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Metabolism. 2009 Feb;58(2):254-62. doi: 10.1016/j.metabol.2008.09.022.

Effects of antioxidant supplementation on insulin sensitivity, endothelial adhesion molecules, and oxidative stress in normal-weight and overweight young adults.

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Department of Orthopaedics and Rehabilitation, University of Florida, Gainesville, PO Box 112727, FL 32608, USA.


The objective of the study was to determine whether short-term antioxidant (AOX) supplementation affects insulin sensitivity, endothelial adhesion molecule levels, and oxidative stress in overweight young adults. A randomized, double-blind, controlled study tested the effects of AOXs on measures of insulin sensitivity (homeostasis model assessment [HOMA]) and quantitative insulin sensitivity check index), endothelial adhesion molecules (soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1, vascular adhesion molecule, and endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule-1), adiponectin, and oxidative stress (lipid hydroperoxides) in overweight and normal-weight individuals (N = 48, 18-30 years). Participants received either AOX (vitamin E, 800 IU; vitamin C, 500 mg; beta-carotene, 10 mg) or placebo for 8 weeks. The HOMA values were initially higher in the overweight subjects and were lowered with AOX by week 8 (15% reduction, P = .02). Adiponectin increased in both AOX groups. Soluble intercellular adhesion molecule-1 and endothelial-leukocyte adhesion molecule-1 decreased in overweight AOX-treated groups by 6% and 13%, respectively (P < .05). Plasma lipid hydroperoxides were reduced by 0.31 and 0.70 nmol/mL in the normal-weight and overweight AOX-treated groups, respectively, by week 8 (P < .05). Antioxidant supplementation moderately lowers HOMA and endothelial adhesion molecule levels in overweight young adults. A potential mechanism to explain this finding is the reduction in oxidative stress by AOX. Long-term studies are needed to determine whether AOXs are effective in suppressing diabetes or vascular activation over time.

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