Mary Todd Lincoln was known for having mental health issues that included hallucinations and even was temporarily institutionalized for insanity. But now a medical/historical reviewer says Mary Todd Lincoln was not insane but simply vitamin B12 deficient. [Daily Mail UK July 9, 2016]
Given that a decline in stomach acid is almost universal with advancing age and acid is required to absorb vitamin B12, it is perplexing to understand why every adult over age 40 isn’t taking a B12 pill.
To make matters worse, an estimated 49 million Americas take metformin for diabetes control (2011-2012). According to one study metformin users are 2.6 times more likely to have drug induced B12 deficiency. A shocking 17.9% of metformin users who weren’t taking antacids were B12 deficient compared to just 5.6% of non-metformin users. [Sao Paulo Medical Journal 2016]
Are all metformin users out of their minds? Another study found 30% of metformin users B12 deficient, which equates with 15 million Americans who could be in Mary Todd Lincoln territory.
Well, one investigator now says we need a new classification of mental disease – “metformin madness.” (Chandler Marrs PhD) A study seems to bear this out. Almost half of metformin users had cognitive (thinking) problems with 10% having severe mental issues. [MedScape Sept. 24, 2013]
The best diet cannot make for a shortage of B12. Probably the only metformin users averting this problem take multivitamins! Literally, if you are over age 40 you are out of your mind if you aren’t taking a B12 supplement.