Dietary Supplements Potentially Target Plasma Glutathione Levels to Improve Cardiometabolic Health in Patients with Diabetes Mellitus: A Systematic Review of Randomized Clinical Trials

Nutrients. 2023 Feb 14;15(4):944. doi: 10.3390/nu15040944.


Cardiovascular diseases (CVDs) continue to be the leading cause of death in people with diabetes mellitus. Severely suppressed intracellular antioxidant defenses, including low plasma glutathione (GSH) levels, are consistently linked with the pathological features of diabetes such as oxidative stress and inflammation. In fact, it has already been established that low plasma GSH levels are associated with increased risk of CVD in people with diabetes. Dietary supplements are widely used and may offer therapeutic benefits for people with diabetes at an increased risk of developing CVDs. However, such information remains to be thoroughly scrutinized. Hence, the current systematic review explored prominent search engines, including PubMed and Google Scholar, for updated literature from randomized clinical trials reporting on the effects of dietary supplements on plasma GSH levels in people with diabetes. Available evidence indicates that dietary supplements, such as coenzyme Q10, selenium, curcumin, omega-3 fatty acids, and vitamin E or D, may potentially improve cardiometabolic health in patients with diabetes. Such beneficial effects are related to enhancing plasma GSH levels and reducing cholesterol, including biomarkers of oxidative stress and inflammation. However, available evidence is very limited and additional clinical studies are still required to validate these findings, including resolving issues related to the bioavailability of these bioactive compounds.

Keywords: antioxidants; cardiometabolic health; cardiovascular diseases; diabetes mellitus; glutathione; inflammation; oxidative stress.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Cardiovascular Diseases* / etiology
  • Diabetes Mellitus* / drug therapy
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Glutathione
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic


  • Antioxidants
  • Glutathione