Metformin Linked to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

Drug induced nutrient depletion is well known (in alternative healthcare circles) for causing many of the “side effects” of drugs.  Many well informed doctors closely monitor the clients on both pharmaceutical or neutraceutical protocols for possible nutrient depletion.  Often, the decrease in the nutrient also causes decreased efficacy of the medication, and instead of looking for an underlying mechanism (functional nutrition), most patients’ doses are just increased!

At the bottom of this article they site “cost” as a reason for not monitoring Vitamin B12 status in diabetic patients!!!!!

Full Article

The association of metformin treatment with vitamin B12 deficiency was confirmed in a long-term trial, suggesting that diabetic patients receiving the popular drug would benefit from vitamin monitoring and perhaps B12 supplementation.
With 4.3 years of treatment in a randomized, placebo-controlled trial, the hazard ratio for developing vitamin B12 deficiency while on metformin was 5.5 relative to placebo (95% CI 1.6 to 19.1), reported Coen Stehouwer, MD, of Maastricht University in theNetherlands, and colleagues online in BMJ.
“Our study shows that this decrease is not a transitory phenomenon, but persists and grows over time,” the researchers wrote.

Primary source: BMJ
Source reference:
de Jager J, et al “Long term treatment with metformin in patients with type 2 diabetesand risk of vitamin B-12 deficiency: randomised placebo controlled trial” BMJ 2010; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2181.
Additional source: BMJ
Source reference:
Vidal-Alaball J, et al “Reduced serum vitamin B-12 in patients taking metformin” BMJ 2010; DOI: 10.1136/bmj.c2198.