ENDOCRINE RESEARCH, vol.27, no.3, pp.377-386, 2001 (SCI-Expanded)
Free radical-mediated oxidative stress has been implicated in adverse tissue changes in a number of diseases. In view of the role of oxidative processes in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), in this study, we investigated the oxidant and antioxidant status of plasma in patients with NIDDM and the effect of vitamin E (800 IU/day) supplementation on oxidative stress, antioxidant defense system, fructosamine levels and insulin action. Thirty controls and 40 NIDDM patients were studied. In controls and patients, plasma lipids, vitamin E, lipid peroxide, total thiols (t-SH), superoxide peroxidase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) were measured in the basal state and after vitamin E (800 IU/d) supplementation for a month. All lipids and lipid fractions in plasma were significantly decreased, whereas the HDL-C level was changed in diabetic patients supplemented with vitamin E when compared with baseline values. Vitamin E administration also significantly reduced fasting glucose and fructosamine levels, whereas increased significantly reduced fasting glucose and fructosamine levels, whereas increased significantly plasma C-peptide and insulin levels (p < 0.01, p < 0.001, respectively). Following vitamin E supplementation, TBARs levels were found to be significantly lower (p < 0.001) than the baseline value NIDDM patients are. On the other hand, activities of GPx and SOD were significantly higher (p < 0.001) than baseline values. A similar trend was observed for total thiols contents, but in this case, the increase was not significant. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that vitamin E improved beta-cell function and increased plasma insulin and C-peptide levels, possibly by inducing the antioxidant capacity of the organism and/or reducing the peripheral resistance in NIDDM. Long-term studies are needed to demonstrate the beneficial effects of vitamin E on treatment/prevention of NIDDM.