Scientists from Rider University and elsewhere found vitamin C could benefit people with prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
More than 37 million Americans have diabetes (about 1 in 10), and approximately 90-95% of them have type 2 diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes most often develops in people over age 45, but more and more children, teens, and young adults are also developing it.
With type 2 diabetes, the body doesn’t use insulin well and can’t keep blood sugar at normal levels. About 90-95% of people with diabetes have type 2.
It develops over many years and is usually diagnosed in adults (but more and more in children, teens, and young adults).
Prediabetes is a serious health condition where blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not high enough yet to be diagnosed as type 2 diabetes.
Approximately 96 million American adults—more than 1 in 3—have prediabetes.
In the current study, researchers aimed to examine the association between vitamin C and blood sugar levels in people with prediabetes and prediabetes.
They tested vitamin C intakes, blood vitamin C levels, fasting blood sugar, and A1c levels in 25,206 adult men and 26,944 adult women from the NHANES database.
Among these people, 6807 had type 2diabetes, and 428 and type 1 diabetes.
The team’s hypothesis is that low vitamin C intake and serum vitamin C level may be a health risk for US adults with diabetes.
The team found that the total vitamin C intake below the estimated average requirement increased from 38% to 47% between 1999-2018.
Higher vitamin C intake and blood vitamin C levels were linked to lower markers of pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, for example, fasting plasma glucose and A1c levels.
The team also found risks of type 2 diabetes increased in adults with vitamin C intake below the EAR and with no vitamin C supplement.
Survivor years of diabetic adults with lower and deficient vitamin C levels were shorter than that of diabetic adults with normal blood vitamin C levels.
Death risks of type 2 diabetes with low vitamin C intake and/or deficient blood vitamin C levels were increased compared to people with adequate vitamin C intake and normal blood vitamin C levels.
Based on the findings, the researchers suggest that encouragement of vitamin C intake, including vitamin C supplementation of 500-1000 mg/day, may be beneficial for U.S. adults with pre-diabetic and type 2 diabetes.
The research was published in Nutrients and conducted by Hongbing Sun et al.
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