Oxidation of low density lipoproteins and vitamin E status in non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM)

G. Bellomo, E. Maggi, G. Palladini, C. Perugini, M. Seccia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The oxidation of low density lipoprotein (LDL) is one of the key-events in the development and progression of atherosclerosis. LDL oxidation results from a poorly buffered prooxidant challenge in the subendothelial space and is exaggerated when the antioxidant barrier is defective. In non insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM), the prooxidant load is increased, the antioxidant defenses are less efficient and the progression of atherosclerosis is accelerated. The propensity of LDL from NIDDM patients to be oxidized is enhanced because their chemical composition is modified, the antioxidant content is decreased and pre-formed hydroperoxides are present. This is associated with an enhanced LDL oxidation in vivo as mirrored by the generation of anti-oxidatively modified LDL autoantibodies which correlates with extent of LDL glycation. A pharmacological approach to overcome the problem of the enhanced LDL oxidation in NIDDM is the administration of selected lipid-soluble antioxidants in order to increase their concentration within the LDL particle and to provide a more efficient defense. Vitamin E is a likely candidate since it is relatively non toxic and it can be administered at high doses for long periods of time. Preliminary experimental and clinical studies have revealed the usefulness of this approach and prospect a future therapeutic scenario in which the antioxidant supplementation may represent one of the key-points in the prevention of atherosclerosis in NIDDM.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-33
Number of pages5
JournalDiabetes und Stoffwechsel
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 1997


  • DB lipid peroxidation
  • LDL
  • oxidized LDL antioxidants
  • vitamin E

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Internal Medicine


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