Best Vitamin B12 Supplements | Men’s Fitness UK

Vitamin B12 is essential for overall health, but can’t be found in a vegan diet. Dietitian Laura Tilt outlines the best vitamin B12 supplements available in the UK…

Part of the B vitamin family, B12 is required for the normal functioning of the nervous system, making healthy red blood cells and helping prevent fatigue. It’s present in animal foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy but is missing in plant foods (some, like mushrooms, have trace amounts), so if you follow a vegan diet B12 is one nutrient to add.

You can do so either by eating fortified foods (with added B12) or by taking a dietary supplement.

Here’s all you need to know about the health benefits of vitamin B12

UK guidelines state adults need around 1.5 micrograms (mcg) a day, but in supplement form a daily dose of around 10 mcg (or 2000 mcg per week) is recommended for optimal absorption. Even at these larger doses, supplemental B12 is considered safe, as the body doesn’t store excess amounts.

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Best Vitamin B12 Supplements

  1. Boots vitamin B12 spray (£4.25 for 15ml)
  2. Sealion B12 tablets (£5 for one year)
  3. Engevita B12 Yeast Flakes (£3.70 for 125g)
  4. VEG-1 tablets (£12.70 for 180 tablets)
  5. Together Health B12 Mushroom Capsules (£9.99 for 30 days)

Boots vitamin B12 spray box
Boots vitamin B12 spray

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£4.25 for 15ml (100 doses) / boots.com

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 5/5
Sustainable packaging: 2/5
OVERALLS: 3.5/5

A pill-free option for those who don’t like taking tablets, Boots B12 spray is delivered straight into the bloodstream via the soft tissues in the mouth, which have a vast blood supply. Some studies have suggested that this type of spray technology enhances absorption, particularly in those where digestive processes are compromised.

Each spray contains 250 mcg of B12 – a high-strength dose but within safe levels, as excesses are excreted. The spray is sweetened with xylitol, making it tooth friendly, but don’t be tempted to get spray-happy as xylitol in excess can have digestive side effects.

One bottle contains 100 doses, working out to just 4 pence per spray.

A packet of Sealion's Vitamin B12
Sealion B12 tablets

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£5 for a one year supply / sealions.com

Vitamin content: 4.5/5
Ease of consumption: 3/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5
OVERALLS: 4/5

Sealions’ mission is affordable supplements, achieved by reducing margins and cutting out the middle man. Their one-a-day B12 tablets contain 10 mcg of vitamin B12 – the recommended level for a B12 supplement if you’re not consuming any other B12. The pills are small enough to swallow comfortably and should be consumed with food, so stash next to your oats as a reminder.

The year-long supply (yep, 365 days-worth in a single pouch) costs £5 so these truly are a cost-effective option at under 2 pence a pill. Surprisingly for a low-price supplement, the packaging is also compostable, which is an added plus.

Packets of Engevita Vitamin B12
Engevita B12 Yeast Flakes 2.2mcg

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£3.70 for 125g (25 servings) / marigoldhealthfoods.co.uk

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 4/5
Sustainable packaging: 3/5
OVERALLS: 4/5

Nutritional yeast (or ‘nooch’ as ​​it’s affectionately nicknamed by its fans) is a type of deactivated yeast which is grown on beet molasses and contains a range of B vitamins, including B12. Its parmesan-esque flavor means it’s become a staple ingredient in vegan dishes needing a cheese replacement (sprinkle it on spaghetti, mac ‘n’ cheese or in soup, for example).

Each teaspoon contains 2.2. mcg of vitamin B12, making nooch a reliable and easy way to supplement with this important nutrient. If you’re not consuming any other sources of B12, aim for two servings of fortified food a day.

A tub of VEG-1 Vitamin B12 tablets
VEG 1 B12 tablets

BUY IT NOW:

£12.70 for 180 tablets / vegansociety.com

Vitamin content: 4.5/5
Ease of consumption: 4/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5
OVERALLS: 4.5/5

VEG 1 is a multitasking chewable supplement, developed by the Vegan Society to provide nutritional support to people following a vegan diet. It contains seven nutrients (including B12) which are all harder to get sufficient amounts of if your diet is plant-based. Each tablet contains 25 mcg of B12, designed to maximize absorption.

A six-month supply costs just £12.70, making this an affordable option, equivalent to 7 pence a day. The postage and packaging materials are plastic-free and the tin can be recycled or upcycled. To help your body get the most from VEG 1, consume with a meal and chew before swallowing. The tablets are available in orange or black currant flavour.

Packet of Together Health vitamin B12
Together Health B12 Mushroom Capsules

BUY IT NOW:

£9.99 for a 30-day supply / togetherhealth.co.uk

Vitamin content: 4/5
Ease of consumption: 3/5
Sustainable packaging: 5/5
OVERALLS: 4/5

One for the fungi fans, Together Health’s B12 capsules are produced from freeze-dried shiitake mushrooms, which are grown according to a trade secret to ensure their B12 content. Each capsule provides around 20 mcg of B12 and each batch of supplements is tested to verify nutrient levels, with certification available for anyone to view via the website.

Capsules can be taken with or without food, although the contents can be mixed with food or drink if you find swallowing them challenging. As with the entire Together Health range, supplements come sealed in plastic-free, home-compostable packaging.

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