Popular Diabetes Drug Responsible For Vitamin B12 Deficiency

A long term Dutch study that has been recently published in the British Medical journal has confirmed what several short term studies have suggested for quite some time. The popular drug for type 2 diabetes, metformin, can lead to deficiencies in vitamin B12. Metformin is the most widely prescribed drug for type 2 diabetes patients, and this study has shown that it B12 deficiency in relation to it is not only a short term issue, but actually grows over time.   The study of nearly 400 type 2 diabetes patients from 3 different hospitals compared a group taking metformin along with a placebo group for 4 years. The metformin group was over 11% more likely than the placebo group to develop an insufficiency in B12, and more than 7% more likely to be deficient in it. It is thought that metformin inhibits the ability of the intestines to absorb B12. The good news is that it seems that calcium supplements can help reverse the effect.   The importance of this lies in vitamin B12s role in maintaining the health and function of red blood cells and nerves. Deficiency symptoms can range from fatigue to nerve damage. In most cases, it isnt noticed among diabetic patients because some symptoms of diabetes coincide with it. Unlike diabetes, its very easy to correct.   Diabetes is assumed to affect nearly 24 million Americans, with more than 5 million of them being undiagnosed. Another 57 million are thought to be at risk for developing diabetes. A major cause for the spread is the western, more sedentary lifestyle and diet.    

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