5 Best Vitamin B Complex Supplements 2024: Top Brand Reviews

Ellie Busby

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

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Ritual Essentials for Women 18+

Ritual Essentials for Women 18+

  • Provides vitamins in bioavailable forms.
  • University-led clinical trial.
  • All ingredients are 100% traceable.

Persona Vitamin B12

Persona Vitamin B12

  • Personalize with other vitamins.
  • Most-researched form of vitamin B12.
  • High dose.

Life Extension BioActive Complete B Complex

Life Extension BioActive Complete B Complex

  • Full B complex vitamin.
  • Uses highly bioavailable forms.
  • Reasonably priced.

If you struggle with low energy levels, you might be low on B vitamins—a group of eight essential vitamins you need for making red blood cells, energy production, and brain function. 

Supplementing B vitamins is especially important for vegans, pregnant women, older adults, and those at genetic risk of low B vitamin[1] status, a sign of which can be high blood pressure.

You need all the B vitamins in the right amounts to stay healthy. Most coexist in the same foods, so if you’re not eating enough B-vitamin-rich foods, you will need to supplement.

5 Best Vitamin B Complex Supplements On The Market In (May. 2024)

What Is Vitamin B Complex?

A B vitamin complex should provide all eight B vitamins: 

  • B1, or thiamine.
  • B2, or riboflavin.
  • B3, or niacin.
  • B5, or pantothenic acid.
  • B6, or pyridoxine.
  • B7, or biotin.
  • B9, or folate or folic acid.
  • B12, or cobalamin.

But every complex will supply the individual B vitamins in different amounts and different forms. So which is the best vitamin B complex for you? 

That depends on which health benefits you’re seeking.

Benefits Of Vitamin B Complex Supplements

Each of the eight B vitamins benefits you in different ways—from promoting healthy metabolism and energy production to supporting organ function, cognitive health, and more.

Here are the main health benefits of supplementing with a B vitamin complex:

Boosts Energy Levels

One main symptom of B vitamin deficiency is fatigue and low energy levels.[2] This can be due to various reasons but the main cause is usually anemia, which is a low red blood cell count. 

But anemia isn’t always due to iron deficiency.[3] Megaloblastic anemia[4] occurs due to deficiencies in vitamin B9 or B12. Another type, called pernicious anemia,[5] is an autoimmune disease preventing the absorption of B12 from foods. 

So increasing B12 status by supplements or injections can reverse megaloblastic and pernicious anemia and improve energy levels.

Improves Cognitive Function

Vitamin B12 is crucial for cognition because you need it to build the protective covering around nerves and brain neurons.[6] Without adequate B12, your nerves cannot fire properly, and brain signals will not travel efficiently.

Vitamin B12 deficiency increases the risk of cognitive impairment[7] in older age and might also contribute to symptoms of dementia.[8] Studies show that supplementing elderly people with vitamin B12 can reverse a deficiency and improve cognition.

Might Improve Mood

The B vitamins—especially B6, B9, and B12—play an important role in a biochemical process called methylation,[9] which is required to build neurotransmitters that contribute to mood regulation. The main ones are serotonin and dopamine.

Studies show that supplementing a B vitamin complex significantly reduces stress[9] (when combined with vitamin C) and anxiety and depression[10] in those with diagnosed major depressive disorder.

Further studies suggest that a combined B6, B9, and B12 supplement can improve the long-term response to antidepressants.[11] In fact, a B12 deficiency might be a reason for treatment-resistant depression.[12]

Reduces Deficiency Risk

Some people are at higher risk of B vitamin deficiencies — especially B9 and B12. 

Vegans And Vegetarians

Plant-based foods do not provide active forms of vitamin B12, so those following a vegan or vegetarian diet must supplement B12 to avoid a deficiency.[13]

Digestive Problems

The absorption of some B vitamins[14] can be hindered in those with gastrointestinal disorders, such as atrophic gastritis and malabsorption syndrome, or after gastrointestinal surgery. 

For example, if you have low stomach acid, take medication for acid reflux, such as antacids or proton pump inhibitors,[15] or have a digestive issue, such as inflammatory bowel disease, you might not be able to absorb enough vitamin B12 from foods. 

Older Adults

The risk of vitamin B12 and B6 deficiency[16] increases as you age.

During Pregnancy

Pregnant women need more folate and B12[17] to support the healthy development of the fetus.

Certain Medications

Some medications interfere with B vitamin absorption and increase the risk of a deficiency. 

For example, Metformin, a medication for type 2 diabetes, is linked to a higher risk of B12 deficiency.[18]

As previously stated, medications for acid reflux can also reduce B12 absorption.

Now we know the benefits of supplementing with B complex vitamins, which is the best supplement to buy? Read on to learn about our top five picks for 2023.

5 Best Vitamin B Complex Supplements In 2024

Ritual Essentials for Women 18+

Ritual Essentials is the perfect multivitamin for women on a plant-based diet or suffering from anemia as it provides vitamins B9, B12, and iron in highly bioavailable forms to boost red blood cell synthesis and energy levels.

  • Provides vitamins in a highly bioavailable form.
  • Supported by a university-led clinical trial.
  • All ingredients are 100% traceable.
  • Not a real B vitamin complex.
  • Only contains B9 and B12.
  • Vitamin B12 dose is too low for strict vegans.

Ritual Essentials for Women is a vegan multivitamin with B9 and B12, designed to fill the gaps in the diet of women aged between 18-49. It uses its own patented technology to combine fat-soluble and water-soluble nutrients in one capsule.

Ritual contains nutrients plant-based diets are usually low in, namely vitamin B12, omega-3, vitamin D3, vitamin K2, and iron – all in highly bioavailable forms. They even have a published clinical trial showing that this supplement significantly increases vitamin D and omega-3 levels[19] after just 12 weeks. 

The supplement provides vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin, which might lead to higher levels of B12 compared to the synthetic form, cyanocobalamin.

Rituals Essentials is perfect for women suffering from anemia. The most important B vitamins for red blood cell synthesis are vitamins B9 and B12, which, coupled with iron, is the perfect combination to increase red blood cell count.

Other ingredients include cellulose, corn zein, hypromellose, gellan gum, and silica.

Persona Vitamin B12

Persona Vitamin B12 is a tiny pill providing a high dose of 500 micrograms of vitamin B12 as cyanocobalamin, the most researched form of B12.

  • Create the perfect B vitamin combination for your needs.
  • Most-researched form of vitamin B12.
  • Excessive dose of B12.
  • Only vitamin B12.
  • High in excipients.

Persona creates personalized vitamin sachets designed to fill your own personal nutrition gaps. Although this isn’t a B-complex, you can combine this B12 tablet with the other B vitamins to create your personal B vitamin pack. 

This B12 supplement provides 500 micrograms or 20,833% of the Daily Value, which some research says can have minor[20] but reversible side effects. However, supplements need to deliver a much higher dose of B12[21] than required because it’s harder for the body to absorb it from supplements compared to vitamin B12-rich foods.

Persona uses vitamin B12 as cyanocobalamin, which is the most well-researched form of vitamin B12. It might be more stable[22] and have a longer shelf-life than other forms of B12.

Some argue that natural forms[23] of vitamin B12 such as methylcobalamin are better than synthetic cyanocobalamin, but there’s no strong evidence to back this up. The most recent research suggests they are equally bioavailable.[24] 

Other ingredients include vegetable cellulose, vegetable stearic acid, silica, and vegetable magnesium stearate.

Life Extension BioActive Complete B Complex

Life Extension BioActive Complete B Complex provides all eight B vitamins in highly bioavailable forms at high doses. It’s perfect for those with low B vitamin status due to digestive issues or genetic mutations in MTHFR.

  • Full B complex vitamin.
  • Uses highly bioavailable forms.
  • Reasonably priced.
  • Not timed-release.
  • Some customers complained of niacin flush.

This B complex provides all eight B vitamins in highly bioavailable, biologically active forms.

For example, vitamin B6 is provided as the most bioactive form: pyridoxal 5’-phosphate.[25] This is the type of B6 needed by the human body. 

Similarly, vitamin B12 is provided as methylcobalamin and vitamin B9 as L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate calcium salt, both of which are biologically active forms in the body.

L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate is vital for those with a common genetic variation in the gene, methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase — or MTHFR[26] for short. This gene mutation reduces the conversion[27] of synthetic folic acid into methyl folate, the form the body needs, increasing the risk of folate deficiency. Supplementing methyl folate directly bypasses this conversion and can improve folic acid status.

There are also 50 milligrams of para-aminobenzoic acid, or PABA, which is needed for folate synthesis.

However, the high dose of niacin as nicotinic acid without a timed-release capsule increases the risk of niacin flush[28] – a temporary hot red rash. This is a common side effect of taking too much niacin and, although it is harmless, it can be uncomfortable.

Other ingredients include vegetable cellulose, microcrystalline cellulose, stearic acid, purified water, and silica.

Care/of B-Complex

Care/of B-Complex provides all eight B vitamins in bioavailable forms plus choline, another vitamin important for metabolism and brain health.

  • Full B complex vitamin.
  • Provides choline.
  • Uses highly bioavailable forms.
  • No synthetic additives.
  • Lower dose of folate.
  • Might have a shorter shelf-life.

Care/of B-complex provides all eight B vitamins plus choline – a vitamin B-like nutrient that isn’t officially a B vitamin.

Different types of B12 are useful in different cases of low B12 status, so we like that Care/of includes a combination of the bioactive B12 forms – methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.[29] However, there’s not much research that adenosylcobalamin is a useful supplemental form of B12; we’d have preferred a combination of methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin.

We also like that this supplement includes choline,[30] an essential nutrient that was originally believed to be a B vitamin. However, choline lost its B vitamin status when it was discovered to be its own unique vitamin. Nevertheless, choline is important for metabolism, brain health, and cognition, and works closely with the B vitamins. 

Another plus is that Care/of provides niacin as niacinamide and inositol hexanicotinate, which don’t trigger the flushing side effects of nicotinic acid.

We like that Care/of uses natural ingredients rather than synthetic preservatives and additives. The other ingredients included in this supplement are rice extract, hypromellose, rice hulls, acacia, and sunflower oil. However, the lack of preservatives might mean this supplement has a shorter shelf-life.

Pure Encapsulations PureNutrients Gummy

Pure Encapsulations PureNutrients Gummies are the perfect B vitamin complex and multivitamin for families with young children who don’t like taking capsules. 

  • Multivitamin providing all B vitamins.
  • Gummies are easy to consume.
  • Suitable for both adults and children over two.
  • One to two grams of sugar per serving.
  • Not suitable for vegans.
  • Contains stevia.

Pure Encapsulations PureNutrients Gummy is a multivitamin in gummy form flavored with natural fruit flavors. It provides all eight B vitamins plus choline, vitamins A, C, D, E, and K, iodine, zinc, and chromium.

PureNutrients provides most of the B vitamins in highly bioavailable forms: vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin and B9 as L-5- methyltetrahydrofolate.

However, vitamins B5 and B6 are provided as the less bioavailable, synthetic forms: calcium pantothenate and pyridoxine hydrochloride, respectively. 

This isn’t always a bad thing. Pyridoxine hydrochloride[31] is the preferred supplemental form because it’s the most stable and easily converted into its active form in the body. 

Similarly, calcium pantothenate is more resistant to degradation and humans easily convert it into pantothenic acid.

These gummies include gelatin so are not suitable for vegans. They also contain cane sugar and stevia. Stevia has recently been shown to alter the gut microbiome,[32] but whether this is a harmful or beneficial effect needs further study.

How To Select Vitamin B Complex Supplements

There are so many different B vitamin complex supplements—how do you know which one is best for you? Here are a few points to consider when choosing:

Dose

The dosages of B vitamin supplements vary wildly. Your needs will be different from everyone else, so choose a supplement with the correct dosage for you.

Oral vs Sublingual

Rather than being swallowed whole, some B vitamin supplements are designed to dissolve under the tongue.[33] Studies suggest that both forms work well, so the choice is a personal preference.

Ingredients

Some B complex vitamins don’t actually provide all eight B vitamins. If you require certain B vitamins but not others, it might be cheaper to buy a supplement without the vitamins you don’t need.

Methylated vs Non-Methylated

Some B vitamin complexes provide the B vitamins in a methylated form,[34] which is said to be easier to absorb and raise the body’s B vitamin levels more effectively than non-methylated forms. This is particularly important for those with mutations in MTHFR.

Side Effects Of B Complex Vitamin

B vitamins are water-soluble vitamins and hence have very few serious side effects as your body excretes any excess via your urine. 

However, there are some common unharmful side effects from taking B vitamins, such as:

In rare cases, there can be serious side effects from supplementing very high doses of B vitamins, such as:

How Much Vitamin B Should I Take?

The Adequate Intake, AI, of each B vitamin for adults are:

  • B1 (thiamine): 1.1 milligrams for women; 1.2 milligrams for men.
  • B2 (riboflavin): 1.1 milligrams for women; 1.3 milligrams for men.
  • B3 (niacin): 14 milligrams for women; 16 milligrams for men.
  • B5 (pantothenic acid): 5 milligrams.
  • B6 (pyridoxine): 1.3 milligrams.
  • B7 (biotin): 30 micrograms.
  • B9 (folate or folic acid): 400 micrograms.
  • B12 (cobalamin): 2.4 micrograms.

Final Thought

B vitamins are essential vitamins important for mental and physical energy, brain function, and nervous system health.

In this article, we reviewed the five best vitamin B complex dietary supplements available for 2023. However, the best vitamin B supplements for you depend on your needs and lifestyle. 

Importantly, vegans and older adults should consider supplementing vitamin B12, whilst pregnant women require more of all the B vitamins—especially folic acid. Those with gene mutations in MTHFR should supplement the biologically-active form of vitamin B9, methyl folate.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is vitamin B complex good for?

Vitamin B complex supplements are good for those who are not getting enough B vitamins from their diet, especially vegans, vegetarians, pregnant women, older adults, and those with certain genetic variants.

Which is better to take: Vitamin B12 or B complex?

Vitamin B12 is best for vegans and vegetarians and those with pernicious anemia, while a B complex is best for older adults and those with mental health disorders. Methylfolate is especially important for those with genetic mutations in MTHFR. 

Is it good to take B complex every day?

If you’re not getting enough B vitamins from your diet, it is best to take a B-complex supplement daily. B vitamins are water-soluble and are needed daily since they are not stored in the tissues like fat-soluble vitamins are.

Is vitamin B good for the skin? 

Some B vitamins—especially vitamin B3—have been shown to protect the skin from sun damage and reduce the risk of skin cancer.[39]


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Ellie Busby

Written by:

Ellie Busby, MS, RDN

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

Ellie Busby is a Registered Nutritionist (MSc, mBANT) and nutrition writer. She holds a bachelor's in Chemistry and a Masters in Nutrition. Ellie specializes in plant-based nutrition for health and fitness. She is also the Founder of Vojo Health, a personalized nutrition service based on genetic testing.

Medically reviewed by:

Kathy Shattler

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RMIT University Library

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European Food Safety Authority

Science, Safe food, Sustainability

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OrthoInfo

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons

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American Academy of Family Physicians

Strengthen family physicians and the communities they care for

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Agricultural Research Service

U.S. Department of Agriculture

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The American Journal of Medicine

Official Journal of The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine

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National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism

Database From National Institute Of Health

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Lippincott Journals

Subsidiaries of Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.

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National Institute on Aging

Database From National Institute Of Health

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Translational Research

The Journal of Laboratory and Clinical Medicine

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Cell

An All-science Publisher

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Journal of Translational Medicine

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
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Federal Trade Commission

Protecting America's Consumers

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National Human Genome Research Institute

Database From National Institute Of Health

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Food Production, Processing and Nutrition

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
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BMC Gastroenterology

BioMed Central

Part of Springer Nature
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ACS Publications

A Division of The American Chemical Society

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Annual Reviews

Independent, Non-profit Academic Publishing Company

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PubChem

National Center for Biotechnology Information

National Library of Medicine
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PLOS Journals

Nonprofit Publisher of Open-access Journals

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Thieme E-books & E-Journals

Peer-reviewed & Open Access Journal

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European Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences

Peer-reviewed International Journal Publishes

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Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing Home

Chemical Science Journals, Books and Database

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Frontiers

Publisher of Peer-reviewed Articles in Open Acess Journals

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De Gruyter

German Scholarly Publishing House

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Hindawi

Open Access Research Journals & Papers

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Oilseeds and Fats, Crops and Lipids

EDP Sciences

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Cambridge Core

Cambridge University Press

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FoodData Central

U.S. Department Of Agriculture

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Journal of the American Heart Association

Peer-reviewed Open Access Scientific Journal

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National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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The Americans with Disabilities Act

U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division

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Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Organization of Food and Nutrition Professionals

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Sage Journals

Database From Sage Publications

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National Institute of Drug Abuse

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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The ClinMed International Library

A Repository and an Open Access Publisher for Medical Research

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The Royal Society Publishing

United Kingdom's National Academy of Sciences

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APA PsycNet

Database From American Psychological Association

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The Pharma Innovation Journal

Peer-reviewed And Refereed Journal

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Asian Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development

Peer-reviewed Bimonthly Journal

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British Pharmacological Society

Journals - Wiley Online Library

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American Psychological Association

Scientific and Professional Organization of Psychologists

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AAP Publications

Database From American Academy of Pediatrics

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Karger Publishers

Academic Publisher of Scientific and Medical Journals and Books

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Cambridge University Press & Assessment

Database From Cambridge University

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National Institute of Mental Health

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
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MDPI

Publisher of Open Access Journals

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Bulletin of the National Research Centre

Part of Springer Nature

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The New England Journal of Medicine

Massachusetts Medical Society

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Economic Research Service

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

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MedlinePlus

Database From National Library of Medicine

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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National Institute of Health

An agency of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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The BMJ

Weekly Peer-reviewed Medical Trade Journal

The British Medical Association
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The British Psychological Society

The British Psychological Society is a charity registered in England

Database From Wiley Online Library
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National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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PubMed

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
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DailyMed

Database From National Institute Of Health

U.S National Library of Medicine
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Google Scholar

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Science.gov: USA.gov for Science

Government Science Portal

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ResearchGate

Social Network Service For Scientists

Find and share research
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American Heart Association

To be a rentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives

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BioMed Central

Research in progress

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JAMA Network

Home of JAMA and the Specialty Journals of the American Medical Association

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Springer Link

Database From Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Springer - International Publisher Science, Technology, Medicine
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ODS

Database from Office of Dietary Supplements

National Institutes of Health
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Federal Trade Commission

Bureaus of Consumer Protection, Competition and Economics
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Database From U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Governmental Authority
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Oxford Academic Journals

Oxford University Press

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Taylor & Francis Online

Peer-reviewed Journals

Academic Publishing Division of Informa PLC
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WHO

Database from World Health Organization

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Journal of Neurology

Peer-reviewed Medical Journal

American Academy of Neurology Journal
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ScienceDirect

Bibliographic Database of Scientific and Medical Publications

Dutch publisher Elsevier
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Wiley Online Library

American Multinational Publishing Company

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

U.S. National Public Health Agency

U.S Department of Health and Human Services
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Database from U.S. National Library of Medicine

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U.S. Food & Drug Administration

Federal Agency

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PubMed Central

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