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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Issues with Metformin for diabetes

Metformin has been linked to B12 deficiencies (it blocks B12 absorption in some people). B12 deficiencies can result in a whole host of health problems including constipation. Since the first rule of thumb is to do no harm, the first step is to check with your physician to see what he/she recommends. If the answer you receive has failed to resolve your problem, try supplementing with a sub-lingual form of B12 (methylcobalamin) because of its superior absorption. Dosage is one tablet dissolved under the tongue up to three times a day. B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and any excess will be excreted in the urine so there's virtually no risk of an overdose. A good fiber supplement to your diet would include insoluble fiber such as Metamucil at least twice a day with meals.

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Metformin may reduce serum folic acid and vitamin B12 levels. These changes can lead to hyperhomocysteinemia, adding to the risk of cardiovascular disease in people with diabetes. There are also rare reports of megaloblastic anemia in people who have taken metformin for five years or more. Reduced serum levels of vitamin B12 occur in up to 30% of people taking metformin chronically. However, clinically significant deficiency is not likely to develop if dietary intake of vitamin B12 is adequate. Deficiency can be corrected with vitamin B12 supplements even if metformin is continued. The metformin-induced malabsorption of vitamin B12 is reversible by oral calcium supplementation.The general clinical significance of metformin upon B12 levels is as yet unknown.

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Hyperhomocysteinemia
or hyperhomocysteinaemia is a medical condition characterized by an abnormally large level of homocysteine in the blood. Hyperhomocysteinemia is a disease which increases risk of other artery or vein diseases. As a consequence of the biochemical reactions in which homocysteine is involved, deficiencies of the vitamins pyridoxine (B6), folic acid (B9), or B12 can lead to high homocysteine levels. Supplementation with pyridoxine, folic acid, B12, or trimethylglycine (betaine) reduces the concentration of homocysteine in the bloodstream.

Vitamin B could be easily sourced from liver, fish, meat, eggs and.... Marmite!!!

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