December 9, 2008

Thiamine reverses diabetic kidney disease

Researchers in Britain and Pakistan say high doses of thiamine, or vitamin B1, can reverse the onset of early diabetic kidney disease.

Dr. Naila Rabbani and Paul J. Thornalley at Warwick Medical School at the University of Warwick, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Punjab and Sheik Zaid Hospital in Lahore, Pakistan, say that taking high oral doses of thiamine can dramatically decrease the excretion of albumin and reverse early stage kidney disease in type 2 diabetes patients.

The study, published online in the journal Diabetologia, shows 300 mg of thiamine taken orally each day for three months reduced the rate of albumin excretion in type 2 diabetes patients. The albumin excretion rate was decreased by 41 percent from the value at the start of the study. The results also showed 35 percent of patients with microalbuminuria saw a return to normal urinary albumin excretion after being treated with thiamine.

Forty patients with type 2 diabetes ages 35-65 were randomly assigned a placebo or three doses of 100mg tablets of thiamine a day for three months.

The Warwick research team showed that thiamine deficiency could be key to a range of vascular problems for diabetes patients.