Anti-diabetic effect of a preparation of vitamins, minerals and trace elements in diabetic rats: a gender difference

BMC Endocr Disord. 2014 Aug 26:14:72. doi: 10.1186/1472-6823-14-72.


Background: Although multivitamin products are widely used as dietary supplements to maintain health or as special medical food in certain diseases, the effects of these products were not investigated in diabetes mellitus, a major cardiovascular risk factor. Therefore, here we investigated if a preparation of different minerals, vitamins, and trace elements (MVT) for human use affects the severity of experimental diabetes.

Methods: Two days old neonatal Wistar rats from both genders were injected with 100 mg/kg of streptozotocin or its vehicle to induce diabetes. At week 4, rats were fed with an MVT preparation or vehicle for 8 weeks. Well established diagnostic parameters of diabetes, i.e. fasting blood glucose and oral glucose tolerance test were performed at week 4, 8 and 12. Moreover, serum insulin and blood HbA1c were measured at week 12.

Results: An impaired glucose tolerance has been found in streptozotocin-treated rats in both genders at week 4. In males, fasting blood glucose and HbA1c were significantly increased and glucose tolerance and serum insulin was decreased at week 12 in the vehicle-treated diabetic group as compared to the vehicle-treated non-diabetic group. All of the diagnostic parameters of diabetes were significantly improved by MVT treatment in male rats. In females, streptozotocin treatment resulted in a less severe prediabetic-like phenotype as only glucose tolerance and HbA1c were altered by the end of the study in the vehicle-treated diabetic group as compared to the vehicle-treated non-diabetic group. MVT treatment failed to improve the diagnostic parameters of diabetes in female streptozotocin-treated rats.

Conclusion: This is the first demonstration that MVT significantly attenuates the progression of diabetes in male rats with chronic experimental diabetes. Moreover, we have confirmed that females are less sensitive to STZ-induced diabetes and MVT preparation did not show protection against prediabetic state. This may suggest a gender difference in the pathogenesis of diabetes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Experimental / prevention & control*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Glucose Tolerance Test
  • Humans
  • Insulin / blood
  • Male
  • Minerals / therapeutic use*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sex Factors
  • Trace Elements / therapeutic use*
  • Vitamins / therapeutic use*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Insulin
  • Minerals
  • Trace Elements
  • Vitamins