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Vitamin B6, B9 and B12 in diabetic nephropathy—beware

Combination therapy with vitamins B6, B9 and B12 is a therapeutic intervention to decrease levels of plasma homocysteine and the risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a recent trial found that cosupplementation with these vitamins exacerbated the decline in renal function and increased the risk of vascular disease in patients with diabetic nephropathy. Confidence in this high-dose vitamin supplement is shaken.

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The authors thank Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation for supporting their research on diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular disease.

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Correspondence to Paul J. Thornalley.

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Competing interests

The authors declare an association with the following company: Merck Serono. P. J. Thornalley received a research grant from Merck Serono for the project “Epidemiological cross-sectional study on B-vitamin acid status in South-East Asian diabetic patients” conducted in 2008–2009. P. J. Thornalley and N. Rabbani have received speakers honoraria from Merck Serono.

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Thornalley, P., Rabbani, N. Vitamin B6, B9 and B12 in diabetic nephropathy—beware. Nat Rev Endocrinol 6, 477–478 (2010).

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