Take the Diabetes Health Pump Survey
See What's Inside
Read this FREE issue now
For healthcare professionals only
  • 12 Tips for Traveling With Diabetes
See the entire table of contents here!

You can view the current or previous issues of Diabetes Health online, in their entirety, anytime you want.
Click Here To View

See if you qualify for our free healthcare professional magazines. Click here to start your application for Pre-Diabetes Health, Diabetes Health Pharmacist and Diabetes Health Professional.

Learn More About the Professional Subscription

Free Diabetes Health e-Newsletter
Latest
Popular
Top Rated
Diabetes Archives
Print | Email | Share | Comments (0)

U.K. Study Links Metformin to B-12 Deficiency


Jun 5, 2010

Vitamin B-12 is necessary for the regeneration of red blood cells and the maintenance of nervous system health.

If you take metformin to control your type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor to take a look at your vitamin B-12 levels when you get a chance. A recent British study shows that metformin may cause a deficiency in the vitamin, which is necessary for the regeneration of red blood cells and the maintenance of nervous system health.

The study tracked 390 type 2s for more than four years. The patients were divided between 196 participants who took metformin three times daily and 194 participants who took a placebo three times daily. By the end of the study, the metformin group had experienced a 19 percent decrease in its vitamin B-12 levels. The researchers noted that the longer the patients took metformin, the lower their B-12 levels became.

One conclusion from the results, which were published in the British Medical Journal, is that patients taking metformin long-term should request routine monitoring of their vitamin B-12 levels. Typical symptoms of B-12 deficiency include fatigue, constipation, diarrhea, shortness of breath, loss of appetite, swollen gums, and difficulty concentrating.

The website of the Office of Dietary Supplements, part of the National Institutes of Health, states that metformin might reduce the absorption of vitamin B-12 through "changes in intestinal mobility, increased bacterial overgrowth, or changes in the calcium-dependent uptake by cells in the intestines. Some studies suggest that supplemental calcium might help improve the vitamin B-12 malabsorption caused by metformin."

* * *

Source:

Diabetes Drug Metformin Linked to Vitamin B-12 Deficiency

http://www.drugwatch.com/news/2010/05/24/diabetes-drug-metformin-linked-vitamin-b-12-deficiency/

http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/vitaminb12.asp


Categories: Complications & Care, Diabetes, Diabetes, Health Research, Medications, Metformin, Nutrition Research, Type 2 Issues, Type 2 Medications



You May Also Be Interested In...


Comments


Add your comments about this article below. You can add comments as a registered user or anonymously. If you choose to post anonymously your comments will be sent to our moderator for approval before they appear on this page. If you choose to post as a registered user your comments will appear instantly.

When voicing your views via the comment feature, please respect the Diabetes Health community by refraining from comments that could be considered offensive to other people. Diabetes Health reserves the right to remove comments when necessary to maintain the cordial voice of the diabetes community.

For your privacy and protection, we ask that you do not include personal details such as address or telephone number in any comments posted.

Don't have your Diabetes Health Username? Register now and add your comments to all our content.

Have Your Say...


Username: Password:
Comment:
©1991-2014 Diabetes Health | Home | Privacy | Press | Advertising | Help | Contact Us | Donate | Sitemap

Diabetes Health Medical Disclaimer

The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained on or available through this website is for general information purposes only. Opinions expressed here are the opinions of writers, contributors, and commentators, and are not necessarily those of Diabetes Health. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking medical treatment because of something you have read on or accessed through this website.