Vitamin B(12) in type 2 diabetic patients treated with metformin

Endocrinol Nutr. 2012 Oct;59(8):487-90. doi: 10.1016/j.endonu.2012.06.005. Epub 2012 Sep 13.
[Article in English, Spanish]


Objective: To test vitamin B12 plasma levels in type 2 diabetic patients treated with metformin in our area.

Methods: A cross-sectional, observational study of consecutive type 2 diabetic patients on drug treatment attending an internal medicine outpatient clinic.

Results: One hundred and nine patients (81 treated with metformin) were enrolled into the study. Mean time on metformin treatment was 43.5 months and mean drug dose was 1,779 mg/day. Patients treated with metformin had significantly lower vitamin B(12) plasma levels (393.5 vs. 509 pg/mL, P = .0008). Seven (8.6%) of 81 patients treated with metformin and none of the 28 patients not treated with the drug had vitamin B(12) plasma levels lower than 197 pg/mL. No correlation was found between vitamin B12 plasma levles and metformin treatment time or dosage.

Conclusions: In type 2 diabetic patients, treatment with metformin is associated to lower vitamin B12 plasma levels. Vitamin B12 deficiency associated with metformin is relatively common in our area.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hypoglycemic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Male
  • Metformin / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood*


  • Hypoglycemic Agents
  • Metformin
  • Vitamin B 12