Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin that plays a vital role in the proper functioning of the human brain as well as the nervous system. Why is B12 so critical and important? First, it is important to understand that B12 plays a role in the metabolism of every cell of your body. It also plays a role in DNA synthesis and is of great importance for pregnant women and nursing mothers. Yet, in recent years, it is B12's role in brain aging and brain health that have received a great deal of attention.

Take B12 for a Healthy Aging Brain
Due to the fact that B12 works to keep the brain healthy, this powerful vitamin is being studied as a way of combating brain shrinkage in the elderly. Maintaining proper B12 levels in the body is a way to keep one's brain healthy, as it may fight off everything from memory problems to depression.

Currently, a variety of studies indicate strongly that a B12 deficiency can lead to brain shrinkage and numerous other brain and nervous system related problems. This fact means that B12 consumption in the elderly is of great importance. Those looking to fight off cognitive decline in all its forms will be well served by eating B12 rich foods and taking a high quality B vitamin supplement of some kind.

Vegans and Vegetarians Need Special Support
Vegans and vegetarians can have problems consuming enough vitamin B12, as the highest concentrations are found in animal meats, eggs and dairy sources. In particular, organ meats such as liver are very high in vitamin B12. This means that for vegans and vegetarians, vitamin supplements, including a good wide spectrum B vitamin supplement, are a very good idea and essential for health.

It is important to note that a lack of B12 can cause permanent damage to both the brain and the nervous system. This is yet another reason that everyone should consider a high quality B12 or B vitamin supplement.

Given the impressive ability of B12 to contribute to your health, this is one supplement that you don't want to pass up. It may be difficult to get all the B12 that you need even if you are not a vegan or a vegetarian. It is possible to get enough B12 in your diet through foods, such as eggs and chicken breast. However, if you are not eating organ meats, which are generally far higher in B12, you may not be getting all the B12 that you need.

B12 is remarkably important in that it doesn't just help you maintain a healthy brain and nervous system, but contributes to your overall health and well being as well. Science knows that a B12 deficiency is very serious and can have long term consequences. Luckily, there are easy ways to avoid deficiencies.