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Open Access Research

Oxidative damage and inflammation in obese diabetic Emirati subjects supplemented with antioxidants and B-vitamins: a randomized placebo-controlled trail

Salah Gariballa1*, Bachar Afandi2, Mamoun AbuHaltem2, Javed Yassin1, Hosam Habib3 and Wissam Ibrahim3

Author Affiliations

1 Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, Al Ain, UAE

2 Tawam hospital, Al Ain, UAE

3 Nutrition & Health, Faculty of Food and Agriculture, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Al Ain, UAE

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Nutrition & Metabolism 2013, 10:21  doi:10.1186/1743-7075-10-21

Published: 4 February 2013



Obesity and related morbidities are reaching epidemic proportions in the Arab populations. Possible mechanisms that link obesity/visceral fat to diabetes and cardiovascular (CVD) complications include inflammation and increased oxidative stress. The aim of this study is to test whether supplementary antioxidants with B-group vitamins enhance antioxidant capacity and/or mitigate oxidative damage and subclinical inflammation in obese diabetic patients.


Hundred diabetic patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral dose of daily B-group vitamins (1.67 mg folic acid, 1.67 mg vitamin B-2, 20 mg vitamin B-6, 0.134 mg vitamin B-12) and antioxidant vitamins (221 mg of α-tocopherol and 167 mg of vitamin C) [n = 50], or an identical placebo [n = 50] daily for 90 days. Blood was obtained before treatment, and after 90 days for measurements of plasma antioxidant vitamins status, markers of oxidative damage [malondialdehyde (MDA) and protein carbonyls] and inflammation (C-Reactive Proteins [CRP], IL6 & TNFα).


Supplementation with antioxidant and B-group vitamins increased plasma concentration of vitamin E and folate and reduced homocysteine in the intervention groups compared with the placebo group. Vitamin B12 improved in the supplement group compared with the decline seen in the placebo group however, this did not reach statistical significance. Vitamin C declined in both groups but more so in the intervention group. Both MDA and Protein carbonyls increased in both the supplement and the placebo group. IL6 concentration increased in both groups but less so in the supplement group (p = 0.023). TNF showed more pronounced decline in the supplement group compared with the placebo group but the difference between cumulative changes did not reach statistical significance (p = 0.204). CRP concentrations declined in the supplement group in contrast to the rise seen in the placebo group however, the difference between cumulative changes was not statistically significant (p = 0.205).


Antioxidants supplementation with B-group vitamins enhances antioxidant capacity, and may have an anti-inflammatory effect in obese diabetic patients.

Diabetes; Obesity; Inflammation; Antioxidants; Oxidative damage