A new study funded by
Diabetes Australia has found that taking 500mg of vitamin C twice
daily can help those with type 2 diabetes by lowering elevated
blood glucose levels across the day and minimising spikes in blood
glucose after meals.
The randomised cross-over study from Deakin University, recently
published in the journal Diabetes,
Obesity and Metabolism, also found vitamin C lowered blood
pressure in people with type 2 diabetes, suggesting benefits for
heart health, too.
Lead researcher Associate Professor Glenn Wadley, from Deakin's
Institute for Physical Activity and Nutrition, said the results may
help the 1.2 million Australians currently living with type 2
"We found that participants had a significant 36 per cent drop
in the blood sugar spike after meals. This also meant that they
spent almost three hours less per day living in a state of
hyperglycaemia," Associate Professor Wadley said.
"This is extremely positive news as hyperglycaemia is a risk
factor for cardiovascular disease in people living with type 2
"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
Assoc Prof Wadley said the dose of vitamin C used in the study
was about 10 times the normal dietary intake and 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.
Assoc Prof Wadley said diabetes was a fast growing problem in
Australia, with more than 100,000 Australians developing diabetes
in the past year.
"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 said.
"We need 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
This study was funded by a grant awarded by the Diabetes Australia Research Trust.
Previous research by Assoc Professor 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.
Assoc Professor Wadley recommends people with type 2 diabetes
talk to their doctor about taking vitamin C alongside current