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Ranking the best vitamin B12 supplements of 2023

Written by John Davis

Last updated: October 26, 2022

Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that’s difficult to get in large amounts in many food sources, especially if you are a vegetarian or a vegan.

It functions almost like a hormone, and plays a role in a huge number of bodily functions essential for health.

If you aren’t sure how much vitamin B12 you need and where you should get it from, we’ve got you covered.

Our researchers dug into the scientific research to scout out the best vitamin B12 supplements and ranked them. On top of that, we’ve gone in-depth on the science of B12 supplementation.

Why You Should Trust Us

    Our advisory panel and our research team rank the best health products and supplements based on performance, label accuracy, and the efficacy of the ingredients in the products.

At A Glance
our top picks for vitamin B12 supplements
  1. Best overall: Live Conscious B12
  2. Best for anxiety: Transparent Labs Vitamin B-Complex
  3. Best for energy: Twinlab B12 Dots
  4. Nature Made B12 Timed Release
  5. VeganSafe B12


Last updated: October 26, 2022
B12 supplements considered: 21
Hours of research: 44
Experts reviewed: 9
Scientific papers referenced: 17

1. Live Conscious B12
  • One of the most potent B12 supplements on the market
  • Vegan-friendly, tastes great, and easy to use
  • 5000 mcg per serving
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2. Transparent Labs Vitamin B-Complex
  • Contains the entire range of b-vitamins including co-vitamins like choline, inositol and vitamin C
  • Helps maintain a stable mood
  • Best B12 vitamin for Seniors
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3. Twinlab B12 Dots
  • Rapid under-the-tongue B12 delivery mechanism
  • Has an energy-boosting properties of vitamin B12 for elevating your alertness and energy levels before a workout
  • Potent mood, brain and metabolism booster
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4. Nature Made B12 Timed Release
  • Breaks down and transforms food into energy to keep you going all day
  • It is a Gluten-free with no added preservatives and no artificial favors
  • Has a time-release formula that promotes extended vitamin absorption in the body
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5. VeganSafe B12
  • It is liquid-form that makes it uber-potent with a light and sweet flavor to it
  • Can help with fatigue and low energy to fuel your body for more energy the whole day
  • Has positive effects on sleep and helps normalize our body clock
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6. Garden of Life Vitamin Code B12
  • It provides support for digestion, metabolism, and anemia
  • Helps maintain healthy red blood cells and healthy nerves
  • Provides nutrients that are from a wide range of fruits, vegetables and its natural extracts
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7. Bronson Vitamin Sustained Release B12
  • Slow release form to provide balance stream of vitamin B12
  • Helps in energy producton and also in brain and nervous system
  • Uses the highest quality of ingredients and is Non-GMO
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8. Zenwise Health Vitamin B12
  • Helps to provide enegry boost all day long
  • Provides a strong but not outrageously high dosage
  • Helps to lead an active and energetic lifestyle at any age
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9. Natrol Vitamin B12
  • The epitome of a high dosage, fast-delivery option
  • Contained in fast-dissolve tablets that will rapidly raise your body’s circulating levels of vitamin B12
  • Easy to take without water and is 100% vegetarian
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10. Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin
  • Offers its vitamin B12 in an artificially-sweetened chewable lozenge form
  • Maintains and supports brain and nerve health and sleep and wake cycles
  • It is Gluten free and free from all common allergens
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11. SBR Nutrition Vitamin B12 Drops
  • Increases metabolism and improves digestion
  • Improves mental clarity and lifts brain fog
  • Easier to consume
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1. Live Conscious B12

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For those who’re serious about taking the most potent B12 supplement on the market, Live Conscious B12 does not mess around.

Live Conscious B12 provides one of the most potent B12 supplements on the market at 5000 mcg per serving. It’s designed to be used sublingually and contains the most bioavailable form of B12, methylcobalamin. This ensures that more of the B12 gets to go where it needs to. It’s manufactured in the USA, under string GMP guidelines.

It’s also free of soy, gluten, shellfish, dairy, and GMO’s. Live Conscious goes the extra mile by providing third-party testing to ensure the purity and quality of its B12 supplement.

If you’re going to take a B12 supplement for energy, memory, and immune system function, Live Conscious B12 is your best choice.

BodyNutrition‘s overall #1-rated B12 winner of 2023.

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2. Twinlab B12 Dots

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TwinLabs B12 dots are great if you can’t stand swallowing pills, or if you want a rapid delivery of your B12 dosage.

Each 500 mcg dot rapidly dissolves when placed underneath your tongue, and the B12 is delivered right to your bloodstream via the mucous tissue in the bottom of your mouth.

Given that these dots scored very highly on independent analytical testing for purity and dosage, you can be sure that you are getting the advertised amount of vitamin B12.

3. Nature Made B12 Timed Release

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With 1000 mcg of vitamin B12 per serving and a specially-formulated slow release capsule, Nature Made delivers a straightforward and effective supplement.

It’s been verified for purity and dosage by independent laboratory testing, and it passed with flying colors. It’s very hard to go wrong with this B12 supplement.

4. VeganSafe B12

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If you want a super-high dose B12 supplement that’s been independently tested for purity and concentration, VeganSafe B12 should be your choice.

It has no extraneous ingredients and every serving from the dropper bottle has 2500 mcg of vitamin B12.

The only downside? it’s hard to consistently measure dosage from a dropper.

5. Garden of Life Vitamin Code B12

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The vitamin B12 in Garden of Life Vitamin Code B12 is provided alongside extracts from a wide range of fruits and vegetables.

The primary drawback is that, because B12 is mostly found in dairy and animal products, providing fruit and vegetable extracts may not reflect the “natural environment” in which vitamin B12 is found.

6. Bronson Vitamin Sustained Release B12

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Bronson’s slow-release B12 is well-suited for long-term use thanks to its solid 1000 mcg dosage and its slow-release formulation.

Still, Bronson gets beat out by other supplements that have independent lab testing of their purity.

7. MaryRuth Methyl B12 Spray

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MaryRuth Methyl B12 Spray is our go-to recommendation when it comes to sublingual sprays. If you need a rapid kick of B12 for more energy, this all-natural B12 is the way to go.

8. Natrol Vitamin B12

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Natrol’s Vitamin B12 supplement is a high dosage, fast-delivery option. Its 5000 mcg of vitamin B12 will rapidly raise your body’s circulating levels of vitamin B12. It’s nice for a quick boost in B12, but is less well-suited for prolonged use. 

9. Jarrow Formulas Methylcobalamin

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Jarrow Formulas offers its vitamin B12 in an artificially-sweetened lozenge form, which you hold in your mouth like hard candy while it dissolves.

The dosage is very high, at 5000 mcg per lozenge, so only use this product if you are sure that you need a hue dose of vitamin B12.

10. Cymbiotika B12 + B6

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Cybiotika makes a solid sublingual spray that delivers both B12 and B6, though the inclusion of B6 makes it a bit less versatile than MaryRuth’s B12 spray.

Category winners

Best vitamin B12 overall: Live Conscious B12

Live Conscious B12 has a super high dosage and an incredibly pure formulation. The liquid formulation makes it easy to incorporate into protein shakes and green drinks, and the citrus flavor makes it easy to take on its own, too. Easily the best all-around B12 supplement on the market.

Best vitamin B12 for energy: Twinlab B12 Dots

If you need energy fast, Twinlab B12 Dots are the way to go. One dot held under your tongue delivers a rapid surge of B12 to your bloodstream, helping to rapidly heighten your energy levels.

Best vitamin B12 for vegans: Live Conscious B12

Live Conscious B12 is a liquid-based B12 supplement that is vegan-friendly, tastes great, and easy to use, making it the clear winner for vegans looking to ensure their B12 levels stay in the optimal range. 

Best vitamin B12 for anxiety: Nature Made B12 Timed Release

Deficiencies in B12 and other B-complex vitamins are known to be associated with anxiety, depression, and other mood disturbances. Nature Made’s time release supplement is a great option for maintaining a stable mood throughout the day. 

Best vitamin B12 for seniors: Nature Made B12 Timed Release

Seniors are often deficient in vitamin B12, and supplementing with a formulation that gives you a long-lasting boost to your B12 levels is a great way to sustain higher B12 all day. That’s why we recommend the time release formulation from Nature Made. 

Best vitamin B12 for workout performance: Twinlab B12 Dots

The energy-boosting properties of vitamin B12 make it a good option for elevating your alertness and energy levels before a workout. Our favorite supplement for this purpose is Twinlab B12 Dots, thanks to its rapid under-the-tongue B12 delivery mechanism.

Who should buy vitamin B12?

Vitamin B12 can be challenging to get in your diet, especially if you have any dietary restrictions: it’s found in respectable amounts in just a few foods, which include beef, eggs, chicken, and dairy. The relative rarity of B12 means the following groups of people are especially well-suited for a B12 supplement:

Vegans and vegetarians. Since the richest sources of natural B12 are all in animal products, a B12 supplement is a downright necessity for vegetarians and vegans.

Indeed, research consistently demonstrates that vegans and vegetarians who do not supplement with B12 are often deficient (1, 2).

Pregnant and nursing women. B12 is a common ingredient in prenatal vitamins because of the benefits of adequate B12 intake on your baby.

Young children. Many of the same benefits of B12 for infants carry over to young children: B12 is also a key ingredient in any high-quality multivitamin for kids due to its importance for cognitive development. 

Older adults. B12 has been the focus of research into preventing or slowing cognitive decline in older adults, and B12 deficiency is quite common among older adults, possibly due to decreased bioavailability of B12 as you get older. For seniors, a B12 supplement is a good addition to your supplementation regimen. 

People who have had weight loss surgery. Bariatric surgery can hamper your ability to absorb micronutrients from your diet, especially B12. A supplement is a great idea for people who’ve had surgery to lose weight.

How we ranked

Given the nutritional importance of vitamin B12, our rankings were strongly informed by the dosages and supplement forms used by clinical trials and scientific experiments on vitamin B12.

We used the following evidence-based guidelines to inform our rankings: 

Effective B12 dosageSince research has found that supplement dosages of at least 500 to 1000 mcg of B12 are optimal for restoring B12 levels back to normal, we eliminated supplements that had a lower dosage than this from consideration.

Focus on B12, not just B-vitamins generally. B12 has some unique properties that set it apart from the other B vitamins, so we didn’t rank products that did not put B12 at the center of their formulation, like 365 B-Complex or Thorne Research Basic B Complex.

Efficient delivery mechanismCapsule based supplements had a clear advantage, due to their ability to deliver a precise dosage every time.

However, not everyone is able to swallow capsules—especially older adults, who are disproportionately represented among people who have low levels of B12.

So, we also analyzed the two competing forms of delivery for B12: gummies and liquid supplements.

Liquid supplements can be handy if you already make a protein shake or green drink, but they have the disadvantage of not being particularly easy to get a reliable dosage.

All-natural ingredients and no fillers. No gummy products made the cut, since even the best options were too bloated with artificial flavors, colors, and binders. 

Clean supplement designWe applied the same strict standards of purity and clean supplement design to the liquid and capsule based supplements as well, rewarding products that kept unnecessary ingredients to a minimum.

After sorting the remaining products according to quality, we had our final rankings: the best B12 supplements that are available on the market.


Q: What is cobalamin? 

A: Cobalamin is another name for vitamin B12. The terms are interchangeable, so vitamin B12 means the same thing as cobalamin. The actual name comes from the fact that the vitamin B12 molecule has an ion of cobalt at its core.

There’s a bit of confusion regarding B12 and many of the other B vitamins, as they often have alternative names (folate, for example, is the same thing as vitamin B9), but as long as you know that they are one and the same, it shouldn’t cause you any trouble.

Q: Is getting a B12 injection better than taking a supplement? 

A: Vitamin B12 injections were developed for people who have poor natural absorption of vitamin B12 from food and supplements, or who might not reliably be able to take a B12 supplement.

Certain genetic conditions can substantially limit your body’s ability to absorb vitamin B12, so people with these conditions often get a B12 injection instead of taking a supplement.

Likewise, some people who have gastric bypass surgery or another bariatric (weight loss) surgical procedure may elect to get an occasional B12 injection instead of taking a supplement.

On balance, though, most people are better off with a supplement if they are capable of taking them: supplements are cheaper and much easier to get.

Q: Can you get B12 from vegetables? 

A: No, there are no plant-based sources of B12, which is why vegans are at a high risk for vitamin B12 deficiency. The only naturally occurring sources of B12 are actually bacteria, which are consumed and then live as part of the probiotic flora inside ruminants like cows.

These bacteria continue producing B12, which gradually accumulates in animal tissue. That’s why the only sources of it are animal-derived foods like dairy, eggs, and meat.

If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or simply don’t eat much in the way of meat, a B12 supplement is an extremely good investment for your health. 

Q: What does B12 do during pregnancy? 

A: Even in adults, vitamin B12 is known to be critical for proper functioning of the central nervous system. When you know this, it should not be surprising that B12 plays an important role in the development of your baby’s central nervous system and brain.

Neural tube defects, or NTDs, the birth defect that is most strongly associated with vitamin B12 deficiency, is a defect of the central nervous system.

Related articles


Vitamin B12 is a vital nutrient that plays a protective and preventative role in several chronic diseases, including Alzheimer’s disease and depression.

Vitamin B12 deficiency is very common; up to a quarter of older adults have or are at high risk for B12 deficiency. A deficiency in vitamin B12 can be fixed with several weeks of supplementation at 500 to 1000 micrograms per day, and a lower dose later to maintain adequate levels of B12 in the body.

Men, especially men who smoke, should be hesitant to take high doses of B12 for long periods, but the risks of B12 deficiency need to be considered as well.

For BodyNutrition’s #1 vitamin B12 recommendation, click here.


John Davis

John Davis is a Minneapolis-based health and fitness writer with over 7 years of experience researching the science of high performance athletics, long-term health, nutrition, and wellness. As a trained scientist, he digs deep into the medical, nutritional, and epidemiological literature to uncover the keys to healthy living through better nutrition.