Written by Dr.Albana Greca Sejdini, Md, MMedSc
Medically reviewed by Dr.Ruden Cakoni, MD, Endocrinologist
Have you ever wondered what exactly can do vitamin C to lower your blood sugar levels? What other benefits of ascorbic acid is signed for diabetics? What about vitamin C and blood glucose monitoring and testing?
I am pretty sure that you have heard a lot about vitamin C. I also know that every time there is a “flue storm”, you go and take vitamin C in any drug store to prevent or ease the flue (cold) onset.
Here, I’m talking about the other side of the long-listed benefits of vitamin C, regarding diabetes, and what can you do to get all these benefits.
Vitamin C, also known with the scientific name of ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties.
What is an antioxidant? What is an oxidative reaction?
Actually, an oxidative reaction occurs because of some factors such as
high levels of your blood cholesterol, high levels of blood sugar,
smoking, the surrounding pollution, and radiation.
The free radicals will be generated in your body under the effects of all these factors. As a consequence, several harmful chemical reactions are generated in your body, which lead to severe diseases like heart disease, arthritis, cancer, diabetes aggravation.
But, as everything in our body is balanced, here comes the role of antioxidants. In reality, the antioxidants are some body substances, which forbid (cut) the chain of further oxidation of these chemicals.
With regards to diabetics, due to uncontrolled blood sugar levels, these "bad" oxidation reactions are exceeded.
There is a saying of Dr. Jacobs I'd like to cite: “ Diabetics should maintain a healthy blood sugar control, because that’s going to prevent a lot of oxidative stress”
This is the exact moment when arteries' clotting and heart disease and stroke will be precipitated; while death is one of their severest consequences.
So, the intake of vitamin C as an antioxidant is much recommended and scientifically proven in diabetics.
On the other hand, vitamin C gives a hand in the production of collagen, that type of protein that gives strength to your body bones, muscles, ligaments, cartilages, blood vessels and teeth.
Furthermore, vitamin C helps nitric acid action. Consequently, it can help you reduce the blood vessels spasms diminishing the risk for heart attacks and related heart diseases.
As a diabetic, you may face gum problems, muscles weakness, and difficulties in the healing of different wounds, especially skin ones. The intake of vitamin C can play a crucial role in reducing all these problems as well as the prevention of scurvy.
In addition, as a diabetic you can face other several diabetes complications in your kidneys , eyes and nerves. This is because of the accumulation of some substances in these organs of your body. Vitamin C can interfere in the production of these substances, and practically, vitamin c can protect you from severe diabetes complications.
Buying vitamin C in a drug store is not the only source where you can get vitamin C. On contrary, i do not encourage the intake of supplemental ascorbic acid from a drug store source.
I do encourage and reccommend the natural intake of vitamin C through foods you eat, where fruits and vegetables are those with the highest content in ascorbic acid. Below, I have shown the top six foods with the highest content in vitamin C according to USDA nutritional data base.
Chillies: Red, White, Yellow, every type of hot chillies is rich in ascorbic acid.
100 mg of red chillies contain around 143.7 mg of vitamin C. while 100 mg of yellow chillies contain 242.5 mg.
Peppers raw: 100 mg of Yellow peppers contain 183.5 mg of vitamin C; while red and green contain 127.7 mg and 80.4 mg respectively.
Orange: 100 mg of peeled orange contain around 53 mg of vitamin C; while raw orange juice has 50 mg.
I ate papaya for the first time in my staying in South-East Asia. At the beginning, I did not enjoy it very much. But, at the end, I could not resist to go to the local fruit markets or supermarket and not to buy at least one papaya:))
100 mg of papaya contain 80,9 mg of vitamin C.
Apart from the others listed, you can select broccoli, currant, sprout, cabbage, strawberries, cantaloupe, as good sources of ascorbic acid when added to your daily diabetic meal plan. They will help you beating diabetes naturally too.
Different people will give you different suggestions regarding the amount of vitamin C. In fact, a diabetic should not exceed the amount of 250 mg per day.
When you take in higher prescribed dosages, you may probably face the opposite effects of vitamin C (overload or side effects). That means that, in stead of having the antioxidant effect, you may accidentally generate the oxidant effect and worsen your body altered condition. I’m talking here about the vitamin C intake through scientifically proven supplements, and not through fruits and vegetables.
In fact, there is no limitation of taking it through the vitamin C-rich food sources. Now, it's only up to you if to trust in vitamin C and what it can do to alleviate your condition.
As for me, I really want to list it among other natural remedies for diabetes . The above statements are based on the scientifically studies done on behalf of this real vitamin c and diabetes link.
Last medically reviewed 01/03/2019
Resources for Vitamin C facts:
Vitamin C Fact Sheet for Consumers - Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water soluble vitamin. it is naturally present in some foods, and added to others.
Foods rich in vitamin C - USDA nutritional data base
Dietary Recommendation for daily Vitamin C intake - as per Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board
50% Daily Value Vitamin C Supplement - This maintance dosage is widely recommended for diabetic. Get vitamin C in a clinically relevant dose for diabetics.