Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vitamin-B Therapy Benefit Diabetics?

Studies have shown that high doses of Vitamin-B do aid heart disease prevention. Meanwhile, many researchers also believed Vitamin-B therapy using folic acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 could reduce diabetic kidney damage because Vitamin-B can help lower blood levels of homocysteine.

Homocysteine is an amino acid that induces clotting in the blood and damages the lining of arteries. It is also a strong risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Diabetics are known to have higher homocysteine levels, on average, than people without diabetes.

But, the findings of researchers from the University of Western Ontario and the Robarts Research Institute in London, Ontario seem to be quite different.

In their paper published in the April 28 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), they reported that patients with diabetic nephropathy might suffer rapid deterioration of their kidneys, if they were treated by high doses of Vitamin-B. They also pointed out that diabetics in addition to kidney function loss were affected by higher rates of heart attack and stroke than those who took a placebo.

Diabetic nephropathy is kidney disease or damage that is caused by a complication of diabetes. It affects the network of tiny blood vessels in the glomerulus, a structure in the kidney made of capillary blood vessels to filter blood.

To see whether Vitamin-B therapy would slow down the progression of diabetic nephropathy and prevent vascular events, the researchers conducted a clinical research in 238 patients with Type-1 and Type-2 diabetes. The placebo-controlled trial was conducted at 5 university medical centers in Canada between May 2001 and July 2007.

Patients were divided into 2 groups: one group received single tablet of Vitamin-B with folic acid (2.5 mg/d), Vitamin B6 (25 mg/d) and Vitamin B12 (1 mg/d) while the other group were prescribed with matching placebo.

After following the patients for an average period of 31.9 months, researchers found that those with Vitamin-B therapy had a faster reduction rate of kidney function, as compared with those who were on placebo treatment. In addition, those patients with diabetic nephropathy additionally had a higher rate of heart attack and stroke than patients who received placebo.

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