The best time to take vitamin B12 supplements is in the morning, preferably with a meal. Especially, if you have a sensitive stomach. Even high doses of 1,000 mcg are pretty safe. On the contrary, avoid taking vitamin B12 supplements at night, as they might affect sleep quality.
What’s the recommended daily intake?
We need at least 2.4 mcg of vitamin B12 a day. But, only foods from animal sources, like fish, milk and dairy, are good dietary sources of vitamin B12. Therefore, vegans, vegetarians, or people who follow a plant-based diet have a high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency. Also, infants, young children, pregnant and lactating women, and the elderly are groups at high risk of vitamin B12 deficiency.
There are only a few vegan foods containing vitamin B12. For instance, nutritional yeast, tempeh, chlorella, or fortified foods may contain vitamin B12. But, vegans should definitely consider taking vitamin B12 supplements. It’s a cheap and safe solution to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.
What’s the safest upper dose?
Actually, there isn’t a safe upper dose. Even high doses of vitamin B12 have low potential for toxicity. Vitamin B12 is generally considered to be safe. We can safely take high doses of 1,000 mcg. The human body doesn’t store excess amounts. It excretes excess vitamin B12 through urine.
On the other hand, vitamin B12 may interact with certain medications. Therefore, people on medication should consult their physician before taking supplements.
We absorb only a small percentage of vitamin B12 from supplements
The recommended daily intake of vitamin B12 is only 2.4 mcg for adults, assuming approximately 50% bioavailability from food. But, we absorb less vitamin B12 when we take vitamin B12 supplements.
We absorb only 2% at doses of 500 mcg and only 1.3% at doses of 1,000 mcg! That’s the reason why manufacturers of supplements produce pills with extreme doses of vitamin B12 (up to 5,000 mcg). For instance, we’re going to absorb only 13 mcg of vitamin B12 from a 1,000 mcg tablet.
Therefore, we’ll absorb more vitamin B12 from supplements, if we split a high dose in smaller doses. On the other hand, taking a vitamin B12 tablet in the morning is the easiest way to increase your vitamin B12 levels. You’ll absorb only a small percentage, but it isn’t a problem. It still can help you prevent vitamin B12 deficiency.
What’s the best time of the day to take vitamin B12 supplements?
The best time to take vitamin B12 supplements is in the morning, preferably with a meal, as vitamin B12 seems to boost metabolism, increase energy levels and alertness! So, vitamin B12 supplements in the morning may help you lose weight. On the contrary, avoid taking vitamin B12 supplements at night, as it may affect sleep quality.[3,4]
Should I take vitamin B12 with food or on an empty stomach?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin. It means that it’s absorbed best on an empty stomach. Practically, you can take a vitamin B12 tablet first thing in the morning. There is no need to take it with breakfast.
On the other hand, taking vitamins on an empty stomach may upset your stomach. If you have a sensitive stomach, you should take vitamin B12 supplements with a meal. In this case, the best time to take vitamin B12 supplement is at breakfast.
How often should I take a 1,000 mcg dose?
The human body stores about 1 to 5 mg of vitamin B12. This is about 2,000 times as much as the amount typically consumed in a day. So, we should be careful about preventing vitamin B12 deficiency. The symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency can take several years to appear.
As a rule of thumb, a weekly dose of 1,000-2,000 mcg is enough for most healthy people.
Certainly, you should test your blood levels and consult your physician for the optimum weekly or daily vitamin B12 dose. In extreme deficiencies or in some diseases, people may benefit from having vitamin B12 shots. Vitamin B12 injections are absorbed best, compared to oral supplements.