Vitamin E-xcellent

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By: Linda Watts

Recent research by Sven-Erik Bursell, PhD, of the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston suggests that high doses of Vitamin E (1300 IU per day) alter the development and/or progression of diabetic retinopathy.

Abnormal fluctuation of blood flow is a precursor of diabetic retinopathy. The clinical trial show that vitamin E therapy results in a normalization of retinal blood flow in diabetic test subjects without retinopathy.

Until this point, the only known preventative measure for retinopathy in people with diabetes was tight BG control. This can be tough especially on young children. What BG is low enough to allow a child “a life,” yet not risk retinopathy?

The results of this study indicate that normalization of retinal blood flow can occur with vitamin E therapy, despite high BGs. Retinal blood flow changes can occur over much shorter time periods (four months) than the development or progression of diabetic retinopathy (five to ten years).

More multi-center clinical trials are to be scheduled. For more information on the research, call Sven-Erik Bursell, PhD at (617) 732-2583.

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