Vitamin E levels in ethnic communities in Malaysia and its relation to glucose tolerance, insulin resistance and advanced glycation end products: A cross-sectional study

Geoffrey Hong Iing Chua, Sonia Chew Wen Phang, Yin Onn Wong, Loon Shin Ho, Uma Devi Palanisamy, Khalid Abdul Kadir

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Malaysian national morbidity surveys on diabetic prevalence have shown ethnical variation among prediabetic and diabetic populations. In our attempt to understand this variation, we studied the α-tocopherol, insulin resistance, β-cell function and receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE) levels, as risk factors of type 2 diabetes, among the different ethnicities. In total, 299 subjects of Malay, Chinese, Indian and aboriginal Orang Asli (OA) heritage were recruited from urban and rural areas of Malaysia by stratified random sampling. Serum α-tocopherol concentrations were measured using high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and insulin concentrations were measured using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). In subjects with pre-diabetes, OAs had the highest α-tocopherol level, followed by Chinese and Malays (0.8938, 0.8564 and 0.6948 respectively; p < 0.05). In diabetic subjects, Malays had significantly higher RAGE levels compared to Chinese and Indians (5579.31, 3473.40 and 3279.52 pg/mL respectively, p = 0.001). Low α-tocopherol level (OR = 3.021, p < 0.05) and high insulin resistance (OR = 2.423, p < 0.05) were linked strongly to the development of pre-diabetes. Low β-cell function (OR = 5.657, p < 0.001) and high RAGE level (OR = 3.244, p < 0.05) were linked strongly to the development of diabetes from pre-diabetes. These factors might be involved in the development of diabetes, along with genetic and environmental factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3659
Number of pages16
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Insulin resistance
  • Orang Asli (OA)
  • Pre-diabetes
  • Receptor of advanced glycation end-products (RAGE)
  • Tocopherol
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Vitamin E
  • β-cell function

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