Antioxidants Are Key When Managing Diabetes

Filed Under: Diabetes, Blood Sugar
Last Reviewed 02/06/2014

As you strive to control blood sugar levels, it’s important to remember the role antioxidants play in managing diabetes. In order to get a handle on this condition, you’ll need to shore up on these important nutrients.

For starters, there’s Vitamin C. Vitamin C is the most active antioxidant in our water-based tissues. It lowers levels of sorbitol, the sugar that collects in and damages cells of the eyes (retinopathy), kidneys (nephropathy), and nerves (neuropathy).

You’ll also want to take an adequate amount of Vitamin E, your body’s premier fat-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin E improves glucose control and protects blood vessels and nerves from free radical damage, which is accelerated in people living with diabetes. Studies have shown that high doses of supplemental vitamin E may even reverse damage to nerves caused by diabetes and protect against diabetic cataracts and atherosclerosis.

Supplementation with both of these antioxidants is associated with a reduced risk of diabetic retinopathy. If you are living with diabetes, aim for 1,000-2,500 mg of vitamin C and 300-800 IU of vitamin E daily.

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