Vitamin B12 (Cyanocobalamin) is a water-soluble vitamin necessary for energy production; for nervous system function as it is needed to produce myelin, the fatty substance that forms a protective sheath around nerves; for the production of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that helps with memory and learning; for the synthesis of red blood cells; for producing the genetic materials, DNA and RNA.
Vitamin B12 works with folic acid to control homocysteine levels. Research shows that high levels of homocysteine may dramatically increase the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis. Vitamin B12 is the most complex of the vitamins and is the only naturally occurring organic compound that contains cobalt.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is more often caused by improper absorption (often because of a lack of 'intrinsic factor,' an enzyme required for vitamin B12 absorption) than by inadequate intake. However, it is easily depleted in those individuals on a vegetarian diet, making supplementation essential. B12 has provided relief in fatigue, increased nervous irritability, mild impairment in memory, inability to concentrate, mental depression, insomnia and lack of balance.