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General Questions about Vitamin B12
What is vitamin B12?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient known for having one of the most complex chemical structures of all vitamins. Vitamin B12 is also referred to as cobalamin because it contains a metal ion, cobalt. Vitamin B12 has many important functions in the human body. Vitamin B12 supports cellular energy production by helping the body convert carbohydrates into glucose. Vitamin B12 is also necessary for supporting a healthy nervous system, cognitive health and overall emotional wellness. Even the body’s genetic material, DNA and RNA, requires vitamin B12 for production.
What are some risk factors for a B12 deficiency?
Individuals at risk for B12 vitamin deficiency include alcoholics and those with gastrointestinal disorders such as persistent diarrhea, malabsorption syndromes, celiac disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Because adequate levels of stomach acid are required to absorb B12 from food, senior citizens and anyone with reduced levels of stomach acid may be at greater risk of deficiency as well. In addition, strict vegetarians sometimes require supplementation since B12 is mainly found in animal products, not plant-based foods.
Are there any food sources of B12?
Vitamin B12 is mainly found in animal products and not plant-based foods. Reliable sources of vitamin B12 include seafood (sardines, salmon, tuna, cod), and beef, yogurt, cow’s milk, and eggs. Some processed foods, such as cereal, are fortified with small amounts of vitamin B12. It may also be worth noting that certain vegetarian foods, like spirulina or wakame seaweed, often claim to have vitamin B12. However, these plant-based foods typically contain B12 analogues, which may not be properly utilized by the human body.
What is the recommended dietary allowance for vitamin B12?
The 100% daily value (%DV) for vitamin B12 for individuals 18 years of age and older is 2.4 mcg. This goes up to 2.8 mcg per day during pregnancy/breastfeeding. As with any supplement, please talk to your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to ensure you are following the dosing schedule that is right for your particular health needs.
Is there an established upper toxicity limit for B12?
The Upper Tolerable Limit (UL), established by the Food and Nutrition Bard (FNB) of the Institute of Medicine, is considered to be the highest amount you can take of a nutrient without theoretical risk. The FNB has not established an upper intake level (UL) for vitamin B12 due to its low level of toxicity.
Can B12 supplements be taken with OTC or prescription medications?
If you are taking or planning to take an OTC or prescription medication, please consult a licensed pharmacist or your healthcare provider before beginning supplementation to minimize risk of side effects associated with potential supplement-drug interactions.
- Still have questions?
- For general information about vitamin B-12, check out the resources below—
- Vitamin B12 Fact Sheet for Consumers — Office of Dietary Supplements
- Vitamin B12 — Linus Pauling Institute
- Vitamin B12 — Harvard School of Public Health
- Vitamin B12 in Health and Disease
- For specific guidance on the suitability of vitamin B-12 to support your particular health goals, please talk to your healthcare provider
Questions about B12 Gold
What is the source of B12 in Vitamin B12 Gold?
When formulating our vitamin products our preference is for organic, plant-based nutrients. However, vitamin B12 is an exception to this because there are no known biologically-active plant sources of B12. Our B-12 Gold product provides synthetic B12 in its biologically active forms—methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin. These bioactive forms of B12 are produced through microbial fermentation of multiple species of propionibacterium. The bacteria used in the process are verified non-GMO by the Non-GMO Project and verified vegan by Vegan Action.
What are methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin?
Methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are biologically active forms of vitamin B-12 in the human body. Our products feature both bioactive forms for broad-spectrum benefits. Overall, methylcobalamin supports cardiovascular function, neurological health, and emotional wellness. Adenosylcobalamin is found in cellular tissues where it is stored in the mitochondria and supports cellular energy production.
What is the purpose of the "organic food blend" in Vitamin B12 Gold?
At Nutrigold, we are mindful of the fact that every ingredient in a product, regardless of whether it is an active ingredient that provides a health benefit or an additive that ensures finished product integrity, can and will likely have some impact on consumers’ health. This is why we are philosophically opposed to the use of synthetic, semi-synthetic, or commodity additives like magnesium stearate and silicon dioxide commonly found in most commercially-available supplements. We choose instead to use organic, plant-based, pantry-friendly functional additives that not only have a history of safe use, but may help support the bioavailability and absorption of B12 in the finished product.
How does NutriGold ensure the purity of the ingredients used in its B-12 Gold product?
At NutriGold, we go above and beyond what is recommended or required under current GMPs to independently verify that the raw materials used in our products as well as the finished products themselves meet industry-defining quality and purity standards. Depending on the complexity of the testing involved, including determining what needs to be tested, what methods are fit-for-purpose, and which lab is most qualified to perform the testing, we sometimes have results from as many as 4 or 5 different independent, ISO-certified labs for each product. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions.
What assurance can you provide that the amount of vitamin B12 listed on the label is actually in the product?
All of our products are verified by independent third-party labs to meet identity, purity, and potency label claims. We take these results from third-party labs and summarize them in lot-specific Certificates of Analysis (C of A) that are freely available in the spirit of authentic transparency on the product pages on our website so consumers can make informed purchasing decisions. The C of A provides assurance that the claims made on the label accurately reflect the contents of the product inside the bottle. If interested, more information on our our commitment to independent, third party quality testing can be found at this link - https://nutrigold.com/pages/accountability
Why does B12 Gold provide such a high amount of vitamin B12? Is it safe to take this much?
Healthcare providers often recommend high amounts of supplemental vitamin B12 because only about 1% is passively absorbed in the human body. Customers that are directed to supplement with vitamin B12 are often trying to correct a deficiency and may need more than what would be typically supplied in a daily multivitamin. To date, no upper intake level (UL) has been set by the Food & Nutrition Board for vitamin B12 due to its low level of toxicity and, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, "no toxic or adverse effects have been associated with large intakes of vitamin B12 from food or supplements in healthy people." We recognize that we are all unique individuals with often varied nutritional needs and we encourage all of our customers to consult with a licensed healthcare provider to determine what micronutrients they may or may not be lacking and what amounts are appropriate for their needs.
What is the best time of day to take B12 Gold? Should it be taken with food?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that can generally be taken anytime, even on an empty stomach. However, as a matter of principle and in the interest of your health and safety, we encourage you to consult your healthcare provider prior to supplementation to determine what use, if any, is best for your individual needs.
Should vitamin B12 be taken in a sublingual form for optimal absorption?
There is little evidence that sublingual forms are more bioavailable or better absorbed than the capsule form. In fact, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements, "sublingual and liquid preparations are frequently marketed as having superior bioavailability, although evidence suggests no difference in efficacy between oral and sublingual forms." Considering there is no difference between oral (capsule) and sublingual forms, we offer B12 Gold in capsule form because we are philosophically opposed to the use of any additives that are generally added to sublingual preparations. B12 Gold does, however, include an organic food blend, as a substitute for commodity additives like magnesium stearate or silicon dioxide, which are safe, gentle, and may support the absorption and utilization of B12.
What is a pullulan capsule? What is it made of?
Pullulan is a vegetable-derived, water-soluble polysaccharide produced through a natural fermentation process. Pullulan capsules are considered more natural than HPMC (cellulose) capsules because they are naturally derived from fermented tapioca. Unlike cellulose capsules, which are considered semi-synthetic and not permitted in certified organic products, pullulan is included in the USDA’s National Organic Program list of accepted ingredients for organic products.
Can I break apart the capsule and add the contents to liquid/food to consume?
All of our products are formulated to be taken as capsules and our purity and potency claims are based on the product being taken as recommended. We generally do not recommend breaking apart the capsules because it can introduce contaminants or otherwise compromise product potency and effectiveness.
Is B-12 Gold suitable for children (under 18 years of age)?
B-12 Gold is formulated for individuals over 18 years. Because children are considered a vulnerable population, we regret we cannot make any recommendations regarding the use of our products by or for children under the age of 18. We ask that you talk to your pediatrician or family practitioner about whether or not B-12 Gold is suitable and safe for your child’s particular healthcare needs prior to supplementation.