Depending on how much vitamin B12 you have stored in your body, it can take months or even years to develop deficiency symptoms after you stop taking it, but being deficient in vitamin B12 is absolutely no joke.
If you’re vitamin B12 deficient then the symptoms can be pretty brutal. You can experience anything from feeling weak and tired to having trouble walking and even going blind!
So vitamin B12 deficiency is something you cannot ignore, especially if you’re a vegan. In this post I’ll go over what vitamin B12 actually does, why vegans are at higher risk, and also the best vitamin B12 supplements to buy.
The Critical Role of Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 (aka Cobalamin) is an essential nutrient, meaning your body cannot make it on it’s own and you must get it through food. The good news is that your liver can store a certain amount of it in reserve, so even if you stopped taking it your body will still have enough to use and wouldn’t have problems for some time.
But once it does run out you will be in big trouble. Your entire body’s functionality depends on vitamin B12, it is responsible for the creation of healthy red blood cells which provides oxygen to every single part of your body.
If your red blood cells are damaged the transportation of oxygen to critical parts of your body like your brain and nervous system will be compromised, leaving you feeling weak, tired, suffering memory loss, and other things.
Why Are Vegans Vitamin B12 Deficient?
Basically vitamin B12 is only found in animal products like meat, fish, eggs, milk, etc, therefore vegans who don’t eat those foods will develop vitamin B12 deficiency eventually. That’s why supplementation is a must for every vegan out there, unless you’re just trying out veganism for a short period of time and then going back to eating meat.
While it’s true that vitamin B12 aren’t found naturally in plant-based foods, many vegan products today like cereals, almond milk, protein bars, meat substitutes, etc. are vitamin B12 fortified.
Also many vegans take vitamin B12 oral or sublingual supplements which is so easy to do.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplements – My Top 5 Picks
If you’ve been vegan for a while now it’s best to start looking into working supplements into your routine to stay on the safe side. Here are my recommendations for the best vitamin B12 supplements out there today.
Vimergy is a brand that provides high quality supplements, this particular vitamin B12 supplement is superior to many other types on the market because it supplies a blend of Methylcobalamin and Adenosylcobalami which are two very easy to absorb forms of vitamin B12.
This is a sublingual supplement that comes in a form of a sweet slightly red liquid. All you need to do is take one full dropper and put it under your tongue for about 30 seconds and then swallow it.
This vitamin B12 supplement comes in a handy little raspberry-flavored spray.
Typically many other supplement brands uses Cyanocobalamin which is a cheaper form of B12 that’s harder to absorb. But the Gloriously brand uses Methylcobalamin which is the best form of B12 that is easiest to absorb.
Just spray it 3 times a day into your mouth and you are good to go.
VegLife is a brand that provides 100% certified vegan vitamin and mineral supplements. This particular vitamin B12 supplement comes in a form of a orange-flavored capsule that you take once a day. If you’re not into sprays or drops then perhaps swallowing a capsule will better suit you.
Each capsule contains 1000 mcg of B12 which is way more than you really need (adults only need about 2.4 mcg per day), but that’s okay because vitamin B12 is water soluble which means your body will absorb what it needs and the excess just comes out of the urine. Having a higher dose just ensures that even if you have some absorption problem you’ll still get adequate amounts.
This is another vitamin B12 supplement that’s made from Methylcobalamin which is the best form of B12 that’s very easy to absorb. It comes in berry-flavored lozenges which are little square shaped tablets you put in your mouth and it’ll slowly dissolve.
Just take one lozenges a day and you’re good to go. This bottle comes with 100 lozenges so that’s just over a 3 month supply for a phenomenal price.
Another sublingual vitamin B12 supplement that uses Methylcobalamin (best form of B12), this one also comes with B6 and folic acid as well. It comes in a delicious strawberry flavor, the recommended dose is just one full dropper per day.
Just take a full dropper and put it under your tongue and hold it there for about 30 seconds before swallowing it.
Oral vs Sublingual Supplements
So you may be wondering whether you should pick the oral (capsule) or the sublingual (drops) supplements?
It doesn’t really matter which one you choose. Some people say sublingual gets better absorbed by your body, but studies and research have found that absorption rates are about the same. So it’s really up to your preference.
My Final Thoughts
If you’re not interested in taking oral or sublingual supplementation then consider regularly purchasing foods that are fortified with vitamin B12 instead. A lot of vegan products in your local supermarket has B12 added to it, just check the nutrition label at the back.
Another thing I’d like to recommend is the Vega All-In-One shake, it’s basically a nutritionally balanced vegan shake you can use to make drinks or smoothies with. It has vitamin B12 plus many other essential nutrients. The great thing about that is you can use it as a meal replacement to aid in weight loss as well.
If you have any comments or questions on the subject of vitamin B12 deficiency and supplementation then leave a comment down below.