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Product Review: B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks (Including B Complexes, Niacin, B-6, B-12, Biotin, Thiamin, and Folic Acid)
 

Posted: 9/6/14  Last Update: 10/22/16 
B Vitamins and Energy Drinks Reviewed by ConsumerLab.com Tests Show Many B-Complex Supplements and "Energy" Drinks Contain Wrong Amounts of Vitamins 

Find Out Now If Yours Passed!

B vitamin supplements and energy drinks in this review (including B-complexes,  thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate, and pantothenic acid supplements): 
5-hour Energy - Berry MioEnergy Liquid Water Enhancer - Black Cherry Rexall B-12
Bluebonnet Biotin Natural Factors B12 Rite Aid Folic Acid 400
Country Life Vitamin B 6 Nature Made B-12 Rockstar Zero Carb
CVS/pharmacy B-12 Nature's Bounty Quick Dissolve B-12 - Natural Cherry Flavor Slo-Niacin
Douglas Laboratories Folic Acid Nature's Life Biotin Solaray Niacin
Dr. Mercola Vitamin B-12 Energy Booster - Natural Cherry Flavor Nature's Life Biotin Hair, Skin & Nails Solgar Vitamin B 12
Finest Nutrition Folic Acid Nature's Plus Vitamin B-6 Spring Valley B 12 - Natural Cherry Flavor
Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW B-Complex Nature's Way Pantothenic Acid The Vitamin Shoppe Vitamin B12
GNC B-Complex + Energy NOS High Performance Energy Drink Thorne Research 5-MTFH
GNC B-Complex NOW B-12 Thorne Research Stress B-Complex
Jamieson Natural B12 NOW Niacinamide Twinlab B-12 Dots
Jarrow Formulas Methyl Folate Nutrilite Natural B Complex Vitacost Quickdot Chewables
Klaire Labs Vitamin B6 Nutrition Now B Complex Vitamin World B-12
Life Extension Complete B-Complex PhysioLogics Flush Free Niacin Whole Foods Folic Acid
MegaFood Vegan B12 Puritan's Pride B-12  
Make sure the B-complex, B vitamin, or "energy" supplement you take passed our test and is right for you!
Isn't your health worth it?

Which are the best B-complexes and single vitamins? Our tests and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements, including B-complexes and energy drinks/shots, revealed problems with the quality of 6 out of 30 products selected for review. Among B vitamin supplements, the most problematic were B complexes. This new report shows which products passed or failed independent testing, how they compare on dosage and ingredients, and which provide the best value.
 
Testing also revealed the actual amounts of caffeine in popular energy drinks/shots/squirts. Just a single small bottle of one of these contained more than twice the caffeine you would expect from a regular cup of coffee. Following the serving suggestions for some may cause you to ingest greater amounts of B vitamins than you would normally want.

In this comprehensive report, you'll get quality ratings and reviews of 41 B vitamin supplements and fortified energy drinks: 30 products selected by ConsumerLab.com and 11 others that passed voluntary certification testing. You'll also get information about two supplements similar to one that passed testing. Tested products include B-complexes, energy shots/drinks/squirts, and single-B vitamin supplements with thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), or pantothenic acid.


In this comprehensive report, you'll discover:
    • Which B vitamin supplements and energy drinks failed testing and which passed
    • Cost comparisons and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements and energy drinks
    • Information on what B vitamin supplements and energy drinks can and cannot do for you -- some may reduce memory decline!
    • Important differences between forms of B vitamins, such as those of niacin (nicotinic acid, niacinamide, inositol hexanicotinate), folate (folic acid, L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate), and B-12 (methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin).  
    • Usage and dosage information for thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), and pantothenic acid.
    • How to avoid getting too much folate due to misleading labels.
    • Side effects and potential drug interactions with B vitamins
    • Safety concerns about energy drinks and how to use them more safely, including concern over ingredients such as L-carnitine 
 

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ConsumerLab.com Answers -- for B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks (Including B Complexes, Niacin, B-6, B-12, Biotin, Thiamin, and Folic Acid)
Question:
Being over 50 years old, I'm looking to take a vitamin B-12 supplement. I see that many contain a form of vitamin B-12 called cyanocobalamin, yet I read on the Internet that this form is toxic. Should I be concerned? Get the answer >>

Question:
What is Lipo-flavonoid and does it work for tinnitus or other ear problems? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements are important after bariatric surgery (i.e., weight loss or stomach-reducing surgery)? Are there any I should avoid? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are enterically coated supplements better than non-enterically coated ones? Get the answer >>

Question:
I take fluoxetine (Prozac), a SSRI drug to treat depression. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements really help with brain function, like memory and cognition? Get the answer >>

Question:
What is benfotiamine and can it really improve or prevent complications from diabetes? Get the answer >>

Question:
The maker of my multivitamin says it doesn't include folic acid because too much from supplements can be harmful. Is that true? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help with migraines? Get the answer >>

Question:
Can taking too much vitamin B-6 be dangerous? The label on my multivitamin states it contains 2000% the Daily Value! Get the answer >>

Question:
Can taking too much vitamin B-12 be dangerous? The label on my B-complex states it contains 50,000% the Daily Value! Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements help reduce the risk of colorectal cancer? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help relieve stress? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help with nerve pain, like sciatica or diabetic neuropathy? Get the answer >>

Question:
I have been having neurological symptoms, and a blood test showed I have toxic levels of vitamin B-6. My multivitamin contains 75 mg of B-6, but this is below the upper limit of 100 mg per day. Could my vitamin contain more than it lists? Get the answer >>

Question:
I thought the B vitamins were all water soluble and did not build up in the body, so you would not build up toxic levels. Am I wrong? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help for tinnitus? Is it true that some supplements can cause tinnitus? Get the answer >>

Question:
Does nicotinamide riboside (Niagen) really have anti-aging or other health benefits? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements help prevent or improve cataracts? Get the answer >>

Question:
Is sublingual vitamin B-12 really better than the pill form? Get the answer >>

Question:
I take estrogen replacement (Vagifem), to help relieve the symptoms of menopause. Are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking, due to this drug? Get the answer >>

Question:
Is P-5-P really better than "regular" vitamin B6? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements can help to lower blood pressure? Get the answer >>

Question:
Do any supplements improve balance or reduce the risk of falls? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are lozenges and sublingual pills considered dietary supplements? Get the answer >>

Question:
I was told I have a MTHFR gene mutation. What do I need to know about taking B vitamins? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements can help with indigestion and/or heartburn? Get the answer >>

Question:
What are the most common, potentially dangerous interactions between supplements and drugs? Get the answer >>

Question:
My HDL (good) cholesterol level is low. Should I take niacin to raise my HDLs? Get the answer >>

Question:
I've been taking a Daily Advantage multi but am now concerned by the very high % DV for vitamin C (833% DV), niacin (325% DV), and B vitamins (over 1,000% DV for several). The company tells me this formula is based on clinical experience and the scientific literature. What do you think? Get the answer >>

Question:
What is Brain Bright and can it really improve memory or cognition? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are the "% DV" numbers on vitamin supplement labels really based on what I need? Get the answer >>

Question:
Are there any supplements I should avoid when taking an antibiotic? Are there any that may be helpful? Get the answer >>

Question:
Which supplements help with Raynaud's phenomenon? Get the answer >>

Question:
I've heard that having low B-12 or B-6 can cause depression. Is that true? Get the answer >>
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