Guest Product Review: The B-12 Patch  »

The first time I met my friends and former flatmates Jonathan and Ivory (of Vegan Myths Debunked fame) was over dimly-lit libations at SF Vegan Drinks. Jonathan and Ivory were both so good-looking and well-dressed, it was incredible! To break the ice, I asked the lovely pair how they got their B-12 [Ed note: haha best vegan pickup line]. This instigated a larger discussion among drinks-goers about whether they preferred to take the sublingual, the shot, liquid B-12, nutritional yeast, foods specially fortified with B-12, or the B-12 patch. Everybody does something different, but most people complained they forget to take it regularly. While unsurprising, that’s kind of disappointing from a vegan public health standpoint! 

It was great to have this B-12 discussion, not only because vegans tend to be overly shy about how and to what degree we supplement, but also because B-12 is undoubtedly a necessity of vegan living and we all need to be upfront about how crucial it is to get adequate doses. B-12 deficiency (hypocobalaminemia) can lead to serious, often irreversible neurological damage. Our bodies store B-12 in the liver, so don’t worry if you miss a day or even a week, but over time it’s crucial to stay on top of your B-12 intake! 

This is why the B-12 patch is so radical: you put the dime-sized, circular patch on your neck right by your ear for 24 hours, and then you’re set for the whole week. Remembering to take B-12 once a week is a lot easier than once daily, or even finding your way to a clinic to get a B-12 shot. 

The patch is painless and only causes mild itching side effects at the patch site in .01% of users. Vita Sciences sent me some of their patches to try for free, and my vegan brother Asher, his vegan lady friend Lola, my vegan lady friend Courtney and I tried it at the same time, right before last week’s episode of Glee. I figured doing it before Glee would remind me to take it every week on the same day! Since a spoonful of Kind Kreme makes the medicine go into your bloodstream, we ate some raw vegan chocolate superfood ice cream as we patched. Highly recommended way to take your B-12 patch!

My girlfriend said she’s full-on sold on switching to the patch. The other two also liked its convenience! I had no itchy side effects and although I’m want to always remember my supplements, this feels like a great option. I was however a bit frustrated that the patch only comes in one color: off-white. (Note: I confirmed with the company that this is the only color they manufacture). This feels discriminatory, and I urge them to consider using other skin tones to make the patch more accessible to diverse users.

The B-12 patch is overall a solid choice for getting your B-12 regularly and reliably. Whether you slap on a patch or slurp down a liquid or ensure to keep half a pound of nutritional yeast in your body at all times, you’re doing the right thing for your health and I salute you!

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