Dietary antioxidant interventions in type 2 diabetes patients: a meta-analysis

Sarah Akbar, Srikanth Bellary, Helen R. Griffiths

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An imbalance between reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and antioxidant scavenging has been implicated in type 2 diabetes. ROS are a byproduct in type 2 diabetes, generated during protein glycation and as a consequence of advanced glycation end-products-receptor binding; they impair insulin signalling pathways and induce cytotoxicity in pancreatic beta cells. Neutralisation of oxidants by increased antioxidant availability may mitigate these effects. Several human intervention studies have been undertaken to determine whether dietary antioxidants exert beneficial effects for type 2 diabetes patients. This paper describes a systematic review and meta-analysis of the effects of dietary supplementation with antioxidant vitamins C or E on (1) plasma glucose and insulin concentrations, as an indicator of the capacity for antioxidant to interfere with disease process and (2) on glycated haemoglobin A as a measure of antioxidant effects on posttranslational protein modification implicated in disease complications. Combined analysis of 14 studies that met inclusion criteria revealed that dietary antioxidant supplementation did not affect plasma glucose or insulin levels, suggesting that they could not interfere with the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. However, HbA levels were significantly reduced by antioxidant supplementation, suggesting that antioxidants may have some benefit in protecting against the complications of type 2 diabetes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-68
Number of pages7
JournalBritish Journal of Diabetes and Vascular Disease
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2011


  • vitamin C
  • atioxidants
  • type 2 diabetes
  • vitamin E


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