Decreased serum vitamin D levels are associated with diabetic peripheral neuropathy in a rural area of Turkey

Acta Neurol Belg. 2015 Mar;115(1):47-52. doi: 10.1007/s13760-014-0304-0. Epub 2014 May 20.


Data examining the association between vitamin D and diabetic peripheral neuropathy are limited. This study investigated the serum levels of vitamin D, vitamin D-binding protein (VDBP), and vitamin D receptor (VDR) in diabetics in the Yozgat region of Turkey, and assessed their relationships with diabetic peripheral neuropathy. 69 diabetic patients and 49 age- and sex-matched control subjects were enrolled in this clinical prospective study. All the diabetics underwent conventional sensory and motor nerve conduction studies, and diabetic peripheral neuropathy was confirmed or ruled out according to the electromyography findings and Douleur Neuropathique 4 questions. Serum vitamin D, VDBP and VDR levels were measured using commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits. The serum vitamin D levels (p = 0.001) were significantly lower, while the VDR levels (p = 0.003) were higher, in diabetics than in controls. The serum VDBP levels were similar in both groups (p > 0.05). The serum vitamin D levels were significantly lower in diabetics with diabetic peripheral neuropathy than in those without (p = 0.032), whereas the serum VDBP and VDR levels were similar in these two groups (p > 0.05). The lower serum vitamin D levels in diabetics, especially in those with peripheral neuropathy, may suggest a neurotrophic effect of vitamin D.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / blood*
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / diagnosis
  • Diabetic Neuropathies / epidemiology
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, Calcitriol / blood
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Turkey / epidemiology
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein / blood


  • Receptors, Calcitriol
  • Vitamin D-Binding Protein
  • Vitamin D