Vitamin B complex supplementation as a homocysteine-lowering therapy for early stage diabetic nephropathy in pediatric patients with type 1 diabetes: A randomized controlled trial

Clin Nutr. 2020 Jan;39(1):49-56. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2019.01.006. Epub 2019 Jan 17.


Background: Homocysteine levels are elevated in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) and could induce renal injury. B vitamins have an important role in preventing microvascular complications of diabetes.

Aim: We performed a randomized-controlled trial of oral supplementation with vitamin B complex as an adjuvant therapy for nephropathy in pediatric T1DM patients and assessed its relation to homocysteine and cystatin C as a marker of nephropathy.

Methods: This trial included 80 T1DM patients with microalbuminuria, despite oral angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors, aged 12-18 years with at least 5 years disease duration and HbA1c ≤8.5%. Patients were randomly assigned into two groups; intervention group which received oral vitamin B complex (B1, B6 and B12) once daily and placebo group. Both groups were followed-up for 12 weeks with assessment of plasma homocysteine, HbA1c, urinary albumin excretion (UAE) and cystatin C.

Results: Both groups were well-matched in baseline clinical and laboratory parameters. Baseline homocysteine levels were elevated in both groups compared with reference control values. After 12 weeks, supplementation with vitamin B complex for the intervention group resulted in a significant decrease of homocysteine, fasting blood glucose, HbA1c, triglycerides, total cholesterol, UAE and cystatin C compared with baseline levels (p < 0.001) and with placebo group (p < 0.001). No adverse reactions were reported. Baseline cystatin C was negatively correlated to vitamin B12 (r = -0.77, p = 0.001).

Conclusions: Vitamin B complex improved glycemic control and renal function through decreasing homocysteine and could be a safe and effective strategy for treatment of early stage nephropathy in pediatric T1DM. This trial was registered at (NCT03594240).

Keywords: Cystatin C; Diabetic nephropathy; Homocysteine; Type 1 diabetes; Vitamin B complex.

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