The relationship between Nigerian Bonny Light crude oil (NBLCO) induced hypoglycaemia and endogenous serum insulin concentration; the role of antioxidant vitamin C or E supplementation was the focus of this study. Forty adult male Wistar rats were randomly divided into group I, which served as the control, group II, which was oral gavaged 6 ml/kg of NBLCO, groups III and IV, which were in addition to 6 ml/kg of NBLCO supplemented with 9 ml/kg and 1 mg/kg of vitamin E or C, respectively for 28 days. Results showed that NBLCO significantly (p < 0.05) lower body weight and food intake compared with control. These effects exerted by NBLCO were however significantly (p < 0.05) reversed by vitamin E or C supplementation. The NBLCO significantly (p < 0.05) reduced fasting blood glucose (FBG) when compared with control, the antioxidant vitamins supplementation significantly (p < 0.05) reversed the crude oil effect. The mean serum insulin level in NBLCO, vitamin E or C supplemented groups is not significantly different from the control. There was no significant correlation between FBG and fasting serum insulin concentrations in all the groups on day 28. It has been demonstrated in this study that direct oral ingestion of crude oil (NBLCO) could reduce food intake, body weight and cause hypoglycemia; the hypoglycemia may not be a function of serum insulin concentration. Interestingly, the hazardous effects of NBLCO could be ameliorated with antioxidant vitamin C or E supplementation.
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