If you’re taking the diabetes drug Metformin (or if anyone you know is), listen up. There’s a huge health risk associated with taking it. And chances are, you haven’t heard about it.
Research has shown that Metformin makes it harder for your body to absorb vitamin B-12. And a new study shows that correcting the problem may not be as simple as you’d think.
Vitamin B-12 plays a critical role in brain, nerve, and red blood cell function. If you don’t have enough, you could easily end up with anemia. Anemia is the most common effect of B-12 deficiency. And it can be debilitating. At the very least, it may explain why you find yourself dragging throughout the day, but have no idea why.
Results of the latest study were published in a recent issue of the journal Diabetes Care. Researchers found vitamin B-12 deficiency in 5.8 percent of diabetics using metformin. This compared to just 2.4 percent of those not using metformin.
But here’s the kicker. Researchers admitted that the amount of B-12 recommended by the government–and the amount found in general multivitamins–may not be enough to correct the deficiency.
And the most frustrating part of this whole report? It never states just how much vitamin B-12 diabetes patients should take!
I recommend at least 1,000 micrograms per day for everyone (which, for the record, is 417 times more than the measly amount the Institute of Medicine recommends).
If you have diabetes, and you’re taking Metformin, work with your doctor to ensure optimal levels. It should be at least 800. And keep in mind, chances are you’ll need to supplement with more than a general multivitamin.
You can also get vitamin B-12 from eggs, meat, and dairy products. But it’s a good idea to take a supplement as well if you take Metformin.