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anesthesia depletes B12 anesthesia depletes B12

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Unread 12-14-2007, 04:22 PM
anesthesia depletes B12

Our integrative medicine physician told us that anesthesia depletes one's stores of vitamin B12. A web search indicates that it is nitrous oxide (NO2), an inhaled anesthesia, that does this. says:

"Nitrous oxide inactivates cobalamin, the active derivative of vitamin B12 and essential cofactor for the transfer of the methyl group from methyltetrahydrofolate to homocysteine to form methionine. For subjects with good body stores of cobalamin this effect is unimportant, but no-one using this agent should remain unaware of the potentially devastating complications in the nervous system of using nitrous oxide in subjects who are of borderline or deficient vitamin B12 status."

Of course, you may not have had this kind of anesthesia. If you had your anesthesia intravenously, it will be something else (although apparently NO2 is often used in conjunction with intravenous anesthesia) and there are other inhalant anesthesias too.

You might want to take B12 just in case, or inquire of your surgeon what was used.
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