May 27, 2010 at 6:54 am Comments (0)
Metformin, a medication usually given to patients suffering from diabetes, has been linked to vitamin B12 deficiency.
A study conducted by a team that included Coen Stehouwer of the Maastricht University Medical Center in the Netherlands was published in the British Medical Journal. They studied 390 patients, 196 of whom were given metformin three times a day while the rest were given placebo for a period of more than four years. It was determined that those who took metformin had a 19% reduction in vitamin B12 levels. Those who were only given placebo had no change.
The researchers also determined that the deficiency got worse over time.
Stehouwer wrote: “Our data provide a strong case for routine assessment of vitamin B12 levels during long term treatment with metformin,” adding that their study “Our study shows that it is reasonable to assume harm will eventually occur in some patients with metformin-induced low vitamin B12 levels.”
Vitamin B12 is important for the maintenance of healthy nerve and red blood cells. Sources of vitamin B12 include meat, dairy products, eggs, and fortified breakfast cereals; one can also choose to take it as a supplement.
Those who are suffering from low vitamin B12 levels may experience fatigue and anemia, among others; these are, however, also symptoms that may be misdiagnosed as the effect of diabetes and its complications. Hence, vitamin B12 deficiency can go unchecked among metformin users.
It is then indicated that among metformin users, it may be beneficial to check vitamin B12 levels in order to address the appearance of symptoms appropriately.
September 17, 2009 at 6:30 am Comments (3)
Many people are not aware that they have Vitamin B12 deficiency. This lack of awareness can make preventing the condition difficult. The ones most at risk of this condition are the vegans, who opt not to have meat, eggs or dairy in their diet.
It is easy to keep track of the Vitamin B12 levels in your body. You can monitor your Vitamin B12 levels by testing yourself regularly with a wellness panel kit. You can easily do this testing at home.
When you find that you have low levels of Vitamin B12 in your body, you will need to get treated right away. Your doctor will likely give you Vitamin B12 injections until your condition becomes normal, as well as treat the cause behind your deficiency.
To prevent Vitamin B12 deficiency, you can take in Vitamin B12 supplements. However, you should consult your doctor first before taking supplements to ensure that you will not feel contraindications later on.
For full version of this article, please visit “Vitamin B12 Deficiency: Prevention, Treatment and B12 Testing“.
September 14, 2009 at 5:30 am Comments (0)
Vitamin B12 is an essential vitamin that plays a key role in many of the body’s functions, including DNA synthesis and various neurological processes in the brain. Moreover, several organs in the body need to be working in perfect harmony so that the body will be able to use its supply of Vitamin B12 efficiently.
Unfortunately, there are a number of conditions and ailments that can lead to Vitamin B12 deficiency. Certain symptoms such as anemia, fatigue, diarrhea, nausea, nervousness, behavioral changes and memory loss, among others, can be signs of Vitamin B12 deficiency.
If you find that you are suffering from a combination of these symptoms, you must see your doctor immediately to determine if you are indeed suffering from a deficiency of the vitamin and to set a course of action to treat the condition. You should not ignore these symptoms because Vitamin B12 deficiency can lead to nerve damage and other debilitating conditions.
For full version of this article, please visit “Signs and Symptoms of Vitamin B12 Deficiency“.
January 31, 2009 at 8:04 pm Comment (1)
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin that is essential to help optimize conversion of food into energy needed by the body to utilize numerous physiologic processes such as respiration, blood circulation, and immune system response. Vitamin B12 also helps maintain healthy nerve cells in the body and is needed by the red blood cells for the formation and production of Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA).
This vitamin can be found in different kinds of foods such as fish, shellfish, meat and daily products. It is stored in the body for several years, thus deficiency of Vitamin B12 is rare. It may be rare, but it still affects hundreds of thousands of people all over the world. Factors that may predispose one to Vitamin B12 deficiency are age, diet and loss of the protein called intrinsic factor.
Old people are at risk of deficiency and so are strict vegetarians since vitamin B12 is seen less in vegetables. The loss of intrinsic factor by the intestines is the most common cause of vitamin B12 deficiency since this protein aids in the absorption of Vitamin B12.
Megaloblastic anemia may result from a deficiency in Vitamin B12. This is a type of anemia in which there is a malformation of the red blood cells. These red blood cells are found to be larger than normal and the ratio of the nucleus is way too increased than that of the cell cytoplasm. One main cause is alcohol abuse, wherein alcohol intake depletes the Vitamin B12 in the body. Symptoms include change in skin color, diarrhea and headache.
Vitamin B12 deficiency has also been connected with neurological and psychiatric problems. Patients with this deficiency may display muscle weakness, visual problems, incontinence, hypotension or the lowering of blood pressure, psychosis, dementia and mood disturbances.
Learn more about Vitamin B12 deficiency here.