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Vitamin C helps diabetes patients

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By David Liu

Saturday Jan 14, 2012 (foodconsumer.org) -- Taking a vitamin C supplement along with metformin enhances the therapeutic effect of the diabetes drug in diabetes patients, says a new study in the Dec 28, 2011 issue of Advances in Pharmacological Sciences.

The study reveals that diabetes patients who took vitamin C for 12 weeks had higher plasma ascorbic acid levels and better improved fasting (FBS) and postmeal blood glucose (PMBG) as well as glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c) in the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus (DM).

G.N. Dakhale and colleagues from Indira Gandhi Government Medical College in Nagpur 440018, India conducted the prospective, double-blind, placebo-controlled, 12-week study on 70 patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus.

For the study, 35 patients were randomly picked to receive both vitamin C and metformin and another group of 35 diabetes patients to receive the diabetes drug only. The study lasted 12 weeks.

The researchers concluded "oral supplementation of vitamin C with metformin reverses ascorbic acid levels, reduces FBS, PMBG, and improves HbA1c."

This is not the first study that finds vitamin C can help type 2 diabetes patients.

Y. Song and colleagues from Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School reported in the January 2011 issue of Diabetes Care that vitamin C supplements were associated with a nine percent reduced risk of diabetes.

This study involved 232,007 participants of whom 14,130 were diagnosed with type 2 diabetes during the follow-up.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, is known to fight smoking-induced atherosclerosis, the common cold, infections, heart disease, heart failure, hypertension, gout, HIV, stroke, Alzheimer's disease, and cancer such as prostate cancer, leukemia, breast cancer, stomach cancer, oral cancer and lung cancer.

Foods high in vitamin C include red pepper, oranges, kiwifruit, grapefruit juice, broccoli, strawberries, Brussels sprouts, tomato juice, cantaloupe, and cooked cabbage.

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