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Research has found the antioxidant vitamin C is not just therapeutic: It can significantly reduce stress and anxiety among type 2 diabetic patients.
The researchers divided 45 diabetes mellitus (type 2) patients into three groups and gave them 1,000 milligrams per day of vitamin C, 400 IU per day of vitamin E or a placebo for six weeks. The researchers gave each patient a 21-question test before and after the treatment period - called the Depression Anxiety Stress Scale.
After the six weeks, those taking the vitamin C experienced a significant reduction in their anxiety scores according to the testing. There were no differences between the placebo group and the vitamin E group.
Patients with diabetes mellitus often suffer from anxiety, depression and stress because diabetes produces greater levels of oxidative stress in the body. This produces mood issues related to the production of neurotransmitters and the health of the blood vessels.
The researchers wrote:
"In conclusion, this study suggests that short-term supplementation of vitamin C is safe and beneficial for reducing anxiety levels in diabetic patients through alleviating oxidative damage."
Other studies have shown that vitamin C is therapeutic for blood sugar issues in general. A study of 170 type 2 diabetes patients gave either vitamin C, vitamin E, a combination of the two or a placebo for three months.
After the treatment period, the researchers found that the C and E vitamins decreased blood sugar levels, reduced blood pressure, and increased superoxide dismutase and antioxidant status among the patients, while the placebo group showed no such changes.
For additional research on vitamin C, read the following articles:
Mazloom Z, Ekramzadeh M, Hejazi N. Efficacy of supplementary vitamins C and E on anxiety, depression and stress in type 2 diabetic patients: a randomized, single-blind, placebo-controlled trial. Pak J Biol Sci. 2013 Nov 15;16(22):1597-600.
Rafighi Z, Shiva A, Arab S, Mohd Yousof R. Association of dietary vitamin C and e intake and antioxidant enzymes in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Glob J Health Sci. 2013 Mar 20;5(3):183-7. doi: 10.5539/gjhs.v5n3p183.