To study the effect of vitamin E supplementation on platelet hyperaggregability in type 1 diabetic patients.


Written informed consent according to the Institutional Review Board on Human Experimentation guidelines was obtained from diabetic patients (n = 29) and their age-matched normal siblings (n = 21) to participate in this study. Diabetic patients were supplemented with DL-α-tocopherol (vitamin E) capsule (orally, 100 IU/day) or placebo for 3 months in a double-blind clinical trial. Alternate diabetic patients were assigned to vitamin E or placebo during regular visits to the clinic. Fasting blood was collected from each diabetic patient before the start and after the vitamin E or placebo supplementation. Platelet aggregability was assessed by competitive enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay of the blood TxB2 (a stable thromboxane metabolite). Plasma vitamin E and MDA (malondialdehyde, a product of lipid peroxidation) was assessed by high-performance liquid chromatography. Data were analyzed statistically on 12 diabetic patients on vitamin E and 12 on placebo supplementation.


Diabetic patients (n = 29) had 62% higher (P < 0.05) levels of TxB2 and 15% higher levels (P < 0.05) of MDA in comparison to normal subjects (n = 21). Plasma TxB2 levels had a significant correlation with MDA levels (r = 0.45, P < 0.02) but not with the HbA1 (r = −0.08), glucose (r = −0.13), duration of diabetes (r = −0.04), or age (r = 0.12) of diabetic patients. Vitamin E supplementation lowered MDA levels by 30% (P < 0.04), TxB2 levels by 51% (P < 0.03), and triglyceride levels by 22% (P < 0.04) in diabetic patients. There were no differences in these parameters before versus after placebo supplementation.


The elevated blood level of TxB2 (hyperaggregability of platelets) is significantly related to the level of lipid peroxidation products (oxidative stress) in type 1 diabetic patients. Supplementation of modest doses of vitamin E (100 IU/day) significantly lowers blood TxB2 and lipid peroxidation products levels in type 1 diabetic patients.

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