If you are taking the medication metformin for diabetes, pre-diabetes, insulin resistance, or polycystic ovaries then you need to get tested for your vitamin B12 levels. Dutch researchers found that women who took metformin for at least four years had a 19 percent reduction in their levels.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin important in brain function, the nervous system and blood formation. It is also important for the metabolism of every cell in the body and fatty acid synthesis. Typical symptoms of low B12 include fatigue, depression, poor memory, impaired perception of touch/vibration/pressure, decreased reflexes, focus problems, and nerve problems.
Vitamin B12 is found in fish, shellfish, red meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy. There are fortified foods such as fortified cereals, power bars, soy products, and nutritional yeast.
There are a few forms of vitamin B12 which include the synthetic cyanocobalamin which turns into hydroxycobalamin in the body, and then methylcobalamin or adenoslycobalamin. I recommend methylcobalamin so that the body doesn’t have to undergo all of the conversion processes.
It is important when testing for vitamin B12 that you have your folate levels checked as deficiencies in one may look like deficiencies in the other.
If you are taking metformin, make sure your healthcare provider tests your vitamin B12 levels or talk with them about taking a good quality B-complex or Vitamin B12 itself.