5 Best B12 Supplements For Vegans 2023: Reviews & Buying Guide

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Updated on - Written by
Medically reviewed by Kathy Shattler, MS, RDN

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Future Kind+ Vegan Vitamin B12 Energy Gummies

Future Kind+ Vegan Vitamin B12 Energy Gummies

  • Easy-to-take gummy
  • Third-party tested
  • 500 mcg of B12 per serving

10% Off Coupon: 10OFF

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo

  • No artificial colors or sweeteners
  • Free access to a registered dietitian 
  • Gluten-free, Non-GMO

Mary Ruth's Methyl B12 Organic Spray

Mary Ruth’s Methyl B12 Organic Spray

  • Serving size is adjustable
  • USDA Organic, Non-GMO
  • Third-party tested

A plant-based diet offers many health benefits, but vegans may need to be strategic about meeting specific nutrient needs, such as vitamin B12. The human body relies on this vital nutrient for several biological processes, including deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) synthesis and red blood cell production. It also plays a fairly vital role in the body’s nervous system by influencing the function and development of our brain and nerve cells. 

Vitamin B12 is found naturally in animal products, so those who follow a vegan diet may need to rely on fortified foods or a vegan B12 supplement. Not all vegan supplements are created equally, but we’ve researched and compiled a list of five favorites to help you in your search for the best B12 supplement for vegans.

5 Best B12 Supplements For Vegans On The Market In (May. 2023)

What Is B12 For Vegans?

Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin derived from animal products, such as red meat, eggs, and dairy. The average adult needs 2.4 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12[1] daily. However, those following a vegan diet have limited access to the vitamin in their everyday diet. Common plant sources of B12 include yeast extract and fortified foods, such as nutritional yeast, plant milk, breakfast cereals, and margarine. 

Since vegan-friendly sources of vitamin B12 are limited, those following a plant-based diet may benefit from a vegan supplement containing this particular vitamin to avoid deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency[2] can lead to health problems, such as neurologic and hematological symptoms. It has even been associated with hair loss[3] and may affect heart health. However, more research is needed to understand those connections better. 

Vegan vitamin B12 supplements may vary from brand to brand. The vitamin can be taken as sublingual tablets, liquid drops, or sprays. Dietary supplements may provide vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin (otherwise known as the natural form) or cyanocobalamin (the synthetic form). Studies suggest methylcobalamin is the more bioavailable, active form of the B vitamin, but cyanocobalamin has been called the most stable form. 

Ultimately, choosing the right B12 supplement is primarily based on personal preference and nutrition needs. Your doctor or registered dietitian nutritionist can help you address your specific needs and choose the best vegan B12 supplement. 

5 Best B12 Supplements For Vegans To Take In 2023

Future Kind+ Vegan Vitamin B12 Energy Gummies

Future Kind+ Vegan Vitamin B12 Energy Gummies

10% Off Coupon: 10OFF

See Future Kind+ Reviews

Future Kind, a company founded by vegan brothers passionate about evidence-based products, offers a wide range of completely vegan-friendly supplements.

  • Easy-to-take gummy
  • Third-party tested
  • 500 mcg of B12 per serving
  • Contains more calories than other vitamin B12 supplements
  • Only comes in one flavor
  • Contains glucose, sugar and glucose syrup for sweetening

Future Kind is a nutrition supplement company founded with vegans in mind but serving all kinds of people worldwide. Vegan brothers, Shaun and Eliot, created their company after realizing how challenging it can be to find quality vegan vitamins. 

Together Shaun and Eliot work with registered dietitians, doctors, formulators, and quality control experts to create products that meet quality and safety standards. Future Kind products are manufactured in Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-regulated facilities and have earned the Current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) certification. Furthermore, their products are tested in-house and through a third-party partner to ensure that safety standards are met. 

Future Kind’s Vegan Vitamin B12 Energy Gummy is no exception to those high standards. Each serving of the easy-to-chew gummy provides 500 micrograms (mcg) of vitamin B12, which is still 20,834% of the daily value (DV), but significantly less than other supplements on the market. The manufacturers claim that this high level of supplementation is needed due to limited absorption of the vitamin, figuring that only about two percent of the 500 mcg dosage is actually absorbed, or about 10 mcg per serving.

While only two grams of sugar per serving are contained in one gummy, this still represents a challenge to good dental health since the sugar in the gummy sticks to the teeth and makes them prone to cavities.

Sustainability and charity are key aspects of the Future Kind business model. Every purchase helps to support their mission to help animals in need at vegan animal sanctuaries. Unfortunately, the gummies are only offered in one flavor, but if you don’t like them, you can return the unused portion of the product up to 30 days from your purchase date. Pregnant or nursing mothers and anyone under the age of 18 should consult a physician before taking this supplement.

HUM Nutrition B12 Turbo

HUM Nutrition’s products have quickly become some of the market’s most prominent vegan supplement options. Paired with access to one-on-one support from a registered dietitian, HUM can be an excellent proponent of health.

  • No artificial colors, sweeteners, or sugar
  • Free access to a registered dietitian (RD)
  • Gluten-free, Non-GMO
  • Inability to adjust the serving size
  • Must be taken with food

HUM Nutrition promotes its B12 Turbo as a way to boost energy levels, support your central nervous system, and encourage the formation of red blood cells. In addition, the B12 Turbo supplement is a gluten-free product made without genetically modified organisms (non-GMO). 

You may be able to take other forms of vitamin B12 on an empty stomach, but HUM Nutrition recommends taking its B12 Turbo with food. HUM Nutrition considers this vitamin supplement a high-potency B12 supplement, which may be alluring to those who follow a vegan diet. One tablet daily provides 1,000 mcg of vitamin B12, which is 41,667% of your %DV. Unfortunately, there is no way to precisely reduce your serving size. This makes a serving size of 20 mcg of absorbable B12, which is far above the RDA of 2.4 mcg.

This vitamin provides vitamin B12 in the form of methylcobalamin, the bioactive form of the vitamin, and 30 milligrams (mg) of calcium, a critical nutrient for bone health. In addition, HUM Nutrition products are Clean Label Project certified, meaning they have been tested for environmental contaminants and harmful chemicals. 

And if you have questions about the vitamin’s content, HUM Nutrition provides free access to one-on-one support with an RD. This can be a valuable tool for many people with all nutrition needs. 

MaryRuth’s Methyl B12 Organic Spray

If you don’t like swallowing pills, you may be looking for vitamin B12 supplements in different forms, and MaryRuth’s B12 Organic Spray might be your answer.

  • Serving size is adjustable
  • United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified organic, Non-GMO
  • Third-party tested
  • Only comes in one flavor

MaryRuth’s was founded by MaryRuth Ghiyam, a certified health educator and culinary chef. She aimed to formulate the best liquid vitamin appropriate for the entire family. Now she has over 160 products sold in many different retailers. Her Methyl B12 Organic Spray is included in her list of quality products and is appropriate for those who eat a plant-based diet.  

MaryRuth’s promotes its Methyl B12 Organic Spray supplement to provide more energy, support cognitive function, and assist the central nervous system in those who are deficient. The vegan vitamin is certified organic by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and is non-GMO.  

MaryRuth’s B12 Organic Spray comes in a delicious berry flavor, made from cherry and other natural flavors. Each serving of two sprays provides 1,500 mcg of vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, which some studies suggest is the vitamin’s most bioavailable form (compared to the synthetic cyanocobalamin). This gives you 30 mcg of absorbable Vitamin B12 if we calculate a 2% absorption factor.

If you are unhappy with your purchase for any reason, MaryRuth’s offers a 30-day happiness guarantee. MaryRuth’s will exchange it for another product or give you a store credit to choose a different product later. 

MegaFood Vegan B12

With a large focus on the farming practices behind their products, MegaFood is able to provide quality supplements without sacrificing environmental and social responsibility.

  • Can be taken on an empty stomach
  • Also contains vitamin B6 and folate
  • 500 mcg of B12 per serving
  • Individual products are not third-party tested
  • Contains a proprietary blend
  • Provides the B12 in cyanocobalamin form

MegaFood’s Vegan B12 packs a punch. Every serving of the vegan vitamin provides 500 mcg of vitamin B12 in addition to other nutrients, including folic acid and vitamin B6. Furthermore, it contains 158 mg of a food blend, which includes organic broccoli, organic beetroot, and organic brown rice. However, a third-party lab cannot determine the nutritional content of proprietary blends.

According to MegaFood’s website, it is recommended that you take one tablet daily. However, you can take the vitamin at any time of day, and you can even take it on an empty stomach. Furthermore, it provides a more reasonable absorbable dosage of 10 mcg of B12 in its 500 mcg serving vitamin.

The form of B12 is the synthetic form, which many say is inferior to the natural form of B12 or methylcobalamin. Methylcobalamin donates an extra methyl ring, important for those suffering from pernicious anemia or from high homocysteine levels[4], which puts one at risk for heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. 

MegaFood offers additional cost savings when you set up a delivery subscription and a money-back guarantee if you aren’t satisfied with the product. In addition, you get free shipping on any subscription or purchase over $29, and you can pause, cancel, skip, or swap your subscription at any time.

Live Conscious Vegan B12 

If you don’t care about swallowing pills, this sublingual formula of vitamin B12 may be the perfect solution for you. Live Conscious offers a liquid form of the B vitamin with a fresh citrus flavor.

  • Easy-to-take liquid form
  • cGMP-certified
  • Third-party tested
  • Each serving contains 208,333% of %DV
  • Only comes in one flavor

The Live Conscious Vegan B12 is dairy-, gluten-, and soy-free and does not contain any shellfish or peanuts. It is a sublingual formula, made to be taken once daily. Just one milliliter (mL) provides 5,000 mcg of vitamin B12.

It should be noted that 5,000 mcg is 208,333% of your %DV. While there is no Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) set for vitamin B12 by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, research does point to potential risks associated with getting too much vitamin B12 as pointed out in the section on side-effects associated with excess intake. 

Still, Live Conscious products are manufactured in a cGMP-certified facility in the United States and tested by a third party for safety and quality. If you aren’t happy with the Vegan B12 sublingual formula, Live Conscious offers a 365-day 100% money-back guarantee. 

The Live Conscious Vegan B12 comes in one fresh citrus flavor and is said to have high bioavailability. You can make a one-time purchase or create a delivery subscription for additional cost savings. 

Should Vegans Take B12 Supplement?

If vegans are not meeting their vitamin B12 needs through their diet of plant foods, they may need to rely on a vegan-friendly B12 supplement. Deficiency of this nutrient is common[5] in vegetarians and even more common in vegans necessitating the taking of supplemental B12 in a majority of cases.

Your healthcare professional can help you decide if a vegan B12 supplement is right for you by monitoring your blood tests to ensure your labs fall within the normal range. Then, take your supplement according to the product’s directions or as directed by your health professionals.

Potential Side-Effects Of Too Much B12

Doses of 20 mcg and higher may cause outbreaks of acne and rosacea. It was also noted that an excessive dose hurt the metabolic control of type 2 diabetes patients[6] and excessive levels of B12 in the blood may damage the liver and kidneys. High levels of B12 are found in leukemia, liver disease, kidney failure, and others.

A recent 2022 animal study showed excess B12 supplementation prolonged a gut infection[7] with a known pathogen. Symptoms of excess B12[8] intake may include headaches, dizziness, irregular heartbeat, eye pain, decreased urine output, weight gain, and rash to name the most common.

What To Look For In A B12 Supplement?

There is a wide variety of vegan vitamin B12 supplements available on the market today. To narrow down your choices, consider these factors:

  • What type of vitamin are you most likely to take as directed? Choose between tablets, liquid drops, and sprays.
  • What form of vitamin is provided in the supplement? Some vitamin B12 supplements provide the vitamin in the form of cyanocobalamin, while others provide it in the form of methylcobalamin. The synthetic form may require more energy for the body to convert it to a more usable form and does not provide the extra methyl ring needed in certain conditions. 
  • What is the provided dose per serving? The average adult needs 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 per day. Look for supplements that contain at least that amount, and be wary of supplements that provide the vitamin in excess.
  • What is the average cost per serving? Some vitamin supplements are more affordable than others. You may notice that an increased amount of vitamin B12 may equate to a more expensive product. Consider the cost as it makes sense for you. 
  • And last but not least, is the product third-party tested? Third-party testing ensures the safety and quality of the product you’re purchasing.

Your ideal vegan vitamin will be unique to your needs and personal preference. However, it’s essential to include your doctor or registered dietitian in your research to ensure your choice is appropriate for your medical history. 

Natural Sources Of Vitamin B12

Vegan products are typically not rich in vitamin B12, but you can obtain the vitamin through certain vegan sources, such as:

  • Fortified plant milk
  • Fortified soy products
  • Fortified cereals 
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Tempeh 
  • Nori seaweed
  • Some mushrooms
  • Some algae

Final Thought

Vitamin B12 plays an important role in our overall health, contributing to several biological functions throughout the body. However, finding completely vegan-friendly sources of B vitamins can be difficult without eating animal products. 

It can be especially difficult if you don’t care for fortified vegan foods like fortified plant milk and select soy products. An entirely plant-based diet can offer many health benefits, but it also requires individuals to be strategic about meeting some nutrient needs. Vegan vitamins help bridge the gap between your diet choice and nutrition requirements, i.e., vegan vitamin B12 supplements.  

While this article can help you choose the best vitamin B12 supplement for vegetarians and vegans, it does not take the place of medical advice. It’s essential to speak with your health professional to address your specific nutrient needs as they relate to your vegan diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do vegans need to take a B12 supplement?

Without eating animal products, it can be difficult to meet your estimated vitamin B12 needs. Even accounting for the intake of fortified foods, those on vegan and vegetarian diets would likely benefit from taking a B12 supplement.

How much B12 should a vegan take?

The recommended vitamin B12 intake is 2.4 mcg per day. However, most supplements provide the vitamin above that recommendation since only about 2% is absorbed. While the body usually excretes unused vitamin B12, some research indicates that large amounts of B12 can have harmful effects. In addition, vegan vitamin B12 supplements vary in dosages, so it’s important to read the nutrition labels carefully and choose a product that makes sense for your individualized needs.

Does B12 deficiency cause hair loss?

Yes, vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with hair loss. However, continued research is still needed to assert those claims and further explore the relationship between the B vitamin and hair health.

Are there any side effects of the B12 supplement?

Vitamin B12 supplementation is generally considered safe for the average healthy adult. However, high doses of the B vitamin can cause side effects. High intakes may also pose problems for diabetics, those with kidney disease, or decreased urine output.

+ 8 sources

Health Canal avoids using tertiary references. We have strict sourcing guidelines and rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic researches from medical associations and institutions. To ensure the accuracy of articles in Health Canal, you can read more about the editorial process here

  1. Nih.gov. (2013). Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin B12. [online] Available at: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-HealthProfessional/#h2
  2. Ankar, A. and Kumar, A. (2022). Vitamin B12 Deficiency. [online] Nih.gov. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK441923/
  3. Almohanna, H.M., Ahmed, A.A., Tsatalis, J.P. and Tosti, A. (2018). The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Hair Loss: A Review. Dermatology and Therapy, [online] 9(1), pp.51–70. doi:10.1007/s13555-018-0278-6.
  4. Cleveland Clinic. (2021). Homocysteine: Levels, Tests, High Homocysteine Levels. [online] Available at: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/21527-homocysteine
  5. Pawlak, R., Parrott, S.J., Raj, S., Cullum-Dugan, D. and Lucus, D. (2013). How prevalent is vitamin B12deficiency among vegetarians?. Nutrition Reviews, [online] 71(2), pp.110–117. doi:10.1111/nure.12001.
  6. Li, W. (2022). Serum vitamin B12 levels and glycemic fluctuation in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus – Wei Li, Jing Zhao, Ling-Ling Zhu, You-Fan Peng, 2022. [online] Therapeutic Advances in Endocrinology and Metabolism. Available at: https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/20420188221102800#:~:text=Reportedly%2C%20patients%20with%20diabetes%20have,with%20glycemic%20control%20in%20T2DM.
  7. Forgie, A.J., Pepin, D.M., Ju, T., Tollenaar, S., Sergi, C.M., Gruenheid, S. and Willing, B. (2022). Excessive Oral Intake of Vitamin B12 Alters Microbe-host Interactions That Stimulate Citrobacter Rodentium Growth and Virulence in Mice. [online] doi:10.21203/rs.3.rs-1236545/v1.
  8. https://www.facebook.com/Drugscom (2022). Vitamin B12 Side Effects. [online] Drugs.com. Available at: https://www.drugs.com/sfx/vitamin-b12-side-effects.html#other-side-effects
Chelsea Rae Bourgeois

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Chelsea Rae Bourgeois is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a background in fitness and athletics. She has worked as a dietitian in the clinical setting for the past seven years, helping a wide variety of patients navigate their health through nutrition. She finds joy in sharing her passions through her freelance writing career with the hopes of helping people embrace their health and live their lives to the fullest.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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