Nitrous oxide gas is used primarily as a local anesthetic in dentistry as well as in certain phases of cardiac bypass surgery.
Supplementation Possibly Helpful
Nitrous oxide can occasionally cause significant vitamin B
deficiency especially in people who are already borderline deficient in the vitamin (total vegetarians, for example) or those who are frequently exposed to the gas such as dentists and anesthesiologists.
The effect on B
impacts folate, too.
Taking folate and B 12 supplements at the U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (formerly known as the Recommended Dietary Allowance) levels should prevent any problems from developing.
1. Ermens AA, Refsum H, Rupreht J, et al. Monitoring cobalamin inactivation during nitrous oxide anesthesia by determination of homocysteine and folate plasma and urine. Clin Pharmacol Ther 49: 385–393, 1991.
Last reviewed April 2009 by EBSCO CAM Review Board
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Copyright © 2007 EBSCO Publishing All rights reserved.