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FEBS Lett. 2000 May 4;473(1):24-6.

Antioxidant alpha-tocopherol ameliorates glycemic control of GK rats, a model of type 2 diabetes.

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Department of Metabolism and Clinical Nutrition, Graduate School of Medicine, Kyoto University, 54 Shogoin-Kawahara-cho, Sakyo-ku, Kyoto, Japan.


We have shown recently that oxidative stress by chronic hyperglycemia damages the pancreatic beta-cells of GK rats, a model of non-obese type 2 diabetes, which may worsen diabetic condition and suggested the administration of antioxidants as a supportive therapy. To determine if natural antioxidant alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) has beneficial effects on the glycemic control of type 2 diabetes, GK rats were fed a diet containing 0, 20 or 500 mg/kg diet alpha-tocopherol. Intraperitoneal glucose tolerance test revealed a significant increment of insulin secretion at 30 min and a significant decrement of blood glucose levels at 30 and 120 min after glucose loading in the GK rats fed with high alpha-tocopherol diet. The levels of glycated hemoglobin A1c, an indicator of glycemic control, were also reduced. Vitamin E supplementation clearly ameliorated diabetic control of GK rats, suggesting the importance of not only dietary supplementation of natural antioxidants but also other antioxidative intervention as a supportive therapy of type 2 diabetic patients.

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