Low vitamin E status is a potential risk factor for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus

J Intern Med. 1999 Jan;245(1):99-102. doi: 10.1046/j.1365-2796.1999.00416.x.


Objectives: To study the association of vitamin E status with occurrence of insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM).

Design: A case-control study nested within a 21-year follow-up study.

Subjects: Nineteen incident IDDM patients with an average age of 28 years and three individually matched controls per patient.

Main outcome measure: Serum concentrations of alpha-tocopherol.

Results: Serum alpha-tocopherol concentration at the baseline examination was inversely associated with IDDM occurring 4-14 years later. The cholesterol-adjusted relative risk of IDDM between the highest and lowest thirds of the vitamin concentration was 0.12 (95% confidence interval = 0.02-0.85).

Conclusions: The finding corroborates the hypothesis of a protective effect of vitamin E against development of IDDM. Because of the relatively old age of the patients in the present population, further epidemiological studies on the topic are warranted.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / blood*
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 1 / etiology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk Factors
  • Vitamin E / blood*


  • Vitamin E