High-dose vitamin B1 supplements may protect against kidney damage, a condition said to threaten one in three diabetics, according to a study.
In a randomized controlled trial , 40 type-2 diabetics received three daily capsules containing either 100 mg vitamin B1 (thiamine) or a placebo for three months (1). This was followed by two months of additional wash-out period. The daily 300 milligram doses of thiamine were found to reduce the rate of albumin excretion by 41% from the value at the start of the study. The results also showed 35% of patients with microalbuminuria saw a return to normal urinary albumin excretion after being treated with thiamine.
The same researchers reported in 2007 that thiamine supplements may boost vascular health in diabetics.
Microalbuminuria occurs when small amounts of albumin – the most abundant protein in human serum – leaks from the kidney into the urine. It is a marker of early kidney disease development in diabetics (‘diabetic nephropathy’). An estimated 19 million people are affected by diabetes in the EU, equal to four per cent of the total population. This figure is projected to increase to 26 million by 2030.