The Diabetes Drug Metformin Linked to Vitamin B12 Deficiency

by DailyHealthPost

side effects of metformin

If you are taking the popular diabetes medication Metformin or know someone who does, please read on. Metformin is a common orally-administered drug used to treat type 2 diabetes.

It goes by other brand and generic names such as:

  • Glucophage
  • Riomet
  • Fortamet
  • Glumetza
  • Obimet
  • Dianben
  • Diabex
  • Diaformin

Approved in 1994, the way Metformin works is by increasing the individual’s sensitivity to her/his own insulin, reducing liver glucose production, and decreasing the amount of sugar absorbed by the intestines. (1)

Side Effects of Metformin

One of the problems with Metformin’s actions is that it causes vitamin B12 deficiency.

This side effect has been known since 2006. By way of the same mechanism that blocks sugar absorption by the intestines, this essential vitamin is also blocked. The extent of the deficiency is dose- and time-dependent: the higher the amount you take and the longer you take Metformin, the greater and more critical the deficiency.

Since 2006, there have been many studies into this Metformin/B12 relationship and all have come to the same conclusion. (2, 3)

In fact, a 2016 study conducted by the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in NY monitored the B12 levels of people taking a placebo and metformin twice a day for 5 and 13 years. Plus “Those who used to take metformin had lower levels of vitamin B12 in comparison to those who took the placebo.”(4)

In addition to a B12 deficiency, side effects of Metformin include pernicious anemia with long-term use. (5) The anemia is often preceded by neuropathy.

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