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Diabetes mellitus--a free radical-associated disease. Results of adjuvant antioxidant supplementation

Kahler W; Kuklinski B; Ruhlmann C; Plotz C

Zeitschrift der Gesamten Inneren Medizin 1993 May;48(5):223-32

Our investigations carried out in patients with diabetes mellitus revealed oxidative stress loads. The study presented here was to clarify whether a therapy with antioxidants can contribute to an improvement of prognosis. 80 patients affected with a long term diabetic late syndrome were randomised and arranged to 4 groups of n = 20 each. In contrast to a control group these patients received 600 mg of alpha lipoic acid or 100 micrograms of selenium (sodium selenite) daily or 1200 IE of D-alpha-tocopherol respectively for a time of 3 months. In comparison with the control group all groups treated in an antioxidative way showed significantly diminished serum concentrations of thiobarbituric acid reactive substances and of urinary albumin excretion rates. The symptoms of distal symmetric neuropathy measured according to the thermo- and vibration sensitivity also improved in a highly significant manner. The results prove that oxidative stress plays a promoting role in developing of long term diabetic late complications and that a therapy with adjuvant antioxidants may lead to a regression of diabetic late complications.

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