When it comes to different types of supplements, we tend to hear a lot of rumors and controversies. This is especially true for vitamin supplements. If you have read a little biology in your life, then you would know how important B12 is for the human body. This vitamin plays an important role in keeping you healthy. But what is the actual function of this vitamin?
Well, the job of this vitamin is to keep our heart, nervous system and blood in its top notch form. And the story doesn’t just end here because it also plays a role in making DNA, which is how our bodies are made up genetically. It acts as a fuel for brain, helps in metabolism and similarly it plays a crucial role in the absorption of food and nutrients. It also acts as a preventive measure against a certain kind of anemia in which you feel fatigue and exhausted. The next question that must be popping up in your mind would be related to its source. Well, most of the animal related foods including dairy, meat and eggs contain Vitamin B12. However, we need to be careful with the amount of consumption with this vitamin because excessive consumption can lead to other health problems which arise primarily due to inflammation.
Is this vitamin B12 supplement recommended to vegetarians and vegans as well? The answer to this question is yes. This however does not highlight the fact that plant based nutrition is not sufficient or wholesome. In fact, we know that plant based diet has much more nutrition that one could get from an animal based diet. Yet this should not overshadow the importance of Vitamin B12. It is extremely important to note that every nutrition and vitamin has a role to play for the betterment of the human body which simply means we need to ensure that we consume all types of nutrition in recommended quantities to ensure our health remains top-notch. So this Vitamin B12 supplement is not only important for those people who consume only plant based diet, but also for those as well who eat animal based or both types of diet. Sometimes people have issues with the absorption of Vitamin B12 from animal based diet. Similarly, the human body could have number of issues in its manufacturing that necessitate the consumption of a Vitamin B12 supplement even for those people who normally ingest food with Vitamin B12.
Before we go any further, it would be a good idea to discuss some of the symptoms of having low levels of vitamin B12 in your body. This primarily include headaches, yellow skin, confusion, fatigue, faintness (in extreme cases), paranoia, lack of appetite, etc. If you are going through some similar symptoms then this is definitely weakness in your body and may a sign that your body might be lacking in Vitamin B12. In fact, it is estimated that 1.5-15% of people in the U.S. are deficient in this important nutrient. Other studies estimate it to be even higher, going up to 39% of the public possibly suffering from a deficiency in B12.
So, how do Vitamin B12 supplements fit into this picture? As far as Vitamin B12 supplements are concerned, they are completely safe and quite affordable as well. If you want to remain healthy and full of energy all the time then a good idea would be to incorporate this vitamin supplement into your regular diet to make it more wholesome and well-rounded. Besides, these supplements are very easy to find. It requires a proactive approach from you to purchase this supplement yourself because it is not something prescribed by the doctor. In fact, you have to make the conscious choice of buying this product and of staying healthy. It is easily available OTC at many popular convenience and grocery stores.
But the biggest problem that we feel today is not of lack of availability, it is of surplus. In simple words, if you go to a drug store or any online store for that matter the chances are you are going to feel overwhelmed by the whole range of product offerings available there. With too many choices available, it becomes hard to identify which is the best. So continue reading to get directions about how you can purchase the best Vitamin B12 supplement.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplement Complete Guide
Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin (Methyl B12), Supports Brain Cells and Nerve Tissue, 1000 mcg
Nature Made Vitamin B-12 Timed Release Tablets, Value Size, 1000 Mcg
Kirkland Signature Sublingual B-12 5000 mcg
Let’s first discuss some of the natural sources of this extremely important vitamin. Basically, you will find this vitamin in beef liver, cheese, red meat, dairy, crab, eggs, etc. A cursory glance at the sources of vitamin B12 reflects that the vegans might be at the risk of low consumption of foods which are the natural sources of Vitamin B12, and are therefore advised to supplement. Let’s explore this furthermore.
Basically, this vitamin is made or produced in our gut. So if you are eating a wholesome diet and this diet is properly being digested, then the chances are that you are getting a reasonable amount of Vitamin B12. But if you are having a supplement then it is like a guarantee that you won’t have any problem that might be associated with the low production of Vitamin B12. Don’t fall into the hype of super-dosages though. Your body only needs a certain amount, more or less and your bound to find yourself with issues.
Owing to our monotonous and hectic routine, we often find ourselves in anxiety, fatigue and low energy overall which means we might be low on Vitamin B12. Supplementation of Vitamin B12 could really fix these problems that are extremely prevalent in the working class of the population.
Should You Supplement?
One of the reasons why opting for supplementation of Vitamin B12 is smart is because of the absorption factors. Because of different reasons, our bodies absorb minerals and other nutrition at different rates. This absorption rate also varies when it comes to supplements and foods. There are a number of factors behind that and going into those would require a lot of technical expertise. So, sticking with the basics, what you need to know is the difference in absorption rates is also true in case of different supplements. There could be instances where a person is taking vitamin supplementation but it is not being utilized properly because of low absorption.
Sometimes, stomach acid is the culprit of low absorption in our digestive system. And just like any other nutrient, Vitamin B12 also cannot be absorbed in its presence. What it requires for absorption is a glycoprotein which along with other factors allow the supplement to pass.
What Are The Health Benefits?
This is closely related to the symptoms of lack of enough Vitamin B12 in the human body as discussed earlier. If there isn’t enough amount of Vitamin B12 in the body it could have different issues but let’s look at the positive side. It has various benefits especially for body systems. Let’s discuss a few in detail.
The presence of this vitamin in the body serves as a protection mechanism against different kinds of cancer, and is now being studied alongside folate for such purposes. Basically, its presence both prevents and help in treating different cancers including breast cancer, lung cancer, prostate cancer and few others. So if you are taking a vitamin B12 supplement, you are protecting yourself against such diseases.
Similarly, Vitamin B12 also has a protective role to play against diseases related to heart. Vitamin B12 helps aid in the reduction of homocysteine levels, which is believed to be a major risk factor for heart disease. Make no mistake that heart diseases are on top of the list in causes of deaths of people in a lot of countries. If your Vitamin B12 levels are low then you need to quickly get them replenished with the supplementation of Vitamin B12, otherwise you could run into different heart problems. Biologically speaking, Vitamin B12 is beneficial for the overall cardiovascular system. Research shows that people suffering from heart diseases usually have the deficiency of this vitamin. Suffice is to say that the consumption of this vitamin could a long way in making sure your heart remains healthy and strong. There are of course other ways as well.
Research shows that it could also play a substantial role in the prevention of an all-time enigmatic disease – Alzheimer’s. While no proper cure or scientific procedure is discovered or invented to get rid of this disease, we can certainly take precautions to prevent it in the future. So if you have a family history of this disease or other similar neuropsychiatric disorders, then it is always a good idea to keep your stores of Vitamin B12 filled to the brim by all means.
Most important benefit of consuming Vitamin B12 supplement is that it boosts your energy levels if you are deficient. Fatigue and low energy is very prevalent among the people who work from 9 to 5 and this factor certainly hinders their performance at home and at the office. This could be due to the deficiency of this vitamin. So you could take supplementation to get back your agility and alertness. On a side note, you will notice that many energy drinks also boost vitamin B12 in their drink.
If you have enough stores of Vitamin B12 in your body then you can better combat depression. Vitamin deficiencies overall have the tendency of aggravating anxiety and depression. People suffering from this condition could definitely try Vitamin B12 supplement.
If you are physically active, workout, play sports or know little about bodybuilding, then you would understand the importance of proper metabolism of protein. Vitamin B12 has a role to play in improving metabolism as well. This has a lot of benefits that translates into improving the other bodily functions as well.
Brain shrinkage is a problem in which people are on the edge and sometimes extremely tired mentally. While there are very few people who actually suffer from this problem, it may be a good idea to supplement your diet with Vitamin B12 if you have a very hectic routine.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Vitamin B12 has skin implications as well. The stores of vitamin B12 aides in making your skin feel healthier and fresh. Skin conditions like blemishes, acne, dryness and others can be prevented and combated with Vitamin B12. Similarly, vitamin B12 has implications for your hair as well. Just pick up any hair care product off the shelf of a supermarket and you will notice that it has Vitamin B12. It helps in giving shinier and healthier look to your hair. In addition to that, you could also improve the structure and look of your nails with this supplement. Many of you would be aware of the fact that vitamin deficiencies in your body become visible in the form of white spots on your nails. Once you start taking the vitamin B12 supplement, these spots on your nails would totally go away and they would look clean and tidy.
Apart from that, high cholesterol levels in your body can also be countered by boosting the stores of Vitamin B12. Normally doctors don’t prescribe it as a treatment rather it’s an addition and a sort of natural way to bring down the level of cholesterol. The high levels of cholesterol basically clogs the arteries resulting in increase risk for strokes, paralysis, and other negative health outcomes. So in a way supplementation of vitamin B12 also helps prevent strokes if your normal diet is lacking. You are highly recommended to take this supplement as a preventive measure if you have a family history of such diseases.
Things to Consider
Normally when we think of vitamin B12, processed food comes to mind; but this isn’t right. This is definitely not the smartest way to go about it because these processed foods also contain other synthetic sources which might not allow the optimal absorption of vitamin B12. In other words, while these products may have vitamin B12, it is not guaranteed that your body requirements get fulfilled. What you need is a non-synthetic vitamin B12 supplement which gets completely absorbed. More importantly, these fortified or processed foods also have added ingredients like sugar, additives and stuff like that which could have negative health implications or affect the absorption of vitamin B12. Put it simply, if you are given a choice to consume B12 from a natural source and from a processed can of food, always go for the former. And that’s why you ought to first buy a Vitamin B12 supplement.
If you are concerned about ingesting vitamin B12 from animal based source then it is essential for you to check the source. Even if you are not a vegetarian, it is much better to consume Vitamin B12 from a plant bases source than its counterpart. The reason is that the plant sourced vitamin supplements are free of any allergens and they are mostly non-GMO. It is imperative to check the label of the supplement to be sure of this. On a side note, the way to approach supplements should be similar to your approach of normal food. You should always be knowledgeable about what’s written on the back of the label because after all you are spending money on it.
The next tip pertaining to supplements is that you buy methyl B12. In this regard, you should be aware of the fact that there are two types of vitamin B12 supplements; namely cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Without going into the technicalities and science, you need to ensure that you buy the latter. Sometimes manufacturer uses methyl instead of the whole name. Although explaining the difference would require going into the technicalities of the product, to keep it simple, you need to understand that methyl B12 has better absorption capabilities. The other one is synthetic in nature which as mentioned earlier could have negative health implications for your body.
The next tip pertains to the recommended form of Vitamin B12 supplement. While Vitamin B12 supplement is definitely available in the tablet form we recommend using it in sprays, liquid or sublingual form. The main difference between the forms is that in tablet you need to properly digest it before it enters your blood stream. The same is not true in case of sublingual. They immediately melt once you put it in your tongue and thus become part of the bloodstream. Same is the case for liquids and sprays. Basically, it sort of bypasses the whole process of digestion and therefore the results are seen quickly. However, you need to watch out that your sublingual supplement does not have any added sugar or other artificial ingredients to boost the flavor of the supplement.
The next important thing to keep in mind before you start using a vitamin B12 supplement is the dosage. In this regard, you might get a bit confused because different brands will be suggesting different dosages and you will notice a lot of variation. It is important to note that dosages above 5000 micro grams should be taken with the prescription of a doctor and in extreme cases. A rule of thumb for vitamin B12 supplement to remember is that more is not always good for your health. Vegans might be tempted to using higher dosages of Vitamin B12 because of the realization that they are not eating animal based protein and thus not getting the optimal supply of vitamin B12. That would be a wrong starting point because you need to first look at your current fitness level to assess the dosage amount. If you are feeling pretty low on energy levels then you can up your dosage. If you are unsure about your current fitness level then it is better to start at 1000 micro gram and gradually increase to assess what’s the optimum dosage for you. If you want to consume this supplement daily then it would be better to opt for lower dosage. As always, we always advise you to discuss with your doctor before beginning a supplementation regimen. If you are not deficient in vitamin B12, you could actually do more harm than good.
Best Vitamin B12 Supplements Reviews
It is a widespread belief that Jarrow Formulas Methylobalamin is one of the best supplements out there. It is basically sublingual, which means you need to place it under the tip of the tongue to achieve maximum level of absorption. It is worth mentioning that the supplement industry does not have much regulations and quality control mechanisms. This necessitates buying a brand that you can fully trust and a bottle of Jarrow Formulas is definitely the answer. In terms of the price, it is reasonable and quite affordable. All the advantages of sublingual supplements hold true for this one as well since it does not require digestion of the supplement.
This supplement can provide all the necessary nutrients to ensure B12 gets fully absorbed into your system. You will notice a sharp positive difference in your energy levels once you start taking a g5 lozenge each day. Taking these lozenges is a much better option than getting a shot in the doctor’s office both in terms of convenience and cost considerations. Another advice that you could follow is to incorporate B complex with methyl folate because this could also increase the absorption of Vitamin B12 in your body. People who are especially low on B12 need to utilize different supplements for maximum absorption of B12.
2. Nature Made Vitamin B12 Timed Release Review
Another product that is worth reviewing in this article is B12 Timed release tablets by Nature Made. If you know a little about the vitamins market, then you definitely must have come across the name of Nature Made as it is reputable and credible. With all the positive health implications of Vitamin B12 in a tablet, this product is perfect for you. The best thing about is that it has no artificial elements like additives, colors, gluten, etc. that manufacturers add to give flavor. What is different about this B12 supplement is that the benefits get spread over time so there is no dumping of B12 in your body. In terms of the specifics, a bottle has 160 tablets in it and each contains 1000 micro grams of Vitamin B12. These tablets are the answer to your low energy levels so don’t hesitate to try these.
3. Kirkland Sublingual B12 Review
The last product that we will review in this article is Sublingual B12 by Kirkland which is another renowned manufacturer of supplements. Each sublingual has approximately 5000 micrograms of Vitamin B-12. Remember, these tablets are sublingual which means instant maximum absorption. A bottle of Kirkland Sublingual B-12 has 300 tablets. Important point to note is that these are cherry flavored but don’t worry no additives or preservatives are in it.
To conclude our discussion, Vitamin B12 is something that is essential for the human body. In case of low amounts of B12, you could run into different problems like fatigue and low energy levels. Vitamin B12 supplementation can help you counter this problem and could greatly improve your health.
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