Vitamin C in Type 2 diabetes with hypertension.

Date:

07-Jan-2003

Source

Hypertension

Related Monographs

Consumer Data: Vitamin C Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2
Professional Data: Vitamin C Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2

Article

Diabetes can affect people of any age. It increases the risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, retinopathy (a disease of the retina) and blindness, peripheral neuropathies (a disease of the nervous system), circulation problems that can lead to amputation, problems with the immune system, and skin ulcers and poor wound healing.

The long-term complications associated with diabetes are serious, often life threatening, and diagnosed in the late stages of the disease. These complications are due to continuous hyperglycemia from poor glucose control. Many of these chronic complications can be traced to changes in blood vessels that cause a decreased blood flow. These changes include coronary heart disease and peripheral vascular disease, retinopathy, nephropathy, and neuropathy.

Heart disease is the leading cause of diabetes-related deaths, with adults having two to four times higher heart disease death rates than adults without the disease. The risk of stroke is two to four times higher in people with diabetes. Patients with diabetes develop more atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) than people without diabetes, and some 60-65 percent of patients with diabetes have high blood pressure.

A study recently published in the journal Hypertension investigated the role of chronic ascorbic acid (vitamin C) supplementation on hypertension in individuals with Type 2 diabetes. 30 patients diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes aged from 45 to 70 years received either 500 mg of vitamin C daily or placebo. Blood pressure and aortic stiffness were measured at the beginning and after 4 weeks of treatment. Systolic and diastolic blood pressure were decreased after 4 weeks of vitamin C administration. The placebo group did not illustrate any beneficial effects. Arterial stiffness was also improved in the vitamin C group. The authors of this study concluded that, “control of blood pressure reduces cardiovascular risk in diabetes, ascorbic acid supplementation may potentially be a useful and inexpensive adjunctive therapy.”1

References

1. Mullan BA, et al. Ascorbic Acid Reduces Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Type 2 Diabetes. Hypertension. Dec 2002;40:804.