Nutrition for the Brain: Vitamin B12

Nutrition for the Brain Vitamin B12

In the book “The Disconnected Kids The Nutrition Plan,” Dr. Robert Melillo explores the most important nutrients for brain health, like Vitamin B12, which  also happen to be vitamins and minerals that children with developmental issues like autism and ADHD are most commonly deficient. This series, “Nutrition for the Brain,” will explore the nutrients that are most important to brain development and childhood health.


B Vitamins play an important role in brain health.  Vitamin B12 is vital to developing healthy nerve cells and ensuring proper neural transmission speed. Without this essential nutrient, children may exhibit symptoms like reduced cognitive performance, fatigue and tingling in the hands and feet. Severe deficiency can lead to permanent damage of the brain and central nervous system and lead to memory loss and dementia.


Because Vitamin B12 helps reduce levels of a toxic amino acid called homocysteine, B12 plays an important role in maintaining the right chemical balance in the brain and ensuring adequate production of the protective myelin sheaths that surround nerves. High levels of homocysteine are common in children with autism, who also often show B12 deficiency. Repairing the underlying deficiency may improve social, cognitive and language development.


Since B vitamins are water-soluble and not stored in the body, it’s important to get adequate amounts daily through food. Many of the top food sources of Vitamin B12 are contained in “sensitivity foods” like milk, cheese and eggs. Taking into consideration possible food sensitivities, the following kid friendly foods are our top picks and are great sources of Vitamin B12.

  • Grass-fed Beef, especially chuck
  • Chicken
  • Fortified Cereals
  • Salmon
  • Shellfish, especially clams and crabs
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Veal

More information on Vitamin B12 can be found on page 96 of my book “The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan” and the National Institutes of Health website.


Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan

Dr. Robert Melillo’s Brain Balance program has helped thousands of families across the country, offering a drug-free, scientifically based method for addressing a wide range of conditions, including autism spectrum disorders and ADHD. In this new book, he presents the nutritional side of The Brain Balance Program, featuring guidelines, tips, and kid-friendly recipes based on the latest scientific research on how food affects the brain.

Disclaimer: The information presented on this web site is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment of specific medical conditions. Discuss this information with your healthcare provider to determine what is right for you and your family.

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