High doses of vitamin B1 (thiamine) could help prevent heart disease in diabetic patients, researchers claim.
University of Essex researchers say diabetic patients should be given thiamine to reduce blood cholesterol - which is linked to heart disease.
Previous studies have shown that drugs such as statins can also lower the risk of heart disease in diabetics.
Diabetes increases the risk of heart disease by two to three times in men and three to five times in women.
Prof Paul J Thornalley, who led the research, said: "There will of course be clinical trials to investigate further the findings we have made using an experimental model of diabetes.
"However, given the continuing toll of heart disease in diabetic patients, and the emerging benefits of thiamine therapy for diabetics suffering from kidney disease... I would strongly suggest that those with diabetes are given thiamine supplements."