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Research Finds That Patients with Diabetes Should Take More Vitamin B12 Daily

Posted: Monday, December 26, 2011

People who have type 2 diabetes and are taking metformin should take more than the recommended daily allowance of vitamin B12.
The research, which was published in Diabetes Care, assessed data from the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey (NHANES) in the United States between 1999 and 2006. The NHANES data showed that the prevalence of biochemical B12 deficiency was greatest for people with type 2 diabetes taking metformin compared with those with type 2 diabetes but not taking metformin and those without diabetes.

Biochemical B12 deficiency was revealed in 5.8 per cent of patients with diabetes that took metformin as compared to 2.4 per cent of those who did not take metformin and 3.3 per cent of people that did not have diabetes.

In the US, it is currently believed that adults with type 2 diabetes that are over 50 should take 2.4 µg of synthetic vitamin B12 daily either in supplement form or in fortified food.

Researcher Godfrey Oakley commented "It is important to conduct further research to learn how much B12 is needed to correct the deficiency and to determine whether or not raising serum B12 levels improves the clinical picture for persons taking metformin who have low serum B12 concentrations." 

Source:, Archives of Internal Medicine, Oct 2011.

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