Friday, August 10, 2007

Preventing Diabetic Vascular Disease

Diabetes is a growing problem in the developed world and in much of the developing world. It is all clearly tied up with obesity and our diet/exercise patterns. The rising incidence of diabetes is in parallel with the rising incidence of obesity. We all know that in fact diabetes is a vascular disease. Patients with diabetes, die not from high sugar per se, but from complications related to blood vessel disease in big arteries and small arteries, otherwise called macro and micro-vascular complications. These complications present themselves as kidney, eye, heart disease and strokes.

Recently, researches in UK have established the relationship between these blood vessel complications and an increased rates of thiamine breakdown, thereby causing a state of thiamine deficiency. The researches from Warwick University found that 76% of patients with type 1 diabetes have thiamine deficiency, and 75% patients with type 2 diabetes have thiamine deficiency. They also proved that giving thiamine helps to lessen the vascular risk. Thiamine is a common vitamin (also called vitamin B1), found in abundance in yeast, unpolished rice and meat. Therefore, giving thiamine is not a problem, just some diet supplement, in view of the fact that it is not a problem of not eating thiamine containing food, but more a problem of increase breakdown, thereby requiring more thiamine then usual.

Obviously, this very important finding needs to be further substantiated by other workers. In the meantime, there is not harm in patients with diabetes taking some Vitamin B1 supplements, to avoid the dreaded diabetic vascular disease.

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