Vitamin C for diabetes: Include this powerful nutrient in your diet to control blood sugar levels

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which can be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. Dr Paras Agarwal explains the positive effects of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a natural antioxidant, which can be beneficial for people suffering from diabetes. Dr Paras Agarwal explains the positive effects of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is a vital nutrient for your system because our body can't produce this powerful antioxidant. Also known as ascorbic acid, this water-soluble vitamin offers a multitude of health benefits. A study conducted by the University of Oklahoma has also linked the use of vitamin C and reduced damage of type 1 diabetes. Are you wondering if it's safe to include vitamin C rich foods in your diet? Here is what you need to know.

Does Vitamin C Help Manage Blood Sugar Levels?

Diabetes is one of the most prevailing health threats to humankind. This silent disease wreaks havoc on your body. It can lead to many health problems such as cardiovascular diseases, stroke, eye diseases, and more. It is vital to mitigate its effects to avoid these complications. Some lifestyle modifications, including your diet, may have a good impact on your health. Vitamin C may also help manage blood sugar levels.

We talked to Dr Paras Agarwal, Consultant Diabetologist, Max Multi Specialty Centre, Panchsheel Park, to understand the effects of vitamin C on diabetes.

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"Observations in patients' dietary habits and daily intake of vitamin C has shown some association with diabetes. Lower plasma values of vitamin C (ascorbate) have been reported in patients with diabetes as compared to those without diabetes," said Dr Agarwal.

Chronic low-grade inflammation and oxidative stress have shown to play a vital role in the development of insulin resistance, consequently diabetes, and its subsequent complications.

"Vitamin C is a well-known micronutrient and a potent antioxidant that can help protect body structures and molecules from oxidation damage," added the diabetologist

How Much Vitamin C Should A Diabetic Consume In A Day?

"ICMR recommends a minimum 40 g of ascorbic acid for an average adult Indian per day. Studies have shown that higher doses of vitamin C can be beneficial for diabetics. More than 200 mg/day is recommended," explained Dr Agarwal.

"Since vitamin C is water-soluble, it can be excreted safely by urination if taken in excess."

However, the dosage of this vitamin has to be assessed based on the diet pattern and food habits of every person.

Do You Need To Include Supplements In Your Diet?

There are plenty of fruits and vegetables that are good sources of vitamin C. Citrus fruits, in particular, are a rich source of this powerful antioxidant.

According to Dr Agarwal, one orange or kiwi has about 70 mg of ascorbic acid. Diabetes patients should also include vegetables in their diet.

Eating fruits and vegetables are a part of a healthy lifestyle and important to maintain overall health. However, the fruit intake may not be liberal in diabetes patient and only adequate portions are advisable by the doctor or dietician.

With current and newly emerging positive evidence of this essential, water-soluble, non-toxic vitamin, taking supplements that contain ascorbic acid may be safe, and beneficial. After all, it protects us from oxidative damage and perhaps also improves blood sugar control.

"A small sour pill to suck or swallow, may not be a bad option to reduce the bitter effects of the sweetness of your diabetes," said Dr Agarwal.

Note: Seek advice from your doctor before putting to use any tips mentioned in the article.

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