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Role of Oxidative Stress in the Etiology of Type 2 Diabetes and the Effect of Antioxidant Supplementation on Glycemic Control
  1. Emmanuel C. Opara
  1. From the Departments of Surgery and Cell Biology, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC.
  1. Address correspondence to: Dr. Emmanuel C. Opara, Illinois Institute of Technology, Department of Biomedical Engineering, 10 West 32nd Street, E1-116, Chicago, IL 60616-3799; E-mail: opara001{at}
  2. Presented in part at the American Federation for Medical Research-sponsored symposium during Experimental Biology 2003: Translating the Genome, San Diego, CA, April 11-15, 2003.


Oxidative stress is a situation in which the amount of reactive oxygen species (ROS) exceeds the levels of neutralizing substances referred to as antioxidants. Numerous studies have shown that oxidative stress is associated with type 2 diabetes, and there is compelling biochemical evidence that suggests that ROS may even play a role, if only secondary, in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. These observations have provided sufficient impetus for the use of antioxidant supplements as adjunct therapy for control of blood sugar in diabetic patients. However, there is currently no optimum regimen of antioxidant supplementation for diabetic patients. Studies are required to determine appropriate doses of relevant individual micronutrients that perhaps should be used in combination to diminish oxidative stress and improve glycemic control in individuals afflicted with type 2 diabetes.

Key Words
  • type 2 diabetes
  • oxidative stress
  • glycemic control
  • antioxidant supplementation

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