Monday, December 18, 2006

Vitamin C and Diabetes

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body.Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones, and teeth.Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that are present normally in a balanced diet, other antioxidants include vitamin E, B-carotenoids, Selenium...etc.

Vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry and splitting hair; gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) and bleeding gums; rough, dry, scaly skin; decreased wound-healing rate, easy bruising; nosebleeds; weakened enamel of the teeth; swollen and painful joints; anemia; decreased ability to ward off infection.A severe form of vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy, which mainly affects older, malnourished adults.

The body does not manufacture vitamin C on its own, nor does it store it. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in one's daily diet. Large amounts of vitamin C are used by the body during any kind of healing process, whether it's from an infection, disease, injury, or surgery (In case of burns, blood content of vitamin C was found to be Zero). In these cases extra vitamin C may be needed.

Vitamin C may be helpful for people with diabetes in a number of ways. First, some studies suggest that people with diabetes have high levels of free radicals (the damaging metabolic by-products, associated with many chronic illnesses) and low levels of antioxidants, including vitamin C. This imbalance may contribute to the fact that those with diabetes are at greater risk for developing conditions such as high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

Secondly, insulin (which is low in type 1 diabetics and does not function properly in type 2 diabetics) helps cells in the body take up the vitamin C that they need to function properly. At the same time, lots of circulating blood sugar (glucose), as is often the present in diabetics, prevents the cells from getting the vitamin C that they need, even if eating lots of fruits of vegetables. For this reason, taking extra vitamin C in the form of supplements may be helpful in those with diabetes.

Researchers found that women with diabetes consuming at least 300 mg of vitamin C/day faced 2-3 times the risk of death from stroke and twice the risk of dying from coronary diseases, as did diabetic women with less
intake of vitamin C.
Similar assessments for the study with 32,500 other participants, none of
whom started the study with diabetes, showed no link between heart disease and high intake of vitamin C.

Many antioxidants can,at high doses, increase the harmful oxidation's rather than reduce them, and that is what may be happening in diabetic women.It is , by far, better for them if they maintain good blood sugar control, because that is going to prevent of oxidation stress.

Glucose and vitamin C share a common transport mechanism in human blood cells, thus prolonged exposure to high blood glucose in diabetes might lead to intracellular deficiencies of Vitamin C.
Results of studies employing animal models of diabetes (induced diabetes in animals) suggest that these low levels, when are not due to low intake,are caused by increased urinary excretion of the vitamin and defective transport across cell membranes along with increased oxidation
of vitamin C to De-Hydro-Ascorbic Acid ( DHAA).

Vitamin C supplementation has been shown to improve glucose tolerance and lipid profiles in non-insulin-dependent-diabetes-mellitus (type2 diabetes),and to reduce cutaneous capillary fragility, ( in an open trial, each gram of oral vitamin C taken daily, permitted a 2 unit reduction in daily insulin requirements for insulin-dependent-diabetes-mellitus(type 1).

There is some evidence that supplementation may reduce the non-enzymatic glycosylation of proteins, a process that plays an important role in the
development of diabetic complications. Moreover, after continued vitamin
C administration, DHAA( de-hydro-ascorbic-acid) disappears.

Don't forget your Oranges,Lemon,Cranberry and other vegetables and fruits that are rich in vitamin C.

Living with Type II Diabetes?

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