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J Nutr Biochem. 2012 Mar;23(3):292-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jnutbio.2010.12.007. Epub 2011 May 2.

γ-Tocopherol abolishes postprandial increases in plasma methylglyoxal following an oral dose of glucose in healthy, college-aged men.

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Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT 06269-4017, USA.


Postprandial hyperglycemia contributes to the risk of cardiovascular disease in part by increasing concentrations of the reactive dicarbonyl methylglyoxal (MGO), a byproduct of glucose metabolism. Oxidative stress increases MGO formation from glucose in vitro and decreases its glutathione-dependent detoxification to lactate. We hypothesized that the antioxidant γ-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E, would decrease hyperglycemia-mediated postprandial increases in plasma MGO in healthy, normoglycemic, college-aged men. Participants (n=12 men; 22.3±1.0 years; 29.3±2.4 kg/m(2)) received an oral dose of glucose (75 g) in the fasted state prior to and following 5-day ingestion of a vitamin E supplement enriched in γ-tocopherol (500 mg/day). γ-Tocopherol supplementation increased (P<.0001) plasma γ-tocopherol from 2.22±0.32 to 7.06±0.71 μmol/l. Baseline MGO concentrations and postprandial hyperglycemic responses were unaffected by γ-tocopherol supplementation (P>.05). Postprandial MGO concentrations increased in the absence of supplemental γ-tocopherol (P<.05), but not following γ-tocopherol supplementation (P>.05). Area under the curve for plasma MGO was significantly (P<.05) smaller with the supplementation of γ-tocopherol than without (area under the curve (0-180 min), -778±1010 vs. 2277±705). Plasma concentrations of γ-carboxyethyl-hydroxychroman, reduced glutathione and markers of total antioxidant capacity increased after supplementation, and these markers and plasma γ-tocopherol were inversely correlated with plasma MGO (r=-0.48 to -0.67, P<.05). These data suggest that short-term supplementation of γ-tocopherol abolishes the oral glucose-mediated increases in postprandial MGO through its direct and indirect antioxidant properties and may reduce hyperglycemia-mediated cardiovascular disease risk.

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