Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes: Are you at risk?
Vitamin B12, also known as “cobalamin,” is a water-soluble essential nutrient required in our diet. When a nutrient is essential, it means the body cannot produce it internally so it must come from food we eat or supplemental form.
If you have type 2 diabetes, you could be at higher risk of a vitamin B12 deficiency. Vitamin B12 supports a healthy nervous system, brain and red blood cells and is needed only in very small amounts (2.4 mcg/day).
Vitamin B12 is found only in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy, which is why vegetarians and especially vegans are at higher risk for deficiency and should take a dietary supplement that includes B12. While there is no set upper limit for B12, it is useless to supplement if you do not have a deficiency.
Blood levels <200 pg/mL are generally considered deficient while >400 pg/mL are sufficient. Between this range, you may want to consider supplementation. Dosing will vary depending on level of deficiency, but is often 1-2 mg daily. In some cases mega-dose injections every month are required, depending on how the person responds to supplementation or if there is a severe deficiency.
What does Vitamin B12 do?
Vitamin B12 plays a number of very important roles in our bodies:
It is necessary for the metabolism of amino acids and fatty acids
It is required for DNA synthesis
It helps synthesize neurotransmitters (ie serotonin and dopamine)
It is essential for cardiovascular function
Vitamin B12 Deficiency and Type 2 Diabetes
It’s estimated that 22% of people with type 2 diabetes have Vitamin B12 deficiency, which is much higher than Continue reading