B12 & B Complex confusion


I am a member of both the PA group & Thyroid UK (I have Hashimotos)

3 months ago my B12 was 295 (211-911).

Following advice from members from both groups I was advised to supplement with 5000mcg B12 for a few months alongside a B Complex, then reduce to 1000mcg as a maintenance dose for the rest of my life, again with a B Complex supplement too. The suggested brands of B Complex were Jarrows & Thorn Basic B.

My confusion lies with whether of not the B Complex' suggested are actually too strong, many , if not all of the RDAs are way over 100%. In some conversations, folk have been refered to the NHS page for Vitamin guidance, I have seen suggestions of getting Tesco's own B Complex where RDAs are 100% (which contains B12, but I'm not sure in which form) and I continue to see the ones I was told about recommended.

I just want to improve & maintain my B12 levels and try to ensure that I can protect myself as much as possible against any neurological damage. I'm convinced that my B12 supplementing has helped with my pain, brain fog, tripping on words, etc (although this seems to have returned since I stopped supplementing for the IF test, which came back as 2 (0-24), I assume that is good news.

My B12 was tested again and the result this time was 830 (211-911), although I realise supplementing will have skewed that result. My Ferritin levels had improved to a perfect level following 4 weeks of supplementing, latest Folate result has got lost but was 9.49 (>5.38) 3 months ago so I am hoping my B Complex would have improved that too.

My plan was to reduce to 1000mcg B12 and carry on with a B Complex, but I need to know which B Complex to aim for. Also, if the B Complex also has B12 in, I was hoping for the Methly' version., so any suggestions there would be helpful.

If anyone can 'unconfuse' me, I would be hugely grateful....Thank you.

16 Replies

  • The amounts of B12 in b-complex tend to be pretty irrelevant and there is nothing to say that methyl is really the best form of B12.

    With B12 it isn't the test results that matter its the symptoms - which you say have improved so that is good.

    I'm not an expert but I suspect - given the range that was in your post on IFAb that actually your results have come back negative - which doesn't prove that you don't have PA as it gives false negatives 50% of the time - but doesn't prove that you have PA.

    (The vitamin to really look out for is B6 but as I'm not sure what is in the supplements that you mention posting a link to the EFSA (European Food Standards Agency) recommendations for upper limits on vitamins and supplements. It discusses the known hazards as part of the process of making recommendations


    upper limit recommendations do vary depending on country - in US is 100mg per day, in EU 25mg a day and in UK 12.5mcg

  • Thank you Gambit62 and @Learner1 .... for your detailed replies. In the Thorns Basic B Complex that I have been taking, the B6 is10mg (500%) DV, which in the US and the EU would then not be seen as a possible cause for concern, whereas here in the UK, it would be seen as hugely overdoing it if their reccommendations are 12.5mcg.

    The Folate in the Thorns is L5 Methly' (100%DV), the Tesco version is Folic acid (100% RDA)

    See why I am so confused???😂

    This is where I am at the moment (mentally & physically)

    I feel my thyroid medication has finally kicked in and is at the right dose. I feel that my B12 supps are having a positive impact on my body and mind. I have cut out gluten, I have looked at my diet and nutrition and have made huge efforts to get rid of the rubbish. I am sleeping better, have always had plenty of exercise, fresh air, etc.

    My biggest issue, always has been, is being a worrier, stressing about everything and anything. These 2 forums (PA & TUK) have been a lifeline in my recovery this year ......ABSOLUTELY NO THANKS TO MY GP! My last remaining goal is to de-stress and that's the reason for this post.

    I feel good at the mo' (fingers/toes crossed) and I planned to just slink away and get on with living life, which I haven't done for the last year. I thought I was doing the right thing with my B12 supps, B Complex and Thyroid meds, until replies in other folks posts said diferently from what I had read and been advised myself.

    I understand that we are all different....therein lies the problem I guess.

    So am I still confused? Yes. ☺

  • I saw a neurologist today who is testing me for B6 to see if it may be the cause of my neuropathy. I told him I take just 1.4 mg per day and he said that may be sufficient. I'm stopping the multi-B tablets for a while.

  • Oh blimey!!! Can I ask which brand you were taking?

  • It was just Tesco Mutli-B vitamins. It's extremely unlikely that my problem is too much B6, but I'll stop taking it until we know for sure.

  • I wish you well soon fbirder .

    It would have been nice to have just gone to my GP in the first place and got an honest, straight forward answer and reassurance. My dog is more helpful and caring 😆


  • Any particular reason why friends38 ?

  • Some years ago when I started to be interested in things like vitamins, I saw the B100 complex and (I think naturally) assumed that they were intended to provide about 100% of our B vitamin requirement. When I actually read that they simply had 100 of whatever convenient unit (milligram, microgram, who cares?) without regard to anything else, I was rather shocked.

    Most certainly any that are formulated like that will never pass our letterbox or threshold, let alone our mouths. Companies that produce and sell them undermine any trust they might have garnered. These products are fundamentally flawed and should not be on the market.

    I have seen someone suffer from modest doses even of biotin - which is usually regarded as innocuous.

  • helvella , do you take a B Complex and if so, which one? ☺

  • No, I don't. My interest was on behalf of someone else. But maybe I should... :-)

  • Can you see why I am so confused.

  • I certainly can.

  • I think I will stick with my plan for now and keep all limbs crossed.

  • B12 Oral Spray contains 'Methylcobalamin' which is the best you can take - just put the whole wording in to get a clear explanation. I do not want 'needle jabs ' - have a problem with needles & doctors will only supply these every 3 months!! If you have the bad problems with B12 you will need to take many many doses of this spray to return to some normality - I still have problems with memory , but I am progressing very well. I read up alot on the condition & so I diagnosed myself - knowing the surgery doctors were not familiar with the condition in the surgery I attend - I had worked in a surgery for 5 years before I became a qualified driving instructor.

  • B12 isn't my concern @friends38, as I already take that version in a sublingual version, it's the B Complex that has confused me ☺

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