B12 and Metformin
Many individuals have claimed that their B12 levels were lowered due to their metformin use in recent years. This has been primarily claimed by patients who have been taking metformin for an extended period. However, this fact has been verified to be true only in 50% of cases.
According to statistical data, it has been observed to be true if metformin is used for long-term then it may lower levels of vitamin B12 in patients.
Long-term use of metformin does lower the levels of B12 serum, i.e., the levels of B12 which is being circulated in our blood. However, healthcare professionals and medical literature claim that we should use metformin with caution or should use other recommended B12 supplements to offset the deficiency of B12 but in doing so they are ignoring a few important details.
The functioning of B12 and Metformin
Although metformin is thought to interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin B12, the degree of the interference caused by its use is still under study. The majority of the statistics found in studies on this topic are observational. In fact, according to a study published by the National Library of Medicine, a controlled, cross-sectional study of metformin conducted on both non-diabetic and diabetic patients showed patients displayed no substantial differences in vitamin B12 serum levels whether they were using metformin irrespective of the fact that they were diabetic or non-diabatic. In a simpler version, the results stated that metformin may not be a contributing factor to the deterioration in B12 levels after all.
Although serum B12 levels are considered a decent starting point for research, we have learned over time that all low-serum B12 does not necessarily imply a B12 deficiency. This means that serum levels may not be the best measure for the amount of B12 within the body, as well as the amount of B12 being used. However, this also means that not all high serum B12 levels mean a patient is sufficient in their B12 levels.
Holotranscobalamin is the name given to the active form of vitamin B12. The metabolic indicator of B12 for MMA which is the abbreviation of Methylmalonic Acid. When our bodies internalize and properly use vitamin B12, intercellular enzyme activities which are dependent on B12 are being properly maintained.
When these enzyme actions are properly operational, plasma total homocysteine and MMA are maintained within their acceptable reference ranges.
So why exactly is this significant in serum B12 levels? Although that sounded extremely difficult to comprehend, let’s dumb it down a little bit. It sometimes happens that even if the MMA and the plasma total homocysteine are well within their accepted limits, Serum B12 levels can still be low. This means that even if a serum B12 test indicates that a patient has low B12 levels, the patient could be showing a very adequate level and utilization of vitamin B12. In fact, this situation was portrayed in a study published by the National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey. The study included around 1600 patients suffering from diabetes, and more than 570 of those patients were at that time taking metformin. Although the study concluded that the serum B12 levels were below average, the plasma total homocysteine levels were completely within the range required for metformin users.
The relationship between B12 and Metformin
Possible reasoning for the lowered level of B12-serum in patients on Metformin drug could be that the patients taking metformin are storing more vitamin B12 in their liver than those patients who aren’t currently having it. The more authentic way to determine a vitamin B12 deficiency is a joint study of active Vitamin B12 levels, not just in the serum, as well as plasma total homocysteine levels and MMA. The linkage between vitamin B12 and metformin is relatively tricky. However, it’s not reasonable to refrain from metformin due to this matter. It is reasonable, however, to say that patients currently taking metformin should either add on their usage with Vitamin B12 or have their B12 levels checked regularly by their doctor.
If you are considering metformin’s use and supplementing with vitamin B12, it’s best to consider a company that specializes in prescription therapies such as AgelessRx. Not only do they offer vitamin B12 injections that can be done from the safety and comfort of your own home, but they also prescribe metformin. If you’re interested in taking metformin or receiving B12 supplementation, you can reach out to your doctor, or get started online today.