A deficiency of vitamin B6 is a plausible molecular basis of the retinopathy of patients with diabetes mellitus

Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 1991 Aug 30;179(1):615-9. doi: 10.1016/0006-291x(91)91416-a.


Eighteen patients with diabetes mellitus, some of whom had variously retinopathy, pregnancy, and the carpal tunnel syndrome, and were variously treated with steroids and vitamin B6, have been overviewed for periods of 8 months to 28 years. We have established an association of a deficiency of vitamin B6 with diabetes by monitoring the specific activity of the erythrocyte glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase and again by the association with the carpal tunnel syndrome (C.T.S.). It has been known for a decade that C.T.S. is caused by a B6 deficiency. The absence of retinopathy in vitamin B6-treated diabetic patients over periods of 8 months - 28 years appears monumental. These observations are like discovery and constitute a basis for a new protocol to establish the apparent relationship of a deficiency of vitamin B6 as a molecular cause of diabetic neuropathy. Blindness and vision are so important that the strength or weakness of the observations are not important; the conduct of a new protocol is important.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / etiology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / physiopathology
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome / prevention & control*
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / etiology
  • Diabetic Retinopathy / physiopathology*
  • Erythrocytes / enzymology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy in Diabetics / physiopathology
  • Pyridoxine / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamin B 6 Deficiency / physiopathology*


  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Pyridoxine