Update 7/29/20. Have you seen the infomercial for TriVita Sublingual vitamin B-12? TriVita is the name of a company that makes several dietary supplements. The infomercial I saw was on slow dissolve sublingual B-12, so I want to review this product here. Does it realy work and does it have any side effects? Sublingual means you put the supplement under the tongue where it dissolves and enters the blood through glands under the tone. This bypasses the stomach for quick absorption.
TriVita B12 is actually composed of 3 main vitamins:
- vitamin B12 (of course)
- vitamin B 6
- Folic acid (another B vitamin)
Since these are all vita-mins and there are 3 of them, now you know where they got the name Tri-Vita.
It turns out that there are two types of TriVita sublingual B12.
The difference is that the “super” version also has a little ginseng, coconut, and alpha-ketoglutarate. I will review these in a separate post because they warrant special attention.
Another supplement made by TriVita is Nopalea cactus juice. See that review too.
Vitamin B12 Benefits
Vitamin B12 is unique because it's mostly found in meats, poultry, and fish.
All of the B vitamins help us make energy from food. Vitamin B 12, in particular, has gotten a reputation as an “energy vitamin” because it's needed to make red blood cells. Red blood cells (RBCs) carry oxygen through the blood. So, if you were deficient in B12, you would have problems making red blood cells. This causes anemia. One of the signs of anemia is being tired. Hence, its reputation to help energy levels.
Have you noticed how much vitamin B12 is in energy drinks? People think if they have more B 12 that they will have more energy. That's not necessarily true. For more info on energy drinks read the 5-hour energy review. as well as 6 Hour Power and see how much vitamin B 12 those drinks have!
Vitamin B12 supplements are probably a good idea in older adults and vegetarians and those who take some medications like metformin. Older adults sometimes lose the ability to absorb vitamin B 12. Vegetarians, because they don't eat foods that contain vitamin B12, don't get a lot of it in their diet.
TriVita Sublingual B12 contains 1000 micrograms (mcg) of B12. This is 16,667% of the RDA. Some research on vitamin B12 and older adults find that only about 100 mcg can help.
We Store Vitamin B 12
Remember that even though vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin, we store massive amounts in our bodies. It can take a few years before healthy people run out of vitamin B12. Those at risk of deficiency though include
- older adults
- diabetics who take metformin
Folic Acid Benefits
Folic acid is found in fruits and vegetables, so vegetarians are probably getting enough already. Folic acid is also needed to make red blood cells. So, those who don't take a multivitamin or eat fruits and vegetables may not be getting enough.
Some people do not know that folic acid is the synthetic form of the B vitamin. The natural form – found in fruits and vegetables – is called folate.
Supplements contain folic acid (and not folate) because we absorb it better. People need to know that high levels of folic acid supplements (but not folate) may have some bad side effects. See Folic Acid 3 Facts You Don't Know.
Vitamin B6 Benefits
TriVita Sublingual B12 has 5 mg of vitamin B6. That's 250% of the RDA. I think that is a lot considering this vitamin is found in many foods people commonly eat.
Vitamin B 6, B 12 and folic acid may reduce blindness. Vitamin B6 might also help PMS symptoms but the amount used is often more than what is in TriVita. That's not necessarily a bad thing because very amounts of B6 might make PMS worse.
B6, B12 and folic acid are also sometimes marketed for heart health. All of these vitamins reduce homocysteine, a compound the makes blood sticky. High homocysteine in the blood may increase heart attack risk. However several studies have found lowering homocysteine does not lower heart attack risk.
TriVita B12 also contains biotin but it's not mentioned specifically in the TV commercial. When people hear about biotin, they often think about thinning hair. Biotin is added to many shampoos for this reason. Biotin deficiency may be linked to thinning hair as well as diabetes – two issues that crop up as we grow older. So adding biotin to TriVita does, in theory, makes some sense.
Any Side Effects
Generally, B12 supplements are pretty safe for most people. Here are some things to consider when trying this supplement.
- Start with less than recommended for the first week
- Take vitamin C and B12 supplements separately. Vitamin C might destroy B12
- Pregnant/breastfeeding, ask your doctor
- If your having surgery, tell your doctor about all the supplements you take
- If you take any medications, ask your doctor first
Is It Better?
Is TriVita sublingual B12 better than other sublingual B12 supplements? TriVita B12 costs about $20-$25 depending on where you get it. But why?
Vitamin B12 is a pretty inexpensive vitamin. Just look at how much B12 is in energy drinks, which cost about $2 a can. There are also several sublingual B12 supplements that cost less. TriVita B12 may be a more quality supplement but I don't see any good proof its superior to other sublingual supplements.
What do you think?