Does ascorbic acid have any affect on blood sugar levels?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I had read an article in MSN health and fitness about diabetes and the advice that a person should talk to their doctor first before taking ascorbic acid. Does ascorbic acid create an unwelcome effect on blood sugar? Thank you,I'm hoping for your favorable response.

Expert Answer

Jennifer Serafin, N.P. is a registered nurse and geriatric nurse practitioner at the Jewish Homes for the Aged in San Francisco.

Ascorbic acid, commonly known as Vitamin C, is of particular interest in diabetes, since many diabetics have low ascorbic acid levels in their blood.  Studies are currently being done to see if there is a benefit to taking high dose supplements of Vitamin C.  From the studies I have read, the research does not show any benefit to taking supplements of Vitamin C in diabetes.  In fact, some of the studies showed that some diabetics did worse (had higher blood sugars) when taking Vitamin C.  I believe this is why the article you read stated that you should discuss taking Vitamin C with your doctor before you start.

The current RDA (recommended daily allowance) for Vitamin C is 90 milligrams per day for an adult male (75mg for females).  Until more research is done, I think that is how much Vitamin C you should get each day.