Background: The effects of supplementation of young barley leaf extract (BL) and/or antioxidative vitamins C and E on different low-density lipoprotein (LDL) subfractions susceptibility to oxidation and free radical scavenging activities in patients with type 2 diabetes were evaluated.
Methods: Thirty-six type 2 diabetic patients were enrolled in this study. The subjects received one of the following supplements daily for 4 weeks: 15 g BL, 200 mg vitamin C and 200 mg vitamin E (CE), or BL plus CE (BL + CE).
Results: The lucigenin-chemiluminescence (CL) and luminol-CL levels in blood were significantly reduced in all groups. Vitamin E content of LDL subfractions increased significantly following supplements, especially for BL + CE group. The percent increase of lag times in the BL + CE was significantly higher than those in the BL or CE group. The antioxidative effect of BL + CE was the greatest for small, dense LDL (Sd-LDL) with further increases in percentage of lag times 4 folds compared to BL alone.
Conclusion: Our results indicate that supplementation with BL may help to scavenge oxygen free radicals, save the LDL-vitamin E content, and inhibit LDL oxidation. Furthermore, the addition of vitamins C and E to BL can inhibit the Sd-LDL oxidation more effectively, which may protect against vascular diseases in type 2 diabetic patients.