Vitamin B-12 is a water-soluble vitamin that is critical for red blood cell formation, brain health, growth and development, as well as the metabolism of fat and protein. Supplemental B-12 may be taken sublingually, which means it is placed under the tongue and absorbed by the blood vessels as it dissolves. A 2003 study published in the "British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology" found that B-12 is equally well absorbed sublingually as it is in the digestive tract. If you have difficulty swallowing pills or have digestive issues, sublingual B-12 may be more appropriate for you.
Identify whether you are in a risk group for B-12 deficiency. Those at risk include adults over 50; those with pernicious anemia; those with gastrointestinal disorders; those on calorie-restricted diets; competitive athletes; and vegetarians, particularly women who are pregnant or nursing, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. If you are not at risk for deficiency, it may not be necessary to take a B-12 supplement.
Place the B-12 lozenge underneath your tongue and allow it to dissolve. You may swallow normally.
Avoid eating or drinking while the sublingual lozenge is dissolving. However, because B-12 is absorbed equally well in the digestive tract, this is less of a concern than with other sublingual medications.
Keep the lozenge placed underneath the tongue. You may adjust the position if you experience discomfort.
Continue to abstain from eating or drinking for several minutes after the lozenge dissolves to allow the B-12 to get absorbed completely.
- Consult your doctor before taking any dietary supplement if you are currently under medical care. B-12 supplements may interact with certain medications including, but not limited to, certain antibiotics, proton pump inhibitors, H2-specific antihistamines and metformin.
Chris Daniels covers advances in nutrition and fitness online. Daniels has numerous certifications and degrees covering human health, nutritional requirements and sports performance. An avid cyclist, weightlifter and swimmer, Daniels has experienced the journey of fitness in the role of both an athlete and coach.