Diabetes patients with early stage kidney disease could benefit from taking vitamin B1 after researchers discovered that it can reverse the onset of the disease.
Researchers at the University of Warwick found that type 2 diabetes patients who take high oral doses of thiamine (vitamin B1) can reverse early diabetic kidney disease.
Kidney disease, or diabetic nephropathy, develops progressively in patients with type 2 diabetes. Its early development is assessed by a high excretion rate of the protein albumin from the body in the urine, known as microalbuminuria.
The research led by Dr Naila Rabbani and Professor Paul J Thornalley at Warwick Medical School found that 300mg of thiamine taken orally every day for three months reduced the rate of albumin excretion in type 2 diabetes patients.
The Warwick research group has already conclusively proven that type 2 diabetes patients have a thiamine deficiency.
In an earlier study led by Professor Paul Thornalley at Warwick Medical School, the research team showed that thiamine deficiency could be key to a range of vascular problems for diabetes patients.
Dr Rabbani said: “This study once again highlights the importance of Vitamin B1 and we need to increase awareness.”
The research was published online in the journal Diabetologia.
Copyright Press Association 2008