Evidence-Based Nutrient Recommendations

Personal Experiment Using a Multivitamin for B12

Deva multivitamin

By Jack Norris, RD, LD

I’ve concluded a personal experiment using a daily multivitamin that I conducted after writing the article, Are Multivitamins an Adequate Source of B12 for Vegans?

In the article, I present evidence that a daily multivitamin containing 5 µg of B12 should be enough for adults (who aren’t pregnant, breastfeeding, or have a malabsorption disorder). I couldn’t find a multivitamin with 5 µg of B12, so I used a Deva multivitamin with 6 µg instead.

Here’s the timeline:

  • October 7-20, 2021: No B12 intake.
  • October 20, 2021 blood tests:
    • serum B12: 281 pmol/l
    • serum methylmalonic acid: 148 nmol/l
    • serum homocysteine: 10.4 µmol/l
  • October 20 (after blood draw): Began daily intake of Deva multivitamin containing 6 µg of B12 and 60 mg of vitamin C, with no other source of B12.
  • January 26, 2022 blood tests:
    • serum B12: 307 pmol/l
    • serum methylmalonic acid: 112 nmol/l
  • February 10, 2022 blood test:
    • serum homocysteine: 10.3 µmol/l

These results, especially the reduction in methylmalonic acid to a low level, indicate that a daily multivitamin with 6 µg of B12 was enough to maintain a healthy B12 status.

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  • If you have a question about whether it's okay to cut supplements in half or combine supplements to achieve the dose we recommend, the answer is “Yes.” Be aware that nutrient recommendations are only estimates—it's not necessary to consume the exact amount we recommend every single day.
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  • We cannot provide personal nutrition advice for specific health conditions. If you need private counseling, here's a list of plant-based dietitians and we especially recommend VeganHealth contributor Taylor Wolfram, MS, RDN, LDN.
  • We urge you to consult with a qualified health professional for answers to your personal questions.

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