In pregnancy, vitamin B12 is important for brain and central nervous system development (1). During adulthood, vitamin B12 is needed to make serotonin (2). Serotonin affects mood (3), sleep (4), memory, and more (5). It is also needed for your body’s energy production.
It partners up well
Vitamin B12 and folate are perfect partners. They work together to form red blood cells and produce SAMe, a compound involved in immune function and mood. They also help iron work better in the body.
Did you know?
Because vitamin B12 is almost exclusively found in animal products, it is especially important for vegetarians and vegans to supplement with vitamin B12.
(1) Effect of vitamin B12 deficiency on neurodevelopment in infants: current knowledge and possible mechanism, Nutrition Reviews, Volume 66, Issue 5, 1 May 2008, Pages 250–255.
(2) The Methylation, Neurotransmitter, and Antioxidant Connections Between Folate and Depression, Alternative Medicine Review. Sep2008, Vol. 13 Issue 3, p216-226. 11p.
(3) Serotonin in Mood and Emotion, Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience, Volume 21, 2010, Pages 367-378.
(4) Serotonin control of sleep-wake behavior, Sleep Medicine Reviews, Volume 15, Issue 4, August 2011, Pages 269-281.
(5) Serotonin and human cognitive performance, Curr Pharm Des, 2006;12(20):2473-86. doi: 10.2174/138161206777698909.