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Review
, 13 (7), 577-83

Emerging Role of Thiamine Therapy for Prevention and Treatment of Early-Stage Diabetic Nephropathy

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Review

Emerging Role of Thiamine Therapy for Prevention and Treatment of Early-Stage Diabetic Nephropathy

N Rabbani et al. Diabetes Obes Metab.

Abstract

Thiamine supplementation may prevent and reverse early-stage diabetic nephropathy. This probably occurs by correcting diabetes-linked increased clearance of thiamine, maintaining activity and expression of thiamine pyrophosphate-dependent enzymes that help counter the adverse effects of high glucose concentrations-particularly transketolase. Evidence from experimental and clinical studies suggests that metabolism and clearance of thiamine is disturbed in diabetes leading to tissue-specific thiamine deficiency in the kidney and other sites of development of vascular complications. Thiamine supplementation prevented the development of early-stage nephropathy in diabetic rats and reversed increased urinary albumin excretion in patients with type 2 diabetes and microalbuminuria in two recent clinical trials. The thiamine monophosphate prodrug, Benfotiamine, whilst preventing early-stage development of diabetic nephropathy experimentally, has failed to produce similar clinical effect. The probable explanations for this are discussed. Further definitive trials for prevention of progression of early-stage diabetic nephropathy by thiamine are now required.

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