Vitamin B12 deficiency has been associated with significant neurological pathology, especially peripheral neuropathy. This review aims to examine the existing evidence on the effectiveness of vitamin B12 supplementation for the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. A search of PubMed and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials for all relevant randomised controlled trials was conducted in December 2014. Any type of therapy using vitamin B12 or its coenzyme forms was assessed for efficacy and safety in diabetics with peripheral neuropathy. Changes in vibration perception thresholds, neuropathic symptoms and nerve conduction velocities, as well as the adverse effects of vitamin B12 therapy, were assessed. Four studies comprising 363 patients met the inclusion criteria. This review found no evidence that the use of oral vitamin B12 supplements is associated with improvement in the clinical symptoms of diabetic neuropathy. Furthermore, the majority of studies reported no improvement in the electrophysiological markers of nerve conduction.
Keywords: cobalamin; diabetic neuropathy; vitamin B12.
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