Vitamin B12

Is Liquid Vitamin B12 More Effective Than Pills? Discover the Benefits

Vitamin B12 is crucial in energy production, red blood cells, nerve function, and DNA synthesis. A decline in the levels of this essential vitamin in your body might cause low energy levels and fatigue, among other effects. 

Supplementing with vitamin B12 can prevent deficiencies, but you must be careful while picking the right supplement.

Liquid vitamin B12 supplements are absorbed more quickly and efficiently by your digestive system than pills. The liquid formulation also allows dose adjustment, ensuring you get the precise amount you need for optimal health.

But what makes liquid B12 so effective, and most importantly, is it the right choice for everyone? Let’s explore the science behind its benefits and find out how it compares to the pills.

What is the critical difference between vitamin B12 liquid and pills?

The most important distinction between liquid and tablet forms of vitamin B12 supplements is how quickly the digestive system absorbs them. Other differences include the ingredients used in the formulation and dosing flexibility.  

Liquid formulations of vitamin B12 have a much superior absorption rate than pills. When you ingest a liquid formulation, it enters your bloodstream quicker as it does not need to be broken down by stomach hydrochloric acid like a pill. 

It is especially beneficial if you suffer from specific digestive issues that can impair nutrient absorption.

The enhanced bioavailability means more vitamin B12 is available for your body, leading to a quicker and more noticeable improvement in symptoms like low energy levels.

Why consider liquid vitamin B12 over pills?

Liquid vitamin B12 supplements have significant advantages over their pill counterparts. Here are some of the key reasons you should consider the liquid form of vitamin B12 over pills: 

Improved bioavailability

Woman wearing a green t-shirt with a graphic representation of the digestive system making the OK sign with her hands.

The liquid form of the vitamin shows a significant advantage in terms of quicker and more efficient absorption from the digestive system. Vitamin B12, which is present in a soluble state when taken in liquid form, can be easily absorbed swiftly without the need for any further processing.

Stomach acid needs to disintegrate pills first before they can dissolve and the vitamin B12 be absorbed. Consequently, the process takes much longer, and the rate of absorption is much slower.

Secondly, these pills will contain additives that might also prevent the vitamin from fully absorbing, making this route less effective. 

The liquid formulations are especially helpful for health problems like pernicious anemia, where the intrinsic factor is produced in less quantity and faster vitamin B12 absorption is needed.

Customized dosage

A person holding a dropper filled with a liquid.

Another essential benefit of the liquid form of the vitamin is the ease of use and the flexibility of administration. You can determine the exact dose of the liquid supplements that suit your needs. This is even more important if you have B12 deficiency and need significantly higher doses.

In contrast, pill supplements come in predetermined doses, which could be more or less than you need for your vitamin intake.

Ease of consumption

If swallowing big pills is a problem, the choice between the liquid and tablet B12 formulation is clear. The liquid form’s ease of ingestibility is particularly vital for the elderly, children, and people with swallowing difficulties.

Furthermore, mixing the liquid form with water or other drinks would make it more tasty and convenient for you to consume daily.

Rapid onset of effects

​​Because of the higher absorption rate, individuals who use the liquid forms of vitamin B12 often say that they experience faster action, including increased energy levels and improved nervous system performance. 

This is great if you want quick relief from the symptoms of B12 deficiency, like chronic tiredness and weakness.

Fewer additives

Vitamin B12 pills contain additives like binders, fillers, and lubricants to maintain their shape and stability. The extra ingredients might cause adverse effects or hinder the absorption of the vitamin in your gut.

Liquid formulation of vitamin B12 typically has fewer additives, making it a much cleaner option if you want to avoid unnecessary chemicals in your supplements.

The Organic Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops from Why Not Natural contain no fillers, additives, or artificial flavors. You get the highest purity vitamin B12 in each dose. Check out our Organic Vitamin B12 Liquid Drops today!

WhyNotNatural Dietary Supplement: B12 Methylcobalamin, organic cherry flavor

Also read: Choosing the Right Vitamin B12 Supplement: What You Need to Know.

How much liquid vitamin B12 should I take daily?

Determining the right daily amount of liquid B12 depends on your age, the kind of food you eat, your health condition, and any specific medical issues you might be having.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand how much liquid B12 you should take daily:

General recommendations

According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the recommended dietary allowance for healthy adults is 2.4 mcg (micrograms) of vitamin B12 per day.

However, the RDA varies significantly based on age and life stage:

  • Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg/day
  • Breastfeeding women: 2. 8 mcg/day
  • Children: 0.9 mcg/day (ages 1-3), 1.2 mcg/day (ages 4-8), and 1.8 mcg/day (ages 9-13)
  • Teenagers: 2.4 mcg/day (ages 14-18)

Supplementation needs

If you are taking a liquid B12 supplement, the dosage might be higher than the RDA due to factors like absorption efficiency and individual health needs. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Mild deficiency: The typical treatment is a 250-500 mcg liquid B12 dose prescribed to patients with the mildest B12 deficiency.
  • Severe deficiency: For extreme insufficiency and blood health problems like pernicious anemia, treatments with 1000 – 2000 mcg per day are prescribed; however, this treatment is under the supervision of a medical doctor.
  • Maintenance: After treatment with the initial dose of approximately 1,000 to 2,000 mcg, you should adhere to the maintenance dose of 500-1,000 mcg per week to maintain adequate levels.

Other factors influencing dosage

Several factors can influence how much liquid B12 you should take daily.

  • Dietary intake: Vegetarians, vegans, and those who limit their daily consumption of animal products may have to consume more vitamin B12, as it is mainly present in foods of animal origin.
  • Absorption issues: People with mucous membrane lining disorders like Crohn's disease or gluten intolerance (celiac disease) or who have undergone gastrointestinal surgery are more likely to need vitamin B12 supplements as their absorption is impaired.
  • Age: Elderly people need a relatively higher amount of vitamin B12 intake despite a healthy diet because their bodies gradually fail to absorb it as they age.

It is highly recommended that you should always consult your physician before starting on any dietary supplements. Your doctor might want you to get your vitamin B12 level tested and adjust the dosage accordingly.

Does liquid vitamin B12 have side effects?

Vitamin B12 is generally very well-tolerated by most individuals. However, side effects are possible, especially if you take high doses.

Here are a few things to keep in mind about the side effects:

Common side effects

Woman sitting on couch holding her stomach in pain.

If you stay within the RDA, there is a very slim chance that you will experience any side effects with liquid supplements of this water soluble vitamin. However, some minor side effects can precipitate, including:

  • Mild diarrhea: if you experience this effect at all, it is most pronounced when you first start supplementing and should subside in a few days.
  • Skin reactions: Occasionally, some people might develop rashes, reddening of the skin, and itching.

Allergic reactions

Allergy to vitamin B12 is quite uncommon, but some people might experience allergic symptoms, especially when they first start supplementing. Talk to your doctor if you experience any allergic symptoms like:

  • Hives
  • Swelling of the face, lips and tongue
  • Difficulty breathing

Side effects on high dosing

Woman in bathroom, showing signs of nausea.

If you take very high doses of vitamin B12, above the RDA values, you might experience additional side effects like:

  • Headaches
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

It is crucial to stay within the recommended dosage range to avoid these issues. These effects should subside quickly when you reduce the dosage, but if they persist, please consult your doctor immediately.

Interactions with medications

Vitamin B12 can potentially interact with certain medications and prevent their efficacy or cause side effects. For example:

  • Metformin is a common drug used to manage type II diabetes. It can reduce the intestinal absorption of vitamin B12, requiring higher doses.
  • Proton pump inhibitors, like omeprazole, can also impair vitamin B12 absorption by reducing stomach acid production.

Special populations

Certain groups should exercise caution when taking vitamin B12 supplements:

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women: Vitamin B12 is required during pregnancy and breastfeeding to prevent cognitive and developmental delays, but taking only the recommended amounts is essential. You should consult your doctor before starting any supplement, including liquid form of vitamin B12, during pregnancy.
  • Individuals with Leber’s disease: A rare genetic condition that primarily affects the optic nerve, Leber’s disease becomes more serious in people who take vitamin B12 supplements.

While vitamin B12 is generally safe for most people, it is still essential to consult your physician before starting. Your doctor might conduct a blood test to determine your deficiency level before recommending supplementation.

How do I choose the right vitamin B12 solution for me?

You should consider several factors when choosing a liquid B12 formulation. Some of the crucial ones include:

Understand your needs

Understanding what your vitamin B12 needs is essential before picking a supplement. For instance, if you are a vegetarian or a vegan, you might need a higher vitamin B12 dose than someone who consumes animal foods.

Similarly, people with digestive issues like celiac disease might find it difficult to absorb vitamin B12, necessitating higher dosage. Older adults also face absorption issues like less intrinsic factor production and might need higher dosages.

Always pick the vitamin B12 solution that allows you to dose easily. Most solutions come with a metered dose dispenser that allows you to measure the required amount precisely.

Pick the right kind of vitamin B12

There are two most common forms of vitamin B12: cyanocobalamin and methylcobalamin. Your body must metabolize cyanocobalamin, the synthetic form of vitamin B12, to its active form.

Methylcobalamin, on the other hand, is a natural form of the vitamin that is readily absorbed and available to the body. Given a choice, picking liquid vitamin B12 supplements containing methylcobalamin is better.

Other forms of vitamin B12, like Adenosylcobalamin and Hydroxy B12 complex, also have a better bioavailability profile and boost energy levels better than cyanocobalamin.

Check the purity and additives

Always check the chemical composition of your supplements to avoid consuming potentially harmful chemicals. Look for ingredients such as fillers, artificial flavors, and colors. 

The best supplements don’t have many additives, and if they do, they are natural and not synthetic. Furthermore, organic or GMO-free certifications are also good markers of higher quality.

Liquid B12 supplements, like Vitamin B12 Liquid Plus Folic Acid from Why Not Natural, are 100% organic and contain no fillers, artificial colors, or preservatives.

Takeaway: Boost your wellness with liquid vitamin B12 

Using liquid B12 supplements instead of conventional pills provides a range of benefits. Primarily, liquid B12 is absorbed faster and more efficiently by the body, making it more effective.

However, the advantages don’t stop here. Liquid supplements are a very convenient option for people of all ages, and adjusting the dosage is simple. This flexibility, along with the higher absorption rate, makes liquid B12 an attractive option for most people.

Get your vitamin B12 as your body craves with Why Not Natural's 100% natural Organic Vitamin B12 Liquid.

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