Jump to Main Content
Vitamin E and vitamin C do not reduce insulin sensitivity but inhibit mitochondrial protein expression in exercising obese rats
- Matthew J. Picklo, John P. Thyfault
- Applied physiology, nutrition, and metabolism 2015 v.40 no.4 pp. 343-352
- adipose tissue, antioxidants, ascorbic acid, biogenesis, energy, enzymes, exercise, glucose, homeostasis, insulin, insulin resistance, mitochondria, mitochondrial DNA, nicotinamide, obesity, protein content, protein synthesis, rats, skeletal muscle, vitamin E, vitamin supplements
- Controversy exists as to whether supplementation with the antioxidants vitamin E and vitamin C blocks adaptation to exercise. Exercise is a first-line means to treat obesity and its complications. While diet-induced obesity alters mitochondrial function and induces insulin resistance (IR), no data exist as to whether supplementation with vitamin E and vitamin C modify responses to exercise in pre-existing obesity. We tested the hypothesis that dietary supplementation with vitamin E (0.4 g-tocopherol acetate/kg) and vitamin C (0.5 g/kg) blocks exercise-induced improvements on IR and mitochondrial content in obese rats maintained on a high-fat (45% fat energy (en)) diet. Diet-induced obese, sedentary rats had a 2-fold higher homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance and larger insulin area under the curve following glucose tolerances test than rats fed a low-fat (10% fat en) diet. Exercising (12 weeks at 5 times per week in a motorized wheel) of obese rats normalized IR indices, an effect not modified by vitamin E and vitamin C. Vitamin E and vitamin C supplementation with exercise elevated mtDNA content in adipose and skeletal muscle to a greater extent (20%) than exercise alone in a depot-specific manner. On the other hand, vitamin C and vitamin E decreased exercise-induced increases in mitochondrial protein content for complex I (40%) and nicotinamide nucleotide transhydrogenase (35%) in a muscle-dependent manner. These data indicate that vitamin E and vitamin C supplementation in obese rodents does not modify exercise-induced improvements in insulin sensitivity but that changes in mitochondrial biogenesis and mitochondrial protein expression may be modified by antioxidant supplementation.