Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Mamoon Ibrahim Abu Haltem

Second Advisor

Dr. Salah Gariballa

Third Advisor

Dr. Nabil Sulaiman


Background: Type Two diabetes mellitus prevalence is increasing dramatically universally and locally. Diabetic patients have shown higher risk of infections and associated morbidity. Many factors contribute to this, including poor nutritional status of this population. The lack of evidence in this field inspired us to look at the relationship between the dietary supplements and risk of infection in these patients.

Objective: To measure the effect of dietary supplement on risk of infection in community based patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

Methods: Following informed written consent 100 diabetic patients have been randomly assigned to receive either an oral dose of daily B-group vitamins (1.67 mg folic acid, 1.67 mg vitamin B-2, 20.86 g vitamin B-6, 0.134 mg vitamin B-12 and antioxidant vitamins (221 mg) of α-tocopherol and 167 mg of vitamin C) [n=50], or an identical placebo [n=50] daily for 90 days. All subjects had 3 assessments, at baseline, 3, and 12 months post-randomization. The assessment included clinical variables and self-reporting infections. It also included information relevant to infections such as physical activity and food intake. A fasting 10 ml of blood was also collected for measurements of serum vitamin levels and other related biochemical variables.

Results: We found that the treatment group who received the vitamin supplements showed significant improvement in the blood vitamins concentration compared with the placebo group (Vitamin E; ρ = 0.005, Vitamin A; ρ = 0.002, folate; ρ = 0.001). We also found that the number of infections were lower in treatment group compared with placebo group at three months. However, the difference was not statistically significant. This difference was still present at 12 months but was less than that at 3 months.

Conclusion: The study showed that multivitamins supplements improved vitamin blood concentrations and non-significantly reduced the number of infections in diabetic patients. Larger similar studies are needed to determine the required daily dose of vitamins and duration of supplements in diabetic and non-diabetic patients at higher risk of infections