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Treating cardiovascular dysfunction and insulin resistance with personalised antioxidant treatment

Dr Lewan Parker, Institution: Deakin University

2021 Vanguard Grant  

Years funded: 2022-2024 

Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between reactive molecules and “neutralising” antioxidants. Oxidative stress is directly linked to the development and progression of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. However, research investigating antioxidant treatment as a strategy to decrease oxidative stress and improve human health has been disappointing. Dr Lewan Parker's research team believe that antioxidant treatment is likely to be more effective at improving health when low levels of antioxidants are identified first (antioxidant deficiency screening), and then restored by antioxidants targeting that specific deficiency (personalised antioxidant treatment). However, antioxidant screening and personalised treatment are not routinely conducted in research. This has led to a perpetual cycle of contradictory research findings and prevented advancements in evidence-based antioxidant treatment health practice and policy. For the first time, Dr Parker's team will test whether our antioxidant screening and personalised treatment strategy is an accessible and cost-effective treatment for improving cardiovascular health and quality of life in individuals with type 2 diabetes. Adults with type 2 diabetes will undergo our antioxidant screening protocol and then be allocated to 3 months of either personalised antioxidant treatment, generic antioxidant treatment, or a placebo intervention. Vascular function (cardiac, large artery, and the smallest blood vessels), the ability to walk and exercise (exercise tolerance), insulin resistance, and quality of life, will be assessed pre- and post-intervention. 

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