Reduced vitamin D levels in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy

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Reduced vitamin D levels in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy
Key Take-Away: 

Recent studies have found that Diabetic Neuropathy (DN) could have an association with low vitamin D levels. This study focuses on differentiating between people with painful and painless diabetic peripheral neuropathy thoroughly to assess major factors including sunlight exposure and daily activity.

Many recent published studies proclaimed a significant relationship amid diabetic peripheral neuropathy and low vitamin D levels. But, none seem to distinguish between people with painless and painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy or not contain information regarding major confounding factors including daily activity and sunlight exposure. This study aimed to estimate these shortcomings and evaluated vitamin D levels in controls and people with carefully phenotyped diabetic peripheral neuropathy (DPN).


A total of 14 healthy and 45 Type 2 diabetic patients went through neurophysiological and clinical evaluations — the Type 2 diabetic patients categorised into three classes; 14 without DPN, 14 with painless DPN and 17 with painful DPN. Patients with daily activity and seasonal sunlight exposure went through lower limb skin biopsy and evaluated for 25‐hydroxyvitamin D during summer months, July to September.


The patients with painful DPN exhibited significantly lower 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels (nmol/l) (SE) levels after adjusting for sunlight exposure, BMI, age and activity score. The effect of seven independent variables on painful DPN was determined by using Direct logistic regression. The only independent variable that showed statistically significant participation in the model with an inverted odds ratio of 1.11 was vitamin D. Moreover, the lower 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels also showed connections with subepidermal nerve fibre densities and cold detection thresholds.


While estimating for the principal confounding factors, the people with painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy show considerable variations in 25‐hydroxyvitamin D levels. This proposes the potential role of vitamin D in the pathogenesis of painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy. However, More intervention and prospective trials are needed to define a causality between painful DPN and low vitamin D levels.


Diabetic Medicine

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Reduced vitamin D levels in painful diabetic peripheral neuropathy


P. Shillo et al.

Exploratory, Vitamin D, Diabetic Neuropathy, Nerves
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