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Title: Effect of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene supplementation on the incidence of type 2 diabetes.
Authors: Kataja-Tuomola M,  Sundell JR,  Männistö S,  Virtanen MJ,  Kontto J,  Albanes D,  Virtamo J
Journal: Diabetologia
Date: 2008 Jan
Branches: MEB
PubMed ID: 17994292
PMC ID: not available
Abstract: AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: Type 2 diabetes is associated with reduced antioxidant defence. Only a few human studies have investigated the role of antioxidants in the pathogenesis of diabetes. This study aimed to examine whether alpha-tocopherol or beta-carotene affected the occurrence of type 2 diabetes. METHODS: In the Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta-Carotene Cancer Prevention (ATBC) Study, a double-blind, controlled trial, 29,133 male smokers aged 50-69 years were randomised to receive either alpha-tocopherol (50 mg/day) or beta-carotene (20 mg/day) or both agents or placebo daily for 5-8 years (median 6.1 years). Baseline serum samples were analysed for alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene using HPLC. Cases of diabetes were identified from a nationwide Finnish registry of patients receiving drug reimbursement for diabetes. Of 27,379 men without diabetes at baseline, 705 men were diagnosed with diabetes during the follow-up of up to 12.5 years. RESULTS: Baseline serum levels of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene were not associated with the risk of diabetes in the placebo group: the relative risk (RR) between the highest and lowest quintiles of alpha-tocopherol was 1.59 (95% CI 0.89-2.84) and that for beta-carotene was 0.66 (95% CI 0.40-1.10). Neither supplementation significantly affected the incidence of diabetes: the RR was 0.92 (95% CI 0.79-1.07) for participants receiving alpha-tocopherol compared with non-recipients and 0.99 (95% CI 0.85-1.15) for participants receiving beta-carotene compared with non-recipients. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: Neither alpha-tocopherol nor beta-carotene supplementation prevented type 2 diabetes in male smokers. Serum levels of alpha-tocopherol and beta-carotene were not associated with the risk of type 2 diabetes.