People with type 2 diabetes have high blood glucose levels, have insulin resistance and are very likely to have high cholesterol and triglyceride levels. These conditions may cause an increase in oxidative stress. Antioxidants have been studied for their potential benefit in reducing oxidative stress and the risk of complications. Several studies have shown the potential for antioxidant protection against complication. Now, new research indicates that high dietary intakes of antioxidants may help protect against type 2 diabetes as well.
Researchers in Finland evaluated the effect of the dietary antioxidants and the incidence of type 2 diabetes in over 40,000 men and women over a 23 year period. The dietary antioxidants evaluated were vitamin C, vitamin E, tocopherols and tocotrienols, and six carotenoids. Intakes of alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, delta tocopherol and beta-tocopherol were associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. People with the most dietary vitamin E were 31 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes compared to those with diets containing the least amount. Dietary carotenoids were also associated with protective benefits, while no effect was found for vitamin C.
Diabetes Card., 2004; 27(2):362-6