Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

AIMS: Type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM) and coronary artery disease (CAD) are both associated with endothelial dysfunction and elevated oxidative and inflammatory state. We examined the effect of vitamin C on endothelial function and levels of soluble vascular cell adhesion molecule (sVCAM-1), interleukin-6 (IL-6) and tumour necrosis factor (TNF-alpha), in DM patients with or without CAD and in non-diabetic subjects. METHODS: Thirty-seven patients with DM + CAD, 17 patients with DM without CAD and 21 non-diabetic subjects were divided into groups receiving vitamin C 2 g/day or no anti-oxidant for 4 weeks. Forearm blood flow was determined using venous occlusion gauge-strain plethysmography. Forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperemia was considered as index of endothelium-dependent dilation. RESULTS: Baseline levels of IL-6 and TNF-alpha were significantly higher in patients with DM + CAD compared with patients with DM (P < 0.01) or non-diabetic subjects (P < 0.01). IL-6 and TNF-alpha levels were also higher in DM compared with non-diabetic subjects (P < 0.05). sVCAM-1 levels were lower in non-diabetic controls compared with DM + CAD (P < 0.05) or DM (P < 0.05). Reactive hyperaemia was higher in non-diabetic controls compared with DM + CAD (P < 0.001) or DM (P < 0.001). Vitamin C significantly increased reactive hyperaemia only in the DM + CAD group, while it had no effect on serum levels of sVCAM-1, TNF-alpha and IL-6 in any of the groups. CONCLUSIONS: Type 2 diabetes mellitus is associated with impaired endothelial function and increased levels of TNF-alpha, IL-6 and sVCAM-1, especially in patients with DM and CAD. Vitamin C significantly increased forearm vasodilatory response to reactive hyperaemia only in patients with combined DM and CAD.

Original publication




Journal article


Diabet Med

Publication Date





552 - 558


Antioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Coronary Artery Disease, Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2, Diabetic Angiopathies, Endothelium, Vascular, Female, Forearm, Humans, Hyperemia, Interleukin-6, Male, Middle Aged, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha, Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1, Vasodilation