Regression of Diabetic Neuropathy with Total Vegetarian (Vegan) Diet

Milton G. Crane & Clyde Sample

Date: July 13, 2009

This study reports alleviation of the sharp, burning pains characteristic of systemic distal polyneuropathy (SDPN) patients with adult-onset (Type II) diabetes mellitus (AODM).

Twenty-one patients with known AODM and SDPN, average age 64, were trained in a low fat (10–15% of cats), high fiber, total vegetarian diet (TVD) of unrefined foods and conditioning exercise in a 25-day in-residence life-style program.

Complete relief of the SDPN pain occurred in 17 of the 21 patients in 4 to 16 days. The numbness persisted, but had noticeably improved. Weight loss averaged 4-9 ± 2-6 kg during the 25 days. By the 14th day, the fasting blood glucose level averaged 35% lower for the 11 patients who were above 6-6 mmoll1, and the insulin needs had dropped in half the patients. Five no longer needed hypoglycemic agents. Also, serum triglyceride and total cholesterol had decreased by 25-0 ± 23% and 13 ± 15% respectively (p <0-01) in 2 weeks.

Follow-up studies of 17 of the 21 patients for 1-4 years indicated that 71% had remained on the diet and exercise programme as advised in nearly every item. In all except one of the 17 patients, the relief from the SDPN had continued, or there was further improvement.

In our opinion, these results appear to be related to a factor(s) in the TVD, and not necessarily to an improved glucose control, since the serum glucose was not under good control until about the 10th day.

(Source: Journal of Nutritional Medicine)