Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays a role in everything from red blood cell formation and cell metabolism, to nerve function and the production of DNA.
Our body can’t produce it, so we have to get it through our diet. Unfortunately for vegans, animal sources are the best source of vitamin B12. Beef, sardines, and clams, are a few popular sources.
That means vegans often need a vitamin B12 supplement, and a vegan one at that.
If you’re deficient in B12, supplementing is one of the best things you can do to improve the nervous system, increase red blood cell count, increase energy levels, and minimize the risk for neural tube defects.
An overview of the array of benefits.
As one of the essential vitamins for nervous system longevity, vitamin B-12 is responsible to support the nervous system through myelination of the nerve endings. Without adequate vitamin B12, our nervous system will not work properly. A recent study found that older adults who were deficient in vitamin B12 had worse sensory and motor nerve function when compared to individuals who had adequate levels of B-12 within their diet.
Red blood cell count has long been associated with vitamin B12. Without optimal levels of B12, our bodies do not have the necessary materials needed to produce red blood cells which will lead to anemia.
An analysis by researchers at the National Institutes of Health of Ireland indicates that children born to women with low blood levels of vitamin B12 shortly before and after conception are at an increased risk of neural tube defects.
The risk of having a child with a neural tube defect was 5 times higher for women with the lowest B12 levels.
Vitamin B12 plays a key role in metabolic functions that produce energy throughout the body. Without optimal levels of B12, our bodies produce higher amounts of fatigue throughout the day.
The literature on energy levels and vitamin B12 is not solidified, but there are studies that suggest a correlation. In one particular study, researchers found that patients with a B12 deficiency were significantly more fatigued and had more depressive episodes.
A recurring issue for many people abiding by a vegan lifestyle is finding a dependable, high-quality, and safe supplement company that is able to deliver a vegan-friendly vitamin B12 supplement.
To help with this problem, here is a list of the best vegan-friendly B12 supplements on the market today.
*Note: We do have affiliate links throughout this article, which means we receive a commission if you purchase from any of our links. This supports our mission to bring complicated health and fitness info in an entertaining package. And it keeps us from putting up annoying things like banner ads. Those suck.
With over 5000 mcg in every drop, Live Conscious offers the best maximum strength, highly bioavailable B12 supplement for vegans in an easy-to-use droplet format.
With independent, third-party testing, Live Conscious guarantees truth in their labeling, ingredient safety, and product potency, giving you peace of mind that what’s on the label is also what’s inside.
Its fresh citrus flavor, excellent absorption, and bioavailability make Live Conscious a popular option for vegans looking for a safe and effective 60-serving droplet format of B12.
Sogar offers an active coenzyme form of B12 in the form of easy-to-digest sublingual nuggets to promote readability throughout the absorption process.
Each nugget contains 5000mcg of methylcobalamin, the active form of Vitamin B12 which is gluten, wheat, and dairy free to ensure the customer’s safety. Additionally, all Sogar products are non-GMO.
Each lemon-flavored chewable contains 1000mcg of vitamin B12 with the addition of 400mcg folate. This makes for the perfect on-the-go B12 supplement.
Jarrow Formulas maintains superior science as the guiding principle in all it does and promises purity and potency in every formula product.
The best option for those looking for a clean and certified organic raspberry-flavored vitamin B12 spray to be used within a shake or simply by itself.
MyKind B12 organic spray is certified organic by QCS and USDA as a liquid whole-food supplement.
As one of the best B12 supplements for vegans, Doctors Best provides the most bioactive form of B12 available on the market within a veggie coating.
Each veggie cap contains 1500mcg vitamin B12 and is non-GMO, gluten, and soy free.
As one of the best budget options, each NOW Foods B-12 lozenge contains 2000mcg of the purest version of vegan-friendly b12 supplement – methylcobalamin.
Deva delivers a fast-dissolving and highly absorbable vegan B12 supplement with the addition of vitamin B6, and folic acid.
This combination of vitamins and minerals makes Deva the go-to option for those looking to get more out of their B12 supplement.
Our goal is to make sure that you make the most informed decision on which vegan B12 supplement is best for you. we would like to share how we ranked each product to empower you with the understanding to make the best choice for your needs.
Strict Testing Standards
The FDA does not regulate the supplement industry. Without strict FDA regulation, there are products that may otherwise be harmful to customers.
Safe practice, high-quality standards, and third-party testing are requirements for all vitamin B12 supplements we have selected. All products on this list are guaranteed to be safe as dietary supplements and are additionally supported by scientific research.
Especially when it comes to vitamin supplements, it is extremely important to consider the dosage found within each product to protect our readers. In some cases, dosages may be low, leading to ineffective results. On other occasions, dosages may be too high which may elicit unwanted side effects.
For these reasons, special attention to vitamin B12 dosages was considered during our ranking of the best vegan vitamin B12 supplement.
During our ranking, we prioritized identifying vitamin B12 sources that were strictly naturally occurring without animal products such as methylcobalamin, a safe and active form of vitamin B12.
Within the supplement market, it is common for the price of a product to inaccurately reflect the quality of the product.
We focused on selecting supplements that provide a high yield of value for the price (i.e high serving size for each dollar spent) and the dosage of vitamin B12.
If taken in excessive amounts, some individuals report nausea, vomiting, headaches, diarrhea, and tiredness. But for the most part, vitamin B12 is safe.
2.4mcg per day is the recommended dose for an adult. Taking higher doses has been deemed safe.
Most of the time, B12 supplements are made with animal-derived products and therefore aren’t vegan.
We highly advise you to refer to the nutrition facts to review the ingredients list for any animal products.
It is highly encouraged to take a vitamin B12 supplement while pregnant or if you are trying to conceive. The National Institutes of Health recommends that pregnant and nursing moms consume 2.8mcg of B12 per day.
For more nutrition for vegans, check out our guide on the best plant-based protein powders.