Supplements of Vitamin B complex may protect against the development and progression of kidney disease in children with diabetes, which could promote improved health and quality of life in adulthood, reports the findings of a research presented at the 57th Annual European Society for Paediatric Endocrinology Meeting.
Vitamin B deficiency is associated with an increased risk of kidney damage and is often observed in children and adults with type-1 diabetes.
“After 12 weeks of vitamin B complex supplementation in children and adolescents with diabetic kidney disease, we detected lower levels of markers that indicate poor kidney function, suggesting that it had a protective effect and could slow progression of the disease”, said Prof Elbarbar, the lead author of the study.
Prof Nancy Samir Elbarbary and associates in their study included 80 vitamin B12-deficient, type-1 diabetics, aged 12-18 years, with early signs of diabetic kidney disease and were given either vitamin B supplements or no treatment, over a 12-week period. After 12 weeks, the children given vitamin B supplements showed significant changes in several blood markers that overall indicated improvements in their blood glucose regulation and kidney function.
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Prof Elbarbary, comments, “Although the best strategy for treating diabetic kidney disease is prevention, for example through better blood glucose control and maintenance of healthy blood pressure, a normal lipid profile and a healthy body weight, the long-term duration of diabetes still increases the risk of developing kidney disease. So, these findings suggest vitamin B supplementation, in addition to traditional angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitor therapy, may be a simple, safe and cost-effective strategy for early protection of kidney function, which may improve the long-term quality of life for type-1 diabetes patients.”
According to the authors, the study was a relatively smaller and the findings still need to be confirmed in larger, multicentred randomized trials to verify the role of vitamin B complex supplementation in treating early diabetic kidney disease over long periods of time, but these early results are a promising start.
Type-1 diabetes is usually diagnosed in childhood and can lead to serious and debilitating complications, including diabetic kidney disease. This common complication develops over many years but has no symptoms in the early stages, so if undetected may lead to earlier death in adulthood.