Vitamin C tablets can lower high blood sugar levels in type 2 diabetics

by Barbara Hewitt on February 19, 2019

Taking a vitamin C tablet twice daily can benefit people with type 2 diabetes by lowering elevated blood sugar levels across the day and minimizing spikes in blood sugar after meals, new research has found.

A new study from researchers at Deakin University shows that taking 500mg two times a day also lowered blood pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, suggesting benefits for heart health too.

Vitamin C Tablets

By Wutthichai/

‘We found that participants had a significant 36% drop in the blood sugar spike after meals,’ said lead researcher Associate Professor Glenn Wadley, from Deakin’s Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition.

‘This also meant that they spent almost three hours less per day living in a state of hyperglycaemia and this is extremely positive as hyperglycaemia is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease in people living with type 2 diabetes,’ he explained.

‘We also found that the proportion of people with hypertension halved after taking the vitamin C capsules, with both their systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels dropping significantly,’ he added.

Wadley pointed out that the dose of vitamin C used in the study was about 10 times the normal dietary intake and tablets are readily available from most health food stores.

‘Vitamin C’s antioxidant properties can help counteract the high levels of free radicals found in people with diabetes, and it’s encouraging to see this benefits a number of the disease’s common comorbidities, such as high blood pressure,’ he said.

‘While physical activity, good nutrition and current diabetes medications are standard care and very important for managing type 2 diabetes, some people can find it tough to manage their blood glucose levels even with medication,’ he added.

Wadley believes that it is important for researchers to find new ways to help people with type 2 diabetes reduce the incidence and severity of diabetic complications and improve their quality of life.

‘For people living with type 2 diabetes, vitamin C could be a potentially cheap, convenient and effective additional therapy, used in addition to their usual anti-diabetic treatments to improve glycaemic control,’ he pointed out.

In previous research Wadley found that vitamin C works to counteract free radicals and improve the disposal of blood glucose in people with type 2 diabetes. This is due to vitamin C’s known antioxidant properties, which improve the capacity of the muscle to remove the by-products of energy expenditure that interfere with insulin’s actions.

However, he recommends that people with type 2 diabetes talk to their doctor about taking vitamin C alongside current medications.

The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of the Community and should not be interpreted as medical advice. Please see your doctor before making any changes to your diabetes management plan.

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