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Vitamin E may reduce pain in diabetic neuropathy

In diabetes, long-term elevation of blood sugar levels can damage nerves and small blood vessels. This condition is called neuropathy, and may cause pain or a loss of feeling usually starting in the toes and feet, and can lead to complications. Prior studies found antioxidants like vitamin E could help control neuropathy.

In this study, 92 people with diabetic neuropathy continued to take standard pain and blood sugar medications, with or without 400 IU of vitamin E per day. After 12 weeks, random blood sugar levels had declined nearly three times more for those taking vitamin E than for placebo. For neuropathic pain, while there was no effect in those younger than 50, those over age 50 in the vitamin E group had twice the pain relief as placebo. Discussing their findings, doctors said that while there is no cure for neuropathy, vitamin E may help ease pain and improve quality of life.

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