Objective: Oxidative stress has been suggested to play a role in the development of diabetes, hypertension and vascular dysfunction. Vitamin E, a major lipid-soluble dietary antioxidant, has two major dietary forms, alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol. The potential importance of gamma-tocopherol has largely been overlooked. Our aim was to investigate the effect of alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol supplementation on 24-h ambulatory blood pressure (BP) and heart rate, vascular function and oxidative stress in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
Method: Fifty-eight individuals with type 2 diabetes were randomized in a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Participants were randomized to a daily dose of 500 mg/day RRR-alpha-tocopherol, 500 mg/day mixed tocopherols (60% gamma-tocopherol) or placebo for 6 weeks. Primary endpoints were 24-h ambulatory BP and heart rate, endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilation and plasma and urinary F2-isoprostanes.
Results: Treatment with alpha-tocopherol significantly increased systolic BP [7.0 (5.2, 8.8) mmHg, P < 0.0001], diastolic BP [5.3 (4.0, 6.5) mmHg, P < 0.0001], pulse pressure [1.8 (0.6, 3.0) mmHg, P < 0.005] and heart rate [2.0 (0.6, 3.3) bpm, P < 0.005] versus placebo. Treatment with mixed tocopherols significantly increased systolic BP [6.8 (4.9, 8.6) mmHg, P < 0.0001], diastolic BP [3.6 (2.3, 4.9) mmHg, P < 0.0001], pulse pressure [3.2 (2.0, 4.4) mmHg, P < 0.0001] and heart rate [1.8 (0.5, 3.2) bpm, P < 0.01] versus placebo. Treatment with alpha-tocopherol or mixed tocopherols significantly reduced plasma F2-isoprostanes versus placebo, but had no effect on urinary F2-isoprostanes. Endothelium-dependent and independent vasodilation was not affected by either treatment.
Conclusion: In contrast to our initial hypothesis, treatment with either alpha- or mixed tocopherols significantly increased BP, pulse pressure and heart rate in individuals with type 2 diabetes.