To determine the role of pyridoxine in the treatment of diabetic peripheral neuropathy, 18 symptomatic diabetic patients were treated with vitamin B6 or placebo in a double-blind controlled study. Only one patient had a low plasma pyridoxal phosphate level at the start of the study. After 4 mo of treatment with pyrodoxine hydrochloride (50 mg three times daily) 6 of 9 pyridoxine-treated and 4 of 9 placebotreated patients noted significant relief from their neuropathic symptoms. There was no difference between the two groups with regard to fasting plasma glucose, motor nerve conduction velocity, or ophthalmologic examination at the beginning or at the conclusion of the study. Our results suggest that vitamin B6 deficiency is not a factor in the etiology of diabetic peripheral neuropathy. Furthermore, treating diabetic peripheral neuropathy with high dose vitamin B6 or placebo results in a similar frequency of symptomatic improvement.

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