Vitamin B complex has always been one of the best-selling products in global dietary supplements market. Which vitamin B complex has the best effect? Do you know what are the differences between different types? How to choose? Let our nutritionist tell you how to distinguish them.
1. The vitamin B complex emphasizes on the active form. This type of B vitamins has the best efficacy in clinical trials, and it is also the most commonly used ingredient in European and American dietary supplement brands. The active B vitamin ingredients include active B12 (methylcobalamin), active folate (methyltetrahydrofolate glucosamine salt), and vitamin B6 in the form of P5P. The active form of B vitamins have been proven to have excellent absorption rate. For example, the bioavailability of active folate is 10 times better than common folic acid in the market; meanwhile, the power of active vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin) is 3 times more efficient than vitamin B12 (cyanocobalamin). Due to the higher price, these active ingredients are rarely used by the popular brands in the market, or may be added in lesser content level to lower the cost. However, the active form of B vitamins are the most effective ingredient that has been scientifically and clinically verified.
Another key point of the active B vitamins (including the essential nutrient for humans – folic acid and vitamin B12) is its most special ability – provide methyl groups. The methyl groups have a decisive effect on the human body whereas other B vitamins don't have. Whether it is synthetic or natural, regardless of the absorption rate, the inactive vitamin Bs cannot provide methyl groups. As a result, they cannot regulate physiological functions. In fact, the effect that the active B vitamins can bring to the human body has greatly surpassed ordinary people's cognition that vitamin B complex only help boost energy levels.
Active vitamin B complex supplement usually contains only one active ingredient, so the manufacturing of the formulation rely on the research and development capabilities of the brand. Many of the active vitamin B complex supplements are made by microbial fermentation, by doing so, the content is purer and the concentration is higher. It can be lower doses but have better results.
2. The vitamin B complex emphasizes on extracting from natural foods, such as yeast B-complex, buckwheat B-complex, or extracted from other food sources. This type of vitamin B group comes from natural food usually has lower concentration. As a result, you may have to take more capsules per day. Moreover, due to its low concentration, the odor/taste could be lighter. However, sourced from natural food is not equal to the active form! The effectiveness of vitamin B group is mainly determined by whether the form is active or not, even if it is derived from nature, its active content is low. The absorption rate of vitamin B complex extracted from natural foods is usually better than artificial chemical synthesis B complex, but it is still not as effective as the active type.
Even though the concentration is low and the form is inactive, why do a bunch of supplements choose this natural yeast type of vitamin B complex? First of all, they are in it for the sake of the low price. Secondly, it’s less troublesome. Because the B group ingredients and content contained in the yeast B group are fixed and composed, the manufacturer only needs to purchase one raw material for processing and manufacturing whereas for the general B vitamins, you need to purchase a variety of different raw materials. In addition, because of the different content level, the raw materials purchased each time may not be used up at the same time. From the standpoint of the manufacturers, all of these increase the costs. Therefore, yeast or natural type of vitamin B complex supplements have become popular in recent years.
3. The inexpensive chemical synthesis type of vitamin B complex. This type is commonly found on the supplement market. Synthetic vitamins are not ineffective, but their component forms are not active forms, so the absorption rate is not as good. Besides, the quality of the raw materials varies greatly. Sometimes the synthesized type may have a very heavy odor/taste, so many manufacturers may use tablet form to avoid the unpleasant odor and prevent from moisture. In fact, the chemically synthesized type of B vitamins is the favorite raw material type for many manufacturers, because of its high stability, resistance to discoloration, and longer expiration time, which can extend sales and reduce overall costs.
Next time when you want to buy vitamin B complex products, don't choose by price. Remember to go through the details on supplement label, so that you can choose wisely, and get the most benefit.