With so many different types of vitamin B12 supplements to choose from, it is important to understand which substances are absorbed by the body the most. B-12 is a large molecule that depends on various factors in the stomach, such as acidity and the production of internal factors, so the oral form of vitamins is difficult to absorb. Sublingual B-12 tablets are often touted as better absorbed and more effective, but research does not support this claim.
Sublingual supplements (in the form of tablets or drops) should be placed under your tongue and absorbed through the mucous membrane in your mouth. Substances absorbed under the tongue can enter the blood without passing through the gastrointestinal tract. When the B-12 tablet dissolves under your tongue, you should not swallow it or the vitamin will end up in your stomach and beat the target. Sublingual B-12 tablets are usually taken in doses of 500 or 1,000 mg. Your body only needs 2.4 to 2.8 micrograms of B-12 per day, but due to poor absorption, you need to supplement some vitamin B-12.
The main benefit of taking sublingual B-12 is that it can improve absorption – at least more than 2% – and many companies that sell this supplement claim to do so. However, many studies do not support this view. A study published in the 2006 edition of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine concluded that there is no difference in the efficacy of supplements for sublingual and oral B compounds. Similarly, a study published in the 2003 edition of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology concluded that 500 micrograms of B-12 (cobalamin) sublingually or orally is equally effective in correcting B-12 deficiency.
Proponents of sublingual B-12 supplements may claim to be absorbed faster than oral supplements – which seems logical – but more research is needed to determine if it is correct and what factors are involved.
Intrinsic factors and acidity
In order for B-12 to be absorbed in the gut, intrinsic factors must be secreted by parietal cells in the stomach wall. The release of internal factors depends on the production of high acidity and hydrochloric acid. People with insufficient hydrochloric acid or internal factors can most benefit from sublingual B-12 supplements because they may not be able to absorb B-12 through the gastrointestinal tract.
Another potential benefit of taking sublingual B-12 is affordability. The cost of sublingual B-12 supplements is not significantly different from oral supplements or intranasal sprays, but compared to B-12 injections and intravenous B-12, the latter is much cheaper and the latter must be medical Professional management.