How a Lack of B12 Can Affect Your Brain

Feb 10, 2023
How a Lack of B12 Can Affect Your Brain
Vitamin B12 is an essential nutrient that does a lot of things for your overall health and wellness. Take a moment as we review how a lack of B12 can disrupt the function of your brain.

Vitamin B12 does a lot for your body. It creates and maintains red blood cells and nerve cells. It also supports your nervous system and helps your body produce genetic materials DNA and RNA. Needless to say, if your body doesn’t have enough B12, your health and well-being can suffer. 

Most people get vitamin B12 from the foods they eat. Adequate amounts typically come from fish, meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products, foods that have animal origins. Those who have immune system disorders, conditions affecting the stomach and small intestine, or anyone who follows a vegan diet are more at risk for developing a B12 deficiency.

B12 deficiency can cause symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness
  • Anemia, a lack of red blood cells

A lack of B12 can also cause issues with brain function. Vitamin B12 and your brain

Vitamin B12 can impact your brain function in multiple ways. A deficiency of this essential nutrient can cause neurological symptoms that include:

  • Tingling in your hands and feet
  • Trouble with balance
  • Confusion
  • Problems with thinking and memory

In addition, vitamin B12 can have a profound impact on your mental health.

Although the exact connection between B12 and mental health — specifically depression — is unknown, studies have shown a strong correlation between a decrease in B12 levels and an increase in depression symptoms. 

Vitamin B12 can play a strong role in regulating the brain chemicals that control mood — such as serotonin — which may be why it has the ability to affect your mental health.

Raising B12 levels

If you suspect your B12 levels aren’t where they need to be, it’s important to seek medical treatment and a medical consultation to determine if you do actually have a B12 deficiency.