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J Clin Diagn Res. 2012 Nov;6(9):1469-73. doi: 10.7860/JCDR/2012/4464.2535.

Study of comparative effects of antioxidants on insulin sensitivity in type 2 diabetes mellitus.

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Resident, Department of Pharmacology, B J Medical College, Pune, India.



This study intended to assess the effects of the antioxidants; Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA), omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E on the parameters of insulin sensitivity, oxidative stress, lipid metabolism and glycaemic control in patients of type 2 diabetes mellitus.


This was a prospective, randomized, double blind, placebo controlled, single centred study. One hundred four patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus with insulin resistance were recruited for the study. They were given ALA, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin E or placebo. Their weight, Body Mass Index (BMI) and Waist circumference were measured. The investigations which were fasting glucose and fasting total cholesterol. The insulin resistance was calculated on the basis of the BMI and the waist circumference.


In the intra group analysis at the baseline (V1) vs at the end of the treatment period (V5), we observed a significant decrease in the BMI, waist circumference and the total cholesterol in the three treatment groups. In the intergroup analysis at V5, ALA, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E showed a significant improvement in the total cholesterol as compared to the placebo and vitamin E showed the maximum improvement.


ALA, omega 3 fatty acids and vitamin E showed the improvement in insulin sensitivity. Since they differ in improving different parameters all of these three can be used as an add on therapy in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus to improve their insulin sensitivity and lipid metabolism.


Alpha lipoic acid; Insulin resistance; Omega 3 fatty acid; Vitamin E

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