- Vitamin B12 is essential for red blood cell formation, nerve health and energy maintenance.
- Vegans and vegetarians may benefit from supplementation.
- Taking B12 on an empty stomach in the morning can increase absorption and prevent insomnia.
What Is Vitamin B12 And Why Is It An Essential Vitamin?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. This means your body excretes any excess through your urine. (Source)
It also means you need to have a regular intake to maintain your supplies.
Vitamin B12 is one of 8 B Vitamins. All of them have their own unique benefits, and yet they also work together to support your health too. This is why you can also supplement B12 as part of a B complex too.
Vitamin B12 plays many key roles in the body. One of the most important roles is its ability to support the formation of new red blood cells. (Source)
This means that you can actually become anaemic because you lack B12, as well as iron. (Source)
This essential B vitamin is also needed for the formation of healthy nerves. This is why a deficiency in B12 can lead to sometimes irreversible nerve damage.
Vitamin B12 Health Benefits
It Can Reduce Your Homocysteine Levels
When homocysteine is elevated it’s associated with a higher risk of heart disease and even cognitive decline. So it’s a good idea to do what you can to keep your levels in check. (Source)
Luckily, Vitamin B12 appears to lower your homocysteine levels naturally, which is yet another reason to avoid deficiency. (Source)
It Can Boost Your Energy Levels
There’s a reason why B Vitamins, including B12, are often added into energy-boosting blends; B vitamins are involved in energy metabolism processes.
And so treating a deficiency can increase your energy levels. Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be the same reaction when people who have sufficient B12 supplements it. So, it’s worth checking for a deficiency if you are feeling run down. (Source)
It Can Help You To Have Healthier Skin, Hair And Nails
When we think about our appearance we sometimes forget that one of the most impactful things we can do is to ensure we get a good range of nutrients.
Because having a nutrient-dense diet can determine how strong our nails are, how shiny our hair is and how our skin looks.
B12 may be able to reduce hyperpigmentation, discoloured nails and hair health issues. So, getting sufficient amounts is a key way to enhance your looks from the inside out. (Source)
Where Can I Find Vitamin B12?
As we’ve touched on, Vitamin B12 is found predominantly in animal-based products. This is why those following a plant-based diet need to supplement.
The good news is that even if you don’t eat meat but do follow a vegetarian or pescetarian diet, you can usually get enough Vitamin B12 if you make the right dietary choices.
The best sources of Vitamin B12 are:
Aside from these foods where Vitamin B12 is naturally present, you can also find Vitamin B12 in some fortified vegetarian products too.
- Fortified cereals
- Fortified nutritional yeast
- Fortified non-dairy milk
And then of course you can also find Vitamin B12 in supplements, either on their own or as part of a blended supplement or super green powder.
And it’s not just vegans/vegetarians who should consider taking supplemental Vitamin B12 too. Because some people don’t make enough of a substance called intrinsic factor which is needed for the absorption of Vitamin B12 from the diet.
People with a type of anaemia called pernicious anaemia tend not to make enough intrinsic factors, along with older people. (Source)
So for these individuals, additional B12 is needed, sometimes via an injection.
Otherwise, you can also take sublingual supplements where you place Vitamin B12 under the tongue for better absorption and utilization.
Should I Take B12 In The Morning Or At Night?
With most vitamins and supplements, the best time to take them is simply when you remember to.
But with Vitamin B12 there are some special factors to consider. Firstly, B12 is best taken in the morning.
This is because it promotes energy production and may lead to overstimulation and possibly insomnia if you take it close to bedtime.
You can think of it as giving you a morning boost to take on a day full of beans.
But if you’re not a fan of breakfast or you like to work out in a fasted state – fear not, as there’s no need to take it with food.
This is because, unlike Vitamin D, Vitamin B12 is not fat-soluble. So it doesn’t need to be taken with fat in a meal to be absorbed.
For this reason, you can take Vitamin B12 on an empty stomach with no issues.
What’s The Best Way To Take Vitamin B12?
As we mentioned earlier – you don’t need to take Vitamin B12 with food. In fact, it’s actually better to take it on an empty stomach if you can.
This is another reason for taking it first thing, as you’ll naturally be in a fasted state.
Then ideally, wait 30 minutes after your B12 supplement before eating again.
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Why Supergreen Tonik Is A Great Option For Your Vitamin + Mineral Needs
In an ideal world, we’d all get ample amounts of each and every vitamin and mineral required for our health.
But unfortunately, this is not reality. We can fall short of key nutrients for a number of reasons.
Many people have understandably moved more towards a plant-based way of life. Which can offer a lot of benefits such as increased fibre, more dietary diversity, and increased phytonutrient intake.
However, it can often lead to a depletion in nutrients such as B12, Vitamin D, Iron and Choline, so it could mean you need to look for a well-rounded supplement to avoid deficiency.
And even if you do eat animal products, you might have gut health issues, or suffer from stress which means your absorption might be reduced or your requirements might be increased.
Whilst you can take Vitamin B12 sublingually, you can still be at risk of other nutrient deficiencies if you’re not careful.
And remember that we don’t just want to consume enough nutrients to avoid deficiency – we also want to aim for taking enough for optimal health, which is often harder to achieve in modern life.
Why? Because it’s got you covered when it comes to vitamins and minerals;
But why not just take a multivitamin I hear you say?
Because health comes down to more than just vitamins and minerals.
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Some of the benefits of supergreen powders are that they provide you with an antioxidant boost too, which can support your health in multiple ways. But, some specific supergreen powders also offer you some added extras.
With Supergren Tonik for example you can also enjoy their adaptogenic blend for a calmer, more focused mind, their immune supportive blends to fight those colds and coughs, as well as the nutrient-dense addition of chlorella and spirulina.
You can also take Super Green Tonik in the morning, meaning you can boost your absorption of Vitamin B12 by taking it on an empty stomach.
So to conclude, Vitamin B12 is a truly essential nutrient. Vegans and vegetarians definitely need to consider supplementation, and everyone else can enjoy a top-up with a well-balanced superfood blend such as Supergreen Tonik.
Julia is a health content editor and nutritionist from Norwich, UK. She has worked as a health coach in private practice and for the national health service. She undertook an MSc in nutritional medicine to deepen her knowledge.
She enjoys producing evidence-based content which inspires people to become healthier and happier.