C change in fight against di­a­betes

Vi­ta­min sup­ple­ment could be new weapon in fight against di­a­betes

The Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - - Front Page - MANDY SQUIRES

A SIM­PLE vi­ta­min C sup­ple­ment could hold the key to un­lock­ing one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest health prob­lems — type 2 di­a­betes.

An Aus­tralian study has found tak­ing 500mg of vi­ta­min C twice a day can lower el­e­vated blood su­gar lev­els and re­duce blood su­gar spikes af­ter meals in peo­ple with the chronic and po­ten­tially deadly dis­ease.

The first-of-its-kind study also found high, daily doses of vi­ta­min C low­ered blood pres­sure in peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes, re­duc­ing the chance of heart dis­ease.

With 1.2 mil­lion Aus­tralians di­ag­nosed with type 2 di­a­betes, this break­through could lead to a cheap and ef­fec­tive com­ple­men­tary treat­ment for di­a­bet­ics across the coun­try. “We need to find new ways to help peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes,” lead re­searcher As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Glenn Wadley said.

A HUM­BLE vi­ta­min C sup­ple­ment may hold the key to tack­ling one of Aus­tralia’s big­gest health prob­lems — type 2 di­a­betes.

An Aus­tralian study has shown tak­ing 500mg of vi­ta­min C twice daily can lower el­e­vated blood su­gar lev­els and re­duce blood su­gar spikes af­ter meals in peo­ple with the chronic and po­ten­tially deadly dis­ease.

The study — the first of its kind — also found high, daily doses of vi­ta­min C low­ered blood pres­sure in peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes, re­duc­ing the chance of heart dis­ease.

With 1.2 mil­lion Aussies cur­rently liv­ing with type 2 di­a­betes, the break­through could lead to a widely avail­able, cheap and ef­fec­tive com­ple­men­tary treat­ment for di­a­bet­ics across the coun­try.

Lead re­searcher As­so­ci­ate Pro­fes­sor Glenn Wadley, from Deakin Univer­sity’s In­sti­tute for Phys­i­cal Ac­tiv­ity and Nu­tri­tion, said that trial par­tic­i­pants tak­ing vi­ta­min C rather than the placebo had seen a 36 per cent drop in their blood su­gar spike af­ter meals.

“This also meant that they spent al­most three hours less per day liv­ing in a state of hy­per­gly­caemia,” Prof Wadley said. “This is ex­tremely pos­i­tive news as hy­per­gly­caemia is a risk fac­tor for car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease in peo­ple liv­ing with type 2 di­a­betes.

“We also found that the pro­por­tion of peo­ple with hy­per­ten­sion halved af­ter tak­ing the vi­ta­min C cap­sules.”

The study, funded by the Di­a­betes Aus­tralia Re­search Trust, was re­cently pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Di­a­betes, Obe­sity and Me­tab­o­lism.

Prof Wadley said the dose of vi­ta­min C used in the study was about 10 times the nor­mal di­etary in­take and read­ily avail­able from most health food stores.

“Vi­ta­min C’s an­tiox­i­dant prop­er­ties can help coun­ter­act the high lev­els of free rad­i­cals found in peo­ple with di­a­betes,” he said.

Di­a­betes was a fast grow­ing prob­lem in Aus­tralia, with more than 100,000 Aus­tralians de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease in the past year, Prof Wadley said.

“While phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity, good nu­tri­tion and cur­rent di­a­betes med­i­ca­tions are stan­dard care and very im­por­tant for man­ag­ing type 2 di­a­betes, some peo­ple can find it tough to man­age their blood glu­cose lev­els even with med­i­ca­tion,” he said. “We need to find new ways to help peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes re­duce the in­ci­dence and sever­ity of di­a­betic com­pli­ca­tions and im­prove their qual­ity of life.”

Di­a­betes Aus­tralia chief ex­ec­u­tive Pro­fes­sor Greg John­son said that man­ag­ing type 2 di­a­betes and main­tain­ing healthy glu­cose lev­els and good heart health was a strug­gle for hun­dreds of thou­sands of Aus­tralians, mak­ing the trial re­sults “very in­ter­est­ing”.

“The po­ten­tial for vi­ta­min C … to be added to the treat­ment pro­gram for peo­ple with type 2 di­a­betes is cer­tainly wor­thy of fur­ther study and con­sid­er­a­tion by doc­tors and peo­ple with di­a­betes,” Prof John­son said.

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