Eating citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C such as papaya, oranges and blackcurrant may be good for diabetes, for a new research has found that the nutrient could help reduce some of the complications linked with the disease.
Researchers from the University of Warwick have found that the nutrient helps 'mop-up' free radicals that are produced in excess in diabetics.
Free radicals are tissue-damaging molecules, and Vitamin C 'normalises' their levels in the body, said Lead researcher Professor Antonio Ceriello.
'Vitamin C scavenges free radicals and normalises free radical levels, thus avoiding their effects,' the BBC quoted him, as saying.
High blood-sugar levels linked with type-1 diabetes can cause changes to the mitochondria which increases the amounts of free radicals produced.
Even after blood-sugar levels are normalised in diabetics, the researchers found evidence that free radicals continue to be produced. This is harmful as this can cause tissue damage and lead to possible amputations, heart disease or blindness.
In another study, the researchers found that it was possible to normalise free radical levels by first treating diabetic people with type 1 diabetes with insulin, and then with vitamin C.
This helps 'mop-up' free radicals.
But there is a catch. The treatment with Vitamin C is only effective if continued in the long-term. However, this could be dangerous.
The answer to this might be in using the blood pressure-lowering drug Telmisarten which had the same effect as Vitamin C, and might be a safer alternative.
The researchers are now looking for other drugs to try to permanently stop the free radical production.