What is The Best Vitamin b Complex Supplement Brand to Buy in 2017?

Vitamin B complex is a supplement containing eight B vitamins—B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6, B7 (biotin), B9 (folate) and B12. These vitamins are extremely important for a variety of bodily functions, including hormonal activity, energy production and boosting the immune system.

What is the best vitamin B complex supplement? Keep reading to find out!

Who Needs Vitamin B Complex Supplements?

As with other vitamins or minerals, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin B complex varies depending on sex and age. Each type of vitamin B is required in different amounts too. For example, it is recommended that both men and women consume about 5 mg of vitamin B5 daily. However, men should consume 16 mg of vitamin B3 daily, while women should only consume 14 mg (source).

Although there is an abundance of food sources containing B vitamins, certain people are at a higher risk for a deficiency.

B vitamins can be found in whole grains (which contain vitamin B1), chicken (which contains vitamin B3) and leafy greens (which contain vitamin B9). So, if you are vegetarian, you may not be getting enough of the B vitamins found in meat products. Likewise, if you are gluten-intolerant, you may not be meeting the daily requirements for vitamin B1. Older adults and those with alcoholism or heart failure are also at a higher risk of vitamin B deficiency.

Vitamin B complex supplements may also be used to improve your mood, hair health, memory and more (source).

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms of vitamin B deficiency, you can definitely benefit from a supplement.

What Vitamin B Complex Supplements Do

Vitamin B complex supplements treat and prevent vitamin B deficiencies. The symptoms of vitamin B deficiency can have serious or lasting effects.

Each B vitamin has a different function and all are very important for the human body. Vitamins B1 and B2 are important for the muscles, nerves and heart. Vitamin B3 helps convert food into energy, while B5 breaks down fats and carbohydrates for energy. The latter, along with vitamin B7, is also responsible for hormone production. Even the immune system is supported by a B vitamin (B6). Vitamin B9 helps to create and maintain DNA. Finally, vitamin B12 plays a role in the nervous system and red blood cell formation (source).

Clearly, the B vitamins are crucial to nearly every organ system. So, a breakdown in any one of these systems may point to a vitamin B deficiency.

However, you don’t need to have symptoms of a deficiency to take a B vitamin complex supplement; you can use them to protect yourself in the long run. Some studies find that B vitamins (specifically vitamins B6, B9 and B12) slows cognitive decline (source). These particular B vitamins may also prevent macular degeneration, which is an eye disease that becomes more prevalent as we age (source).

One important thing to note is that the B vitamins are typically safe because they are water-soluble. So, your body will get rid of any excess. However, if you consume a B vitamin complex supplement in very large doses (more than the recommended daily amount), it can have adverse effects. These rare overdoses can lead to skin problems, vision problems and heart complications. Remember to follow the instructions on the label and speak to your doctor before taking any supplements.

So, how can you choose the best B vitamin complex supplement?

How To Choose The Right Supplement

When choosing a vitamin B complex supplement (or any supplement, for that matter), always read the label.

Form

Though vitamin B complex supplements come in different forms (such as liquid or pills), they are all absorbed equally well. So, in terms of absorption, you don’t need to worry about which form you choose.

However, the taste of the vitamin may be affected by the form. For example, powdered and chewable vitamins may have a bitter aftertaste. The pills may also be hard to swallow, so you may want to opt for a chewable, gummy or liquid version if you have difficulty swallowing.

Dosage

Another thing you need to look out for is the dosage of each vitamin B. Our body needs different amounts of each vitamin B, so if the supplement contains equal amounts of each, it isn’t well-balanced (source). If you take too much of one type of vitamin B, your body will get rid of it through urine.

Ingredients

The label will also contain information about potential allergens, food dyes and preservatives.

As always, the less unnecessary ingredients, the better!

Speaking of ingredients, you’ll want to find a supplement with natural versions of vitamins B9 and B12. Many supplements contain folic acid, the synthetic form of vitamin B9, which may be linked to an increased risk of cancer (source)! Some also contain vitamin B12 in its synthetic form, as cyanocobalamin, which releases a small amount of cyanide into your body (source). If you are looking to go as natural as possible, you’ll want a supplement with folate and vitamin B12 as methylcobalamin.

Quality

Finally, you’ll want to make sure that the product you’re using is safe. You can usually tell if an edible product is safe by its certifications and approvals by regulating bodies, such as the FDA.

Our Picks for the Best Vitamin B Complex Supplements:

Quality

Price

Our rating

This supplement from Garden of Life is vegan-friendly and gluten-free. Each bottle contains either 60 or 120 capsules, of which two must be taken daily.

I like that this product does not contain synthetic ingredients. It contains folate and methylcobalamin, the natural (and more easily absorbed) forms of vitamins B9 and B12. In addition, it contains a probiotic and enzyme blend, which aids digestive function. It also contains a fruit and vegetable blend (containing 23 fruits and vegetables), for added nutrition. This makes it a great choice if you don’t eat as many veggies as you should!

Many users praise this supplement for boosting their energy, improving their mood and clearing their skin. There are virtually no complaints of the capsule being hard to swallow either.

The only thing I don’t like about this product is the price! Yes, it’s a high quality product (being certified non-GMO, USDA Organic etc.), but it’s three times the price of some other B vitamin complex supplements.

Pros


  • Vegan-friendly, Kosher-friendly
  • Non-GMO
  • Gluten-free, dairy-free
  • Probiotic & enzyme blend
  • Fruit & vegetable blend
  • Natural ingredients and natural version of all B vitamins

Cons


  • Relatively high price
  • Contains brewer’s yeast (may be problematic to those with yeast sensitivity)

Quality

Price

Our rating

This vitamin B complex supplement, by Douglas Laboratories, comes in a bottle with 60 capsules (60 or 30 servings, depending on your needs or doctor’s recommendation).

Douglas Laboratories is a good brand, trusted for its high quality products. The company follows Good Manufacturing Practices and is registered by the NSF (National Sanitation Foundation).

By now, you be aware that you should be looking to see whether the supplement contains the synthetic or natural version of all the B vitamins. This brand passes the test! It is also gluten-free, sugar-free and dairy-free.

The product is advertised as being a vegetarian capsule. But, surprisingly, this supplement contains an ingredient derived from porcine (pork) sources, so it is not actually vegetarian-friendly. The ingredient in question is intrinsic factor, which helps with vitamin B12 absorption. So, if you are not a vegetarian, this product may be a good choice (if you can get past the very high price, that is).

Pros


  • Gluten-free, sugar-free, dairy-free
  • Non-GMO
  • No artificial flavors, colors or preservatives
  • Natural versions of B vitamins

Cons


  • High price
  • Not vegetarian-friendly (porcine sources)

Quality

Price

Our rating

NOW Foods offers a B complex supplement in a package of 250 vegetarian-friendly, gluten-free capsules. Some users do complain that these capsules are large and hard to swallow.

NOW Foods is a highly certified company, being non-GMO certified, Kosher approved and in full compliance with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices (source). So, you can be rest assured that your products are safe and not contaminated.

This product contains choline and inositol, which is great, as these are both essential nutrients (source). Choline is important for memory functions and cell membrane structure, while inositol may prevent neuropathy.

I am disappointed to see that, although this product is vegan-friendly and seems to be all-natural from an outsider’s perspective, it contains the synthetic versions of vitamins B9 and B12. While the price is around the same for other vegetarian-friendly vitamin B complex supplements, this particular supplement by NOW Foods does not seem to be worth it, seeing as it contains the synthetic versions of two B vitamins.

Pros


  • Wheat-free, gluten-free, milk-free, nut-free, sugar-free
  • Non-GMO
  • Vegetarian-friendly, Kosher
  • Contains choline, inositol

Cons


  • Fairly large capsules, may be hard to swallow
  • May smell bad to some people
  • Tablets may degrade, become powdery
  • Contains synthetic versions of vitamin B9 and vitamin B12

Quality

Price

Our rating

Vitafusion offers a vitamin B complex supplement which is gluten-free and comes in a strawberry-flavored gummy form. This supplement comes with three bottles of 70 gummies each (with one gummy to be consumed daily).

The good thing about it is that the strawberry flavor and color is natural. However, there is glucose syrup and sucrose in this supplement (which may help with the taste but is unnecessary, from a nutritional standpoint). Vegans and those with tree nut allergies will not be able to use this product, unfortunately.

The supplement also contains just six B vitamins; it is missing vitamins B1 and B2. This is rather odd because a B complex supplement should have all eight B vitamins. They are all essential for the proper functioning of our bodies. This supplement also includes the synthetic versions of vitamin B9 and B12, which may explain its low cost.

Pros


  • Gluten-free, milk-free, soy-free
  • Natural colors and flavor
  • Also includes vitamin C
  • Good taste, easy to consume
  • Great price

Cons


  • Only six B vitamins, instead of eight
  • Not vegan-friendly (gelatin comes from pork source)
  • Synthetic versions of vitamins B9 and B12
  • Not allergy-friendly (contains tree nuts)
  • Contains sugar

Quality

Price

Our rating

This vitamin B complex supplement, by Nature Made, comes in a small, softgel form (which is great because it’s easy to swallow). Each bottle contains 60 softgels, which lasts two months, if taken as instructed. The supplement is well-balanced, containing 100% of the daily value of each of the eight B vitamins. It is very low in cost, too.

I like that this supplement is United States pharmacopeia (USP) verified, which indicates high quality. It is also gluten-free, yeast-free, starch-free and preservative-free. The colors and flavors both come from natural sources, too.

If you study the ingredients carefully, you’ll notice that this supplement falls down in a few minor areas. It contains folic acid and cyanocobalamin, the synthetic versions of vitamins B9 and B12, respectively.

Another major downside is that it’s not vegan-friendly, as the gelatin it contains comes from a pork source (source). Besides that criticism, some users report that the supplement has a weird smell, which can be problematic if you are sensitive to scents. Also, since these are softgels, they need to be kept in a cool place, otherwise they will melt.

Overall, many users claim this supplement helped to boost their energy and improve their hair, skin and nails—all with little or no side effects.

Pros


  • Easy to swallow, no aftertaste
  • Low cost
  • Gluten-free
  • No artificial flavors or colors
  • USP verified

Cons


  • Contains synthetic versions of vitamins B9 and B12
  • Not vegan-friendly
  • The packaging is much larger than it needs to be
  • Some users complain of bad scent

Conclusion

Out of these five vitamin B complex supplements, I think the Garden of Life Vegan B Vitamin is the best choice.

Though it may seem pricier than other B complex supplements, it is worth it. Unfortunately, many of the low cost supplements on the market contain synthetic versions of vitamin B9 and B12. The synthetic versions have been shown to be less effective than the natural version.

This particular supplement is also vegetarian-friendly and contains beneficial probiotic and vegetable blends. Overall, the quality makes up for its relatively high price.

Helen Sanders
 

Chief editor here at Health Ambition, I'm a proud mother of two passionate about nutrition and ways to live healthier with more energy!

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