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Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient for energy production and other processes in the body.

Deficiencies in vitamin B12 are fairly common, particularly among older adults, people who follow a vegan diet, and those who take certain medications (1, 2, 3).

In many cases, healthcare professionals use intramuscular injections to address serious deficiencies. However, oral supplements may be recommended for minor deficiencies or to help ensure adequate intake (1, 4).

This article reviews the importance of vitamin B12 and provides a list of the 11 best vitamin B12 supplements.

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that your body uses for various processes, including energy production, DNA synthesis, and the development and function of your central nervous system (4).

It is primarily found in animal-based foods, including beef, salmon, yogurt, and milk, though some plant-based foods, like nutritional yeast, are fortified with it (4).

Vitamin B12 supplements may contain a few different forms of the vitamin. Two of the most common are methylcobalamin — the natural, active form of B12 — and cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form (4).

Vitamin B12 plays several important roles in your body, including (4):

  • DNA synthesis
  • energy production
  • development and function of your central nervous system
  • red blood cell formation
  • myelination

A deficiency in vitamin B12 can be serious and lead to anemia, fatigue, heart palpitations, dementia, and more (1, 4).

A vitamin B12 deficiency can result from several factors, including prolonged use of certain medications, gastrointestinal surgeries, difficulty with absorption, and low intake of vitamin B12-rich foods (1, 4).

What’s more, because vitamin B12 absorption decreases with age, older adults are at an increased risk of deficiency (5)

Depending on your level of deficiency, healthcare professionals may recommend vitamin B12 injections rather than oral supplements.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12 varies by age. Additionally, people who are pregnant or breastfeeding have greater vitamin B12 needs.

Here are the current RDAs for vitamin B12 in kids and adults (4):

AgeMales and femalesPregnancyBreastfeeding
1–3 years0.9 mcg
4–8 years1.2 mcg
9–13 years1.8 mcg
14–18 years2.4 mcg2.6 mcg2.8 mcg
19+ years2.4 mcg2.6 mcg2.8 mcg

Keep in mind that recommended amounts of vitamin B12 for people who have been diagnosed with a B12 deficiency or have absorption difficulties may be higher than the RDA.

Additionally, there’s currently no established upper limit for vitamin B12.

We chose the best vitamin B12 supplements based on the following criteria:

  • Supplement form: We included a variety of supplement forms, such as capsules, gummies, liquids, and sprays.
  • Dose: To accommodate a wide range of needs, we included products that provide varying amounts of vitamin B12. Be sure to consult a healthcare professional to find out what dose is appropriate for you.
  • Vetting: All the products on our list have been vetted to ensure they meet Healthline’s medical and business standards.

Why you should trust us

Every brand and product on our list has been vetted to ensure that it aligns with Healthline’s brand integrity standards and approach to well-being. Each product in this article:

  • adheres to allowable health claims and labeling requirements, per Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations
  • is manufactured in facilities that adhere to the current good manufacturing practices (CGMPs) established by the FDA
  • is produced by a medically credible company that follows ethical, legal, and industry best standards
  • is made by a company that provides objective measures of trust, such as having its supplements validated by third-party labs

A note on price

General price ranges are indicated below with dollar signs ($–$$$). One dollar sign means the product is rather affordable, whereas three dollar signs indicate a higher cost.

Generally, prices range from $0.10 to $1.00 per serving, or $7 to $30 per container, though this may vary depending on where you shop.

Pricing guide

  • $ = under $0.20 per serving
  • $$ = $0.20–$0.75 per serving
  • $$$ = over $0.75 per serving

Best subscription-based

Care/of Vitamin B12

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: capsule
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin
  • Dose: 250 mcg
  • % of the Daily Value (DV): 10,417%

Care/of is a subscription-based vitamin and supplement company that delivers customized daily vitamin packs right to your door.

The brand’s vitamin B12 is vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

Additionally, according to the company, all Care/of products are third-party tested for purity, heavy metals, and contaminants.

Learn more in our comprehensive review of Care/of.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • convenient daily packs
  • vegan-friendly
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • requires a subscription
  • contains a high dose that may not be appropriate for everyone

Best multivitamin with vitamin B12

Ritual Essential for Women 18+

  • Price range: $$$
  • Form: capsule
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 8 mcg
  • % of the DV: 333%

Ritual Essential for Women 18+ is a great option if you are simply looking for a multivitamin to help you hit your vitamin B12 target each day.

In addition to B12, the multivitamin contains several other nutrients that women may not get enough of in their diets, such as vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 DHA.

Ritual vitamins are vegan-friendly, made with traceable ingredients, and third-party tested for purity and potency.

Just keep in mind that Ritual multivitamins are not meant to cover 100% of the DV for all nutrients, but rather to complement a well-balanced diet. For this reason, this multivitamin may not be an ideal option for someone who needs a more comprehensive multivitamin.

See what our experts and testers had to say about Ritual in our comprehensive review.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • contains several essential nutrients, including vitamin D and omega-3 DHA
  • vegan-friendly

Cons

  • more expensive than others on this list
  • not as comprehensive as other multivitamins, though this may be a pro for people with a mostly balanced diet

Best vegan

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: tablet
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 16,667%

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo is formulated specifically with vegan diets in mind.

In addition to vitamin B12, the supplement provides a small amount of calcium, another nutrient that can be difficult to consume in adequate amounts on a plant-based diet. However, as it only provides 3% of the DV, the supplement shouldn’t be the sole source of calcium in your diet (6).

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo is third-party tested, non-GMO, and free from gluten and artificial sweeteners and preservatives.

If you purchase it as part of a subscription, you’ll also have access to personalized advice from a registered dietitian.

Learn more about HUM Nutrition in our expert review.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • vegan-friendly
  • gluten-free
  • access to a dietitian included with subscription

Cons

  • low calcium dose
  • high vitamin B12 dose that may not be appropriate for some

Best liquid

Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: liquid
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 41,667%

If you do not enjoy taking pills, a liquid vitamin can be a better option.

Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid is vegetarian-friendly and free from major allergens, artificial flavors and sweeteners, and hydrogenated oils.

The liquid is unflavored and lightly sweetened with stevia. You can take it as is or mix it into any food or beverage. The company suggests taking it with a meal.

Pure Encapsulations supplements are third-party tested and produced in NSF-registered facilities to ensure CGMP compliance.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • produced in NSF-registered CGMP facilities
  • free from major allergens
  • liquid formulation that may be more tolerable for some people

Cons

  • expensive
  • not vegan-friendly
  • slight stevia aftertaste that some may dislike

Best gummy

OLLY Daily Energy Gummy

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: gummy
  • Vitamin B12 type: cyanocobalamin
  • Dose: 300 mcg
  • % of the DV: 12,500%

OLLY Daily Energy Gummy is a highly rated B12 supplement that also contains goji berry extract and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).

Both goji berry extract and CoQ10 are thought to help prevent fatigue, though more research is needed (7, 8, 9).

Unlike most other supplements on our list, this product contains cyanocobalamin, a synthetic form of vitamin B12 that is commonly used to treat vitamin B12 deficiencies (10).

OLLY Daily Energy Gummy is third-party certified by NSF and certified gluten-free. The gummies come in a Tropical Passion flavor and are sweetened with glucose syrup, beet sugar, and orange juice.

Pros

  • NSF-certified
  • certified gluten-free
  • pleasant flavor
  • gummy form that may be more tolerable for some

Cons

  • limited evidence supporting the use of goji berry and CoQ10 for energy levels
  • contains 2 grams of added sugar per serving
  • not vegan-friendly
  • features a synthetic type of vitamin B12

Best natural

Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-12

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: capsule
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 41,667%

Garden of Life is a well-trusted supplement company that stands out for offering supplements made from whole-food ingredients.

In particular, its Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B12 is a great option for people who prefer natural ingredients. The vitamin B12 it contains is derived from cultures of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, a yeast that is naturally occurring in some foods and is also known as brewer’s or baker’s yeast (11).

In addition to vitamin B12, this product contains a probiotic and enzyme blend and a fruit and vegetable blend.

While the blends are made up of whole-food ingredients, they are proprietary blends, which means that the brand does not disclose the amount of each ingredient. If you’re unsure about any of the ingredients or sensitive to any of them, this may not be the best product for you.

Additionally, because probiotics are not appropriate for everyone, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional before taking this supplement.

Vitamin Code Raw B12 is certified vegan and gluten-free. It’s also third-party tested for purity and potency, though the name of the testing organization is not disclosed.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • formulated from whole-food ingredients
  • certified vegan and gluten-free

Cons

  • contains proprietary blends that may not be suitable for some people
  • contains a high dose of vitamin B12 that may not be appropriate for some

Best chewable

NOW Foods Methyl B-12

  • Price range: $
  • Form: lozenge
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 41,667%

Lozenges such as NOW Foods Methyl B-12 are another alternative to capsules. Instead of swallowing a lozenge, you place it under your tongue and allow it to melt.

These lozenges are vegan-friendly and manufactured in facilities certified by UL Solutions, a third-party organization that confirms safe manufacturing practices.

According to NOW Foods, all the brand’s supplements are also third-party tested for purity and potency.

NOW Foods Methyl B-12 lozenges are unflavored, though they are sweetened with fructose and sorbitol, a type of sugar alcohol. As a result, this supplement may not be suitable for people who dislike or are sensitive to sugar alcohols (12).

Pros

  • certified by UL Solutions
  • easy to take
  • affordable

Cons

  • contains sugar alcohols, which some people may prefer to avoid

Best spray

Garden of Life mykind Organic Whole Food B-12 Spray

  • Price range: $
  • Form: spray
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 500 mcg
  • % of the DV: 20,833%

Garden of Life Whole Food B-12 Spray is another excellent B12 supplement option that’s easy to take, third-party tested, and highly rated online.

The spray comes in a Raspberry flavor that is sweetened with apple juice and stevia extract.

Additionally, like the other Garden of Life supplement on our list, the spray contains natural ingredients, including vitamin B12 sourced from Saccharomyces cerevisiae cultures.

This product also contains a certified organic food proprietary blend. While the ingredients are fruits and vegetables, the amounts of each ingredient are not listed, so if you are sensitive to any, it’s best to avoid this product.

All Garden of Life products are manufactured in CGMP-compliant facilities and third-party tested, though the name of the testing organization is not disclosed.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • affordable
  • vegan-friendly
  • gluten-free
  • certified organic
  • easy to take

Cons

  • contains a proprietary blend, which may not be appropriate for some
  • has a flavor that some people may dislike
  • contains a high dose of vitamin B12 that may not be appropriate for some

Best budget-friendly

Nature Made B12 Softgels

  • Price range: $
  • Form: softgel
  • Vitamin B12 type: cyanocobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 41,667%

Nature Made B12 Softgels are one of the most affordable options on our list. They’re also USP-verified for quality and purity.

These softgels are gluten-free and provide 10% of the DV for calcium. Just keep in mind that because the ingredients include gelatin and beeswax, the supplement isn’t suitable for people following vegan or vegetarian diets.

The company also offers an even more affordable B12 supplement, though it isn’t USP-verified.

Pros

  • USP-verified
  • affordable
  • easy to find
  • gluten-free

Cons

  • not vegan- or vegetarian-friendly
  • contains a high dose that may not be appropriate for some people
  • synthetic form of vitamin B12
  • may not be suitable for people with kidney problems

Best allergen-free

Pure Encapsulations Methylcobalamin

  • Price range: $
  • Form: capsule
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 1,000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 41,667%

Pure Encapsulations Methycobalamin is hypoallergenic and certified gluten-free, which means it’s a good option for people with allergies or gluten-related disorders.

It also offers a convenient one-a-day formulation, though, according to the label, you can take up to 3 capsules per day if a healthcare professional recommends a higher dose.

Pure Encapsulations products are third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • certified gluten-free
  • hypoallergenic
  • vegan-friendly
  • affordable

Cons

  • can become expensive if you’re taking more than 1 capsule per day

Best high dose

Amazon Elements Vitamin B12

  • Price range: $$
  • Form: lozenge
  • Vitamin B12 type: methylcobalamin
  • Dose: 5000 mcg
  • % of the DV: 208,333%

Providing 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12 in just 1 lozenge, Amazon Elements Vitamin B12 is a convenient option for people for whom a healthcare professional has recommended a high dose.

Keep in mind that while high doses of vitamin B12 are believed to be safe, it’s still a good idea to talk with a healthcare professional before taking this supplement (4).

The lozenges are berry-flavored and sweetened with sugar alcohols, including xylitol and mannitol, which may cause stomach upset in some people (12).

The supplement is also vegan-friendly, certified gluten-free, and free from artificial colors and flavors.

Amazon Elements products are third-party tested for purity and potency.

Pros

  • third-party tested
  • easy to take
  • convenient for people who need a high dose supplement
  • vegan-friendly
  • certified gluten-free
  • subscribe and save option

Cons

  • contains sugar alcohols, which some people may prefer to avoid
  • contains a high dose that may not be appropriate for some

Below is an overview of how all the products compare in terms of pricing, form, percent of the DV, and third-party testing.

Price per servingDaily dose% of the DVThird-party tested
Care/of Vitamin B12$$1 capsule10,417%yes
Ritual Essential for Women 18+$$$2 capsules333%yes
HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo$$1 tablet16,667%yes
Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid$$1 full dropper (1 mL)41,667%yes
OLLY Daily Energy Gummy$$2 gummies12,500%yes
Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B12$$1 capsule41,667%yes
NOW Foods Methyl B-12$1 lozenge41,667%yes
Garden of Life mykind Organic Whole Food B-12 Spray$1 spray20,833%yes
Nature Made B12 Softgels$1 softgel41,667%yes
Pure Encapsulations Methylcobalamin$1 capsule41,667%yes
Amazon Elements Vitamin B12$$1 lozenge208,333%yes

If a healthcare professional has recommended that you take a vitamin B12 supplement, there are several factors to consider when shopping:

  • Supplement form: Vitamin B12 supplements are available in several forms, including capsules, sprays, gummies, liquids, lozenges, and chewable tablets. Be sure to choose a form that you can tolerate taking on a daily basis.
  • Vitamin B12 type: While it has been proposed that methylcobalamin, the active form of vitamin B12, is more readily absorbed than synthetic forms, research has not shown a significant difference.
  • Cost: The price per serving can vary widely across products, so consider how the one you choose will fit into your budget.
  • Quality: It’s also best to choose a product that has been third-party tested, as this ensures that it has been tested for heavy metals, contaminants, and accuracy of the label.
  • Dose: Most vitamin B12 supplements contain rather high doses. Be sure to talk with a healthcare professional to determine the right dose for you.

Not everyone needs to take a vitamin B12 supplement, as most individuals can meet their needs through diet alone (4).

However, healthcare professionals may recommend vitamin B12 supplements for certain populations, including (4):

  • people following a vegan diet
  • older adults
  • people who have had gastrointestinal surgery
  • people who have nutrient absorption issues
  • people with dietary restrictions

People taking certain long-term medications, such as metformin and proton pump inhibitors, may also benefit from a supplement, as these medications can affect absorption of vitamin B12.

However, in cases of severe vitamin B12 deficiency or absorption issues, healthcare professionals may recommend an intramuscular injection rather than an oral supplement (4).

As with any supplement, it’s important to talk with a healthcare professional to determine whether a vitamin B12 supplement is necessary for you.

There is currently no established Tolerable Upper Intake Level for vitamin B12 because the potential for toxicity is low and it’s considered safe, even at high doses (4).

However, you should always run any new supplements by a trusted healthcare professional, especially if you are pregnant or nursing or are taking any medication, because medications could interact with a vitamin B12 supplement (4).

Which form of vitamin B12 is best?

There are several forms of vitamin B12, including cyanocobalamin, which is the most common, as well as adenosylcobalamin, methylcobalamin, and hydroxycobalamin.

While methylcobalamin may be more readily absorbed than synthetic types, research has not shown a significant difference among the various vitamin B12 types (4).

Additionally, there is currently no evidence that one form of vitamin B12 supplement, such as capsule or liquid, is better absorbed than another (4).

Ultimately, the best vitamin B12 supplement is the one that works best for your dietary needs and preferences.

Should you take vitamin B12 in the morning or at night?

There is no right or wrong time to take a vitamin B12 supplement, so you can take it at whatever time of day works best for you.

However, it may be easier to remember if you stick to the same time each day.

Is it better to take vitamin B12 shots or pills?

In cases of severe deficiency, healthcare professionals typically administer vitamin B12 via intramuscular injections. This is because injections bypass any potential barriers to absorption (4).

However, high oral doses have also been found to be effective in certain populations (4).

Before taking a vitamin B12 supplement, it’s best to talk with a healthcare professional to determine which option is best for you.

Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that’s found in several animal-based foods, including meats and many dairy products.

Certain populations, including older adults and people following a vegan diet, are at a higher risk of vitamin B12 deficiencies and may benefit from taking a vitamin B12 supplement.

When shopping for a B12 supplement, be sure to choose a product that’s appropriate for your dietary needs and preferences. It’s also a good idea to select a product that is third-party tested for purity and potency.

Before starting any new supplement, be sure to consult a healthcare professional to ensure that you’re choosing an appropriate product and dose.