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Apr 20, 2012 07:15 AM

Vegetarian and B12

If one looks at the body's need for B12, it is hard to find a lot of vegetables that will supply the requirement/need.

I understand that the body stores B12, so that's a help.

But for me, finding a B12 vitamin that I know is made of plant, vs. animal. And many capsules are made from animal vs plant.

Wondering if anyone is stuck on figuring out this dilemma?

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  1. Check out Klare Labs B Complex Plus. You can have your doctor order for you or you can sometimes find it on Amazon.

    1. do you ever use nutritional yeast in your food? 1 TSBP more than covers your daily requirement...and then you won't need to worry about supplements.

      3 Replies
      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        This is what I use (the Bragg's brand). I'm not overly fond of the taste (many do like it, though), but in small doses it's okay, and it easily takes a backseat to stronger flavors. I like it best on salads, roasted vegetables, pasta, and potatoes. It runs $5.99 at a local health food place here (JD MIlls), for 4.5 oz.

        1. re: onceadaylily

          oof, that's *really* pricey! particularly when Whole Foods sells it in bulk for $7 or $8 per POUND. i like the KAL brand - i get the 22-oz cans for $13.99 at Vitamin Shoppe.

          1. re: goodhealthgourmet

            Thanks for the heads up, GHG. I never shopped around for the stuff. I rarely venture into WF, but I'll check out their bulk bins.

      2. Vita cost sells a vegan certified liquid B-12

        2 Replies
        1. re: maxie

          Thanks. I'm looking at this.

          Others, thanks re the yeast suggestion - it gives me hives, sad to say; however, I am not fond of the taste, so no matter.

          1. re: Rella

            darnit! it's usually safe for people who react to other yeasts. but i guess it doesn't much matter if you don't like the way it tastes :)

        2. I'm not a vegetarian, but I also care about B-12. There's some evidence that the best-absorbed kind is methylcobalamin, usually taken as a sublingual lozenge or tablet. Sublinguals don't come in a capsule.

          You can try searching some of the popular vitamin-store web sites for B-12 and then narrowing down your search. Three sites that I find reliable are,, and After an initial search on Vitacost or Swanson for B12 (or B12 sublingual, or methylcobalamin), you'll see a panel on the left side of the screen with options for manufacturer, form, dosage, and special needs--including vegetarian. When you click the link for a specific product, you'll see a complete list of all of its ingredients, in case there's anything else you need to avoid.

          9 Replies
          1. re: meatme

            Thanks. Yes, I use from VitaminShoppe their sublingual B-12 which is made from methylcobalamin.


            says that "... methylcobalamin. This is the form that exists in nature."

            I am such a sceptic that I always ask the next question "... in nature; as in "a plant?".
            But I suppose that is about the best I can hope for.

            1. re: Rella

              no such thing as B12 synthesized by plants. the only non-animal (or human) source is yeast, and in that case it's a result of bacterial synthesis.

              so when they say it's the form "that exists in nature," they mean as it exists in animal products. *however,* vegan methylcobalamin is obviously not derived from animals. it's a synthetically produced supplement that's identical in structure to the methylcobalamin present in animal tissue.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                Are you saying that the methylcobalamin (in a B-12 tablet) is never from animals, but it is always synthetic B-12?

                Just clarifying. (You are sooo smart!)

                1. re: Rella

                  no, i'm saying that methylcobalamin products that are labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan" are synthetic and not from animals.

                  and don't be all that impressed - it's part of my job to know these things ;)

                  1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                    Thanks. I'll be impressed if I want to... :-))

                    OK, let me ask now:
                    What are B-12 methylcobalamin products that are NOT labeled "vegetarian" or "vegan" made from?

                    Hiding my eyes for fear of the answer....

                    1. re: Rella

                      don't stress - all B12 supplements are produced from microbes, so it's not like they're extracting the vitamin from animal intestines. but unless labeled as acceptable for vegetarians, it's possible that the culture or medium used to synthesize the B12 contains animal derived-products...and of course some manufacturers use additives like animal gelatin in their capsules.

                      ok, you can uncover your eyes now ;)

                      and than you for your kind words. i should have been more gracious - i've never been good at accepting compliments!

                      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                        Thanks again. Soooo:
                        As long as I look for a B-12 product that is labeled for vegans for vegetarians, I am 'good to go'?
                        Just looked at my purchase of B-12 last week which indicates 'methylcobalamin,' but nowhere does it say either of these two words, "vegan" or "vegetarian."

                        Will have to go back on their site and see if it mentions it there.
                        No, it doesn't.

                        1. re: Rella

                          which brand? AFAIK, Vitamin Shoppe doesn't offer their own label of sublingual B12.

                          scratch that. i forgot they market theirs as "lozenges."

              2. re: Rella

                I recently returned my Vitamin Shoppe sublingual methylcobalamin. It took forever to dissolve under my tongue. I mean a very very long time. I contacted them about it, and was told there were a lot of complaints. I picked up another brand at Whole Foods, but it's chewable. In any case, I would prefer methylcobalamin over cyancobalamin....especially after seeing how effective it was reversihng my diabetic cat's neuropathy...the cyan B12 shots the vet gave me for her did nothing for her neuropathy.. I still purchase it from Life Links in Ca. I also think it would be most effective on humans.

            2. I have the B complex vitamin from Sundown Naturals and it is specifically labeled as a vegetarian formula. The coating is vegetable cellulose, not gelatin, and it doesn't contain yeast.