Diabetes Type II is highly prevalent and one of the fastest growing medical conditions in the United States.
The best way to reduce becoming a type 2 diabetic is by choosing a healthy diet and lifestyle. Period.
For many, the transition to a healthy lifestyle and diet takes time and may be difficult.
Thus, many are on medications which help stabilize blood sugar levels via various mechanisms.
These medications, especially when combined with the C677T MTHFR defect, may increase homocysteine levels due to the decreased amounts of methylcobalamin and methylfolate.
A published case study provides evidence of this significant interaction:
Vitamin B12 deficiency may be induced by long-term use of metformin, which may in turn lead to hyperhomocysteinemia. Thus, hyperhomocysteinemia may increase the risk of vascular thrombosis in diabetic patients, when metformin is used and a homozygous methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase (MTHFR) C677T mutation is present. We report a 65-year-old Taiwanese diabetic woman who was treated with metformin for 6 years and who had suffered from swelling of the left lower extremity for 3 months. Ascending venography confirmed the diagnosis of proximal deep vein thrombosis, while hyperhomocysteinemia, megaloblastic anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency, and a homozygous C677T mutation of the MTHFR gene were also found. She had no identifiable venous thrombotic risk factors other than hyperhomocysteinemia, which seemed to be caused by both MTHFR C677T homozygous mutation and vitamin B12 deficiency. With the substitution of insulin injection for metformin, short-term supplement of vitamin B12, and anticoagulant therapy for the deep vein thrombosis, her anemia and hyperhomocysteinemia recovered rapidly. The deep vein thrombosis also responded well. Our findings highly suggested the role of metformin in causing vitamin B12 deficiency, which may serve as an additional risk factor for venous thrombosis in diabetic patients. Our report also highlights the need to check vitamin B12 levels during metformin treatment.
While this individual responded well to vitamin B12 alone, it is recommended to also supplement with methylfolate due to the C677T MTHFR mutation.
Talk with your doctor about supplementing you with methylcobalamin and methylfolate if you are taking Metformin.
Be sure to have your doctor evaluate your vitamin B12 levels – and ideally your methylfolate levels. Consider taking Active B12 with L-5-MTHF. This provides both methylcobalamin (active form of vitamin B12) and methylfolate. Begin by taking 1/2 tablet daily and work up. Work with your doctor to identify what amount is best for you.
Effective ways to evaluate your B12 level is to have your doctor check your:
- urinary methylmalonic acid
Take Home Points:
- Type 2 Diabetes is mainly caused by poor dietary and lifestyle choices. Improve these areas and eliminate your diabetes.
- Metformin increases vitamin B12 deficiency.
- B12 deficiency causes potential for increased homocysteine.
- MTHFR C677T variants typically have increased levels of homocysteine – if untreated.
- The combination of MTHFR C677T and Metformin reduces one’s ability to adequately methylate.
- Supplement with vitamin B12 and methylfolate if using Metformin and/or having the C677T MTHFR variant.
Question for You:
- You taking Metformin and have MTHFR? Were you aware of this connection?