Welcome to our guide for vitamin B12 supplements. We have gathered detailed information about its benefits, particularities, types; you will also discover interesting facts about this essential nutrient for the proper functioning of our body.
It allows our red blood cells and neurones to work in optimal conditions. Unfortunately, people begin to lose the ability to properly absorb this vitamin after the age of 50. Other at-risk groups include vegans and vegetarians, as their diet tends to lack this nutrient.
- 1 Key Facts
- 2 Ranking: The best vitamin B12 supplements in the market
- 3 Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about vitamin B12
- 4 What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
- 5 What types of vitamin B12 are there, and which one is right for me?
- 6 Shopping Criteria
- 7 Summary
- Vitamin B12 supplements help you regulate a potential vitamin deficit or complement your diet if you lack this nutrient.
- We can identify different forms of administration: tablets, capsules, drops and injections. Tablets and capsules are the most common and are available at different prices.
- These two forms are ideal for people who have no difficulty swallowing pills. On the other hand, drops and injections are particularly suitable for people suffering from severe B12 deficiency or who want an immediate effect.
Ranking: The best vitamin B12 supplements in the market
Let’s have a look at the best vitamin B12 supplements available on the Australian market. This section will help you find which product best suits your specific needs – and yes, vegan-friendly products too!
No. 1: Blackmores, Vitamin B12 (tablets)[amazon box=”B077HWM3TH” description_items=”0″]
Blackmores, one of Australia’s most trusted supplement brands, brings you these tablets containing 100 micrograms of cyanocobalamin (75 tablets). Providing an important B12 boost to the organism, it is recommended to take these tablets twice a day during meals, unless prescribed otherwise.
Adapted to vegetarian and vegan diet, this product has received positive reviews from its consumers. They have reported feeling benefits on a daily basis, with subjective sensations of increased energy.
No. 2: Nature’s Own, Vitamin B12 (tablets)[amazon box=”B076VWGKTV” description_items=”0″]
Australian-made B12 tablets by Nature’s Own offers 1,000 micrograms of the synthetic compound of vitamin B12, cyanocobalamin. With 60 tablets for one-a-day doses, one box provides two months of vitamin B12 supplements. This product has reportedly been prescribed by various doctors, with consumers satisfied with its effects. Free of allergens and suitable to vegetarian and vegan diets.
No. 3: Swisse Ultiboost High Strength, Vitamin B12 (tablets)[amazon box=”B07BF3MMPM” description_items=”0″]
Swisse recommends taking one of its Ultiboost High Strength tablets per day to fully benefit from the numerous purposes of vitamin B12. Packed with 1,000 micrograms of cyanocobalamin, Swisse’s high strength formula has become a go-to product for many of its users. Suited for vegans, it is particularly praised for its good value for money.
Shopping Guide: Everything you should know about vitamin B12
One of vitamin B12’s main function is to transfer fragments of carbon atoms: namely methyl and hydroxyl. The nutrient also participates in the exchange of hydrogen atoms, making it essential for human health.
What does vitamin B12 do to your body?
DNA synthesis and the metabolisation of fats, hormones and neurotransmitters are only some of the different important processes of the human body in which the vitamin plays a part. It also participates in the creation of blood, in cell division and is a key player for the human nervous system.
This incredible vitamin regulates and cares for our immune system, so you should always maintain its levels optimal.
The role played by vitamin B12 in the immune system means that correct supplementation can help you fight symptoms of various diseases, such as:
- Chronic fatigue
- Diseases of the nervous system
- Mental illnesses such as depression, dementia, and schizophrenia
- Autoimmune diseases
What foods are rich in vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 can only be synthesised by microorganisms; its presence in meats is the reason why we need to integrate this food into our diet. On the other hand, legumes are a plant source of vitamin B12.
However, it is important to note that vegetable sources contain much less vitamin B12 than meats. This is why experts often recommend adequate supplementation of this essential vitamin if you are a vegan or vegetarian.
How much do vitamin B12 supplements cost?
The price will always vary depending on the quality of the supplement and its brand. However, a higher dose of vitamin B12 usually means a steeper price.
The following table introduces you to prices of different cobalamin preparations:
|Sublingual tablets (30 units)||Approx. AUD 5-30|
|Capsules (30 units)||Approx. AUD 24-30|
|Spray or drops (100 ml)||Approx. AUD 30-48|
|Injections (100 ml)||Approx. AUD 5-80|
Sublingual tablets are by far the cheapest form of vitamin B12, while injections are the most expensive. However, the latter are actually essential for pregnant women and people with severe cobalamin deficiency.
What are the symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency?
Vitamin B12 deficiency is unfortunately very common, especially if you do not include meats in your diet. The elderly are another at-risk group, as they frequently have trouble absorbing the vitamin correctly.
The most common symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are:
- Pale or yellow skin
- Vision problems
- Mood swings
- Mouth sores
- Tiredness and fatigue
What are the consequences of vitamin B12 deficiency?
The consequences and symptoms of a vitamin B12 deficiency are closely linked. People with this condition are tired all the time because the red blood cells are not produced quickly enough to supply their body with oxygen.
Vitamin B12 is also involved in the production of myelin, a key substance for a healthy nervous system. Other long-term problems stemming from this deficit include anaemia, tiredness and dizziness, as well as conditions related to the lack of oxygen in the body.
How does a vitamin B12 deficiency occur?
Vitamin B12 deficits are a lengthy process: stored in your liver, your vitamin B12 reserves can last two to three years. A vitamin deficiency naturally occurs when all your reserves have been depleted, which is when you’ll begin to notice the first symptoms.
Here are the reasons that can lead to a cobalamin deficiency:
- Low vitamin B12 intake
- Problems with vitamin absorption
- Increased need for vitamin B12
Low vitamin B12 intake is common amongst vegans, vegetarians, and people with poor nutrition.
You may difficulties reaching your recommended daily intake if you follow a vegan diet; however, certain cereals fortified with this vitamin are now available for you.
Certain people such as pregnant women or people with autoimmune diseases require higher intakes in vitamin B12. In these cases, adding vitamin supplements to the diet becomes an excellent option.
Cobalamin absorption can be affected for people suffering from certain conditions. The following can be causes for a vitamin B12 deficit:
- Gastrointestinal diseases, such as gastritis or Crohn’s disease
- Complications to the liver
- Chronic smoking
- Consumption of birth control pills
Should I use vitamin B12 supplements if I am vegan or vegetarian?
We highly recommend you to take vitamin B12 supplements if your diet is strictly vegan or vegetarian. This is because the main sources of vitamin B12 are usually foods of animal origin such as meat, fish and seafood.
Despite the fact that they can consume milk and eggs, vegetarians should also add B12 supplements to their diet, as their intake may be deficient. If you’re unsure about where you stand, we recommend that you get a blood test and check that all your blood values are under control.
Can I be cobalamin-deficient if I am not vegan or vegetarian?
Yes, non-vegetarians with poor nutrition may still have vitamin B12 deficiency. Certain gastrointestinal diseases and other health problems can prevent people from absorbing cobalamin properly, so we recommend that these groups at risk check their vitamin B12 levels.
What is the recommended dose of vitamin B12?
Your health condition determines the dose of vitamin B12 your body needs. The table below details the different doses for you:
|Healthy individuals||Low, 3-50 µg|
|Vegetarians and vegans||Medium, 100-250 µg|
|Pregnant women||High, 251-500 µg|
|People with severe stomach problems||Very high, 501-3,000 µg|
|People with severe vitamin B12 deficiency||Megadose, over 3,000 µg|
What types of vitamin B12 are there, and which one is right for me?
As mentioned earlier, there are essentially seven forms of administration available on the market:
- Normal or sublingual tablets
- Spray and drops
- Injections and vials
Each type has a different concentration of vitamin B12, and its own advantages and disadvantages. This is why we recommend you to know exactly your specific needs in order to choose the best form for your body.
Here are the different types of vitamin B12 and their benefits and specificities.
|Sublingual tablets||Capsules||Spray and drops||Injections and vials|
|Low price||Moderate price||Moderate price||Low or high price|
|Easy to use||Can be difficult to swallow||Very easy to use||Hard to use|
|Contains flavourings and other matters||Purity: contains few extra matters||Contains certain extra ingredients||Certain vials or injections contain cyanocobalamin, a synthetic compound|
|Long-term effects, as the daily dose is low||Long-term effects, as the daily dose is low||Long-term effects, the vitamin begins its effect at the time of intake||The dose is very high, therefore its effect is greater and immediate|
Considering all the characteristics mentioned in the table above, the best option for the general population is usually tablets or capsules.
In this section, you will find the most relevant purchasing factors for choosing your vitamin B12 supplement. They are the following:
- Side effects
- Active substance
Vials will be your best ally if you need to deal with a serious vitamin B12 deficiency. Injections are another methods indicated for severe symptoms of nutrient deficiency. Standard tablets and capsules should be efficient enough if your deficiency is not extreme.
Certain preparations contain additives such as magnesium stearate and are therefore not recommended for sensitive people, while others may cause heartburns or headaches. We strongly suggest you study all components and side effects of a product before buying it.
A product’s cost is always a deciding factor when making a purchase, but it’s not the only one. Some supplement packages may for example include a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied. Remember that price and quality are always closely connected.
The most common allergens are eggs, milk, soy, gluten, peanuts and other nuts. If you are allergic to any such product, we strongly recommend you buy vegan supplements, as they are usually allergen-free.
While this is less frequent, cyanocobalamin, the active substance in vitamin B12, can also cause allergies. Present in vials and injections, it can cause very severe allergic reactions.
Various forms of vitamin B12 are available on the Australian market. Its most common forms are the synthetic cyanocobalamin, and the natural forms: hydroxocobalamin, adenosylcobalamin and methylcobalamin.
- Cyanocobalamin: This substance is created from a combination of vitamin B12 and cyanide. While it is easy to synthesise, this form can cause strong allergic reactions. Therefore, smokers and individuals with kidney problems should avoid this substance, as cyanide can cause complications.
- Hydroxocobalamin: This substance is usually found in cobalamin injections and high doses are used to detoxify the body. Its advantage is that it does not release any harmful toxins into the body.
- Methylcobalamin: The great benefit of this biological/active form of vitamin B12 is that the body can process it directly. This substance is biologically identical to vitamin B12, and your liver will have no problem storing it.
- Adenosylcobalamin: This substance is another active form of vitamin B12. Adenosylcobalamin can also be stored in the liver for your cobalamin reserves.
Aromatic substances can be very useful for people who are very sensitive to smells. This is particularly true for children.
Here are the most common types of aromatic substances:
- Natural aromatic extracts: They come from natural sources such as clove oil, rose water and vanilla.
- Natural-identical aroma extracts: These extracts are synthetically produced to be biologically identical to the natural versions, such as synthetic vanilla.
- Artificial flavouring extracts: They are synthetically generated.
We generally recommend that you opt for a natural option.
We hope this article has helped you understand the role of vitamin B12, an essential nutrient for the proper functioning of our body. Several types of vitamin B12 are available on the market, and you should choose the one best suited to your specific needs.
Vitamin B12 supplementation is particularly important for vegans, vegetarians, and people over the age of fifty. Remember to always be a conscious consumer: don’t be fooled by labels and advertising.
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(Source of featured image: Srihon: 58137272/ 123rf.com)