Meal-induced oxidative stress and low-density lipoprotein oxidation in diabetes: the possible role of hyperglycemia

Metabolism. 1999 Dec;48(12):1503-8. doi: 10.1016/s0026-0495(99)90237-8.


Oxidative stress and its contribution to low-density lipoprotein (LDL) oxidation have been implicated in the pathogenesis of vascular diabetic complications. However, the relationship between hyperglycemia, hyperinsulinemia, hyperlipidemia, and oxidative stress is still debated. If plasma glucose and/or insulin and/or lipid are some of the most important determinants of oxidative stress in diabetes, then their typical postprandial elevations in diabetes would be expected to favor oxidative stress and LDL oxidation. To test this hypothesis, in type 2 diabetic patients, we evaluated the effects of two different standard meals designed to produce different levels of postprandial hyperglycemia on the plasma oxidative status and LDL oxidation. The meals were administered in randomized order to each of 10 type 2 diabetic patients. Blood samples were collected at baseline and 60 and 120 minutes after the meals. In every sample, plasma levels of glucose, insulin, cholesterol, triglycerides, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFAs), malondialdehyde (MDA), and the total radical-trapping antioxidant parameter (TRAP) were measured. LDL susceptibility to oxidation was evaluated at baseline and after 120 minutes. Plasma glucose, insulin, triglycerides, and MDA increased and NEFAs and TRAP significantly decreased after either meal. The variations in plasma glucose, MDA, and TRAP were significantly greater and LDL was more susceptible to oxidation after the meal that produced a significantly higher degree of hyperglycemia. These results suggest that postprandial hyperglycemia may contribute to oxidative stress in diabetic patients, providing a mechanistic link between hyperglycemia and diabetic vascular disease.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / metabolism*
  • Eating / physiology*
  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hyperglycemia / blood
  • Lipoproteins, LDL / blood*
  • Male
  • Malondialdehyde / blood
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*


  • Fatty Acids, Nonesterified
  • Lipoproteins, LDL
  • Malondialdehyde