Curing Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

Curing Painful Diabetic Neuropathy
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Diabetics suffering from nerve pain for years are cured within days with a plant-based diet.

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Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves, is a debilitating disorder. Diabetes is by far the most common cause. Up to 50% of diabetics will eventually develop neuropathy during the course of their disease. It can be very painful, and the pain is frequently resistant to conventional treatments. In fact, there is currently no effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Clinicians rely on steroids, opiates, and antidepressants to try to mediate the suffering.

But 20 years ago, a remarkable study was published on the regression of diabetic neuropathy with a plant-based diet. There are two types of diabetic neuropathy: a relatively painless type characterized by numbness, tingling and pins-and-needles sensations, and then a second form, which is painful with burning or aching sensations to the point of excruciating, lancinating—stabbing—pain. This paper concentrated on the painful type.

Twenty-one diabetics suffering with moderate or worse symptomatic painful neuropathy for up to ten years were placed on a whole food, plant-based diet along with a half-hour walk every day. Years and years of suffering and then, complete relief of the pain in 17 out of the 21 patients within days.

Numbness noticeably improved too. And the side effects were all good. They lost ten pounds, blood sugars got better—insulin needs dropped in half, and in five of the patients, not only apparently was their painful neuropathy cured, so was their diabetes: normal blood sugars and off of all medications.

And their triglycerides and cholesterol improved too. High blood pressure got better, in fact, gone in about half the hypertensives—an 80% drop overall in the need for high blood pressure medications within three weeks.

Now, this was a live-in program, where patients’ meals were provided. What happened after they were sent home? The 17 folks were followed for years, and in all except one, the relief from the painful neuropathy continued or improved even further. How’d they get that kind of compliance? Pain and ill health are strong motivating factors. One of the most painful and frustrating conditions to treat in all of medicine and 75% cured within days with a natural, nontoxic—in fact, beneficial—treatment, a diet composed of whole plant foods.

How could nerve damage be reversed so suddenly? It wasn’t necessarily the improvement in blood sugar control, since it took about ten days for the diet to control the diabetes, whereas the pain was gone in as few as four days. There are several mechanisms by which the total vegetarian diet works to alleviate the problem of diabetic neuropathy as well as the diabetic condition itself. The researchers’ most interesting speculation was that it could be the trans fats naturally found in meat and dairy and refined vegetable oils that could be causing an inflammatory response. They found a significant percentage of the fat found under the skin of those who ate meat or dairy consisted of trans fats, whereas those on a strictly whole food plant-based diet had none.

They stuck needles in the buttocks of people eating different diets, and nine months or more on a strict plant-based diet appeared to remove the trans fat from their bodies. But their pain didn’t take nine months to get better; it got better in days.

More likely, it was an improvement in blood flow. Nerve biopsies in diabetics with severe progressive neuropathy have shown small vessel disease within the nerve. There are blood vessels within our nerves that can get clogged up. The oxygen levels in the nerves of diabetics were found to be lower than even the levels of de-oxygenated blood. This lack of oxygen within the nerves may arise from blockages within the blood vessels depriving the nerves of oxygen, presumably leading them to cry out in pain.

Within days, though, improvements in blood rheology, the ease of blood flow, on a plant-based diet may play a prominent role in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy. Plant-based diets may also lower the level of IGF-1 inside the eyeballs of diabetics and decrease the risk of retinopathy—diabetic vision loss—as well. But the most efficient way to avoid diabetic complications is to eliminate the diabetes, and this is often feasible for those type 2 patients who make an abiding commitment to daily exercise and a healthy enough diet.

Since the initial report of neuropathy reversal, the results have been replicated: significant improvements in numbness and burning. Why didn’t I learn about this in medical school? The neglect of this important work by the broader medical community is nothing short of unconscionable.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Alexis via Pixabay.

Neuropathy, or damage to the nerves, is a debilitating disorder. Diabetes is by far the most common cause. Up to 50% of diabetics will eventually develop neuropathy during the course of their disease. It can be very painful, and the pain is frequently resistant to conventional treatments. In fact, there is currently no effective treatment for diabetic neuropathy. Clinicians rely on steroids, opiates, and antidepressants to try to mediate the suffering.

But 20 years ago, a remarkable study was published on the regression of diabetic neuropathy with a plant-based diet. There are two types of diabetic neuropathy: a relatively painless type characterized by numbness, tingling and pins-and-needles sensations, and then a second form, which is painful with burning or aching sensations to the point of excruciating, lancinating—stabbing—pain. This paper concentrated on the painful type.

Twenty-one diabetics suffering with moderate or worse symptomatic painful neuropathy for up to ten years were placed on a whole food, plant-based diet along with a half-hour walk every day. Years and years of suffering and then, complete relief of the pain in 17 out of the 21 patients within days.

Numbness noticeably improved too. And the side effects were all good. They lost ten pounds, blood sugars got better—insulin needs dropped in half, and in five of the patients, not only apparently was their painful neuropathy cured, so was their diabetes: normal blood sugars and off of all medications.

And their triglycerides and cholesterol improved too. High blood pressure got better, in fact, gone in about half the hypertensives—an 80% drop overall in the need for high blood pressure medications within three weeks.

Now, this was a live-in program, where patients’ meals were provided. What happened after they were sent home? The 17 folks were followed for years, and in all except one, the relief from the painful neuropathy continued or improved even further. How’d they get that kind of compliance? Pain and ill health are strong motivating factors. One of the most painful and frustrating conditions to treat in all of medicine and 75% cured within days with a natural, nontoxic—in fact, beneficial—treatment, a diet composed of whole plant foods.

How could nerve damage be reversed so suddenly? It wasn’t necessarily the improvement in blood sugar control, since it took about ten days for the diet to control the diabetes, whereas the pain was gone in as few as four days. There are several mechanisms by which the total vegetarian diet works to alleviate the problem of diabetic neuropathy as well as the diabetic condition itself. The researchers’ most interesting speculation was that it could be the trans fats naturally found in meat and dairy and refined vegetable oils that could be causing an inflammatory response. They found a significant percentage of the fat found under the skin of those who ate meat or dairy consisted of trans fats, whereas those on a strictly whole food plant-based diet had none.

They stuck needles in the buttocks of people eating different diets, and nine months or more on a strict plant-based diet appeared to remove the trans fat from their bodies. But their pain didn’t take nine months to get better; it got better in days.

More likely, it was an improvement in blood flow. Nerve biopsies in diabetics with severe progressive neuropathy have shown small vessel disease within the nerve. There are blood vessels within our nerves that can get clogged up. The oxygen levels in the nerves of diabetics were found to be lower than even the levels of de-oxygenated blood. This lack of oxygen within the nerves may arise from blockages within the blood vessels depriving the nerves of oxygen, presumably leading them to cry out in pain.

Within days, though, improvements in blood rheology, the ease of blood flow, on a plant-based diet may play a prominent role in the reversal of diabetic neuropathy. Plant-based diets may also lower the level of IGF-1 inside the eyeballs of diabetics and decrease the risk of retinopathy—diabetic vision loss—as well. But the most efficient way to avoid diabetic complications is to eliminate the diabetes, and this is often feasible for those type 2 patients who make an abiding commitment to daily exercise and a healthy enough diet.

Since the initial report of neuropathy reversal, the results have been replicated: significant improvements in numbness and burning. Why didn’t I learn about this in medical school? The neglect of this important work by the broader medical community is nothing short of unconscionable.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Alexis via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

What about reversing diabetic vision loss? See Can Diabetic Retinopathy Be Reversed?.

Did you think trans fats were only in partially hydrogenated junk food? See Trans Fat in Meat and Dairy. Ideally, we’d reduce our intake as low as possible, which I discuss in Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, and Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero.

The best way to prevent diabetic complications is to prevent the diabetes in the first place:

And then to reverse it:

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

179 responses to “Curing Painful Diabetic Neuropathy

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  1. Speaking of conditions that are frustrating to treat, has there been any research on curing Raynaud’s Disease through diet? I’ve struggled with it for years, and both weight loss and the vibration and cold from motorcycling seem to have permanently worsened it. With the beneficial effects of a WFPB diet on circulation et cetera you might expect to see some improvement in Raynaud’s too, but it’s actually the one thing that hasn’t gotten better for me at all, despite 6 months of strict vegan eating.




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    1. Hello, I think logically you’re on the right track making choices that support peripheral circulation in general because Raynaud’s disease is associated with and also exacerbated by high platelet aggregability, high blood viscosity, and vasoconstriction.

      I searched the peer reviewed literature and I did not find much research on dietary influences on Raynaud’s disease. I did find an old paper that reported results of a small study showing positive effects of fish oil dietary supplementation (3.96g EPA and 2.64g DHA) in primary (idiopathic) Raynaud’s, but not secondary (acquired) Raynaud’s disease patients. Another study investigated the effects of D3 supplementation in Raynaud’s disease patients with vitamin D deficiency, and found that self-reported symptoms decreased as blood vitamin D levels rose.

      I kinda went a little wild, but here are some links to some videos that relate in general to diet and peripheral circulation for anyone interested. Hope this helps!

      Inhibiting-platelet-activation-with-garlic-and-onions

      Inhibiting-platelet-activation-with-berries

      Inhibiting-platelet-activation-with-tomato-seeds

      Oygenating-blood-with-nitrate-rich-vegetables/




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      1. In my case it’s familial, so would that count as primary or secondary? [I already take beet juice powder twice a day and eat roasted beets]. With respect to the fish oil – that’s a LOT of it. Even from algal sources, getting that much DHA and EPA is … daunting. That’s a lot of pills.




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        1. Why don’t you start juicing and mixing beet juice with carrots and celery? That powder is dead and I don’t think it can really do what LIVE juicing can.




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      2. Thank you very much! I too have Raynaud’s and have been plant based for 4 years with no real change in my condition. It is 69 F in the house but it is 43 and feels like 36 outside. I have on socks, 2 shirts, a hoodie and long pants and my fingers and toes still ache. My fingertips were tinged with blue after drinking my Dr. Greger morning smoothie. Frozen fruit makes one cold from the inside out! I washed up the dishes and that helped to warm up my hands lol
        It really does interfere with your life. It is just too cold for me sometimes to walk outside and I need the miles as I have osteoporosis too.




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        1. Have you considered Pumpkin seeds? The bones are not just made of Calcium, but also Phosphorus. Dr. Weil recommends Niacin for Raynaud’s disease and he recommends 100 mg a day warning of the flush. I feel better on Niacin after more than a decade of mental illness.




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            1. I have spent much of the past year, a year after I dipped or took Iodine (goiter literally means dropper in French) discussing Orthomolecular medicine. It uses vitamins and diet to treat disease. The joy of being on vitamins. I love vitamins and diet for disease. It sounds like Matcha tea, cartoons, math, and Magnesium cause the alpha brain wave? It sounds like that is the holy grail of emotional wellness. I think somewhere along the line Mental health doctors were supposed to cause brain waves. I think some people, maybe even people I know, have heard that Russia starves the mentally ill in work camps and people are willing to try to get into this program. It is horrifying. A plant based diet, a vitamin program, and green or matcha tea could be better. The world is better for the work of Dr. Greger.




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          1. I am only 55 (just turned). I have advanced osteoporosis of lumbar and hips. I have the burning and aching and weakness along with pins and needles in my feet , legs and hands.. mostly legs. I am desperate for help. I want to try this diet do you have a meal plan? I would love to get my life back.. walking triggers my NP.. but i need it for my bones.




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            1. TK,

              A comprehensive workup with a physician who is knowledgeable in the functional side of medicine would be in order.

              To address some of your concerns consider your gut integrity (ie. what’s going on with your digestion as without absorption your fuel line is kinked). I overwhelming percentage of patients who present in your condition have indeed an identifiable GI issue principally with achlorhydria and or other gut dysbiosis issues. Can’t get down the highway on 3 tires…..

              Then consider using a test such as the Spectracell or Genova laboratories nutrient profile and/or consider a short trial of injectable b-12 and see if you notice a change in your NP….

              This is a starting point and I am solely suggesting that you speak with your/a physician who understands that the key is not to use more calcium, this is probably a very misguided approach, but rather find the underlying issues, be that lifestyle, genetic or other combinations that have you experiencing osteoporosis. Don’t overlook the vitamin K &D levels along with your hormones. Yes you need adequate testosterone to make bone and don’t accept the minimums as being adequate….

              Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com




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        2. Have you switched to a plant-based diet? Animal products are acidic and can leech calcium from the bones. I really truly believe that all these things are interrelated. By consuming a high raw fruit diet with low or moderate plant fat, I believe that can assist in your circulation, especially if you begin juicing with ginger.




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          1. I have not had any meat products in almost 5 years and I eat a wfpb, no added oil diet. I also try to include ginger in most meals and drink ginger tea daily. I am following Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. I did buy a calcium/Vitamin D supplement this week as I am just not getting enough calcium despite almost overeating.. The new requirements say 1500 mg for a post menopausal woman. This week I also began adding tofu to my morning veggie/fruit/bean/amla/flax etc smoothie. There is something odd about Raynaud’s. It is 70 in the house but the temperature outside dropped and I am cold and my fingers and toes are blue tinged and hurt. I can tell when it is getting colder outside despite the warmth in the house.




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            1. That calcium is likely crushed rock. It could cause kidney stones. Because the body cannot utilize it, it can collect in other areas and create arthritis, glaucoma, etc. I asked if you have had ANIMAL products. The highest cases of osteoporosis are in countries with the highest dairy consumption, such as the US, Canada, and Sweden. Dairy is acidic and therefore the same as any dead flesh item in that regard.

              Doctors are pretty clueless so if you are following a plant-based diet yet still going to mainstream docs, you’re going to get mixed messages, mixed remedies and therefore mixed results, IMO.




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              1. I have told you twice now that I eat no meat or dairy products. Ever. Whole food, plant based with no added oil. Dr. McDougall. Dr. Essylstyn, Dr. Campbell plans. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. None of which allow meat or dairy. I have added calcium citrate which is what the wfpb doctors recommend if you have to supplement. And I do for right now, at least until I can find out why I am either not absorbing the calcium properly or I am excreting it. I have other medical conditions that I did not go into here. .My doctor wished me to be on Fosomax which, of course, I refused.




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      3. Thanks a lot for the quick and elaborate response, don’t mind you “going wild” at all, quite the contrary!

        I already try to include berries, onions, whole tomatoes, raw garlic and dark greens every day based on the recommendations on the site, but it’s good to be reminded or reassured that they should be helping matters and not worsening them.

        I’m a bit conservative (and cheap) when it comes to vitamin D and EPA/DHA supplementation though, I take the recommended daily amounts only every other day, so I might try and increase those.

        I wonder if with vitamin D there isn’t a confound with the fact that as it gets sunnier your vitamin D production increases but so do temperatures which in itself lessens Raynaud’s attacks. I guess the real test will be to experiment with supplementation levels next winter. As for EPA/DHA, I might increase it to daily rather than every other day and see what happens if anything, but that’s still far from the wacky amounts used in that fish oil study. :)




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        1. You’re welcome! Aside from seasonal fluctuations in vitamin D it’s important to note that the helpful effects of vitamin D on Raynaud’s was observed only in Raynaud’s patients that had an existing vitamin D deficiency. That study did not include people with normal circulating blood levels of vitamin D. If you have a deficiency, fixing that makes sense, but if not… I’d spend my supplement budget on EPA/DHA. Good luck!




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        2. with regard to vitamin d… look up university of california viatamin d. according to a lot of there research vitamin d is like a wonder drug – wonder
          vitamin. I took 20,000 units per day for about six months and dropped from that to 10000 units per day.
          when on 20000 units per day the amount of vitamine d was about 90 milimoles/decileter (spelling) Optimal is 70 to 100 milimoles/decileter. get your lavbs take because if you don’t know concentrations in your blood, you do not know how much to adjust your intake. same goes for all nutrients.




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    2. I’ve had the same problem for 30 years, due to MS. Diet doesn’t affect it at all. I take a lot of vitamin D3, also DHA. but it doesn’t change anything. I have to use a drug to be able to tolerate my clothes a lot of the time.




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      1. As you probably know, with MS the pain is due to nerve damage and once the myelin is damaged it cannot be reversed. Plant based diet has helped my husband with keeping the other symptoms at bay and he’s doing much better than 5 years ago–a lot better. He was on a radical treatment of chemo at one point, as new lesions were forming at an alarming rate. This was when he was taking Rebif too. After he went on a strict plant based diet, 4.5 years ago, he stopped with the injectables, but then again, with a maybe 30% efficacy, their use was rather spurious at best. All the best.




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    3. Hello. Dr. Weil, who I trust for his opinion on Iodine, suggests taking 100 mg of Niacin a day and warns about the flush or the skin tingling and burning, the release of progastalin D2. I have been taking 2 grams of Niacin a day for schziophrenia and have had an improvement. I almost feel like I could take the burden of the mental illnesses of others now. I think Pyschiatrists put people on foods to which they are allergic, limit their acces to fortified grains, and tell them not to swallow. http://www.drweil.com/drw/u/ART00402/Raynauds-Disease.html




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    4. I did a PubMed search for Raynaud’s and was unable to find anything relating to diet. KPLindsey had more success see her post. On the other hand I didn’t find anything to suggest that a WFPB diet would worsen the condition. Vibration as she mentioned is associated with Raynaud’s not good news for folks riding motorcycles. I recommend that you stay the course by following the best science based diet for two reasons. The first you want to lower your risk of acquiring another chronic condition. Second I have been impressed that given years of over-nutrition it may take time to see improvement. For instance in coronary artery disease we see improvement in days and weeks with dietary changes in anginal symptoms most likely due to improvement in the nitrous oxide endothelial system. The blockages on the other had seem to take months and years to improve. Finally keep tuned to NutritionFacts.org as you never know when Dr. Greger and his talented group of researchers who wade through over 20,000 articles each year will find something helpful. i hope since Raynaud’s is a relatively common disorder found in about 5% of the population. Good luck.




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      1. I don’t think my diet has worsened it other than through weight loss and hence being more susceptible to cold which triggers the attacks.

        I was the one who mentioned the link to vibration myself so I’m well aware of it. Motorcycling gives you vibration plus wind chill which is a combination sure to trigger attacks in anything less than warm weather. It’s actually only after starting to ride that the attacks got “serious” enough for me to investigate and learn about the condition.

        I never said anything about “not staying the course”, not sure where you got the idea that I would throw everything away because of one niggling complaint that hasn’t gotten better, but trust me the thought hasn’t even crossed my mind!




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        1. Sorry for confusion I was trying to add encouragement. I didn’t have the impression that you wouldn’t “stay the course”. I have been impressed that some conditions resolve after months or years but unfortunately some don’t. Hard to know. Once again congrats on your success.




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        2. Hi Mick! I have been on the WFPB diet for about 6 months…and also have Raynauds together with a number of other issues…

          I was considering getting professional advice, and also considering going on a water fast, but I haven’t heard of anyone reversing Raynauds other than a reported study done in the army where the effected raynaudians would go out in the cold 6 times a day and put there hands in warm water….apparently to re-educate the nervous system…http://www.nytimes.com/1988/01/19/science/simple-method-found-to-warm-cold-hands.html

          I haven’t actually got the time at the moment to do this…6 time a day every other day over the span of a 100 Days, unless I had a cold room handy…would be interested in hearing the results if someone had the time,.




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      1. Nope, I do try to include some “fatty” ingredients in most meals (for nutrient absorption) but I stick to seeds, nuts, and occasionally whole olives (don’t really care for avocados). No oils whatsoever, only vinegar.




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        1. Considering the more fat in the blood, the more affect on red blood cells (sludges their movements, and decreases peripheral oxygen delivery) and also affects blood vessel function… would be interesting if a lower fat diet was beneficial… even from whole foods




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    5. I have a patient whose Raynaud’s dramatically improved with a healthy vegan diet but has not resolved. Her improvement was a slow gradual one over the course of many months, possibly even a year.




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      1. Interesting, as I really like the taste of Cayenne pepper but haven’t really gone out of my way to use it a lot. I’ll give it a shot, in the meantime do you happen to have a source for the supposed benefits of Cayenne pepper, and any other spices worth experimenting with?




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        1. The best “source” is experimenting and finding out for yourself! And ginger also is great for many things. Juiced is best, it would seem. A little goes a long way and I am speaking of fresh ginger, by the way.




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  2. Fascinating and totally logical. In the late 70s I was part of a trial to see how the new insulin pump idea might work with type 1 veterans. There were about 6 of us in the trial as I recall. As part of that they also gave us a new device known as a dextromer (analogue) to measure our blood sugar at home. (Television was still mostly in black and white.) Indeed we all lowered our A1C levels.

    After about 2 weeks the wife of one of the other participants came in with him so excited she was almost crying. He had shown marked symptoms of regaining sensitivity in his feet after only about 2 week.

    The factors mention by Dr Greger are important but they all go together. Eating animal gives us cholesterol, branched chain amino acids, saturated fats and advanced glycation end products. In our case the only thing that changed was the endogenous or internally produced advanced glycation end products that come from chronically high blood sugar. These glycotoxins also cause insulin resistance and atherosclerosis. It would seem that there are numerous factors in T2 diabetes.

    Eliminating the external advanced glycation end products would logically reduce even more negative factors than we did in that trial. We did not change our diets and still had good results. Had we changed our diet in addition to what was done, I believe we would have had spectacular results instead of just very good results.




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    1. BCAAs aren’t deleterious – they enhance muscle growth and aerobic exercise capabilities. More importantly, they actually serve to increase wakefulness – they’re one of the only interventions that improves wakefulness in TBI patients that’s not a drug.




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      1. Plasma BCAA levels and metabolic syndrome have been linked since the 60s, and in a widely cited animal study, BCAA supplementation promoted insulin resistance, but only in the context of a high fat diet. So while there are benefits to BCAAs elsewhere, they appear to play a role in metabolic disease progression.




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        1. Darryl, I’d point you to Dr. Fuhrman’s article on vegan diets in athletes (https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/vegan_athlete.pdf). For vegan athletes, he does point out that BCAAs are important to attenuate exercise-induced muscle damage and promote muscle protein synthesis, although he advises getting those from seeds and tofu. Context is everything – when they’re in the context of a whole-food plant-based diet, they don’t appear to contribute to metabolic disease at all. BCAAs by themselves – for example the 2010 Japanese study on BCAAs – and the 2011 Brazilian study – found that BCAAs also can increase blood oxygen content, and lower subjective feelings of tiredness after a workout.




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          1. Thanks for reference to Fuhman’s excellent paper on nutrition for athletes. It was the clearest summary (with citations) I’ve read on additional protein requirements of endurance and strength athletes compared to sedentary individuals, the upper limits of safe protein consumption, and the value to the timing protein consumption.




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        2. You beat me to it. I did state that a bit facilely. Also the question of quantities should be considered as there are vegan sources of BCAAs which might not have the same deleterious impact due to minimal SFAs as well as possibly a generally reduced level. . Newgard http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22560213 points out that the relationship is symbiotic.
          The primary point to make in all this is the anti reductionist one. There are numerous factors and not just one.
          One of the more resonating things Dr G points out is the fact that for good and ill, many different things might be necessary to get to a particular result.




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    2. Hi Stewart, You make a very good point about how important this information from Dr G. would have been if as part of the trial they would include WFPB diet. However as Dr G. mentioned the beneficial effect of WFPB diet will be evident as soon as the diet is put into use for improving the nerve damage in diabetic complications.




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      1. Indeed! I certainly see that as I have reduced my insulin intake by 20-25% since changing my diet and of course there is much less assault on my system than there had been. The pump is great but I still likely have higher serum AGEs due to higher than normal A1c. My point here is that for T1 diabetics it is all the more even important to eliminate animal than for non diabetics. And of course for T2 diabetics they since they can completely eliminate the condition with diet it is screamingly obvious that they should do so.




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        1. It is great that you are aware of AGEs and just a note to say that foods cooked with moist heat, shorter cooking times and lower temperatures, and acidic ingredients such as vinegar or lemon juice produced the least amount of AGEs. Wishing you good health and keep up the good work and continue learning from Dr G. website and all the useful information.




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  3. Dr. Greger’s latest offering, seemed so familiar. I was certain that this was a reprise of something that he had done previously. As it turns out, the good doctor was repackage information that he gave in a longer presentation into a more bit sized, targeted message:

    “From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food” I have included a booked marked link below…
    https://youtu.be/1DCjwIVJmMw?t=719




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    1. It’s a good way to do it since it will probably reach more people. The videos are on YouTube and it allows for people to find them based on the key words in the title (though I think YouTube also searches on content; I noticed you can get closed captioning on the videos).




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      1. Considering that 1 in 5 of us has at least some hearing loss, that the invention of the telephone that benefits all hearing was originally created to assist Bell’s deaf mother, and the American’s with Disabilities Act has been in effect since the 90’s, it just boggles me how the deaf and hearing impaired are still getting left out through no fault of their own, are still second class citizens, and still have to lag behind in accessing the information everyone else can get effortlessly! Even most videos still aren’t even captioned almost 30 years after the supposed law was passed! (If you think Youtube’s “auto=generated” captioning is an answer, go ahead and try it. It is either humor or an insult, depending, but not even close to a solution!) So I just wanted to thank Dr Greger and team for caring enough to always caption the videos and making ALL the information accessible and not making us guess and fill in the blanks or miss it completely. Kudos!!!




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    2. Thanks Joe for sharing this link. I watched it before and it is always interesting and entertaining and informative to see Dr G. presentations. Thanks Dr Greger for all these great information.




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  4. I have the first type of neuropathy. I’m not diabetic.. Sometimes it feels like I’m wearing electric socks with a mild short.. Most times I don’t even notice it but sometimes it flairs… The only thing I can attribute it to was my total lack of regard to my B-12 intake when going total WFPB diet years ago.. Now ii’s like an old friend that “talks” to me sometimes.. It keeps my tinitus company!!! but that’s another story… Got both ends covered!!!




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    1. Mitch, I’d like to hear your tinnitus story. Maybe this isn’t the place, but have you found the WFPB diet to be helpful in any way? I suffer from it too, along with hyperacusis.




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      1. I have episodes of pulsatile tinnitus which is different that regular tinnitus. With pulsatile tinnitus, you can actually hear your hear beating all the time, whereas with regular tinnitus you just hear a high pitched tone. Since I have started the vegan life style my “swooshers” have diminished considerably.




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    1. Much of the chemo-induced neuropathy treatment supports reducing inflammation (such as with steroids), which is commonly achieved using a whole-foods plant-based diet.

      Usually the advice from nutritionfacts.org is that a wholefoods plant-based diet is best for everyone, because even if it doesn’t cure your specific condition, it will help prevent other health complications, such as further cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions etc…




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    1. Post-herpetic neuralgia treatment involves reducing inflammation (as commonly achieved on a whole-food plant-based diet), and encouraging wound healing (blood sugar control via a whole-food plant-based diet important for this + antioxidants if fresh fruits and vegetables), amongst other things.

      Usually the advice from nutritionfacts.org is that a wholefoods plant-based diet is best for everyone, because even if it doesn’t cure your specific condition, it will help prevent other health complications, such as cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions etc…




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      1. All dis-ease is the same, though! LOL. Different names, one dis-order or dis-ease, which is toxemia. Toxemia affects people in various ways due to our unique areas of the body that are weaker than others.




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  5. Interesting thoughts as to the mechanisms, and I appreciate the links. I will offer this word of caution though: I have talked with many people about the power of diet – but like so many things, many times people won’t move until they’re in pain and their ass is on fire. The power of advertising should not be neglected – until Big Food (in the form of fast food and the beverage companies) is comprehensively slapped down (and barred from advertising), it’s a tough fight.




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    1. You are right about that. McDonald’s is not going to like seeing millions and millions of Americans getting this information and going on a whole plant food diet. Which reminds me, using the term “whole plant food” is much better than using the term “vegan” or “vegetarian” because these two latter terms can be smeared by the opposition which creates a negative attitude on the general public. I have already read many negative things about vegans being cult members. I have seen many negative cartoons and jokes about vegans and vegetarians. The term “whole plant food diet” sounds more scientific, but then you have to explain to people what that means.

      So, yes, McDonald’s and the other mega food giants will loose billions of dollars if people stop entering their golden arches so you can count on them attacking and trying to bury this knowledge.




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      1. Agreed with the terminology. One can be a strict vegan… and still be overweight, sick and diseased…. there is plenty of coconut icecream, vegetable oil fried potato chips and plenty of other nutrient poor overly processed animal-free junk food…




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        1. Nothing wrong whatsoever with coconuts and any food made out of them, including ice cream, if it is not made with fillers. I make banana “nicecream” with frozen bananas and I could totally see making coconut ice cream from fresh coconuts. Yes, the processed food items that are vegan can still be on the junky side but a step up compared to the regular junk foods.




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          1. Whilst of course ‘better’ than SAD ‘junk food’… coconuts have a high level of saturated fat and therefore still an issue for many.




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    2. You mentioned and important issue the power of advertising! And that is why I am advertising Dr Greger evidence based research which is educating us to make the better decision about our health.




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  6. I have chemo induced neuropathy, will this type of diet work for me? currently we are flexitarians and on the road to vegetarian as with most days we stick with vegetarian, please advise thank you kindly




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    1. Much of the chemo-induced neuropathy treatment supports reducing inflammation (such as with steroids), which is commonly achieved using a whole-foods plant-based diet.

      Usually the advice from nutritionfacts.org is that a wholefoods plant-based diet is best for everyone, because if it doesn’t cure your specific condition, it will help prevent other health complications, such as further cancers, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune conditions etc…




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  7. When I ate fish, I developed painful neuropathy and other neurological problems from mercury; going vegan helped but some of the pain persisted and I also have severe congenital spinal stenosis, also causing pain. My HbA1c was also 5.7 before going vegan and is now normal. For the persistent pain, I have found meditation, morning sun, sports that I love as well as family love and happiness for the best tolerance of the severe pain that remains. Thank you for your great videos and ongoing education that I did not receive in medical school.




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    1. Robert, I am well aware that various polutants can cause neuropathy (eg I have a friend who has neuropath from agent orange exposure) but I was not aware of the mercury aspect. I have no doubt as to the veracity of your statement but I would like to know details of the conclusion as it helps in discussions that involve an “I only eat healthy fish statement.”




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      1. Well my mercury level was 39(normal = < 9, although even at 9 one can show symptoms.) I was treated by a neurologist and it took over a year to reach maximum improvement. I do not want to take chances, and have been convinced by Dr Greger to go meatless. There are some plant products, even organic, such as brown rice sweetener that contain too much mercury, and I avoid these as well. Mercury is a well known neurological toxin causing madness in artists and hatters in the past; ever hear of "mad as a hatter?"




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            1. So brown rice syrup has high levels of mercury and arsenic? That’s annoying as I just got some to replace my children’s desire for honey and it’s a convincing alternative. I shall investigate further. In fact, I’ll email the company (Biona) and ask then for more info and if they have tested it and if they’ll show me the analysis. Thanks for the heads up.

              BTW I also use date syrup that they like if the bread then has almond butter on top, which I admit is lovely




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              1. Any food product that is highly concentrated is at risk for high levels of toxins but it depends upon how they are grown, and where( China is highly polluted with mercury.) I would check each one out. I did a very thorough literature review when I had mercury poisoning and the brown rice sweetener and high fructose corn syrup were the only sweeteners I found with mercury. In rice fields bacteria convert inorganic mercury to organic which is then absorbed by the rice. The mercury problem develops when it is highly concentrated for sweetener.




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              2. Scott: I’m not saying anything for or against brown rice syrup at this point. But I thought you would also like to know about a “honey” that is being made from apples. I’ve tasted it and both the taste and texture seem pretty darn close to honey to me. So, this may be another alternative for you: https://www.beefreehonee.com/




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        1. Hey thanks for the clarification.

          AND,, I had no idea of the source of the expression “mad as a hatter.” That bit of arcane knowledge will be of great value the next time I go to a party.




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    2. Have you ever investigated the science of fasting? Fasting allows the body to correct itself and to repair damaged tissues. However, fasting must be approached with a full knowledge of all of its ramifications. One should not enter fasting unless they have read everything they can about it, and even then one should really be under the guidance of a physician who has a lot of experience in fasting patients to health. As for me, I fast one day a week. But, then during the week I do intermittent fasting which is eating only one meal a day. I know diabetics may not be able to do this, and maybe other people with various health issues.




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  8. Does anyone know if there is a way to cure or help neuropathy that has been caused by heart disease and statin drugs? My father has been on a plant based diet since January. He has had modest improvement, but it comes and goes.




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        1. That video (or another recent one) makes the point that chlorophyll in the bloodstream – which gets there from eating leafy greens – can regenerate ubiquinol (e.g. CoQ10) in the blood in the presence of NIR light (e.g. in the presence of sunlight). I’d advise trying to consume 2-3 servings of leafy green vegetables a day (which I believe is already on Dr. Gregor’s Dirty Dozen app (his recommended diet a day)) and then being outside in the sun for 30 min – 1 hour per day (with sunscreen of course. UV light is dangerous after all, and the regeneration of CoQ10 is accomplished by the near-infrared (long-wavelength) light, which isn’t affected by sunscreen)




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          1. It is interesting to note that some low level laser therapy devices emit at about the same wavelength as chlorophyll a has an absorption peak – around 660 nm.




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            1. Interestingly, it is the NIR light that is key to regenerating blood-borne ubiquinol, not that particular wavelength (at least from the study Dr. Gregor cited in his video about how CoQ10 / ubiquinol can be regenerated). That’s not to say that the chlorophyll absorption peaks couldn’t be involved, but that wasn’t studied.




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      1. Yes he has stopped taking the statins and his numbers are great. Cholesterol total 125 and LDL and HDL in good ratio. I would love to say he is 100 percent oil free but I think my mother goes out of the strict guidelines occasionally. I myself am 100 percent oil free plant based, but my folks have come a long way. I will have his levels checked as you recommend and I will also remind them once again……It has taken ten years to get to whole food plant based with my father (after two heart surgeries) but it is the neuropathy that has finally mended his ways. I will say 90 percent oil free. He is meat and dairy free. Just an occasional mishap with oil for cooking.




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        1. Definitely a fantastic start!

          There’s a video out there (I’ve seen Dr Klaper present on it) that shows slowing of red blood cells up to 11 hours post ingestion of oil. This is thought to cause poor oxygenation of peripheral areas, as discussed in this video as a possible mechanism. So may need to be 100% for complete remission and healing.

          Easier said than done I understand!




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          1. Thank you! I will pass the video along. I understand the dangers of oils completely—but my folks are 80 years old and change is hard– but I am very proud of them. Just looking for more ammunition to fight his pain. THANK YOU for your help!!!




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            1. No problem! And yes I can completely understand! Definitely be proud of anyone who takes any steps towards a healthier lifestyle! All the best to you all :)




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    1. I’m 67. Four years ago, after being on statins for 10 years, and after eating mostly meat & dairy for most of my life, I started having classic statin problems. 1) Couldn’t walk up and down stairs without holding railing and going down sideways due to pain in knees and legs – this was mainly early in morning. 2) Neuropathy in fingers – dropped things several times not knowing why. 3) Started getting vitiligo, an autoimmune response, which may or may not be related to my statin or food choices. 4) Muddled thinking – this bothered me the most by far – couldn’t even follow plots in books. So I got worried enough to find and research Esselstyn/Campbell/and others. At home, I began eating only plant based whole foods with no oil. I quit the statin. Once a week when eating out, I may eat french fries or have grilled salmon on my salad. My cholesterol hovers around 150. Within 4-6 months of stopping the statin and changing eating habits, most all my problems had disappeared. The vitiligo didn’t disappear, but it did stop getting worse. Age and time on statins may make a difference. I have a friend who had most of the same symptoms as me; he is older, but his symptoms showed up within a month of starting the statin. He quit his statin and went on a whole food plant based diet and was all better within 3 weeks. John (Deb’s husband)




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  9. This is an excellent video. Everyone should forward this link onto their FaceBook page. I have friended hundreds of people on FaceBook in order to build up an audience so that when I link Dr Greger’s videos to FaceBook it reaches people all over the world. And, yes, I have gotten some responses from people who watch Dr. Greger’s videos from my FaceBook page. My FaceBook page is not about my personal life or videos of animals doing funny things. It is just a platform in which I can spread the good news about eating a whole plant food diet and doing away with meat, dairy, eggs, and other nasty stuff. So, I encourage everyone to increase your readership on FaceBook by friending others around the world, and then start linking these videos to facebook. Don’t worry if nobody makes a comment or does not give you a LIKE. They can’t help but read the headlines of your posting.




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  10. It is not ethical of you to suggest diabetic peripheral neuropathy can be cured by diet alone! As a Stanford fellowship trained and VAH RR&D researcher with a bibliography in spine trauma and neuropathic pain, I take exception with this claim that is not grounded in epidemiological research. While blood sugar normalization can reduce symptoms the neurovascular damage is often irreversible. You may want to look at the proven benefits of the cannabinoid CBD in neurogenesis and neuropathic pain. Cannabidiol is proven by research and patented by the Federal Government.




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    1. Why is it not ethical when it is true, and myself and others can vouch for it? The proof lies in actual results, all the epidemiological research in the world is meaningless if you are an individual who is affected…and helped by what is supposed to be unethical or impossible because you say so!




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      1. Because I suffer from neuropathic pain and am a certified nutritionist who follows a near Vegan diet. This is not a believable study by scientific standards. It included 20 people and the actual study is not even cited. What diet did the diabetics who were not treated use? Most diabetics are on a low glycemic diet. When you design a large population study involving more than 100 people you can prove this. It is not ethical to make a wild claim like this based on one small study that has not been replicated!




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        1. Near “vegan” is not the answer, a low fat (>10%) high carb (<75%) whole food, plant based diet is. I am NOT on a low glycemic diet at all, in fact I follow Dr McDougall's high starch low fat diet. In less than 3 weeks I reversed 10 years of T2 diabetes, and eventually the damage it had caused. High glucose is a symptom of diabetes, not the cause. Cutting the fat is the cure.




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          1. The other medical fact that makes this claim absurd is that many diabetics with neuropathic pain and abnormal neurovasculature are not Type II diabetics!!! They are Type I diabetics with long standing neuropathic pain that has nothing to do with diet! They are not obese and have hyperglycemia. They lack the ability to produce insulin. How do you explain a dietary effect in Type I diabetics?




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            1. Hi Ahimsa Porter Sumchai, As Thea explained below there is a link to citation to the study that mentioned by Dr G.

              We know that diabetes injures blood vessels. But how does diabetes do that? It seems that high blood sugar levels trigger inflammation, which is what actually damages the blood vessels.

              As regards to type 1 diabetes and inflammatory marker and diet, a VPD( vegetarian protein diet) has significantly different renal effects from an APD(Animal protein diet) equal in protein intake in normotensive type I diabetic patients. This could be explained partly by differences in plasma concentrations of amino acids and IGF-1( Insulin Growth factor -1) is a marker of inflammation so diet can have an influence in the improvement of diabetes complications such as neuropathy.

              Renal, metabolic, and hormonal responses to proteins of different origin in normotensive, nonproteinuric type I diabetic patients.




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            2. “How do you explain a dietary effect in Type I diabetics?” Actually fairly easily. The issue is not obesity or T1 v T2 diabetics. Slender people can readily have an atherogenic diet. The factors do include SFAs, cholesterol and branched Chain amino acids.

              Nor can advanced glycation end products be ignored. These glycotoxins have been shown to increase inflammatory markers and increase insulin resistance and atherogenesis.

              Exogenous advanced glycation end products are abundant in anyone eating animal products. This in turn is inflammatory with studies showing a strong relationship with these glycotoxins and inflammatory markers such as CRP and homocysteine. Add to this the hyperglycemia you mentioned which results in elevated endogenous AGEs and you have a much greater degree of vascular damage at any level of cholesterol beyond a minimal safe level. I would suggest that this is the basis for treating any diabetic as though they have already had one heart attack.

              You seem to be suggesting that only hyperglycemia is a factor in neuropathy. I would submit that such a position is extraordinarily reductionist. I, as a T1 diabetic eating a whole food plant based diet, will generally have much lower levels of exogenous advanced glycation end products. Due to hyperglycemia I will have higher endogenous levels than a normal person. Because of diet, I have a total cholesterol level = > 141. Also because of lower exogenous AGEs, I have low levels of inflammatory markers and therefore the odds of atherogenesis and resulting nerve damage and heart disease becomes much lower.

              By the way, with the same A1c levels (6.3) and certainly no reduction in carbohydrate consumption, I now take much less insulin daily. So good control is actually much easier and yes that comes from diet.




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          2. Vege-tater I am delighted to know this. Though certainly not the only factor, advanced glycation end product do increase insulin resistance. When you removed those and some other factors such as excess branched chain amino acids, saturated fatty acids and trans fats you did the “impossible”. Another factor in all this is that these same factors can and generally do have an inflammatory impact on the beta cells. I have often wondered just how long one can have T2 diabetes and still have it reversed by diet in sptite of the beta cell deterioration. Really glad to have your bit of information. And congratulations.




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        2. Ahimsa: re: “…the actual study is not even cited.” There is a button to the right of every video with the text “Sources Cited”. Dr. Greger not only cited the study for you, but he provided a link to the study so that you can find out the details if you were interested in learning more about this amazing result.




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        3. “who follows a near Vegan diet.” Near and Vegan do not necessarily equate to healthy WFPB. So your experience doesn’t hold much weight. The devil is in the details.




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        4. Why do you say this study hasn’t been replicated when Dr. Greger states, “Since the initial report of neuropathy reversal, the results have been replicated, significant improvements in numbness and burning.”?




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        5. All studies are cited. Under the video click- Studies cited :)

          The study is a total vegan diet, not a near vegan diet.

          Considering there were no adverse effects (at least reported) and the abundance of evidence supporting a plant-based diet…how is it unethical?




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        6. The case made on this site by Dr. Greger and his team is for eating whole plant foods, not merely vegan and certainly not “nearly vegan”.

          Pain makes lots of people angry…it does me for sure. It sounds like you are angry about something to do with ethics. There is a lot of info here worth your time that will show you that this place oozes ethics and morality like nobody’s business. Use the search box and click the citations button to dig as deep as you like. You’ll find a lot of support here…as much as you want.




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    2. Ahimsa, I want to thank you for your comments here. You have elicited a great number of comments in answer, that, with your comments,have and will enhance the understanding of those reading this blog. Jim Felder’s comment below is, I think, particularly informative but I have learn a good deal from many comments.

      There is a reason that we use the term “suggest” in research in social science and natural science. It takes a great deal to “prove” something even though “proof” is only convincing evidence. But I am always skeptical. So in a case like this we look carefully at just what is being “suggested.” When that overlaps in a positive way it becomes another positive information element in our growing arsenal of knowledge. If it says something negative then we need to account for that and incorporate it as well.

      I and other have seen enough related results to take what is suggested here very seriously. I also believe that there are other related factors that could well account for the results seen in this study. This is especially true of inflammatory factors, such as but by no means limited to, the AGEs that I mentioned elsewhere. EG there is the Neu 5Gc, the excess arachidonic acid, the bacterial endotoxins, et al. All of this can contribute to compromised blood flow by promoting endothelial inflammation,while the nitric oxide derived from leafy greens can facilitate the blood flow.

      So yes It will be good to see this replicated in larger studies, but it is already, considering other factors, very suggestive.




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    3. Hello Doctor, I just came across this very interesting thread. As I was watching the video, the seemingly rapid relief of symptoms reminded me immediately of the small series of patients in Dr Ornish’s Lifestyle Heart Trial, as well as the initial small series of patients in Dr Esselstyn’s work. In both of these studies there was reduction in the stenosis of large heart vessels on angiography after a year or more, but in both cases patients experienced dramatic reduction of symptoms of angina (or in some cases claudication) very early on. If you have an opportunity to read Dr Esselstyn’s book PRevent and Reverse Heart Disease, or go to his website where you should be able to see his published papers, I think you would be impressed. He discusses at length the role of the endothelial cell, and the ongoing insult to the endothelial cells when eating the SAD (standard American Diet). When elements that harm the endothelium are removed from the diet, it can begin to regenerate and produce the vasodilators which then lead to increased blood flow and reduction in symptoms. (Dr Esselstyn works at the Cleveland Clinic) In any case, as I listened to the video I wondered whether the same mechanism might be involved in the reduction of the neuropathic pain. As you say, it was a small study, but if it only showed something might be possible, then the topic certainly deserves more research. Even a case study of just one patient has value if it demonstrates a new possibility. Of course one cannot generalise from small studies or case studies, but they do show a direction for further research. I do not know whether you are still involved in research yourself, but you seem to see a lot of patients with diabetic neuropathy. I am also a doctor and did not previously know of the use of cannabinoids for this condition. But I think if I had a neuropathy myself, I would hope that my doctor would advise me on dietary approaches as the first line, and reserve pharmacological approaches for the second line, if needed. The Whole Food Plant Based diet (veg, fruit, grains, beans and some seeds) has a number of versions. I think the purest therapeutic version is practiced at True North Health in Santa Rosa, WFPB no add sugar salt or oil. The processed oils seem to be particularly crucial in vascular injury according to Dr Esselstyn. Would be interested in your thoughts on all of the above, if you have time to check the resources I mentioned.




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  11. Again, a study involving such a small group of patients does not meet statistical significance and can be attributed to placebo effect alone. It is outlandish to suggest there symptoms went away in days…outlandish! If this study is valid why wasn’t it repeated using a larger population given the obvious clinical benefits impacting so many diabetics with neuropathy?




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    1. No doubt a larger study would be of value, but that said, the vehemence of your attack is disproportionate to the claims of benefit. I would suggest that you keep a more open mind; there is nothing outlandish in the reporting of actual clinical experiences by patients, even in small study samples.




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      1. The vehemence of my attack is in response to the outlandishness of the claim that in 17 people diabetic neuropathy went away in days with a plant based diet. As a licensed physician…you are obviously not Russell…I can see up to 10 people a day with neuropathic pain. Most have long standing diabetics with permanent neuromuscular damage. It does not go away…with anything! the only plant that offers evidence based research showing it’s role in neuroprotection and neurogenesis in marijuana!!!




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        1. I have a Ph.D., but as you correctly surmised, I’m not a physician, but that is not the point, is it? The issue is whether the study authors found a remarkable placebo effect that would be worth trying to replicate in a larger study. Have you asked any patients to experiment with this diet? And if so, did they report that it failed? Clearly, there’s no harm in offering this therapy to your patients to see if it work on a small-scale. What’s to lose? Highly motivated patients may be interested in experimenting with more than just weed.




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          1. Even if the study is a small one, the finding are so provocative that it would be worth counseling patients on the potential benefits of a WFPB diet. If it were me, and all other treatments were unsuccessful, I would want to know about this. Let the patient decide if they want to try a WFPD..




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            1. Joan: I agree. And I think your idea is the ethical course of action. One could say that the study was small, but here are the results ___ and there are no downsides to trying. Given that people are in pain, I can’t see how withholding this information is ethical.




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    2. re: “If this study is valid why wasn’t it repeated…” Perhaps because you can’t patent a low fat whole plant food diet? Who would fund such a study? Who would be interested?




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      1. Took the words right out of my mouth unfortunately…. Now if the ‘exact nutrient/cause’ could be isolated into a pill form… so sad…




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    3. Get over yourself and your methodology and terminology! Please inform us of something USEFUL…like what would be the detriment of favorably altering one’s diet in an attempt to resolve their neuropathy and it also resolved their diabetes and/or other chronic issues…which is more than an established FACT??? For that matter, if you can reverse neuropathy with a placebo affect, I’d call that a miracle, and very desirable! While you are busy doing your “clinical studies” and demanding verification, people are dying! Get real.




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      1. There is so much evidence that a whole plant based diet can help a plethora of diseases. I would like to see more discussion about adding simple fasting episodes to enhance our whole plant food diet. I see articles on adding exercise to our diets. But, nobody wants to talk about fasting. I guess fasting is just asking a little to much out of people when they have already given up their steaks, ice cream, strawberry short cake, and Big Macs.




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          1. Tom, I’m not yet convinced but I read the Mattson et al article and it is very provocative. I gotta study that one some more. Thanks for the info.




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    4. Placebo effect is generally accepted up to about 30%. 17/21 is far greater than that.
      Also, 17/21 people with neuropathy for up to ten years, presumably trying alternative treatments during that time, also lose ten pounds, drastically improve blood sugars, improve cholesterol levels and blood pressure and all except one believed it enough to continue after the trial?? That’s a pretty powerful placebo!




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    5. The study did not suggest that the symptoms went away in days. It was a fact not a suggestion. It is outlandish to call a fact a suggestion.




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    6. You have made a very common mistake in assuming that since nearly all nutritional studies and pharmaceutical trials require large populations that all studies need large populations. You only need large populations to achieve statistical significance when you are trying to tease out minor differences in response rate or outcome. Most nutritional trials are of a largely homogeneous study populations which all eat within a narrow dietary range and so studies with subjects eating some variant of the standard diet have to have a large number of subjects. That is why the Nurses Health Study, with 275,000 participants over three phases, still has a difficult time teasing out conclusion based on the minor differences in diet of these nurses.

      Another example is the trials of statins. They needed to be very large because they are so ineffective in actually preventing future cardiac events, even for secondary prevention in those who have already been diagnosed with heart disease or have had a cardiac event. 96% of those taking statins for secondary prevention saw no benefit. Only 1.2% avoided death, 2.6% avoided repeat heart attack and 0.8% avoided stroke. So you need thousands of test subjects in order to make sure the tiny benefit wasn’t just due to placebo. What wouldn’t have taken nearly as large a study population is the assessment of harms since 10% of those taking statins suffered rhamdomyolysis (muscle damage). And rhamdomyolysis is directly diagnosable via needle biopsy of the muscle, so there is no placebo effect.

      With a response rate of 81% (17 out of 21) for the study being reviewed, you do not need very many participants determine that the odds of this being due to chance are nearly zero. Also these are people who have suffered for years with terrible pain and had the best conventional medical treatment without relief, and so this study group can function as their own control group. The prior history of this group showed that they found no relief from previous treatment. Also there is no harms associated in the study diet, so there is no need to balance risks with benefits. On top of all of this there is a highly plausible method of action where the study diet can have a direct biological effect on the condition being studied.

      So other than needing to be confirmed in follow-on studies, there is no need for large scale trials before moving sharply to make this therapeutic diet the primary treatment modality for diabetic neuropathy. And as the practice spreads, further confirmation can come through subsequent clinical practice.




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  12. Diabetes pain reversal in days? That is amazing. The pain described sounds similar to wet and dry beriberi. Thiamine, Vitamin B1 is one of the world’s most essential medicines. Thiamine is perhaps the only cure for beriberi. A Plant Based diet is rich in Vitamins.




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    1. My dad has idiopathic neuropathy so I sent him some brewer’s yeast since it is high in thiamine (and some other good things). I doubt he tried it.




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      1. Thank you! Sunflower seeds helped diabetes in rats. They are rich in Thiamine. Modern food is perhaps heated which would quickly burn up or destroy Nitrogen. Even raw nuts are illegal to sell. Have you ever had an unprocessed food? They treat everything! They are glorious. Omega three deficiencies are real and eating local is important based on the kinds of fats that help people deal with the cold. I am sorry so much beef is imported from the tropics. Even if beef from McDonalds isn’t from Brazil, being from New Zealand or Australia is perhaps worse in terms of fat content. High dose Omega threes from flax seed oil were used by Dr. Riordan to treat mental illness in many people. A silent, secret mental health disorder is present in America perhaps based on an Omega three fat deficiency.




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        1. I believe Thiamine is heat stable up to about 100 degrees Celsius. Whilst both can cause peripheral neuropathy, I don’t believe this video believes Beriberi and diabetic neuropathy have the same aetiology…

          Nitrogen for vasodilatation?

          Fruit and vegetables are generally considered unprocessed, and not all processing (such as cooking potatoes, bagging rice etc…) is considered detrimental to health.

          Nutritionfacts.org videos do not support the consumption of beef, be it from Australia, Brazil, McDonald’s or Jupiter…

          Whole flax is recommended over refined oils-
          Flax seeds Vs flax oil




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            1. Thanks for your input. I was trying to remember my reasoning behind the thiamine/brewer’s yeast, and I think it had to do with thiamine being depleted in heavy drinkers.




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              1. Correct, there are many factors in alcoholics that lead to poor intake, lowered absorption, lowered stores, decreased utilization, depletion and inhibited transport of thiamine. It is essential in the treatment of alcoholism withdrawal and complications.




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    2. Interesting comparison for sure :) Whilst the disease pathophysiology and symptoms usually vary between beriberi and diabetic neuropathy, I can see what you mean. As the thiamine replacement can lead to remarkable changes even within hours, it would be interesting to pin point in this case if the pain cause is something essential blocked by animal product consumption (which is then removed allowing increased blood flow) or whether something contained otherwise in the plant-based diet (which is then added, increasing blood flow)… or other mechanism….considering thiamine is relatively high in many animal foods too it’s unlikely that is the answer here, but I stand to be corrected :) It reminds me more of a video I’ve seen from Dr Klaper whereby the red blood cells get coated in oil and their speed through the body is drastically slowed, preventing oxygen delivery further downstream (such as the legs/feet).




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  13. I had severe neuropathy following chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. I quit chemotherapy because the neuropathy put me in a wheelchair. I could no longer feel my feet and the pain was so bad I could not put bedsheets over them. I also had neuropathy in my hands and could barely feed myself. I went on a whole foods plant based diet shortly after I was diagnosed with cancer because i hoped it would help to cure my cancer. I was able to walk again about a month after I quit chemo and the pain and numbness also slowly dissolved. I still have some numbness in my feet, but the pain is entirely gone and my hands are back to normal. That was six years ago. I no longer have cancer. All my markers for cancer cleared after about four months on a plant based diet. I do not know if it was the whole foods plant based diet that cured my cancer and my neuropathy, but what can it hurt?




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    1. Peggy Young: I can’t even imagine what that kind of pain would be. I can imagine who crippling it would be. I’m so glad you found a solution that got you working/moving again. :-) Thanks for taking the time to share.




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    2. My father died with cancer, my sister died with cancer, my mother in law died with cancer, my father in law died with cancer….. I at one time only considered it a question of when? Your story is one of many changing that perspective. Not only eliminating the cancer but most of the side effects of the treatment. I’m impressed. Thank you very much.




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      1. I eat a whole foods plants based diet 99% or the time. I eat fish but rarely, maybe three or four times a year. I do supplement with B12. I never eat poultry, or meat other than fish.




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          1. I think the studies show that dairy is not good for ovarian cancer and eggs are just bad in so many ways. I avoid them. There is always that 1% of the time when i am unable to avoid them. I do eat out and I eat at people’s homes and while I am careful I succumb. I happen to love cheese. It is hard to resist. On the rare occasion I will eat it.




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    1. Great question, but I don’t think the answer is known. I am not a medical doctor, but if cachexia becomes severe, it might be more important at least temporarily to prioritize calorie intake instead of worrying about the source of the calories. I believe sometimes circumstances exist whereby whatever food can be taken in and retained is the best food.




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  14. I know this, but for 6 months I have been trying to stop autonomic Neuropathy, Believe from statin drugs, took all the cholesterol out of my brain :( i might be getting better. but so dizzy to fluctating Blood pressure it is hard to think most of the time, I have eating organic eggs, add all kinds of EFA supplements, pretty sure the autonomic functions are in the brain :(




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    1. You should consult a physician. Self medicating is potentially risky. For example, there are a number of possible causes of autonomic neuropathy but diabetes is the most common, Eggs are definitely not helpful for diabetics.




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  15. Thank you so much Dr Greger, this is just more confirmation that Genesis 1:29 and 3:18 is truly the wisest counsel from the only source of wisdom motivated by love




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  16. Hello, My husband has the autoimmune disease CIPD (chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy) and, among other things, suffers from neuropathy in his calf muscles.
    He is treated with IVIG and we follow a whole food, plant based diet. Do you have any research about the whole foods plant based lifestyle and this disease?
    Thank you!




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    1. Sorry but I am not aware of anything specific to CIDP. It is usually considered that an anti-inflammatory diet may help although there is no trial data that I have seen. This is essentially whole vegetables and fruits so if you are eating a whole food plant based diet, you are pretty much doing everything.

      The only other thing I am aware of is a case report form the UK about 40 years ago.
      “Two children, severely disabled for 6 and 12 months respectively by idiopathic polyneuritis, began to recover within a week of starting on a polyunsaturated fatty-acid diet. Recovery is virtually complete.”
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673678910292

      CIDP is a type of polyneuritis. The full report is behind a paywall so you would need a library to obtain a copy for you to get full details of the actual diet used.

      You might also consider taking a vitamin B1(thiamine) supplement . There are some conditions in humans and chickens, which result in polyneuropathy, that can be treated by thiamine.
      https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=HdxmrHrsKIUC&pg=PA568&lpg=PA568&dq=cidp+thiamine&source=bl&ots=Y0K4ixQVHM&sig=H7YmUnSmNCuaAySviVrRHja85sw&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj93sX3mLrMAhUliKYKHYRNAQ8Q6AEIIjAB#v=onepage&q=cidp%20thiamine&f=false

      https://books.google.com.ph/books?id=UR9MnQ806LsC&pg=PA291&lpg=PA291&dq=swank+diet+polyneuritis&source=bl&ots=au_8PX9E6w&sig=qVGrOgsCcOq6FGaquXcx-LjfBjA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjjw9nLmLrMAhUIGqYKHZJ6CCcQ6AEILzAD#v=onepage&q=swank%20diet%20polyneuritis&f=false




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  17. Talking about blood supply to nerves and small bllod vessels I am wondering if Tinnitus can be improved with a plant based diet, would it work the same as for the improvement in the retina




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  18. Below is a list of non-pharmaceutical treatments for neuropathy that I came across several years ago in an online search for possibly effective dietary and other treatments, in light of the dearth of effective mainstream medical interventions.

    Because I did not compile this list, I am providing the link to the website which provided it–a company that sells a neuropathy supplement. I am not endorsing this supplement but feel obligated to acknowledge the source of this list, which is the most complete I could find online.

    BTW–also found the vegan study at the same time which is the subject of this video.

    http://neuropathytreatmentgroup.com/clinical-studies#

    ________________________________________

    Methyl B12 Clinical Studies

    Diabetic Neuropathy and Methylcobalamine

    1. Clinical usefulness of intrathecal injection of methylcobalamin in patients with diabetic neuropathy

    Ide H Fujiya S Asanuma Y Tsuji M Sakai H Agishi Y, Clin Ther (1987) 9(2):183-92

    Seven men and four women with symptomatic diabetic neuropathy were treated with methylcobalamine (2,500 micrograms in 10 ml of saline) injected intrathecally. Treatment was begun when patients had good metabolic control, as determined by measurements of plasma glucose and hemoglobin, and was repeated several times with a one-month interval between injections. Three patients were re-treated one year after the last intrathecal injection. Symptoms in the legs, such as paresthesia, burning pains, and heaviness, dramatically improved. The effect appeared within a few hours to one week and lasted from several months to four years. The mean peroneal motor-nerve conduction velocity did not change significantly. The mean (+/- SD) concentration of methylcobalamin in spinal fluid was 114 +/- 32 pg/ml before intrathecal injection (n = 5) and 4,752 +/- 2,504 pg/ml one month after intrathecal methylcobalamin treatment (n = 11). Methylcobalamine caused no side effects with respect to subjective symptoms or characteristics of spinal fluid. These findings suggest that a high concentration of methylcobalamin in spinal fluid is highly effective and safe for treating the symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

    ________________________________________

    2. Effects of Methylcobalamine on Diabetic Neuropathy SelectHide

    Yaqub BA, Siddique A, Sulimani R.

    Division of Neurology, King Khalid University Hospital, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

    We studied the clinical and neurophysiological effects of methylcobalamin on patients with diabetic neuropathy. In a double-blind study, the active group showed statistical improvement in the somatic and autonomic symptoms with regression of signs of diabetic neuropathy. Motor and sensory nerve conduction studies showed no statistical improvement after 4 months. The drug was easily tolerated by the patients and no side effects were encountered.

    3. Ultra High Dose Methylcobalamine Promotes Nerve Regeneration… SelectHide

    Watanabe T Kaji R Oka N Bara W Kimura J, J Neurol Sci (1994 Apr) 122(2):140-3

    Despite intensive searches for therapeutic agents, few substances have been convincingly shown to enhance nerve regeneration in patients with peripheral neuropathies. Recent biochemical evidence suggests that an ultra-high dose of methylcobalamin (methyl-B12) may up-regulate gene transcription and thereby protein synthesis. We examined the effects of ultra-high dose of methyl-B12 on the rate of nerve regeneration in rats with acrylamide neuropathy, using the amplitudes of compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) after tibial nerve stimulation as an index of the number of regenerating motor fibers. After intoxication with acrylamide, all the rats showed equally decreased CMAP amplitudes. The animals were then divided into 3 groups; rats treated with ultra-high (500 micrograms/kg body weight, intraperitoneally) and low (50 micrograms/kg) doses of methyl- B12, and saline-treated control rats. Those treated with ultra-high dose showed significantly faster CMAP recovery than saline-treated control rats, whereas the low-dose group showed no difference from the control. Morphometric analysis revealed a similar difference in fiber density between these groups. Ultra-high doses of methyl-B12 may be of clinical use for patients with peripheral neuropathies.

    ________________________________________

    4. Methyl-B12 Promotes Regeneration of Motor Nerve Terminals… SelectHide

    Methylcobalamine (methyl-B12) Promotes Regeneration of Motor Nerve Terminals Degenerating in anterior gracile muscle of gracile axonal dystrophy (GAD) mutant mouse

    Yamazaki K Oda K Endo C Kikuchi T Wakabayashi T, Neurosci Lett

    (1994 Mar 28) 170(1):195-7

    We examined the effects of methylcobalamin (methyl-B12, mecobalamin) on degeneration of motor nerve terminals in the anterior gracile muscle of gracile axonal dystrophy (GAD) mutant mice. GAD mice received orally methyl-B12 (1 mg/kg body wt/day) from the 40th day after birth for 25 days. In the distal endplate zone of the muscle, although most terminals were degenerated in both the untreated and methyl-B12-treated GAD mice, sprouts were more frequently observed in the latter. In the proximal endplate zone, where few degenerated terminals were seen in both groups of the mice, the perimeter of the terminals was increased and the area of the terminals was decreased significantly in the methyl-B12-treated GAD mice. These findings indicate that methyl-B12 promotes regeneration of degenerating nerve terminals in GAD mice.

    5. Protective Effects of Methyl-B12 SelectHide

    A. Protective Effects of Methylcobalamine, A Vitamin B12 Analogue, Against Glutamate-induced Neurotoxicity in Retinal Cell Culture

    Kikuchi M Kashii S Honda Y Tamura Y Kaneda K Akaike, Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci (1997 Apr) 38(5):848-54

    Purpose: To examine the effects of methylcobalamine on glutamate- induced neurotoxicity in the cultured retinal neurons. Methods: Primary cultures obtained from the fetal rat retina (gestation days 16 to 19) were used for the experiment. The neurotoxicity was assessed quantitatively using the trypan blue exclusion method. Results: Glutamate neurotoxicity was prevented by chronic exposure to methylcobalamine and S-adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which is formed in the metabolic pathway of methylcobalamin. Chronic exposure to methylcobalamine and SAMe also inhibited the neurotoxicity induced by sodium nitroprusside that release nitric oxide. By contrast, acute exposure to methylcobalamine did not protect retinal neurons against glutamate neurotoxicity. Conclusions: Chronic administration of methylcobalamine protects cultured retinal neurons against N-methyl-D- aspartate-receptor-mediated glutamate neurotoxicity, probably by altering the membrane properties through SAMe-mediated methylation.

    B. Protective Effects of Methyl-B12 on Neurons SelectHide

    Protective effects of a vitamin B12 analogue, methylcobalamin, against glutamate cytotoxicity in cultured cortical neurons

    Akaike A Tamura Y Sato Y Yokota T, Eur J Pharmacol (1993 Sep 7) 241(1):1-6

    The effects of methylcobalamin, a vitamin B12 analogue, on glutamate-induced neurotoxicity were examined using cultured rat cortical neurons. Cell viability was markedly reduced by a brief exposure to glutamate followed by incubation with glutamate-free medium for 1 h. Glutamate cytotoxicity was prevented when the cultures were maintained in methylcobalamin-containing medium. Glutamate cytotoxicity was also prevented by chronic exposure to S-adenosylmethionine, which is formed in the metabolic pathway of methylcobalamin. Chronic exposure to methylcobalamin and S- adenosylmethionine also inhibited the cytotoxicity induced by methyl-D-aspartate or sodium nitroprusside that releases nitric oxide. In cultures maintained in a standard medium, glutamate cytotoxicity was not affected by adding methylcobalamin to the glutamate-containing medium. In contrast, acute exposure to MK-801, a NMDA receptor antagonist, prevented glutamate cytotoxicity. These results indicate that chronic exposure to methylcobalamin protects cortical neurons against NMDA receptor-mediated glutamate cytotoxicity.

    Benfotiamine in the Treatment of Painful Neuropathy SelectHide

    1. Effectiveness of different benfotiamine dosage regimens in the treatment of painful diabetic neuropathy.

    Arzneimittelforschung 1999 Mar; 49(3): 220-4. Winkler G, Pal B, Nagybeganyi E, Ory I, Porochnavec M, Kempler P.

    The therapeutic effectiveness of a benfotiamine (CAS 22457-89-2)-vitamin B combination (Milgamma-N), administered in high (4 x 2 capsules/day, = 320 mg benfotiamine/day) and medium doses (3 x 1 capsules/day), was compared to a monotherapy with benfotiamine (Benfogamma) (3 x 1 tablets/day, = 150 mg benfotiamine/day) in diabetic patients suffering from painful peripheral diabetic neuropathy (DNP). In a 6-week open clinical trial, 36 patients (aged 40 to 70 yrs) having acceptable metabolic control (HbA1c < 8.0%) were randomly assigned to three groups, each of them comprising 12 participants. Neuropathy was assessed by five parameters: the pain sensation (evaluated by a modified analogue visual scale), the vibration sensation (measured with a tuning fork using the Riedel-Seyfert method) and the current perception threshold (CPT) on the peroneal nerve at 3 frequencies: 5, 250 and 2000 Hz). Parameters were registered at the beginning of the study and at the end of the 3rd and 6th week of therapy. An overall beneficial therapeutic effect on the neuropathy status was observed in all three groups during the study, and a significant improvement in most of the parameters studied appeared already at the 3rd week of therapy (p < 0.01). The greatest change occurred in the group of patients receiving the high dose of benfotiamine (p < 0.01 and 0.05, resp., compared to the other groups). Metabolic control did not change over the study. It is concluded that benfotiamine is most effective in large doses, although even in smaller daily dosages, either in combination or in monotherapy, it is effective.

    2. Bioavailability of Benfotiamine

    A. Pharmacokinetics of thiamine derivatives especially of benfotiamine.

    Int J Clin Pharmacol Ther 1996 Feb; 34(2): 47-50. Loew D.

    Pharmacokinetic data of orally administered lipid-soluble thiamine analogues like benfotiamine are reviewed and assessed. It is quite clear that benfotiamine is absorbed much better than water-soluble thiamine salts: maximum plasma levels of thiamine are about 5 times higher after benfotiamine, the bioavailability is at maximum about 3.6 times as high as that of thiamine hydrochloride and better than other lipophilic thiamine derivates. The physiological activity (alphaETK) increased only after benfotiamine was given. Due to its excellent pharmacokinetic profile benfotiamine should be preferred in treatment of relevant indications.

    2. Benfotiamine-vitamin B combination in treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy.

    Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes 1996; 104(4): 311-6.

    Stracke H, Lindemann A, Federlin K.

    In a double-blind, randomized, controlled study, the effectiveness of treatment with a combination of Benfotiamine (an Allithiamine, a lipid-soluble derivative of vitamin B1 with high bioavailability) plus vitamin B6/B12 on objective parameters of neuropathy was studied over a period of 12 weeks on 24 diabetic patients with diabetic polyneuropathy. The results showed a significant improvement (p = 0.006) of nerve conduction velocity in the peroneal nerve and a statistical trend toward improvement of the vibration perception threshold. Long-term observation of 9 patients with verum over a period of 9 months support the results. Therapy-specific adverse effects were not seen. The results of this double-blind investigation, of the long-term observation and of the reports in the literature support the contention that the neurotropic benfotiamine-vitamin B combination represents a starting point in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy.




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  19. More from the neuropathy list below:

    Alpha-Lipoic Acid Clinical Studies

    1. Oral Treatment with R-Alpha Lipoic Acid Improves Diabetic Polyneuropathy SelectShow

    Ziegler D, Ametov A, Barinov A, et al. The SYDNEY 2 trial. Diabetes Care. 2006;29:2365-70]

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17065669

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of this trial was to evaluate the effects of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) on positive sensory symptoms and neuropathic deficits in diabetic patients with distal symmetric

    polyneuropathy (DSP).

    RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS: In this multicenter, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, 181 diabetic patients in Russia and Israel received once-daily oral doses

    of 600 mg (n = 45) (ALA600), 1,200 mg (n = 47) (ALA1200), and 1,800 mg (ALA1800) of ALA (n = 46) or placebo (n = 43) for 5 weeks after a 1-week placebo run-in period. The

    primary outcome measure was the change from baseline of the Total Symptom Score (TSS), including stabbing pain, burning pain, paresthesia, and asleep numbness of the feet.

    Secondary end points included individual symptoms of TSS, Neuropathy Symptoms and Change (NSC) score, Neuropathy Impairment Score (NIS), and patients’ global assessment of

    efficacy.

    RESULTS: Mean TSS did not differ significantly at baseline among the treatment groups and on average decreased by 4.9 points (51%) in ALA600, 4.5 (48%) in ALA1200, and 4.7

    (52%) in ALA1800 compared with 2.9 points (32%) in the placebo group (all P /=50% reduction in TSS) were 62, 50, 56, and

    26%, respectively. Significant improvements favoring all three ALA groups were also noted for stabbing and burning pain, the NSC score, and the patients’ global assessment of efficacy.

    The NIS was numerically reduced. Safety analysis showed a dose-dependent increase in nausea, vomiting, and vertigo.

    CONCLUSIONS: Oral treatment with Alpha-Lipoic Acid for 5 weeks improved neuropathic symptoms and deficits in patients with Distal Symmetric Polyneuropathy. An oral dose of 600 mg once daily appears to provide the optimum risk-to-benefit ratio.

    ________________________________________

    2. R-ALA in the Treatment of Diabetic Peripheral and Cardiac Autonomic Neuropathy SelectHide

    Ziegler D, Gries FA. Diabetes. 1997;46 (suppl 2):S62–66.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9285502

    Antioxidant treatment has been shown to prevent nerve dysfunction in experimental diabetes, providing a rationale for a potential therapeutic value in diabetic patients. The effects of

    the antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid) were studied in two multicenter, randomized, double-blind placebo-controlled trials. In the Alpha-Lipoic Acid in Diabetic Neuropathy

    Study, 328 patients with NIDDM and symptomatic peripheral neuropathy were randomly assigned to treatment with intravenous infusion of alpha-lipoic acid using three doses

    (ALA 1,200 mg; 600 mg; 100 mg) or placebo (PLAC) over 3 weeks. The total symptom score (TSS) (pain, burning, paresthesia, and numbness) in the feet decreased significantly

    from baseline to day 19 in ALA 1,200 and ALA 600 vs. PLAC. Each of the four individual symptom scores was significantly lower in ALA 600 than in PLAC after 19 days

    (all P < 0.05). The total scale of the Hamburg Pain Adjective List (HPAL) was significantly reduced in ALA 1,200 and ALA 600 compared with PLAC after 19 days (both P < 0.05).

    In the Deutsche Kardiale Autonome Neuropathie Studie, patients with NIDDM and cardiac autonomic neuropathy diagnosed by reduced heart rate variability were randomly assigned to

    treatment with a daily oral dose of 800 mg alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) (n = 39) or placebo (n = 34) for 4 months. Two out of four parameters of heart rate variability at rest were

    significantly improved in ALA compared with placebo. A trend toward a favorable effect of ALA was noted for the remaining two indexes. In both studies, no significant adverse events

    were observed. In conclusion, intravenous treatment with alpha-lipoic acid (600 mg/day) over 3 weeks is safe and effective in reducing symptoms of diabetic peripheral neuropathy,

    and oral treatment with 800 mg/day for 4 months may improve cardiac autonomic dysfunction in NIDDM.

    ________________________________________

    3. R-Alpha-lipoic Acid Improve Nerve Blood Flow and Improve Nerve Conduction de

    A Lipoic acid improves nerve blood flow, reduces oxidative stress, and improves

    distal nerve conduction in experimental diabetic neuropathy. Diabetes Care. 1995;18:1160-1167.

    Nagamatsu M, Nickander KK, Schmelzer JD,et al.

    http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/18/8/1160.abstract

    OBJECTIVE–To determine whether lipoic acid (LA) will reduce oxidative stress in diabetic peripheral nerves and improve neuropathy. RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS–We used

    the model of streptozotocin-induced diabetic neuropathy (SDN) and evaluated the efficacy of LA supplementation in improving nerve blood flow (NBF), electrophysiology, and indexes

    of oxidative stress in peripheral nerves affected by SDN, at 1 month after onset of diabetes and in age-matched control rats. LA, in doses of 20, 50, and 100 mg/kg, was

    administered intraperitoneally five times per week after onset of diabetes. RESULTS–NBF in SDN was reduced by 50%; LA did not affect the NBF of normal nerves but improved that

    of SDN in a dose-dependent manner. After 1 month of treatment, LA-supplemented rats (100 mg/kg) exhibited normal NBF. The most sensitive and reliable indicator of oxidative

    stress was reduction in reduced glutathione, which was significantly reduced in streptozotocin-induced diabetic and alpha-tocopherol-deficient nerves; it was improved in a

    dose-dependent manner in LA-supplemented rats. The conduction velocity of the digital nerve was reduced in SDN and was significantly improved by LA.

    CONCLUSIONS– These studies suggest that LA improves SDN, in significant part by reducing the effects of oxidative stress. The drug may have

    potential in the treatment of human diabetic neuropathy.

    4. Molecular Aspects of R-Lipoic Acid in the Prevention of Diabetes Complications

    Packer L, Kraemer K, Rimbach G. Nutrition. 2001;17(10):888-895.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11684397

    Alpha-lipoic acid (LA) and its reduced form, dihydrolipoic acid, are powerful antioxidants. LA scavenges hydroxyl radicals, hypochlorous acid, peroxynitrite, and singlet oxygen.

    Dihydrolipoic acid also scavenges superoxide and peroxyl radicals and can regenerate thioredoxin, vitamin C, and glutathione, which in turn can recycle vitamin E. There are several

    possible sources of oxidative stress in diabetes including glycation reactions, decompartmentalization of transition metals, and a shift in the reduced-oxygen status of the

    diabetic cells.Diabetics have increased levels of lipid hydroperoxides, DNA adducts, and protein carbonyls. Available data strongly suggest that LA, because of its antioxidant properties, is particularly suited to the prevention and/or treatment of diabetic complications that arise from an overproduction of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. In addition to its

    antioxidant properties, LA increases glucose uptake through recruitment of the glucose transporter-4 to plasma membranes, a mechanism that is shared with insulin-stimulated

    glucose uptake. Further, recent trials have demonstrated that LA improves glucose disposal in patients with type II diabetes. In experimental and clinical studies, LA markedly reduced

    the symptoms of diabetic pathologies, including cataract formation, vascular damage, and polyneuropathy. To develop a better understanding of the preventative and therapeutic

    potentials of LA, much of the current interest is focused on elucidating its molecular mechanisms in redox dependent gene expression.

    5. Alpha-lipoic acid in the treatment of diabetic polyneuropathy in Germany: current evidence from clinical trials

    Ziegler D, Reljanovic M, Mehnert H, Gries FA. Exp Clin Endocrinol Diabetes. 1999; 107:421-430.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10595592

    Diabetic neuropathy represents a major health problem, as it is responsible for substantial morbidity, increased mortality, and impaired quality of life. Near-normoglycaemia is now generally accepted as the primary approach to prevention of diabetic neuropathy, but is not achievable in a considerable number of patients. In the past two decades several medical treatments that exert their effects despite hyperglycaemia have been derived from the experimental pathogenetic concepts of diabetic neuropathy. Such compounds have been designed to improve or slow the progression of the neuropathic process and are being evaluated in clinical trials, but with the exception of alpha-lipoic acid (thioctic acid) which is available in Germany, none of these drugs is currently available in clinical practice. Here we review the current evidence from the clinical trials that assessed the therapeutic efficacy and safety of thioctic acid in diabetic polyneuropathy. Thus far, 15 clinical trials have been completed using different study designs, durations of treatment, doses, sample sizes, and patient populations. Within this variety of clinical trials, those with beneficial effects of thioctic acid on either neuropathic symptoms and deficits due to polyneuropathy or reduced heart rate variability resulting from cardiac autonomic neuropathy used doses of at least 600 mg per day. The following conclusions can be drawn from the recent controlled clinical trials. 1.) Short-term treatment for 3 weeks using 600 mg of thioctic acid i.v. per day appears to reduce the chief symptoms of diabetic polyneuropathy. A 3-week pilot study of 1800 mg per day given orally indicates that the therapeutic effect may be independent of the route of administration, but this needs to be confirmed in a larger sample size. 2.) The effect on symptoms is accompanied by an improvement of neuropathic deficits. 3.) Oral treatment for 4-7 months tends to reduce neuropathic deficits and improves cardiac autonomic neuropathy. 4.) Preliminary data over 2 years indicate possible long-term improvement in motor and sensory nerve conduction in the lower limbs. 5.) Clinical and postmarketing surveillance studies have revealed a highly favourable safety profile of the drug. Based on these findings, a pivotal long-term multicenter trial of oral treatment with thioctic acid (NATHAN I Study) is being conducted in North America and Europe aimed at slowing the progression of diabetic polyneuropathy using a clinically meaningful and reliable primary outcome measure that combines clinical and neurophysiological assessment.

    6. Effects of R-Alpha Lipoic Acid on Early Glomerular Injury in Diabetes Mellitus

    Melhem MF, Craven PA, Derubertis FR. Effects of dietary supplementation of alpha-lipoic acid on early glomerular injury in diabetes mellitus. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2001;12:124-133.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11134258

    Antioxidants, in particular vitamin E (VE), have been reported to protect against diabetic renal injury. alpha-Lipoic acid (LA) has been found to attenuate diabetic peripheral neuropathy, but its effects on nephropathy have not been examined. In the present study, parameters of glomerular injury were examined in streptozotocin diabetic rats after 2 mo on unsupplemented diets and in diabetic rats that received the lowest daily dose of dietary LA (30 mg/kg body wt), VE (100 IU/kg body wt), or vitamin C (VC; 1 g/kg body wt), which detectably increased the renal cortical content of each antioxidant. Blood glucose values did not differ among the diabetic groups. At 2 mo, inulin clearance, urinary albumin excretion, fractional albumin clearance, glomerular volume, and glomerular content of immunoreactive transforming growth factor-beta (TGF-beta) and collagen alpha1 (IV) all were significantly increased in unsupplemented D compared with age-matched nondiabetic controls. With the exception of inulin clearance, LA prevented or significantly attenuated the increase in all of these glomerular parameters in D, as well as the increases in renal tubular cell TGF-beta seen in D. At the dose used, VE reduced inulin clearance in D to control levels but failed to alter any of the other indices of glomerular injury or to suppress renal tubular cell TGF-beta in D. VC suppressed urinary albumin excretion, fractional albumin clearance, and glomerular volume but not glomerular or tubular TGF-beta or glomerular collagen alpha1 (IV) content. LA but not VE or VC significantly increased renal cortical glutathione content in D. These data indicate that LA is effective in the prevention of early diabetic glomerular injury and suggest that this agent may have advantages over high doses of either VE or VC.

    7. Protection Against Oxidative Injury in Non-neuronal and Neuronal Tissue

    Lynch MA. Nutr Neurosci. 2001;4(6):419-438.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11843262

    In the past decade or so, a convincing link between oxidative stress and degenerative conditions has been made and with the knowledge that oxidatiye changes may actually trigger deterioration in cell function, a great deal of energy has focussed on identifying agents which may have possible therapeutic value in combating oxidative changes. One agent which has received attention, because of its powerful antioxidative effects, particularly in neuronal tissue, is lipoic acid.

    8. R-Alpha Lipoic Acid and Diabetes

    Melhem MF, Craven PA, Liachenko J, et al. Alpha-lipoic acid attenuates hyperglycemia and prevents glomerular mesangial matrix expansion in diabetes. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2002;13:108-116.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11752027

    Previous studies demonstrated that 2 mo of dietary supplementation with alpha-lipoic acid (LA) prevented early glomerular injury in non-insulin-treated streptozotocin diabetic rats (D). The present study examined the effects of chronic LA supplementation (30 mg/kg body wt per d) on nephropathy in D after 7 mo of diabetes. Compared with control rats, D developed increased urinary excretion of albumin and transforming growth factor beta, renal insufficiency, glomerular mesangial matrix expansion, and glomerulosclerosis in association with depletion of glutathione and accumulation of malondialdehyde in renal cortex. LA prevented or ameliorated all of these changes in D. Because chronic LA supplementation also attenuated hyperglycemia in D after 3 mo, its effects on renal injury were compared with treatment of rats with sufficient insulin to maintain a level of glycemic control for the entire 7-mo period (D-INS) equivalent to that observed with LA during the final 4 mo. Despite superior longitudinal glycemic control in D-INS, urinary excretion of albumin and transforming growth factor beta, glomerular mesangial matrix expansion, the extent of glomerulosclerosis, and renal cortical malondialdehyde content were all significantly greater, whereas cortical glutathione content was lower than corresponding values in D given LA. Thus, the renoprotective effects of LA in D were not attributable to improved glycemic control alone but also likely reflected its antioxidant activity. The combined antioxidant and hypoglycemic actions of LA both may contribute to its utility in preventing renal injury and other complications of diabetes.

    9. In Vivo Effect of R-Alpha Lipoic Acid on Patients With Diabetic Neuropathy

    Androne L, Gavan NA, Veresiu IA, Orasan R. In vivo effect of lipoic acid on lipid peroxidation in patients with diabetic neuropathy. In Vivo. 2000;14(2):327-330

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10836205

    BACKGROUND: The diabetic state, in both humans and experimental animals, is associated with oxidative stress. Lipid peroxidation of nerve membranes has been suggested as a mechanism by which peripheral nerve ischemia and hypoxia could cause neuropathy. Lipoic acid (LA) is a powerful inhibitor of iron-dependent lipid peroxidation and reactive oxygen species. The treatment of diabetic peripheral and cardiac autonomic neuropathy with LA is based on good clinical and experimental evidence.

    MATERIALS AND METHODS: To investigate the magnitude of the oxidative stress, serum ceruloplasmin (Cp) and lipid peroxide (Lp) levels were measured in 10 patients with diabetic neuropathy, before and 70 days after treatment with single dose of 600 mg LA/day. For other 12 healthy age- and sex-matched control subjects the serum Cp and Lp levels were evaluated.

    RESULTS: Our results show that hyperglycemia is a factor for an increase in serum ceruloplasmin in patients with diabetic neuropathy compared to healthy subjects (p < 0.0001). High serum ceruloplasmin (Cp) level in patients with diabetes may be related to antioxidant defense. The treatment of diabetic neuropathy with LA does not affect significantly the serum Cp activity. The serum Lp levels after LA administration were significantly lower (p < 0.005) than those before treatment.

    CONCLUSIONS: The antioxidant therapy with R-ALA improves and may prevent diabetic neuropathy. This improvement is associated with a reduction in the indexes of lipid peroxidation. Oxidative stress appears to be primarily due to the processes of nerve ischemia and hyperglycemia autooxidation.




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  20. Didn’t see this recent study–with Neil Barnard as a contributing author, below cited in the references…but maybe it’s in the video.

    And it’s regrettable that a moderator deleted a recently posted comment providing a list of studies–all of which can be found on PubMed– addressing treatment of diabetic neuropathy with B-12, benfortiamine, and alpha lipoic acid.

    As an attorney whose avocation has been publicly advocating a WFPB for nearly 40 years (Priitkin in the 70s; McDougall and the macrobiotic diet in the 80s; and all of their successors in the decades following: Ornish, Furhman, Esselstyn, Novick, and Campbell, etc) and who has read literally thousands of nutritional studies and/or abstracts related to improving health through lifestyle and dietary changes, I have also concluded–from the science-based literature and personal experience– that medical intervention with drugs and “supplements”–for which there is evidence of efficacy– is not infrequently an important complement to dietary interventions, most especially for individuals who find compliance with strict WFPB diets difficult.

    Citation: Nutrition & Diabetes (2015) 5, e158; doi:10.1038/nutd.2015.8

    Published online 26 May 2015

    A dietary intervention for chronic diabetic neuropathy pain: a randomized controlled pilot study

    OPEN

    A E Bunner1, C L Wells1, J Gonzales1, U Agarwal2, E Bayat3 and N D Barnard1,4

    1Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Washington, DC, USA

    2California State University, East Bay, Student Health and Counseling Services, Hayward, CA, USA

    3George Washington Medical Faculty Associates, Washington, DC, USA

    4George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC, USA

    Correspondence: Dr ND Barnard, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, 5100 Wisconsin Avenue, NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20016, USA. E-mail: nbarnard@pcrm.org

    Received 5 February 2015; Revised 12 March 2015; Accepted 9 April 2015

    Abstract

    Background: Diabetic neuropathy is a common and often debilitating condition for which available treatments are limited. Because a low-fat plant-based diet has been shown to improve glycemic control in individuals with type 2 diabetes, we hypothesized that such a diet would reduce painful symptoms of diabetic neuropathy.

    Methods: In this 20-week pilot study, individuals with type 2 diabetes and painful diabetic neuropathy were randomly assigned to two groups. The intervention group was asked to follow a low-fat, plant-based diet, with weekly classes for support in following the prescribed diet, and to take a vitamin B12 supplement. The control group was asked to take the same vitamin B12 supplement, but received no other intervention. At baseline, midpoint and 20 weeks, clinical, laboratory and questionnaire data were collected. Questionnaires included an analog ‘worst pain’ scale, Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument, global impression scale, Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire, Neuropathy Total Symptom Score, a weekly pain diary and Norfolk Quality of Life Questionnaire.

    Results: After 20 weeks, body weight change with the intervention was −6.4 kg (95% confidence interval (CI) −9.4 to −3.4, P<0.001) in an effect size analysis. Electrochemical skin conductance in the foot improved by an average of 12.4 microseimens (95% CI 1.2–23.6, P=0.03) with the intervention in an effect size analysis. The between-group difference in change in pain, as measured by the McGill pain questionnaire, was −8.2 points (95% CI −16.1 to −0.3, P=0.04). Michigan Neuropathy Screening Instrument questionnaire score change was −1.6 points (95% CI −3.0 to −0.2, P=0.03).

    Conclusions: Improvements were seen in some clinical and pain measures. This pilot study suggests the potential value of a plant-based diet intervention, including weekly support classes, for treating painful diabetic neuropathy.




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    1. reader: You wrote: “…And it’s regrettable that a moderator deleted a recently posted comment…” On your behalf, I just went through a week’s worth of deleted posts and not a single one was from you. Thus, I do not believe that anyone has deleted any of your posts. Disqus, the 3rd party software we use to handle comments below videos and articles, can be funny about displaying posts. If you want to make sure one of your recent posts is still around, you can click the down arrow next to your name at the top of the comments area. Then choose “your profile”. Your recent posts will appear and you can click ‘view in discussion’ if you want.




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  21. My wife has been suffering with nondiabedic neuropathy for years. Seen doctors, etc. initial onset after a very busy tax season (she is a CPA). Hours of sitting. Both lower legs were hit. Read in the book about the dangers of long term sitting. Potential damage to blood vessels. That is what she was doing. Now only works few hours a day. Blood restriction from sitting Sounds something like diabetic neuropathy. Any thoughts on whether WFPB diet might help. Going to try. Don’t want to get hopes up to high. The neurophy has been devastating. Nothing has helped.




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  22. I’m wondering if someone suffering from numbness (and fatigue) from spinal stenosis might hope to have similar results as the diabetic patients did when switching to a wfpb diet… any research, thoughts, etc will be much appreciated!




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    1. Thanks for your deblewis22. I couldn’t find anything specific to a WFPB diet and spinal stenosis. I would think how much pain relief could be attained would depend in part on the underlying cause of the stenosis. I did find a study showing that weight loss improved symptoms of spinal stenosis (if the sufferer was overweight or obese to start) and weight loss can be achieved and sustained with a WFPB diet. Many people have found that fatigue improves with this healthy diet as well. Finally, this way of eating has so many health benefits I see no downside to giving it a try, even if there isn’t research for a specific condition.




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    2. I know a man who at 85 years old (or young!) went 100% WFPB — mostly raw but not ONLY raw foods—and his spinal stenosis pain went away, allowing him to walk 11 or 12 blocks out and back instead of only being able to walk 2 blocks…his name is Herbie Fisher and he’s on youtube with his daughter, Dara Dubinet. There’s even a few videos of him describing the pains he USED to have and now they are gone, along with carpal tunnel pain. So, why not try it out for a month or 2? Herbie will turn 88 this coming August and his journey is remarkable! Just one anectdotal situation for you to consider!




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  23. For what it’s worth, I am posting this video on Eric Clapton’s facebook page…the announcement came out yesterday that he is suffering from peripheral neuropathy so to ME, if I was only 71 years old and faced giving up what I love to do the most, I would hire the best damned plant based chef or raw food chef I could find and try it out for a few months!




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  24. So my poor wife has Idiopathic Peripheral Neuropathy… I would love for her to try this, do you think it would work for her type of pain?




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  25. Am here to thank doctor Ehi for helping me cure my diabetes, i have suffered for diabetes for a long period of time, i have tried so many remedy, but known seems to work. But i had contact with a herbal doctor who i saw so many people testifying on how they were all cured of their various disease and viruses by this doctor. So i explained my entire problem to him, and he promised to cure me. So i gave him all benefit of doubt, and behold he prepared the herbal mixture, and send it to me in my country. Today, i am proud to say i am diabetes free, and my sugar level has been restored to normal. So in case you are out there suffering from diabetes and other disease and or virus, i want to tell you to quickly contact doctor Ehi for your cure. His email is (dr.ehispelltemple1@gmail.com) you can also call him on (call +2348056934095)




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  26. – My mother told me when I called her last week that she was suffering from both types of diabetic neuropathy, tingling and pain, so I told her about this website and played her this video.
    – I called her yesterday to asked her if she gave the WFPB diet a try. She told me yes, and that the pain was all gone, and that there was hardly any tingling left. She said that she was waiting until after all of her symptoms were gone before calling me back, but that she was delighted with the results, and she was amazed that she could feel so good, so fast.
    – Why, oh why are people needlessly suffering for want of this merciful message? It’s so sad. People place so much faith on allopathic/pharmacological medicine, that they have a difficult time believing that food, spices, herbs and diet can make a profound, meaningful and effective difference in their health, and as a treatment for ailments.
    – My mom told me that I was a life saver. I’m just grateful that I have this website as a resource to educate and help others.
    – Thank you all for your continued efforts to make this research accessible, understandable and actionable.




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    1. Hi Lore,
      I have tried to access the online version of the paper which Dr Greger mentions. Unfortunately access is not possible. However, the main descriotion of the diet is:
      ‘low fat (10–15% of cals), high fiber, total vegetarian diet (TVD) of unrefined foods’.
      To help give you more of an idea about plant based diets, Dr Greger is releasing a cookbook: https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/06/30/not-die-cookbook/

      Hope this helps!




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  27. I have neuropathy in my feet only that has steadily gotten worse over the last 20 years. I am vegan, although sadly a fat vegan for nearly 6 years. I have recently cut out all the junk and am eating strictly whole foods plant but have just started a week ago. My cholesterol is 107. No diabetes per my doc. Losing weight is my goal. I have a BMI of just under 30 and my goal to get down to 25 or lower. My hope is that feet situation will improve. However I have also seen where adding Benfotiamine can improve symptoms.

    1. My worry is that if you have cancer it can boost it’s growth
    2. However being plant based lowers IGF-1 levels.

    Sort of like hitting the brakes and punching the gas.

    Ideally I would try it for a few months and if no effect quit. Or upon reaching my BMI would drop off the Benfotiamine all together. I am NOT a fan of supplements but have been doing B-12 oral for quite some time now.

    Anyway, thoughts are always appreciated. Thanks.




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    1. Patrick,

      as there is little published data on adverse effects of Benfotiamine, we can’t say for sure. There could be transketolase enzyme involved. Cancer cells have lots of them, their metabolism of thiamine is high, so maybe if you already have cancer, taking Benfotiamine may just in theory accelerate cancer growth. At this point, don’t worry about it too much.




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  28. My mothers neuropathy has improved, she is not 100% plant-based I haven’t quite got her all the way in, she still eats some fish… but my question really is this, she has been getting leg ulcers and she’s been tested and her veins are not awesome but they’re not that bad. She has arthritis in her legs and has a hard time walking but her doctor told her that she needs to eat beef because that will help her leg ulcers and I have been arguing with her that that doesn’t make any sense. So she has not actually started eating beef but her doctor informed her that she needs to at least eat Jell-o so could you please please tell me what could help her leg ulcers and whether or not she should be eating any meat or what could she eat or do that would help I can’t seem to find anything on the subject anywhere.




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  29. Hi, this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD and Moderator for Nutritionfacts. On the venous or leg ulcers, i am aware of a number of plant based compounds that may help. Flavonoids abundantly found in fruits and vegetables, the more colored the better, are one category. Several studies speak to that, though some equivocal. The drawback of the studies was in my opinion that a combination of diosmin and hesperidin extracts were used and not the whole fruit, such as citrus fruit. So, leafy greens and dark, deep colored vegetables and fruit, please see https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flavonoids/ Next is Zinc, see https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/zinc/, found in spinach, beans, nuts and seeds; finally, vitamin E found in seeds, nuts, avocados, wheat germ (watch out for allergic reactions); I would like to add that anti-inflammatory compounds such as omega fatty acids, also B complex vitamins may help, for both neuropathy and the venous ulcers; they are found again in plants and seeds such as flax seeds; other good examples are turmeric (curcumin) and pineapple (for its content of bromelain); in all, my thoughts are that a plant based diet will help the best. I hope this helps, Daniela
    PS: also, some reported cases showed a connection between food allergies and venous ulcers. Maybe you would like to rule that possibility out.




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