Nutrients reduce diabetic nerve pain
Chronic high blood sugar in diabetes damages nerves throughout the body, causing pain. This study followed 85 men and women, average age 63, with long-term type 2 diabetes, taking metformin, and with nerve damage in the extremities, body organs, and systems.
Participants took a placebo or a combination of 10 mg of superoxide dismutase, 570 mg of alpha-lipoic acid, 300 mg of acetyl-L-carnitine, and 250 mcg of vitamin B12 per day.
After 12 months, while there were no changes for placebo, those taking the nutritional supplement combination showed improvement in nerve function, including greater ability to perceive vibration in the extremities, and fewer episodes of intense pain. Circulating levels of vitamin B12 had also increased, and participants reported better overall quality of life.
Function in the part of the nervous system, called parasympathetic, that controls the body at rest and during digestion, deteriorated in the placebo group, while remaining stable for those taking the supplement combination.
Fish oil relieved osteoarthritis pain
In this study, 134 participants with knee, lower back, and shoulder pain from osteoarthritis (OA), aged 50 to 80, overweight or obese, and sedentary, took a placebo; 160 mg of curcumin alone; 2,000 mg of DHA plus 400 mg of EPA, or curcumin plus DHA/EPA together.
After 16 weeks, those taking omega-3 fish oil had reduced OA-specific pain compared to placebo or curcumin. Flexibility and elasticity of the smallest vessels also improved, increasing blood flow. The fish oil group saw pain scores decrease 42 percent, and improvements in the ability to exercise, climb stairs, and in joint strength and sleep quality. Better overall mood and a sense of total health accompanied these physical improvements.
Doctors believe fish oil improved blood supply to oxygen-deprived tissues, restoring nutrients to affected joints and reducing pain.