- Do they help? While most people are not deficient in B vitamins (since these vitamins can be easily obtained from foods), older people and those taking medication to reduce stomach acid may be low in B-12 and taking it can help slow age-related decline in memory. Pregnant women should be sure to get folate from a supplement to help avoid birth defects, and people with genetic mutations affecting the MTHFR enzyme may benefit from a form of folate known as methylfolate. High-dose niacin can help lower high cholesterol levels. Although the evidence is preliminary, a high dose of biotin may help strengthen nails. More information about what each of the B vitamins can and cannot do is found in the Background section and in the ConsumerTips sections for each of the B vitamins.
- How much to take? This depends on your nutritional needs but, generally, B vitamin supplements are formulated to provide much more than you need and this can be a problem for the three B vitamins that can cause toxicity — niacin, folate and B-6. Too much B-12 may also cause problems, including acne. Furthermore, it is now acknowledged that you need less of many B vitamins than believed in the past, but % Daily Value figures on labels don't have to reflect this until the beginning of 2021. In the results table, we show you how products stack up against the latest recommendations (see the numbers in green), as well as which exceed the tolerable limits for niacin, folate, and B-6.
- Which product is best? For each B vitamin or B complex, we identify CL's Top Picks. These "picks" were found in testing to be accurately labeled for B vitamins, meet other quality criteria, and, represent excellent value for your money. However, five products (mostly B complexes) failed our tests for providing far less or more ingredient than listed. One of these is a popular B complex that, due to an overage, exceeds the tolerable upper intake level for folate from its synthetic form, folic acid. These five products are listed as "NOT APPROVED" in the results table.
B Vitamin Supplements Review (B Complexes, B6, B12, Biotin, Folate, Niacin, Riboflavin & More)
Be Careful Choosing B Vitamins. 18% of B Vitamins Fail Our Review. See Which Are Best.
B vitamin supplements compared in this review :
21st Century B-1 100 mg
Amazon Elements Berry B12
Bluebonnet Vitamin B6 50 mg
BulkSupplements.com Flush-Free Niacin
Carlson Methyl Folate
Doctor's Best Benfotiamine 300
Doctor's Best Fully Active Folate 400
Douglas Laboratories Riboflavin
Elysium Basis Cellular Health & Optimization
Finest Nutrition [Walgreens] Folic Acid
Garden of Life mykind Organics B-Complex Once Daily
GNC B-Complex Big 100
GNC Methyl B-12
Jarrow Formulas B-Right
Jarrow Formulas Pantothenic Acid B5
Kirkland Signature [Costco] Super B-Complex
Mason Natural B12 50 mcg
Nature Made Super B Energy Complex
Nature's Bounty Biotin 10,000 mcg
Nature's Way Pantothenic Acid
New Chapter Perfect Hair, Skin & Nails
NOW Niacinamide 500 mg
NutraBlast Hair Skin & Nails - Strawberry
Nutrilite Vitamin B Dual-Action
Organika Vitamin B Complex
PipingRock.com Vitamin B-6 100 mg
Pure Encapsulations B12 Liquid
Puritan's Pride Ultra Mega Biotin 10,000 mcg
Solgar Folate 1,333 mcg DFE
Spring Valley [Walmart] Biotin 10,000 mcg
Sugarbearhair Hair Vitamins
Vitafusion B12 - Natural Raspberry Flavor
- Which B vitamin supplements failed testing and which passed
- Cost comparisons and quality ratings of B vitamin supplements
- Information on what B vitamin supplements can and cannot do for you -- some may reduce memory decline!
- Important differences among forms of B vitamins, such as those of niacin (nicotinic acid, niacinamide, and inositol hexanicotinate), folate (natural folate, folic acid, and L-5-methyltetrahydrofolate), and B-12 (methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin), as well as how oral B-12 compares to B-12 injections.
- Use and dosage information for thiamin, niacin, vitamin B-6, B-12, biotin, folate (folic acid), and pantothenic acid.
- How amounts of B vitamins in supplements compare to the amounts you actually need - the results may surprise you!
- What you need to know about new intake guidelines — and why you shouldn't rely on Daily Values (DVs) listed on labels
- Side effects and potential drug interactions with B vitamins
- Safety concerns with B vitamins, and how to use them safely
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