Are you a diabetic? Do you have nerve pain? You might want to consider a plant-based diet. According to the results of a new randomized trial, diabetic neuropathy is reduced by a vegan diet. The DINE study had participants with diabetic neuropathy as a result of type-2 diabetes. Those who were given a B 12 supplement along with eating a vegan diet had far more improvement in their pain scores than those who received the supplement alone.
Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine conducted the study whose authors were Caroline Trapp, MSN and Anne Bunner, PhD.
Bunner told MedPage Today,
“Diabetic peripheral neuropathy is under diagnosed, partially because there’s not a whole lot for physicians to offer these patients.” Of her research she said, “We wanted to know if in the setting of a randomized controlled trial a low-fat vegan diet can make a difference in diabetic neuropathy pain.”
50% of type-2 diabetes patients suffer diabetic neuropathy. Treatments for diabetic neuropathy today don’t deal with the underlying issues of the illness. They only deal with the pain. Another earlier observational study found that those with diabetic neuropathy brought their pain down 81% and they lost 11 pounds simply by partaking in a vegan diet. Most of the patients were able to cut back on their blood pressure and diabetes medications as well. This is a low-fat, high fiber plant-based diet.
Bunner and Trapp wanted to see if the same results would occur, if type-2 diabetes patients who suffered diabetic neuropathy would see the same benefits in a randomized trial, and so they devised one. In the trial the participants on a vegan diet could not eat fatty foods. They were only allowed to have 20 to 30 grams per day of fatty foods such as oil and nuts. They were to eat 30 grams of fiber per day. They also ate foods that had a low glycemic index—those that were low in sugar and did not cause blood sugar spikes. Since high fiber foods are low in calories the participants could eat as much of these as they wanted. The patients who undertook this diet were given classes once a week for twenty weeks. These included product sampling, cooking demonstrations, social support and nutrition education. Those five out of the seven that stuck to the diet significantly reduced their pain. Other quality of life scores went up as well. The next study will follow patients with type-2 diabetic neuropathy pain for one year. If you suffer from diabetic neuropathy, why not consider a vegan diet?