Vitamins may ease diabetes symptoms, study finds

April 29, 2013
Vitamins may ease diabetes symptoms, study finds
Dr. Vivian Fonseca, Tulane University School of Medicine, researched paths to ease symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Credit: Paula Burch-Celentano

(Medical Xpress)—Vitamin therapy is a promising avenue to improving symptoms of pain, tingling and numbness in hands and feet typical of diabetic neuropathy, a study by Tulane University researchers concluded.

The six-month study involved 200 type 2 diabetes patients. Some patients were given Metanx, a vitamin-rich prescription medical food developed by PamLab, a Covington, Louisiana-based company, while others received a placebo.

"Within about two to three months patients taking Metanx started doing significantly better than those taking the placebo," says study leader Dr. Vivian Fonseca, Tullis-Tulane Alumni Chair in Diabetes and past president of science and medicine for the .

"Neuropathy basically means abnormalities of the nerves," says Fonseca. "In diabetes the classic case is peripheral neuropathy, affecting the ends of nerves in the hands and feet."

Approximately 50 to 60 percent of experience symptoms of peripheral neuropathy and the condition can worsen if the disease is not managed.

"The major causes of neuropathy are diabetes; in the past, leprosy; some infections; and vitamin deficiency," says Fonseca.

Several years ago Fonseca came across reports that high doses of vitamins may ease neuropathy symptoms. "I also found reports in the literature of Metanx, which contains high doses of , helping people with neuropathy," he says.

The claims were not supported by clinical studies, however.

"I suggested to PamLab that we should do a and they agreed to fund a multi-center trial at Tulane and five other sites," says Fonseca. "We analyzed the study data and found that patients had improvement in some parameters tested and those with subtle vitamin deficiencies did the best. That tells me that may have been contributing to a worsening of that patient's neuropathy and we corrected that."

Explore further: Surgery not an easy fix for diabetes

More information: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23218892

Related Stories

Surgery not an easy fix for diabetes

December 18, 2012
(Medical Xpress)—Over the past few years, weight loss surgery has become an increasingly popular option to treat Type 2 diabetes, but Dr. Vivian Fonseca, professor of medicine at the Tulane University School of Medicine, ...

Potential biomarker emerging for diabetic neuropathy

June 13, 2012
An emerging biomarker may eventually lead to new approaches for treating diabetics at risk of developing nerve damage, UNSW researchers have found.

Neuropathy patients more likely to receive high-cost, screening instead of more effective tests

January 23, 2012
Researchers at the University of Michigan analyzed the tremendous cost of diagnosing peripheral neuropathy and found that less expensive, more effective tests are less likely to be used.

Various metabolic risk factors could be linked to diabetes-related pain with major implications for treatment

May 17, 2012
Around 1 in 50 people in the general population and 1 in 6 of those aged over 40 years experience neuropathy (damage to the nerves of the peripheral nervous system), which can cause numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness. ...

Drug offers new pain management therapy for diabetics

October 30, 2012
A study from the University of Calgary's Hotchkiss Brain Institute shows there is evidence to support a new drug therapy called nabilone to treat diabetic neuropathy, or nerve pain. Researchers enrolled 60 patients with diabetic ...

Recommended for you

Scientists discover a new way to treat type 2 diabetes

July 21, 2017
Medication currently being used to treat obesity is also proving to have significant health benefits for patients with type 2 diabetes. A new study published today in Molecular Metabolism explains how this therapeutic benefit ...

Alzheimer's drug cuts hallmark inflammation related to metabolic syndrome by 25 percent

July 20, 2017
An existing Alzheimer's medication slashes inflammation and insulin resistance in patients with metabolic syndrome, a potential therapeutic intervention for a highly dangerous condition affecting 30 percent of adults in the ...

Diabetes or its precursor affects 100 million Americans

July 19, 2017
Almost one-third of the US population—100 million people—either has diabetes or its precursor condition, known as pre-diabetes, said a government report Tuesday.

One virus may protect against type 1 diabetes, others may increase risk

July 11, 2017
Doctors can't predict who will develop type 1 diabetes, a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system destroys the cells needed to control blood-sugar levels, requiring daily insulin injections and continual monitoring.

Diabetes complications are a risk factor for repeat hospitalizations, study shows

July 7, 2017
For patients with diabetes, one reason for hospitalization and unplanned hospital readmission is severe dysglycemia (uncontrolled hyperglycemia - high blood sugar, or hypoglycemia - low blood sugar), says new research published ...

Researchers identify promising target to protect bone in patients with diabetes

July 7, 2017
Utilizing metabolomics research techniques, NYU Dentistry researchers investigated the underlying biochemical activity and signaling within the bone marrow of hyperglycemic mice with hopes of reducing fracture risks of diabetics

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.