Diabetes is considered an oxidative stress and a chronic inflammatory disease. The purpose of this study was to investigate the correlations between vitamin B-12 status and oxidative stress and inflammation in diabetic vegetarians and omnivores. We enrolled 154 patients with type 2 diabetes (54 vegetarians and 100 omnivores). Levels of fasting glucose, glycohemoglobin (HbA1c), lipid profiles, oxidative stress, antioxidant enzymes activity, and inflammatory makers were measured. Diabetic vegetarians with higher levels of vitamin B-12 (>250 pmol/L) had significantly lower levels of fasting glucose, HbA1c and higher antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase) than those with lower levels of vitamin B-12 (≤ 250 pmol/L). A significant association was found between vitamin B-12 status and fasting glucose (r = -0.17, p = 0.03), HbA1c (r = -0.33, p = 0.02), oxidative stress (oxidized low density lipoprotein-cholesterol, r = -0.19, p = 0.03), and antioxidant enzyme activity (catalase, r = 0.28, p = 0.01) in the diabetic vegetarians; vitamin B-12 status was significantly correlated with inflammatory markers (interleukin-6, r = -0.33, p < 0.01) in diabetic omnivores. As a result, we suggest that it is necessary to monitor the levels of vitamin B-12 in patients with diabetes, particularly those adhering to a vegetarian diet.
Keywords: diabetes; inflammation; oxidative stress; vegetarian; vitamin B-12.