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In a preliminary study conducted at the departments of endocrinology and neurology at Hacettepe University in Turkey, it was discovered that vitamin E supplementation could aid in the prevention of mild-to-moderate peripheral neuropathy in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The researchers felt that vitamin E deficiency is correlated with the microvascular complications of diabetes.
According to the November 1998 issue of Diabetes Care, a total of 21 patients with type 2 diabetes who demonstrated peripheral neuropathy were selected for the Hacettepe University study. The patients were between the ages of 35 and 75, and had been treating their conditions with diet or oral antidiabetic agents.
The subjects were divided into two groups, and were studied for six months. One group received 900 mg of vitamin E daily, and the other group was given a placebo. According to Neslihan Bascil Tutuncu, MD, and associates, none of the subjects was accustomed to eating large amounts of food containing high levels of vitamin E prior to the study.
After six months, the vitamin E and placebo group were compared and the vitamin E group demonstrated increased motor nerve velocity. Additionally, reversal of the defective nerve velocity was better demonstrated in the upper-extremity motor nerves, leading the researchers to conclude that the longer, lower-extremity nerves are damaged by neuropathy complications earlier than the upper-extremity motor nerves.
Vitamin E is available in a supplemental form, and can found in various foods including vegetable oils, wheat germ, whole grain cereals, and green leafy vegetables.
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