New Study Results Confirm Benefits of Dietary Intervention

New research presented at the annual meeting of the American Association of Diabetes Educators shows that a low-fat vegan diet reduced symptoms of peripheral neuropathy among patients with type 2 diabetes. The randomized, controlled Dietary Intervention for Chronic Diabetic Neuropathy Pain (DINE) study examined 35 patients and found that after 20 weeks, those assigned to the vegan diet group were more likely than control patients to have lost weight, to have reductions in pain scores, and to have neurologic improvements in their foot neuropathy. The findings confirm those of a previously conducted uncontrolled study from 1994, in which 81% of patients had pain relief with a low-fat, high-fiber vegan diet. The latest study reported mean score changes on the McGill Pain Questionnaire of –9.1 for the vegan diet group vs. –0.9 for the control group. Lead author Anne Bunner, PhD, remarked that the new study demonstrates "the potential of a low-fat vegan diet as a treatment for diabetic neuropathy pain." Other treatment options for diabetic neuropathy offer pain relief, but do not address the underlying nerve damage. Read a news story about the findings here.

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