Does diabetes mellitus increase the requirement for vitamin C?

Nutr Rev. 1996 Jul;54(7):193-202. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.1996.tb03932.x.


This paper reviews the scientific evidence regarding the vitamin C status of people with diabetes mellitus and whether they might have increased dietary vitamin C requirements. English language articles published from 1935 to the present that either compare ascorbic acid concentrations of persons with and without diabetes mellitus or assess the impact of vitamin C supplementation on various health outcomes among persons with diabetes mellitus were examined. Most studies have found people with diabetes mellitus to have at least 30% lower circulating ascorbic acid concentrations than people without diabetes mellitus. Vitamin C supplementation had little impact on blood glucose concentrations, but was found to lower cellular sorbitol concentrations and to reduce capillary fragility. Much of the past research in this area has been methodologically weak. To further understand the relation of ascorbic acid and diabetes mellitus, randomized clinical trials of ascorbic acid supplementation should be a high priority for research.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Ascorbic Acid / blood
  • Ascorbic Acid / metabolism
  • Ascorbic Acid / physiology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus / metabolism
  • Diabetes Mellitus / physiopathology*
  • Food, Fortified
  • Health Status
  • Humans


  • Ascorbic Acid