The Endocrine SocietyPreviously we mentioned about insulin pills that could increase the convenience of patients than being injected. A recent study from Italy reveals that insulin sensitivity in insulin-resistant obese adults is seemingly improved by a diet rich in natural antioxidants. It also improves the effect of the insulin-sensitizing drug metformin. Experts share that antioxidants can restrict oxidative damage to cells and also mend damage.

Metabolic syndrome is known to be a group of metabolic risk factors for increasing diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Experts observed that usually people with this syndrome cannot proficiently use insulin. Antioxidants generally include vitamins E and C, selenium and carotenoids like beta-carotene and are usually found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts.

Oxidative stress is known to be a biochemical mechanism that causes damage to blood particles and to cells. This occurs due to an imbalance between an excessive amount of oxidants and reduced antioxidant defenses. Experts reveal that oxidative plays an essential role in the metabolic syndrome and aging.

Principal author Antonio Mancini, MD, an endocrinology researcher at Catholic University of the Sacred Heart in Rome added that “The beneficial effects of antioxidants are known, but we have revealed for the first time one of their biological bases of action improving hormonal action in obese subjects with the metabolic syndrome”.

The effects of dietary antioxidants on insulin resistance were observed. This study enlisted 16 men and 13 women aged between 18 and 66 years. They were particularly obese and insulin resistant but were not affected with diabetes.

Experts randomly allocated the participants to one of four treatment groups. All groups consumed a low calorie Mediterranean diet that included 1500 calories. This included 25 percent from protein foods and the rest was accumulated from low-glycemic index carbohydrates. They included participants who consumed this type of diet in group A while group B consumed the same diet but in addition took the drug metformin. Diets of group C and D was enriched in antioxidants that included 800 to 1000 milligrams a day gathered from fruits and vegetables, in addition to this group D also took metformin.

Although there was similar weight loss in all groups, it was observed that only two groups who received the antioxidant diet specifically group C and D had a considerable decrease in insulin resistance. This was mainly for some measures of insulin response to an oral glucose tolerance test. Experts revealed that the participants did not exhibit any negative effects from the antioxidants diet. They suggest that 800 to 1000 milligrams of total antioxidant is safe to consume on daily basis and not close to the maximum level.

These results will be presented at The Endocrine Society’s 92nd Annual Meeting in San Diego.