Heart Failure Reviews

, Volume 19, Issue 1, pp 113–121 | Cite as

Prevention of diabetes-induced cardiovascular complications upon treatment with antioxidants

  • Yan-Jun Xu
  • Paramjit S. Tappia
  • Nirankar S. Neki
  • Naranjan S. DhallaEmail author


Oxidative stress is considered to play an important role in the pathogenesis of diabetes-induced cardiovascular disease (CVD), which is invariably associated with abnormal blood lipid profile, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Stress, smoking, high saturated fat intake as well as low fruit and vegetable intakes have been shown to increase oxidative stress and hyperlipidemia, which increase the predisposition of diabetic subjects to atherosclerosis, stroke and coronary heart disease. The oxidation of low-density lipoprotein by oxidative stress is essential for the development of atherosclerosis, and the reduction in oxidative stress as well as blood glucose and cholesterol is considered critical for the prevention of diabetes-induced CVD. Although epidemiological studies have demonstrated that vitamin C and vitamin E decrease the incidence of coronary heart disease, different clinical trials have failed to support the beneficial effect of these antioxidants. Nonetheless, it has been suggested that natural forms of these vitamins may be more efficacious than synthetic vitamins, and this may explain the inconsistencies in results. Antioxidants, N-acetyl-l-cysteine and resveratrol, have also been shown to attenuate the diabetes-induced cardiovascular complications. It has been indicated that the antioxidant therapy may be effective in a prevention strategy rather than as a treatment for CVD. The evidence presented here supports the view that cardiovascular complications in diabetes may be induced by oxidative stress and appropriate antioxidant therapy may be promising for attenuating the progression of diabetes-induced CVD.


Oxidative stress Atherosclerosis Resveratrol Cardiovascular disease Diabetes Antioxidants 



Infrastructural support for this project was provided by St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation. Dr. N. S. Neki was a visiting professor from Department of Internal Medicine, Government Medical College, Amritsar, India.

Conflict of interest

None of the authors have any conflict of interest with any granting agency.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yan-Jun Xu
    • 1
  • Paramjit S. Tappia
    • 2
  • Nirankar S. Neki
    • 1
  • Naranjan S. Dhalla
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Physiology, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of ManitobaSt. Boniface Hospital ResearchWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Asper Clinical Research InstituteSt. Boniface Hospital ResearchWinnipegCanada

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