In September of 2016, the online journal PLOS ONE reported on a study linking the dietary vitamin C, ascorbic acid, with a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. Scientists at Harbin Medical University in the People's Republic of China looked at hundreds of new cases of Type 2 diabetes. They divided the new situations in the Harbin residents into two groups …

Group 1 – The Harbin People Health Study – a total 178 new cases of Type 2 diabetes were seen in 3483 of the participants enrolled in this study.

Group 2 – Harbin Cohort Study on Diet, Nutrition, and Chronic Non-communicable Diseases – 522 new cases were observed in 7,595 people also enrolled in this particular study.

The results were …

  • In the Harbin People Health Study, Group 1, the participants who were found to have the highest level of vitamin C had over 40 percent less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes than those with the lowest vitamin C levels.
  • In the Harbin Cohort Study on Diet, Nutrition and Chronic Non-communicable Diseases, Group 2, it was found the participants with the highest vitamin C levels had greater than 20 percent less risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.

From the above results, the researchers concluded vitamin C is helpful for lowering the risk of Type 2 diabetes. They suggest it works by reducing both the number of free radicals and the degree of insulin resistance.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps cells to stay alive by keeping down the levels of free radicals. Vitamin C is water-soluble, meaning the body is unable to store it and it must be replenished each and every day.

A vitamin C deficiency can result in a disease called scurvy. Signs and symptoms of scurvy include …

  • bleeding or swollen gums and tooth loss,
  • a shortness of breath,
  • painful joints,
  • irritability or unhappiness,
  • the presence of bluish-red spots on the skin,
  • tiredness,
  • a poor appetite,
  • diarrhea,
  • weight loss.

British sailors were given a derogatory nickname “Limey” when it was discovered back in the 19th-century lemon or lime juice was added to the daily rations of sailors. It was added to the sailor's watered-down rum.

The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamin C is …

  • adult men 90 mg,
  • adult women 75 mg,
  • expectant mothers 85 mg,
  • breastfeeding mothers 125 mg,
  • all smokers. The same amounts as above plus an additional 35 mg. Smoking destroys vitamins, particular vitamin C and B's.

Foods high in vitamin C. We all know about citrus fruits, so let's look at a few other foods …

  • cabbage – 10 leaves 84 mg,
  • kale – 1 cup, chopped, 80 mg,
  • papaya – 1 cup 83 mg,
  • strawberries – 1 cup 85 mg,
  • bell peppers, red, – c cup 70 mg,
  • broccoli – 1 stalk, 135 mg.