Beneficial effect of vitamin E on the metabolic parameters of diabetic rats

Mol Cell Biochem. 2004 Jun;261(1-2):35-42. doi: 10.1023/b:mcbi.0000028735.79172.9b.


The role of vitamin E in the pathogenesis of diabetes mellitus is unknown. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of oral administration of vitamin E on some of the metabolic parameters of experimental diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intraperitoneal injection of streptozotocin (60 mg/kg body weight at 12 weeks of age). Vitamin E (0.2, 0.4, 0.8 mg/kg body weight) was administered orally for a period of 3 weeks to normal and diabetic Wistar rats. In some experiments, Vitamin E was given either before or after the induction of diabetes mellitus. Blood glucose level and weight were recorded for each rat in different groups on a weekly basis. Oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT) was performed on fasted normal, diabetic and vitamin E treated rats at the end of the experiment. Vitamin E significantly (p < 0.01) reduced blood glucose levels in experimental diabetes mellitus at all doses as compared to untreated rats. Vitamin E induced weight loss in normal as well as in diabetic rats. The beneficial effect of vitamin E on the hyperglycaemia of diabetic rats was dose-dependent. Moreover, vitamin E also improved OGTT in diabetic rats compared to untreated diabetics. In conclusion, vitamin E may play a role in glucose metabolism and thus be a useful adjuvant therapy in type I diabetes.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism*
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Male
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Vitamin E