According to the American Diabetes Association 2005 statistics, approximately 7% of the U.S. population have type 1 or type 2 diabetes. The organization estimates that 57% of adults who have diabetes take oral medication only and an additional 12% take insulin plus oral medication to manage the condition.36
Biguanides and sulfonylureas are oral medications used to treat diabetes and affect select nutrient levels adversely. Metformin, a frequently prescribed biguanide, has been shown to deplete vitamin B12 and folic acid. Studies indicate that long-term metformin therapy decreases serum vitamin B12 levels significantly. Additional studies suggest that short-term treatment with metformin increases homocysteine levels, and that B vitamins (e.g., folic acid) can moderate this response.37 More specifically, serum folic-acid levels have been shown to decrease by 7%, and vitamin B12 levels to decrease by 14%, with metformin therapy in individuals who have type 2 diabetes.38 Although limited, some research also suggests that treatment with sulfonylureas increases the risk of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) deficiency.39
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Diabetes is a disease that affects the way your body uses food. Normally, your body converts sugars, starches and other foods into a form of sugar called glucose. Your body uses glucose for fuel. The cells receive the glucose through the bloodstream. They then use insulin a hormone made by the pancreas to absorb the glucose, convert it into energy, and either use it or store it for later use. Learn more...