Prolonged intake of Metformin, the antidiabetic drug, has been linked to a number of nutritional deficiencies, vitamin B12 being chief among them. It has also been linked to deficiencies in vitamin B9 (folate) and Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).
Why Are These Nutrients Needed?
Vitamin B12 and B9 help create healthy DNA, RNA, neurons and Red Blood Cells (RBC). A deficiency in these vitamins causes symptoms such as fatigue, numbness and tingling in hands and feet, rapid breathing, cognitive and memory problems, anxiety and depression and in rare cases, anemia.
CoQ10 is required for the healthy functioning of mitochondria, oval-shaped organelles found in cells that help the cell process energy. A deficiency in CoQ10 causes muscle pain and cramping, and has been linked to conditions such as atherosclerosis and heart failure.
Therefore, for patients being treated with Metformin, it is advisable to consume foods rich in these nutrients alongside their prescribed dosage of the drug.
How to Get These Nutrients From Natural Sources?
Vitamin B12 can be found in most meat products like egg, chicken, fish and beef, whereas B9 is found in legumes like chickpeas and soybeans, citrus fruits, cereals and green, leafy vegetables, among other sources. CoQ10 can be found in organ meats such as the liver, heart and kidneys, and also in vegetables like broccoli, spinach and cauliflower.
Additionally, to meet the daily requirement of these nutrients it is also a good idea to add dietary supplements to the daily diet, after consulting a doctor.
For more details on the best dietary supplements for relief from the side effects of Metformin, read this article.