Research: CUNNINGHAM and colleagues

Listed in Issue 34


CUNNINGHAM and colleagues, Department of Nutrition, University of Massachusetts, Amherst 01003-1420 USA writes in this review (31 references) that the cellular uptake of vitamin C is promoted by insulin and inhibited by hyperglycaemia . If a rise in plasma vitamin C is uncoupled from insulin replacement in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM), then the degree of hyperglycaemia could account for tissue scurvy in IDDM.




Leukocyte vitamin C is lower in IDDMs compared with nondiabetics when vitamin C consumption is adequate; the authors data suggest that this a variable component of the pathophysiology of IDDM. Complications from diabetes mellitus are believed to result from either intracellular accumulation of sorbitol or nonenzymatic glycoxidation of proteins or both. Regarding the abnormal cellular accumulation of sorbitol, vitamin C supplementation has been shown to be effective in several studies with adult diabetics; however, the situation is presently unclear regarding supplementation for the prevention of protein glycoxidations. Vitamin Cs role as an aldose reductase inhibitor and a water soluble antioxidant are potentially very important as adjuncts to tight glycaemic control in the management of diabetes. Supplemental vitamin C intake may be required for tissue saturation and maximal physiological function in IDDM.



Cunningham JJ. The glucose/insulin system and vitamin C: implications in insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. J Am Coll Nutr 17(2): 105-8 Apr 1998.

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