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18-01-2011 | Diabetes | Article

Antioxidant intake does not reduce diabetes risk in male smokers


Free abstract

MedWire News: Study results show that consumption of three variants of vitamin E as well as other antioxidants does not reduce the risk for diabetes in middle-aged, male smokers who have a higher degree of oxidative stress than the general population.

"Our results are in line with previous prospective studies with follow-up times of up to 23 years, where no significant association was found between antioxidant intake and risk for Type 2 diabetes," say Merja Kataja-Tuomola (National Institute for Health and Welfare, Helsinki, Finland) and colleagues.

As study findings have suggested that antioxidants may decrease the risk for diabetes by reducing oxidative stress and insulin resistance, the researchers assessed whether dietary intake of antioxidants affected the incidence of diabetes in 25,505 male smokers who were aged 50-69 years at the start of the study.

The men completed a dietary questionnaire at baseline and were then followed up for a median of 10.2 years, during which time 660 incident cases of diabetes were recorded.

Initially, higher baseline intake of the vitamin E variants α-tocopherol, β-tocopherol, and β-tocotrienol appeared to be linked to increased risk for incident diabetes following adjustment for age and supplementation, but these associations became nonsignificant after adjusting for other factors.

Additionally, no relationship was observed between baseline intake of other vitamin E variants, vitamin C, carotenoids, flavonols, and flavones and incident diabetes during the study.

"Further research into the promising mechanisms by which antioxidants may prevent development of diabetes in different study settings is warranted," concludes the team.

The results of this study are published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2011

By Helen Albert