Background: Molecular hydrogen, as a novel antioxidant, has been proven effective in treating many diseases. This study aimed to evaluate the therapeutic effects of hydrogen saturated saline in treatment of a rat model of diabetes mellitus and a rat model of insulin resistant.
Methods: A rat diabetes mellitus model was established by feeding a high fat/high carbohydrate diet followed by injection of a small dose of streptozotocin, and an insulin resistant model was induced with a high glucose and high fat diet. Hydrogen saturated saline was administered to rats with both models conditions on a daily basis for eight weeks. A pioglitazone-treated group and normal saline-treated group served as positive and negative controls. The general condition, body weight, blood glucose, blood lipids, and serum insulin levels of rats were examined at the 8th week after treatment. The oxidative stress indices, including serum superoxide dismutase (SOD), glutathione (GSH) and malondialdehyde (MDA) were also evaluated after eight weeks of treatment using the commercial kits.
Results: Hydrogen saturated saline showed great efficiency in improving the insulin sensitivity and lowering blood glucose and lipids. Meanwhile, the therapeutic effects of hydrogen saturated saline were superior to those of pioglitazone. Hydrogen saturated saline markedly attenuated the MDA level and elevated the levels of antioxidants SOD and GSH.
Conclusion: Hydrogen saturated saline may improve the insulin resistance and alleviate the symptoms of diabetes mellitus by reducing the oxidative stress and enhancing the anti-oxidant system.