In a nutshell
This study looked at the effect of vitamin D supplements on diabetic neuropathy (DN; nerve damage). They found that taking high-dose vitamin D for 6 months reduced the pain and disability associated with DN.
Diabetic neuropathy (DN) refers to nerve damage experienced by diabetic patients. It leads to pain and altered sensation usually in the feet that can lead to loss of feeling in the feet. This can result in trips and falls and diabetic ulcers.
There is evidence that taking vitamin D supplements may improve DN. However, it is not clear how much vitamin D should be taken or for how long for the best effects.
Methods & findings
62 patients with type 2 diabetes and DN were divided into two groups. Group 1 was given 5000 units of vitamin D per week, while group 2 was given a much higher dose of 40,000 units per week. Treatment was given for 24 weeks. At follow-up, all patients had their vitamin D levels re-checked as well as their weight, diabetic control, and the severity of their diabetic neuropathy.
At the start of the study, 79.7% of participants had low vitamin D levels. After 24 weeks, all of the patients in group 2 had normal vitamin D levels, compared to only half the patients in group 1. Patients in group 2 also showed significant weight loss, improved diabetic control, and reduced severity of DN.
The bottom line
This study showed that high doses of vitamin D are needed to normalize vitamin D levels in patients with type 2 diabetes and to improve diabetic control and DN.
The fine print
This study involved a relatively small number of patients, and most of these patients had low vitamin D levels, to begin with. More research is needed.
Speak to your physician about checking your vitamin D levels.
Original Title :
High-Dose Vitamin D Supplementation Improves Microcirculation and Reduces Inflammation in Diabetic Neuropathy Patients.
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