Status of Antioxidants in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus With and Without Late Complications

Status of Antioxidants in Patients
with Diabetes Mellitus With and
Without Late Complications

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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Aktuel. Ernahr. Ed. Klin. Prax. 1994;   19 (3):   155–159

The role of antioxidative vitamins in the therapy of diabetes mellitus is of growing importance. The development of diabetic late complications (cataract, retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy and others) is associated with an increased presence of free radicals, and therefore, elevated oxidative stress of the human body. The aim of the present study was the evaluation of the vitamin and selenium status of diabetics. Thirty–eight patients of the age of 35–58 years had been diabetics for 8–27 years and their plasma concentration of haemoglobin was 6.7–7.5%. The diabetics of type I were treated with a functional insulin therapy with dietary restrictions, whereas the type II diabetics received oral antidiabetica (sulfonyl urea, biguanids) and had to comply with a fixed diet. Any supplementation of vitamins was omitted. The nutritional intake was monitored by a weighed record over 7 days. The plasma concentrations of vitamin A, beta–carotone, K and E were determined by reversed–phase–PLC. For the assessment of vitamin C concentrations, a photometric method was used, and selenium concentrations was determined by electrothermal atomic absorption spectrometry. Mean values of plasma concentrations were: vitamin A 36–50 microg/dl, beta–carotene 35–42 microg/dl, vitamin K: 0.5-0.6 ng/ml, vitamin E: 1.1–1.6 mg/dl, selenium: 72–75 microg/l. The values of vitamin C concentration of the diabetics type I without late complications and of type II diabetics were at 0.8 mg/dl and, therefore, at the borderline. Diabetics of type I with late complications showed marginal values of 0.6 plus or minus 0.3 mg/dl. The critical value for the prevention of scorbut has been fixed at 0.4 mg/dl. The results of this confirm the importance and efficiency of vitamins, especially of ascorbic acid. Positive effects of this antioxidative vitamin in respect of the prevention of diabetic side effects and subsequent disease should therefore be expected.

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