Vitamin B12 deficiency among patients with diabetes mellitus: is routine screening and supplementation justified?



Authors:  D Kibirige, R Mwebaze.

Vitamin B12 is an essential micronutrient required for optimal hemopoetic, neuro-cognitive and cardiovascular function. Biochemical and clinical vitamin B12 deficiency has been demonstrated to be highly prevalent among patients with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus. It presents with diverse clinical manifestations ranging from impaired memory, dementia, delirium, peripheral neuropathy, sub acute combined degeneration of the spinal cord, megaloblastic anemia and pancytopenia. This review article offers a current perspective on the physiological roles of vitamin B12, proposed pathophysiological mechanisms of vitamin B12 deficiency, screening for vitamin B12 deficiency and vitamin B12 supplementation among patients with diabetes mellitus.

J Diabetes Metab Disord. 2013; 12: 17.