Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Ellie Davis

Best vitamin B12 supplements that are expert-approved

Despite our best efforts to balance the optimal quantity of fibre, fat, carbohydrates and protein, we may sometimes fall short.

Filling our diet with all the essential nutrients and minerals that the body requires for healthy functioning can be a real challenge. With our busy lives and full work and social calendars, it can be difficult to keep track of our intake. We may find ourselves still deficient in key nutrients – something that is only more pressing when following restrictive diets.

One of the most overlooked vitamins is B12, especially for vegans and vegetarians. It may also be a concern for those with Crohn’s disease, pernicious anaemia, gastrointestinal surgery and coeliacs. However, its importance cannot be undervalued.

What do vitamin B12 supplements do?

According to the National Institutes of Health, “Vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep your body’s blood and nerve cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all of your cells”. The nutrient helps the body in the formation of red blood cells, so a lack of it may cause diseases like anaemia. It is also commonly associated with memory, concentration, normal cognitive function, energy levels and vision health – which is all to say that it’s a very important vitamin to maintain in your diet.

In supplements, Lola Biggs, Dietitian at natural health supplement brand Together Health explains, “When they work, they effectively provide our bodies with additional functional levels of Vitamin B12, with the main aim to prevent low levels, which in time can lead to deficiencies”.

Do vitamin B12 supplements work?

Briggs says, “Due to the complicated absorption process of Vitamin B12, in both the stomach and the intestine, supplementation can be useful to regain optimal levels. Vitamin B12 is what we call water soluble and is absorbed in the gut”.

She continues, “Bioavailability is one of the biggest elements when it comes to the effectiveness of any supplement. Other factors that can reduce or get in the way of a supplement working include chronic inflammation, genetic autoimmune conditions, existing gut problems or digestive diseases, and some medications, especially those that reduce stomach acid”.

To optimise absorption, the dietician advises to “try to take your supplement away from caffeinated or alcoholic drinks and opt to have it with food to support maximum digestion”.

How to choose the best vitamin B12 supplement

“Choose a supplement that is sourced from nature in its complete food form which contains all three natural forms of B12, especially methylcobalamin”, Briggs stresses. “Choose those with an optimum dose of 20mcg, and that have organic certification to minimise any unnecessary chemicals or pesticides”.

Are there any side effects of vitamin B12 supplements?

The dietician breaks it down. “You can get mega-high doses of B12 offered through injections, which are prescribed, and some people may experience some symptoms like headaches and tummy issues. However oral supplements, like capsules, powders and sprays are often a lot lower levels, so it is generally safe to take if you follow the recommended dosage. It is advised that safe levels are up to 2mg or less a day of vitamin B12 in supplements are unlikely to cause any harm”.

Shop the best vitamin B12 supplements below

Purolabs Vitamin B12 Supplement

Minimal in ingredients, Purolabs has spotlighted the key vitamin B12 nutrient in this immunity-supporting and energy-yielding supplement. Tackling these two concerns, alongside encouraging red blood cell formation, the dietary add-on derives its star ingredient from a highly absorbable form of methylcobalamin, which is typically used to treat nutritional diseases and often Alzheimer's and rheumatoid arthritis.

It is free from any synthetic fillers or ingredients and can be safely consumed alongside a vegan diet.

Buy now £23.99, Purolabs

New Nordic Clear Brain 60 Tablets

Better supporting your cognitive performance is the aim of this supplement from New Nordic. The most important part of the nervous system, it is imperative to give the brain the nutrients that it needs for normal functioning. This includes vitamins B12 and B6, which work in tandem to do exactly that as well as counteract fatigue. In each tablet, these ingredients are set alongside iodine to support memory and concentration and pantothenic acid. It is suitable for vegans.

Buy now £25.99, Holland & Barrett

Together Health Vitamin B12

Shiitake and oyster mushrooms are at the heart of this supplement, which are not only rich in B12 but are a natural and highly active source to give the body the required and optimal dose of 20mcg. Together Health creates a supplement that is vegan and cruelty-free as well as formulated without additives or fillers. It has also been certified by the Soil Association as organic. Take one daily with food or without food.

Buy now £9.99, Superdrug

Nourished personalised vitamin stack subscription

All-in-one multivitamins are so last century. These personalised vitamin stacks are the latest, hi-tech way to get all the nutrients you need, without needlessly gulping down the ones you don’t. If you’re looking for one tablet to suit all ills, these 3D-printed stacks won’t fit the bill but they are perfect if you want a supplement designed for your unique needs, according to your diet, deficiencies and individual goals.

Before ordering, you fill in an easy quiz to work out exactly what will be in your stack. This covers how well you’re sleeping, how much exercise you do, how often you travel abroad, whether you wear glasses and if you suffer from a range of complaints including depression, IBS and low libido. You’ll also select your top two priorities, whether that’s to lose weight, manage stress better or delay ageing. A box of personalised vitamin stacks arrives in the post soon after and will be delivered every 28 days if you take out a subscription.

Each one is vegan and sugar-free and includes a combination of seven nutrients, selected to best suit your needs. Ours included the unusual Scutell-Up to help relieve stress and regulate sleep, vegan Vitamin D3 to boost natural immunity and support muscle function and Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) to increase energy levels.

The chewy strawberry-flavoured gummy was a delight to eat too so we actually looked forward to taking it every day and really did feel noticeably calmer and less tired almost immediately. We’d take them year-round if we could afford it.

Buy now £39.99, Nourished

Wild Nutrition Food-Grown Vitamin B12 Plus

One to start using well ahead of party season, just one pill a day of Wild Nutrition's Vitamin B12 Plus is all you need to support energy levels and the nervous system. Made with beetroot powder, the formula is vegan-friendly, a community that may benefit from including more B12 in their diet. The vitamin is naturally present in animal-derived foods.

Buy now £15.00, Wild Nutrition

Boots High Strength Vitamin B12

Not sure where to start with chronic fatigue? One of the best options to lean towards first is ensuring your B12 levels are correct. If you’re lacking, a high-strength supplement can do the work to bring you back to normal. Boots’ feature 250µg of vitamin B12 in each capsule, which works out as 10000 per cent of your Nutrient Reference Value. In short: above and beyond what your body requires, which leaves plenty of room even if you struggle with proper absorption.

Buy now £6.50, Boots

Vitabiotics Wellwoman Vegan 60 tablets

Best for: an all-rounder, daily supplement

Vitabiotics has long been a go-to label for those looking to get their fix of helpful vitamins and minerals that may be missing from their diet. These tablets have been created especially for vegans and vegetarians to be rich in iron, vitamin B12 and vitamin D.

The product has been created with a mix of 23 nutrients that include pantothenic acid, folate and iron to counteract fatigue, boost energy levels and help the natural formation of red blood cells, evening primrose oil and starflower oil, vitamin B6 to regulate hormone activity and vitamin C, selenium and zinc to encourage collagen production for healthy hair, skin and nails. Take two capsules per day with your main meal.

Buy now £11.00, Vitabiotics

Holland & Barrett Complete B Vitamin B Complex 250 Caplets

Best for: re-energizing goodness

This Holland & Barrett own-brand supplement is designed for those times when you’re not feeling like yourself. If you’re feeling tired, stressed and run down, this could be due to a lack of the energy-boosting vitamin B.

It is offered in an array of different forms including folic acid which is important for pregnant women, vitamin B12 to reduce tiredness and fatigue, vitamin B6 for the immune system, niacin for healthy skin and many more.

Buy now £9.99, Holland & Barrett

Rebound, Liver Detox Supplement

Filled to the hilt with hangover-busting essentials -  B Vitamins, B1, B2, B6, B12 - Rebound promises to do exactly what it says on the, er, pouch. The 40 vegan capsules also include NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine) which converts into L-Cysteine in the body, a helpful soldier in detoxifying nasty chemicals floating around your system. There's also rosemary leaf to give your liver a helping hand. 

Most convincing review?: "The "Hangover Rebound" liver detox supplement has proven to be a true lifesaver for me on numerous occasions. As someone who occasionally enjoys a night out with friends, this product has become an essential part of my post-party recovery routine... I've found that taking this supplement after a night out significantly reduces the severity of a hangover, helping me bounce back quicker. It also helps me feel more energized and clear-headed the next day, which is a welcome relief."

Recommended use states that you should take two capsules before your party and another two before bed. Pair with Hangcure Rehydrate Hydration Powder Electrolyte Drink to help replenish lost minerals, electrolytes and vitamins.

Buy now £24.99, Amazon

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Already a member? Sign in here
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.