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High Vitamin C Intake May Reduce Diabetes Risk By 62%

A new study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine found that increased blood levels of vitamin C could reduce the risk of developing diabetes.

This new study tracked the diets and health of 21,831 men and women for 12 years. The average age of the participants at the beginning of the study was 58.4 years and about two thirds of the study population was women.

Over the twelve years, 735 cases of type-2 diabetes were diagnosed or about 3.3% of the original group.

According to the researchers, subjects who had high vitamin C blood levels (at least 1.10 mg/dL for men and 1.29 mg/dL for women) reduced their diabetes risk by 62% compared to those with the lowest vitamin C levels (less then 0.56 mg/dL for men and 0.77 mg/dL for women).

What was surprising about the study data was the lack of a strong association between fruit and vegetable intake and diabetes incidence. It was very clear that the benefit of reduced diabetes risk was due to the antioxidant vitamin C - and not other fruit and vegetable nutrients such as fiber.

This indicates that oxidative stress--which antioxidants seek to minimize--may cause a disturbance in your body that contributes to high blood sugar levels and ultimately diabetes.

Fruits such as kiwi, mango and orange - all of which are common in grocery stores - have very high dietary vitamin C concentrations per serving. Some harder to find exotic "super fruits"- such as tropical guava, Barbados cherries and acerola fruit - also are also very rich in vitamin C.

It is also a good idea to supplement vitamin C intake with antioxidant supplements containing vitamin C.

Source: Archives of Internal Medicine
Volume 168, Number 14, Pages 1493-1499
"Plasma Vitamin C Level, Fruit and Vegetable Consumption, and the Risk of New-Onset Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus - The European Prospective Investigation of Cancer - Norfolk Prospective Study"
Authors: A.-H. Harding, N.J. Wareham, S.A. Bingham, K. Khaw, R. Luben, A. Welch, N.G. Forouhi
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