b12 on a vegan diet.

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