Vegetables and PUFA-rich plant oil reduce DNA strand breaks in individuals with type 2 diabetes


Correspondence: Elisabeth Müllner, Department of Nutritional Sciences, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna, Althanstraße 14, 1090 Vienna, Austria


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Type 2 diabetes is a multifactorial disease associated with increased oxidative stress, which may lead to increased DNA damage. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a healthy diet on DNA oxidation in diabetics and nondiabetics.

Methods and results

Seventy-six diabetic and 21 nondiabetic individuals participated in this study. All subjects received information about the benefits of a healthy diet, while subjects randomly assigned to the intervention group received additionally 300 g of vegetables and 25 mL PUFA-rich plant oil per day. DNA damage in mononuclear cells (Comet Assay), urinary excretion of 8-oxo-7-hydro-2′-deoxyguanosine (8-oxodG) and 8-oxo-7,8-dihydroguanosine (8-oxoGuo) and glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) were measured at baseline, after 4, 8 (end of intervention), and 16 weeks. The intervention with vegetables and PUFA-rich oil led to a significant increase in plasma antioxidant concentrations. Diabetic individuals of the intervention group showed a significant reduction in HbA1c and DNA strand breaks. Levels of HbA1c were also improved in diabetics of the information group, but oxidative damage to DNA was not altered. Urinary 8-oxodG and 8-oxoGuo excretion remained unchanged in both groups.


This study provides evidence that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants reduces levels of DNA strand breaks in diabetic individuals.