Ask the Expert: How Do I Choose a Safe B12 Supplement?

Removing meat from your diet can improve your health but you must replenish what you eliminate. Vegetarians can takes a B12 supplement to support health.
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Removing meat from your diet can improve your health but you must replenish what you eliminate. Vegetarians can takes a B12 supplement to support health.
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I’m a vegetarian, and my doctor told me I should take a vitamin B12 supplement. How do I choose a brand I can trust?

All supplements in the United States should be produced in accordance with the FDA’s Good Manufacturing Practices, rules designed to ensure that what’s on the label matches what’s in the bottle. But some supplements are still routinely found to have discrepancies. Plus, there are no federal requirements that dietary supplements be tested for efficacy or safety at the manufacturing level prior to market release.

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To find a trustworthy B12 product, look for USP Verified or NSF Certified seals on supplement bottles, which indicate that the supplement manufacturer voluntarily hired a third-party testing organization to verify manufacturing processes and ingredients. For a fee, you can check brands at consumerlab.com, an independent organization that tests, reviews, and rates nutritional-supplement products.

--Catherine Price
Author of Vitamania, Philadelphia

See also Why You Should Try A Vegetarian Or Vegan Diet