Low-carbohydrate diet and oxidative stress in diabetic and nondiabetic rats

Zipporah T. Kamuren, Ruth Sanders, John B. Watkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Hyperglycemia of diabetes has been implicated in increased tissue oxidative stress, with consequent development of secondary complications. Thus, stabilizing glucose levels near normal levels is of utmost importance. Because diet influences glycemic control, this study investigated whether a low-carbohydrate (5.5%) diet confers beneficial effects on the oxidative status of the heart, kidney, and liver in diabetes. Male and female normal and diabetic rats were fed standard chow (63% carbohydrates) or low-carbohydrate diet for 30 days. Elevated glucose, HbA1c, and alanine and aspartate aminotransferases in diabetic animals were reduced or normalized by the low-carbohydrate diet. While diabetes increased cardiac activities of glutathione peroxidase and catalase, low-carbohydrate diet normalized cardiac glutathione peroxidase activity in diabetic animals, and reduced catalase activity in females. Diabetic rats fed low-carbohydrate diet had altered activities of renal glutathione reductase and superoxide dismutase, but increased renal glutathione peroxidase activity in diabetic animals was not corrected by the test diet. In the liver, diabetes was associated with a decrease in catalase activity and glutathione levels and an increase in glutathione peroxidase and γ-glutamyltranspeptidase activities. Decreased hepatic glutathione peroxidase activity and lipid peroxidation were noted in diet-treated diabetic rats. Overall, the low-carbohydrate diet helped stabilize hyperglycemia and did not produce overtly negative effects in tissues of normal or diabetic rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Biochemical and Molecular Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 20 2006


  • Carbohydrate
  • Diabetes
  • Heart
  • Kidney
  • Liver
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Biochemistry
  • Toxicology
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis

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