Diabetes and the increased incidence of dementia.

By RosalieM Latest Reply 2015-02-26 19:30:19 -0600
Started 2015-02-22 14:38:29 -0600

In 1997 USDA ordered folic acid acid be put in processed foods that contain white flour and also in cereal. The reason was to prevent Spina Bifida in new borns. It does prevent Spina Bifida however
it also prevents anemia in older people who are short of Vitamin B12. Anemia is the first sign that a person is short of B12. With out the warning of anemia, dementia develops because of nerve damage caused by the shortage of B12. The dementia is irreversible. The shortage of B12 is easily corrected and dementia prevented. I had experience with this. I had the anemia because I don't eat processed foods and do not use white flour in my bakery so no folic acid in my diet. I was short of B12 though. I found out by accident. I was not tested for it. It is very common in
people as they age. Metformin prevents the absorption of B12 many diabetes take it and are not given B12. If they are ingesting folic acid, they don't getthe first warning sign anemia . Is that why so many diabetics develop dementia? I had anemia for a year and one day went to a familiar place and didn't know where I was. That happened twice. Then I start taking B12 and immediately my anemia went away and no more not knowing where I was. Everyone should know this, but the "experts" can't seem to put two and two together.

24 replies

popp99 2015-02-24 01:58:40 -0600 Report


RosalieM 2015-02-25 06:33:54 -0600 Report

Hi Popp,
Woow. That is what I say. If you are over 60 and /or take metformin, get some B12 that you put under your tongue it won't hurt you
and can prevent future problems. This especially true of vegetarians, as B12 can only come from meat. You can buy it in the supplement
area of Walgreens.

MarkS 2015-02-23 13:48:27 -0600 Report

Hold on RosalieM, Folic acid does not prevent neural tube defects (e.g., spina bifida) but rather reduces the risk of them. Also, folic acid does NOT prevent anemia in people who are deficient in vitamin B12 but rather high level of folic acid masks vitamin B12 deficiency (vitamin B12 is used to treat people with anemia). That's quite different than what you claim I.e., "it also prevents anemia in older people who are short of Vitamin B12"). And anemia doesn't cause you to not know where you are, though that could most likely be a symptom of hypoglycemia (yes, that happens in Type 2 diabetics as well as Type 1). There are no valid studies to demonstrate that vitamin B12 prevents dementia (all evidence is anecdotal). As for the metformin, it is not very prevalent, occurring in about 7% of those taking the drug. Be careful putting your 2 and 2 together the way you are because you are not equaling 4!

Nikita007 2015-02-23 10:12:44 -0600 Report

Thanks Rosalie for this! I definitely believe you're onto something. I'm in the process of changing my Primary Care Physician because she doesn't tell me anything like this. She's cold and clinical and seems burned out. Everything I've learned to date has been through reading books and scientific studies. Luckily, I take a B Complex Supplement.

Did you know that Turmeric with curcumin helps the uptake of Metformin? I've been taking two capsules every day since my diagnosis. I went from a BG of 385 to one of 85 in 31 days. Today is Day 40. I like the idea of a sublingual B12.

I lost my aunt last summer to complications of diabetes, dementia and several mini strokes. Strokes are also related to diabetes. Believe me, every time I think about reaching for any food I'm not supposed to eat, I keep saying the mantra: Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine be Thy Food! The father of medicine Hippocrates said that, but modern day doctors have forgotten.

When I asked the doctor who prescribed B6 for leg cramps (a precursor in some cases of onset T2) what foods could I obtain it from, his answer was: I'm not a Nutritionist. But I could Google it. I've written to the Clinical Improvement Department for my health insurance about the treatment I've received.

Pegsy 2015-02-22 17:30:50 -0600 Report

Thank you for this info. Yet another change I need to make with my supplements. I am no where near anemic, quite the opposite. I have such high iron that I have actually been considering donating blood to bring it down. But I still want to supplement the B12 effectively.

RosalieM 2015-02-23 06:29:44 -0600 Report

A little folic acid in your supplement is probably not a problem. There is folic in my B vitamin complex too. It is eating foods that have folic acid added as well. You get too much eating it in the food and in the supplement. The folic acid is a problem for older people like me we don't absorb B12 as well as younger people. If you are taking metformin, just be sure you have some B 12 as well. and you should be OK.
All the foods that have folic acid added to them are items made with white flour and also cereal. Diabetics should take them out of their diet
anyway as they are fast digesting carbs.

GabbyPA 2015-02-22 15:00:13 -0600 Report

My diabetes educator was the one who explained to me that Metformin depletes B-12 and encouraged us to take a sub-lingual for of it. It's one of the vitamins you cannot overdose on so she recommended it to anyone on Metformin and told us to have our doctors test for that deficiency. My doctor told me that I was not old enough to worry about it and would not do the test. I was taking it, and maybe I should start again. This is a reminder.

haoleboy 2015-02-22 17:41:39 -0600 Report

my doctor ordered a lab test for B-12 and Folate (both of which I am on the high end of the "reference range")

RosalieM 2015-02-23 06:30:56 -0600 Report

Do you take a supplement?

haoleboy 2015-02-23 11:56:53 -0600 Report

I take a multi-vitamin and a D3 supplement … I believe my high levels of B-12 and folate are due to old fashioned healthy eating.


RosalieM 2015-02-23 14:22:42 -0600 Report

I eat healthy too. B12 comes from meat and animal products. Old people often do not make enough stomach acid to extract the B 12 from meat.

RosalieM 2015-02-22 17:21:16 -0600 Report

Hi Gabby,
Many doctors don't mention B12 at all. I am not sure they know. My doctor never mentioned it to me I don't take metformin, but I am old, that is a risk factor on it's own.

haoleboy 2015-02-22 14:59:55 -0600 Report

A simple blood test can check your B-12 and folate levels … something a person on metformin long term should have checked as chronic metformin usage is linked to B12 deficiency and B12 deficiency is linked to peripheral neuropathy.

Take care in supplementing with folic acid and instead consider eating foods high in folate: http://chriskresser.com/folate-vs-folic-acid


RosalieM 2015-02-22 17:05:26 -0600 Report

You got that right. Folate is the way to go, it is natural and doesn't build up in the body like folic acid. Folate stands for foliage and is found in spinach and kale etc. B12 deficiency leads to dementia which is nerve damage in the brain.

MarkS 2015-02-23 13:55:00 -0600 Report

Not true, prolonged use of folic acid can be harmful. Since the folate receptor is expressed in certain types of cancer, I know a few things about folic acid! You do know that if people eat a healthy diet, supplements are unnecessary.

RosalieM 2015-02-25 11:57:29 -0600 Report

Mark S,
I have always agreed that if you eat a healthy diet you don't need supplements. I have not taken them until now. When you get as old as I am, absorption becomes a potential problem. My goal is to get really really old and remain healthy and lucid.. I am already old so I take a B complex supplement, vitamin D3 because in Wisconsin no sun for a long time and a B12 supplement cause I don absorb it enough..

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