Vitamin C Helps Fend off Kidney Disease in Individuals with Diabetes

| Dec 1, 1998

Current evidence suggests that lipoproteins (such as LDL-cholesterol) need to be oxidized to cause atherosclerosis. Such oxidative stress appears to be increased in diabetes, which causes additional atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis is a collection of fat and other materials forming a plaque which causes a narrowing in arteries.

According to Dr. Irl B. Hirsch and colleagues at the University of Washington in Seattle, vitamin C levels were low in patients with diabetic kidney disease. There was a strong relationship between the urinary excretion of protein (an indicator of diabetic kidney disease) and vitamin C excretion. Hirsch feels that a decrease in antioxidant defenses is a risk factor for coronary artery disease, and that low vitamin C levels may be one of the reasons why people with diabetic kidney disease have an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes compared to individuals with diabetes and no kidney disease.

Hirsch explains that since vitamin C supplementation was not part of the clinical trial, recommendations for additional vitamin C intake cannot be provided from this study.

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Categories: Diabetes, Kidney Care (Nephropathy), Vitamins

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