Vitamin B12 is essential for overall health, but you can’t find it in a vegan diet. Our expert dietitian Laura Tilt outlines the best vitamin B12 supplements on the market.

Alongside taking the best supplements for muscle growth, it’s important to make sure you’re getting all the essential vitamins your body needs – and once of the most important is vitamin B12. Part of the B vitamin family, B12 helps the normal functioning of the nervous system, the creation of healthy red blood cells and the prevention of fatigue. It’s present in animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy but is missing in plant foods (some, like mushrooms, have trace amounts).

So, if you follow a vegan diet, B12 is one nutrient you ought to supplement. You can do so either by eating fortified foods (with added B12) or by taking vitamin B12 supplements. Luckily for you, we’ve tried and tested the best on the market.

Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

  1. VEG-1 Tablets – £12.70 for 180 tablets, (international shipping available)
  2. Sealions B12 Tablets – £5 for a one-year supply, (not available in the US)
  3. Engevita B12 Yeast Flakes $14.70 / £9.99 for 50 servings,
  4. Together Health B12 Mushroom Capsules £9.99 for a 30-day supply, (not available in the US)
  5. Boots Vitamin B12 Spray £12.50 for 25ml (48 days), (not available in the US)

1. VEG 1 B12 Tablets

Vitamin content: 4.5/5
Ease of consumption: 4/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5
OVERALL: 4.5/5

VEG 1 is a multitasking chewable supplement, developed by the Vegan Society to provide nutritional support to people following a vegan diet. It contains seven nutrients (including B12) which are all harder to get sufficient amounts of if you follow a plant-based diet. Each tablet contains 25 mcg of B12, designed to maximise absorption.

A six-month supply costs just £12.70, making this an affordable option, equivalent to 7 pence a day. The postage and packaging materials are plastic-free and you can recycle or upcycle the tin. To help your body get the most from VEG 1, consume with a meal and chew before swallowing. The tablets are available in orange or blackcurrant flavour.

2. Sealions B12 Tablets

Vitamin content: 4.5/5
Ease of consumption: 3/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5

Sealions’ mission is affordable supplements, achieved by reducing margins and cutting out the middle man. Their one-a-day B12 tablets contain 10 mcg of vitamin B12 – the recommended level for a B12 supplement if you’re not consuming any other B12. The pills are small enough to swallow comfortably. You should consume them with food, so stash next to your oats as a reminder.

The year-long supply (yep, 365 days-worth in a single pouch) costs £5 so these truly are a cost-effective option at under 2 pence a pill. Surprisingly for a low-price supplement, the packaging is also compostable, which is an added plus.

3. Engevita B12 Yeast Flakes 2.2mcg

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 4/5
Sustainable packaging: 3/5

Nutritional yeast (or ‘nooch’ as it’s affectionately nicknamed by its fans) is a type of deactivated yeast which is grown on beet molasses and contains a range of B vitamins, including B12. Its parmesan-esque flavour means it’s become a staple ingredient in vegan dishes needing a cheese replacement (sprinkle it on spaghetti, mac ‘n’ cheese or in soup, for example).

Each teaspoon contains 2.2. mcg of vitamin B12, making nooch an easy and reliable way to supplement with this important nutrient. If you’re not consuming any other sources of B12, aim for two servings of fortified food a day.

4. Together Health B12 Mushroom Capsules

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 3/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5

One for the fungi fans, Together Health’s B12 capsules are produced from freeze-dried shiitake mushrooms, which are grown according to a trade secret to ensure their B12 content. Each capsule provides around 20 mcg of B12 and each batch of supplements is tested to verify nutrient levels, with certification available for anyone to view via the website.

You can take these capsules with or without food. Or, mix the contents with food or drink if you find swallowing capsules challenging. As with the entire Together Health range, supplements come sealed in plastic-free, home-compostable packaging.

5. BetterYou B12 Spray 

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 5/5
Sustainable packaging: 2/5
OVERALL: 3.5/5

A pill-free option for those who don’t like taking tablets, Boots B12 spray is delivered straight into the bloodstream via the soft tissues in the mouth, which have a vast blood supply. Some studies have suggested that this type of spray technology enhances absorption, particularly in those where digestive processes are compromised.

A daily dose of 4 sprays contains 1200μg vitamin B12, which is within safe levels, as you excrete excesses. The spray is sweetened with xylitol, making it tooth friendly, but don’t be tempted to get spray-happy as xylitol in excess can have digestive side effects.

One bottle contains 48 daily doses, working out to just 26 pence per day.

How much vitamin B12 should I take?

UK guidelines state adults need around 1.5 micrograms (mcg) a day, but in supplement form a daily dose of around 10 mcg (or 2000 mcg per week) is recommended for optimal absorption. Even at these larger doses, experts consider supplemental B12 to be safe, as the body doesn’t store excess amounts. It’s well worth finding about the health benefits of vitamin B12.

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