Metformin and the nutrients it can deplete from your body

ADHD Assist
2 min readDec 22, 2021
woman pill

Diabetes and blood sugar imbalance are pervasive conditions in our society. It seems like everyone and their mother knows someone with diabetes or polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS — a female condition that prevents ovulation and insulin resistance is one of the culprits).

Some have genetic predispositions while others have succumbed to the current societal architecture that does not foster healthy lifestyle choices.

Constant advertising of readily available fast food, cars in lieu of walking and screen time to replace outdoor time are just some of the factors that contribute to poor lifestyle habits. Alright alright, enough about this. I will write another article on harmful lifestyle factors.

Metformin is a blood sugar-stabilizing drug that is commonly prescribed for diabetes and PCOS.


  • FDA approved in 1994 (The year Spielberg won his first directing Oscar for Schindlers List)
  • Mechanism of action: Metformin is a drug that reduces blood glucose levels by decreasing glucose production in the liver, decreasing intestinal absorption, and increasing insulin sensitivity.
  • High safety profile and generally well tolerated (minus some gut disturbance for about 30% of people taking it).

Okay, you get the gist and feel a little bit more Metformin literate now and mildly smarter. Great.

So which nutrients could you be depleted in if you are on this drug and why are they important?

Vitamin B12

  • This vitamin is essential for proper blood cell formation, homocysteine metabolism, nerve health and acts as a methyl donor (if that went over your head, don’t worry, just remember it’s important).
  • Signs of deficiency: peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the legs), depression, irritability, inflamed tongue, anemia (fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath) and mouth ulcers.

Folic Acid/Folate

  • Folate is required in the body for proper blood cell formation, homocysteine metabolism, to make DNA and repair DNA.
  • Signs of deficiency: anemia (fatigue, weakness, shortness of breath), swollen tongue, irritability, and mouth ulcers.

As you can see the signs of deficiency of both folate and B12 mask each other, so if you are experiencing these symptoms it would be best to ensure you determine which nutrient you are deficient in or just supplement with both.

If you are taking Metformin, be sure to discuss these possible nutrient deficiencies with your health care practitioner and how to prevent them.



ADHD Assist

160K+ followers on TikTok @adhd_assist. Talking shop about ADHD and natural solutions that can help improve our lives.