Vitamins are essential micronutrients that play a vital role in maintaining optimal health and well-being. Among the plethora of vitamins, B6 and B12 stand out for their significant impact on various aspects of our physical and mental health.
Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, is crucial for brain development and function, while vitamin B12, or cobalamin, is necessary for the production of healthy red blood cells and the maintenance of a healthy nervous system. Don’t confuse Vitamin b6 with pantothenic acid, which is B5. That’s typically included in b-complex vitamin supplements.
Unfortunately, many individuals, particularly those following a vegan diet, older adults, or people with certain medical conditions, may find it challenging to obtain enough b vitamins in sufficient amounts.
This is where vitamin b supplements come into play, offering a convenient and effective solution to bridge getting enough vitamin b and ensure overall wellness.
In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the importance of vitamins B6 and B12, explore their various forms and functions, and help you navigate the supplement market to find the best options to suit your individual needs.
We’ll also discuss key factors to consider when choosing B6 and B12 supplements, examine some of the top products on the market, and provide tips on how to optimize your supplement intake for maximum benefit. So, let’s embark on a journey towards better health and well-being by unveiling the best B6 and B12 supplements available today.
What Are B Vitamins And How Can They Help
B vitamins are a group of water-soluble vitamins that play important roles in various bodily functions. They help convert food into energy, maintain healthy skin and hair, and support the nervous system.
Vitamin B-12 and other B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions.
Vitamin B6, in particular, is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood. A diet that includes vitamin B complex helps boost mental health. Additionally, B vitamins can help tackle stress by acting as natural mood boosters
Understanding Vitamin B6 and B12
Pyridoxine, Pyridoxal, and Pyridoxamine
Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble vitamin that encompasses three different forms: pyridoxine, pyridoxal, and pyridoxamine.
These three forms are collectively referred to as vitamers and are chemically distinct, yet they all contribute to the vitamin’s overall biological activity.
The body converts these vitamers into an active form called pyridoxal 5′-phosphate (PLP), which serves as a coenzyme in various metabolic reactions.
Benefits of B6
- Vitamin B6 is essential for a myriad of bodily functions, including:
- Protein, fat, and carbohydrate metabolism
- Production of neurotransmitters, which regulate mood and cognitive function
- Formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying component of red blood cells
- Immune function support
- Hormone regulation, particularly those related to stress response
- Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, is another water-soluble vitamin that exists in several forms, including cyanocobalamin, methylcobalamin, hydroxocobalamin, and adenosylcobalamin. The most common form found in supplements is cyanocobalamin, which the body converts into the active forms, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin.
Benefits of B12
- Vitamin B12 is crucial for various physiological processes, such as:
- DNA synthesis and cell division
- Formation and maintenance of a healthy nervous system
- Production of red blood cells and prevention of anemia
- Energy production through the metabolism of fats and proteins
- Regulation of homocysteine levels, which is important for cardiovascular health
Symptoms Of B Vitamin Deficiencies
Vitamin B deficiencies can cause a range of symptoms. Vitamin B12 or folate deficiency anaemia can cause tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, and more severe neurological symptoms.
Symptoms of vitamin B deficiency may also include fatigue, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss, numbness and tingling in the hands and feet, heart palpitations and shortness of breath, pale skin or yellowish skin.
Vitamin B12 and other B vitamins play a role in producing brain chemicals that affect mood and other brain functions.
Low vitamin b levels like b12 and b6 (folate) may be linked to depression.
Vitamin B12 levels have been reported to be correlated with melancholic depressive symptoms more than non-melancholic. Vitamin B6, in particular, is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters involved in the regulation of mood.
Low vitamin B12 levels are associated with melancholic depression, which is defined by more severity, worse outcomes, and more physical symptoms.
Vitamin B12 deficiency could lead to an oxygen-deprived brain that can cause mood swings and other mental health issues.
What To Look For When Buying B6 And B12 Supplements
Do not buy your b-complex vitamins from amazon.
A study found that more than half of the immune-boosting supplements purchased on Amazon did not accurately reflect their contents on the facts label.
This means that the supplements may not serve the purpose for which they were bought, and could even be harmful.
Additionally, Amazon is not regulated by the FDA for supplement sales, so there is no guarantee of quality control or safety.
Supplements sold on Amazon may also be counterfeit, expired, or stolen from legitimate businesses or doctor’s offices.
It is recommended to look for supplements that are third-party tested or have a Good Manufacturing Practices certification when choosing supplements.
In summary, it is best to avoid buying supplements from Amazon due to concerns about accuracy, safety, and quality control.
I suggest that choose quality supplements from Fullscript, cymbiotika, or even Iherb.
You can get 15% of Fullscript which is Canada’s largest supplement company that only uses quality brands.
You don’t need to vet the quality of the brands as they already have. You can buy any daily supplements there like vitamin c, fatty acids, or a vitamin-b complex.
A. Quality and purity
When selecting a B6 or B12 supplement, it is crucial to prioritize products that adhere to strict quality and purity standards. Look for b vitamin supplements that have undergone third-party testing and are manufactured in facilities that follow Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP).
B. Form of the vitamins
B6 and B12 supplements are available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, liquids, and sublingual lozenges. Research the bioavailability of each form and consider your preferences and convenience when selecting a supplement. For B12, methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin are the biologically active forms, so choosing a supplement containing one or both of these may offer better absorption and utilization.
C. Dosage and bioavailability
Pay attention to the dosage of the active ingredients in the supplement and ensure they align with your individual needs and the recommended dietary allowances. Additionally, consider the supplement’s bioavailability, which refers to the proportion of the vitamin that is absorbed and utilized by the body.
D. Additional ingredients and allergens
Some b-complex supplements may contain additional vitamins, minerals, or herbal extracts that could offer synergistic benefits. However, be cautious of any potential allergens, artificial additives, or unnecessary fillers. Opt for hypoallergenic and clean-label dietary supplements when possible.
E. Price and value for money
Compare the price per serving and the number of servings per container to determine the overall value for money. While it’s essential not to compromise on quality, finding a supplement that offers a balance between cost and efficacy is ideal.
F. Certification from trusted organizations
Look for supplements that have received certifications or seals of approval from reputable organizations such as the United States Pharmacopeia (USP), NSF International, or ConsumerLab. These certifications indicate that the
product has undergone rigorous testing for quality, purity, and potency, providing an added layer of assurance for consumers.
G. Target audience and specific needs
Some B6 and B12 supplements are tailored to specific groups, such as pregnant women, older adults, or athletes. Consider your unique requirements and choose a supplement that caters to your specific needs.
H. Vegan and vegetarian-friendly options
For those following plant-based diets, ensure that the B12 supplement is sourced from non-animal sources, as natural B12 is typically found in animal products.
Vegan-friendly B12 supplements are often derived from bacterial fermentation. Additionally, verify that the supplement’s capsule or other ingredients are plant-based and free from animal-derived components.
I. Sustainability and ethical considerations
Choose a supplement brand that prioritizes sustainability and ethical practices, such as sourcing their ingredients responsibly, using eco-friendly packaging, and engaging in fair labour practices.
By considering these key factors, you can make a more informed decision when selecting the best B6 and B12 supplements to support your overall health and well-being.
Remember, consulting with a healthcare professional before starting any supplementation is always recommended to ensure safety and proper dosages.
How To Optimize The Intake of B6 And B12 Supplements
The ideal time to take B6 and B12 supplements can vary based on individual preferences and lifestyles.
However, since both vitamins are involved in energy metabolism, many people find it beneficial to take them in the morning or early afternoon to support energy levels throughout the day.
Taking these supplements with or after a meal can also help improve absorption.
Combining with other vitamins or minerals
Certain vitamins and minerals work synergistically, enhancing each other’s absorption and effectiveness. For instance, vitamin B12 absorption is improved by the presence of intrinsic factor, a protein produced in the stomach. Additionally, combining B12 with other B vitamins, such as B6 and folic acid, can help regulate homocysteine levels, promoting cardiovascular health.
However, it’s essential to consult with a healthcare professional before combining supplements to avoid potential interactions and imbalances.
Potential side effects and precautions
B6 and B12 supplements are generally considered safe for most individuals when taken in appropriate doses. However, excessive intake of vitamin B6 can lead to nerve damage, while excessive B12 consumption may cause mild side effects like headaches, dizziness, or gastrointestinal symptoms.
Always follow the recommended dosages on the supplement label or as directed by a healthcare professional. Be cautious if you have a history of allergies, as some supplements may contain allergens or additional ingredients that could trigger a reaction.
Monitoring your progress and adjusting intake as needed
Regularly assess your energy levels, cognitive function, and overall well-being while taking B6 and B12 supplements. If you notice improvements, it may indicate that the supplements are working effectively. However, if you don’t see any changes or experience adverse effects, consult with your healthcare provider to discuss adjusting the dosage or exploring alternative options.
Periodic blood tests and consultation with healthcare professionals
Regular blood tests can help monitor your vitamin B6 and B12 levels, ensuring that you are maintaining optimal levels without exceeding safe limits.
Consult with a healthcare professional to interpret your test results and make any necessary adjustments to your supplementation regimen.
Is It Good To Take B12 and B6 Together?
Yes, taking B12 and B6 together can be beneficial, as both vitamins belong to the B complex family and work together to support various physiological processes.
These vitamins often complement each other and can provide synergistic benefits when taken together.
Some of the advantages of taking B12 and B6 together include:
- Enhanced energy production: Both B6 and B12 play a crucial role in the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, which are the primary sources of energy for the body. By taking them together, you can support optimal energy production and maintain consistent energy levels throughout the day.
- Improved cardiovascular health: B6, B12, and folic acid work together to regulate homocysteine levels in the body. High homocysteine levels are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases. By taking these vitamins together, you can promote better cardiovascular health.
- Support for cognitive function and mental health: B6 is involved in the production of neurotransmitters, which are essential for mood regulation and cognitive function, while B12 plays a role in maintaining a healthy nervous system. Combining these vitamins may contribute to improved brain health and mental well-being.
- Synergistic effects on overall health: Both vitamins contribute to immune system support, red blood cell formation, and hormone regulation. Taking them together may offer a more comprehensive approach to maintaining overall health.
How Much B6 and B12 Should I Take Daily?
Recommended dietary allowances
The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for vitamins B6 and B12 vary depending on factors like age, sex, and life stage. The following are general guidelines for adults:
Men (19-50 years): 1.3 mg/day
Men (51+ years): 1.7 mg/day
Women (19-50 years): 1.3 mg/day
Women (51+ years): 1.5 mg/day
Pregnant women: 1.9 mg/day
Lactating women: 2.0 mg/day
Adults (19+ years): 2.4 mcg/day
Pregnant women: 2.6 mcg/day
Lactating women: 2.8 mcg/day
When Should I Take B6 and B12?
There is no specific time of day that is recommended for taking B6 and B12 supplements. However, because of their energy-boosting abilities, it may be best to take them after waking up. It is important to follow the instructions on the supplement label or as directed by a healthcare professional. Folic Acid-Vitamin B6-Vit B12 Tablet can be taken once daily with or without food
The Best b6 And B12 Supplements
Cymbiotika Liposomal Vitamin B12 + B6 Supplement is our top pick for the best b6 and b12 supplements because it contains an organic blend of methylcobalamin, adenosylcobalamin, and hydroxocobalamin chloride, which are the three most bioactive forms of vitamin B12.
This means you’ll be able to actually use the b12 supplement vs the cheap kinds that use cyanocobalamin, which isn’t good for you.
Cymbiotika used as a daily supplement may help boost energy, improve mood, and support heart health.
The CYMBIOTIKA Synergy Vitamin B12 1250 mcg Liquid Supplement is another option that may help with energy-boosting, mood support, and cell production while strengthening hair, skin, and nails.
Due to the synergistic effect of these vitamins, Cymbiotika’s Vitamin B12+B6 supplement is enriched with vitamin B6, folic acid, and fulvic acid.
- Pure Encapsulations B-Complex Plus: This comprehensive b complex vitamins supplement includes both B6 (as pyridoxal 5′-phosphate) and B12 (as methylcobalamin), as well as other B vitamins. It is hypoallergenic, non-GMO, and free of artificial additives and common allergens.
- Garden of Life Vitamin Code Raw B-Complex: This whole-food-based B-complex supplement provides B6 (as pyridoxine) and B12 (as methylcobalamin), along with other B vitamins, probiotics, and enzymes. It is vegan, gluten-free, and made from raw, organic fruits and vegetables.
- Thorne Research Basic B Complex: This high-quality B-complex supplement offers B6 (as pyridoxal 5′-phosphate) and B12 (as methylcobalamin and adenosylcobalamin) in their active forms, ensuring optimal absorption. It is free of common allergens and artificial additives.
- Jarrow Formulas Methyl B-12: This B12 supplement contains methylcobalamin, which is the active form of B12, ensuring better absorption and bioavailability. It comes in a convenient, cherry-flavored lozenge for sublingual administration.
- NOW Foods P-5-P: This B6 supplement contains pyridoxal 5′-phosphate, the biologically active form of vitamin B6, along with magnesium to enhance its effectiveness. It is free of gluten, soy, and other common allergens.