Does B12 Help With Memory?

Updated on August 12, 2023
 by — reviewed by Jason Williams, PhD (Contributor: George Collins / Editor: Yoko Hill)
does b12 really help with memory

Does vitamin B12 really help with memory?

Memory is an essential aspect of our daily lives, allowing us to recall experiences, acquire new knowledge, and navigate through the world. However, it's not always a brain function that operates at 100% for most people. 

As we age, it is common for memory to decline, and many individuals seek ways to improve their cognitive function.

One popular natural supplement that has been proposed to support memory is vitamin B12. 

In this article, we will explore the role of B12 in the body and its potential impact on memory. We will discuss how to use this supplement as a nootropic to remember important dates, places, people, and even the sentimental memories that make life precious.

Understanding the Role of B12 in the Body

Vitamin B12, also known as cobalamin, plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of the nervous system and brain health. It is a water-soluble vitamin that is involved in various processes in the body, such as cell metabolism, DNA synthesis, and red blood cell formation.

One of its primary functions is to support the health and functioning of the nervous system, making it essential for neurological health.

Here is a breakdown of the role of B12 in the body:

  1. Neurological Health: B12 is essential for the development, myelination, and function of the central nervous system. It helps in maintaining the health of nerve cells and supports optimal brain function. B12 deficiency can lead to neurological symptoms such as numbness, tingling, and even dementia.
  2. DNA Synthesis: B12 is necessary for DNA synthesis, which is crucial for the proper functioning and replication of cells. It plays a vital role in the production and maintenance of genetic material, contributing to overall cellular health.
  3. Red Blood Cell Formation: B12 is involved in the production of healthy red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Without adequate B12, the production of red blood cells can be compromised, leading to anemia.
  4. Energy Production: B12 is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. It helps convert food into energy that the body can use for various physiological processes. B12 deficiency can result in fatigue and lack of energy.
  5. Neurotransmitter Synthesis: B12 is involved in the synthesis of neurotransmitters, which are chemical messengers that transmit signals between nerve cells. It plays a role in maintaining proper communication within the brain and helps regulate mood, cognition, and other brain functions.
  6. Homocysteine Metabolism: B12 is necessary for the breakdown of homocysteine, an amino acid. High levels of homocysteine in the blood are associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease and cognitive decline. Adequate B12 levels help regulate homocysteine levels and promote cardiovascular health.

B12 and Memory: The Connection

There is growing evidence to suggest a link between vitamin B12 and memory. B12 deficiency has been associated with memory loss, cognitive function decline, and neurological issues.

B12 plays a role in the production of myelin, a fatty substance that insulates nerve fibers and enhances their proper transmission of signals.

Deficiency in B12 can lead to damage to the myelin sheath, impairing nerve function and potentially affecting memory.

Additionally, B12 is involved in the regulation of homocysteine levels in the body. High levels of homocysteine have been linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases.

B12 helps break down homocysteine, preventing its accumulation and potentially mitigating the risk of memory problems.(1)

Scientific Studies on B12 and Memory

Numerous scientific studies have investigated the relationship between B12 and memory. Clinical trials and neurocognitive studies have explored the effects of B12 supplementation on memory in various populations, including the elderly.

Some research findings suggest that B12 supplementation may improve cognitive function and memory in individuals with B12 deficiency.

For example, a study found that older adults with low B12 levels who received B12 supplementation experienced improvements in cognitive function.(2) Another study reported that B12 supplementation may slow cognitive decline.(2)

Research on B12 and memory is still evolving, and further studies are needed to establish a definitive cause-and-effect relationship.

B12 deficiency can manifest in various symptoms related to memory impairment. This leads to individuals struggling to function properly, causing frustration and potentially leading to other health risks. 

Some common signs of B12 deficiency include:

  • Memory Impairment: B12 deficiency can cause memory impairment, making it difficult to remember recent information or events. Individuals may struggle to recall important dates or details from their daily life. They may rely on memory aids or reminders more frequently than before.
  • Confusion: B12 deficiency can lead to confusion and mental fog. Individuals may struggle with logical reasoning and find it challenging to solve problems or follow a plan. This confusion may manifest in everyday tasks, such as cooking or managing finances.
  • Dementia-like Symptoms: In severe cases, B12 deficiency can mimic symptoms of dementia. Individuals may exhibit cognitive decline, including difficulties with memory, thinking, and reasoning skills. It's important to distinguish between B12 deficiency-related symptoms and actual dementia, as the former can be treated and reversed.
  • Forgetfulness: B12 deficiency often manifests as forgetfulness, particularly with recently learned information. Individuals may ask repetitive questions and rely heavily on external aids to compensate for memory lapses. They might struggle to retain new knowledge or recall names and appointments.
  • Brain Fog: B12 deficiency can create a mental fog, where individuals experience cognitive sluggishness and reduced mental clarity. Their ability to concentrate and focus may decline, leading to difficulties in completing tasks or following conversations.

Improving Memory with B12

B12 is indeed beneficial for memory enhancement. A deficiency in B12 can lead to confusion and behavioral changes, implying that an increase in its levels can potentially improve memory and cognitive functions. In addition, it can also alleviate other symptoms like fatigue and weakness. Thus, incorporating B12 into your diet or as a supplement can contribute to better memory health.

If you suspect that B12 deficiency is contributing to your memory problems, it is advisable to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional can assess your B12 levels through a blood test and determine whether supplementation is necessary.

In most cases, B12 deficiency can be addressed through dietary changes. Overall, the recommended daily dosage of B12 varies depending on factors such as age, overall health, and the severity of the deficiency. On average, the essential intake of the B12 vitamin needed for optimal memory is 2.4 mcg daily

But, what foods do you include to increase B12 levels? The answer is quite simple (and delicious!).

Include foods rich in B12 into your diet, such as: 

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Dairy

Sounds easy enough, right?

However, if you're a vegan or vegetarian, this probably doesn't sound very appetizing. Additionally, many people don't have the time to cook up a storm and include specific ingredients in their diet.

In this case, consider trying nootropics that include B12 within their formula for enhanced memory. This option is great for those who have difficulty getting sufficient amounts of this essential vitamin through diet alone.

Incorporating nootropics into your lifestyle is another safe and effective way to improve your brain's health.

These smart drugs are effective for those with B12 deficiency, as well as for those with healthy B12 levels who want to improve their ability to remember.(3)

These supplements will allow you to get the most out of your cognitive function and assist you in supporting overall brain health without having to change your diet.

With the correct dosage of B12 intake, you can keep the memory of an elephant and improve your ability to recall important information to lead a fulfilling life. 

Nootropics That Include B12

When it comes to enhancing cognitive performance, nootropics have gained immense popularity. These supplements are designed to support brain health, improve memory, and increase focus. One key ingredient found in many effective nootropics is B12, a vital vitamin that plays a crucial role in brain function.

Here are 4 top nootropics that include B12 as an ingredient:

NootropicB12 Dosage
Vyvamind50 mcg
Mind Lab Pro7.5 mcg
Feedamind2.5 mg
NooCube1 mg

B12 is a crucial ingredient in many top-quality nootropic supplements. Its role in supporting brain function, improving memory, and increasing focus makes it a valuable addition to these cognitive-enhancing formulas.

Are you looking to boost your cognitive performance?

Consider trying one of these nootropic supplements that contain B12 as an ingredient.


In conclusion, while the relationship between B12 and memory is still being explored, there is evidence to suggest that B12 plays a role in cognitive function and memory. B12 deficiency has been associated with memory impairment and cognitive decline.

Supplementation through nootropics may be beneficial for individuals with B12 deficiency, as well as for those who want to increase their memory capabilities.

As always, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional for guidance on dosage and suitability.

Remember, maintaining a balanced diet and overall healthy lifestyle is vital for optimal brain health and memory function.