How Much Vitamin C Should a Diabetic Take?

How Much Vitamin C Should a Diabetic Take?

Vitamin C, an important vitamin known for its antioxidant qualities and numerous roles in body function maintenance, has received a lot of attention for its possible advantages in diabetes control. While studies show that vitamin C has the potential to improve general health in diabetics, choosing the ideal consumption involves careful consideration of individual needs and potential hazards.

About Vitamin C

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that acts as a powerful antioxidant in the body, eliminating free radicals. It is essential for collagen formation, wound healing, and immunological function. Maintaining proper amounts of vitamin C is especially crucial for diabetics due to the oxidative stress associated with the illness.

How Much Vitamin C Should a Diabetic Take?

Oral vitamin C dosages of 500-1000 mg per day are potentially beneficial, safe, and economical for many patients with diabetes. 

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) gives a basic recommendation for daily vitamin C intake, although individual requirements might vary. The RDA for adults is 90 milligrams per day for men and 75 milligrams per day for women. Pregnant and nursing women may have various recommendations.

Benefits of Vitamin C in Diabetes Management


Vitamin C is essential in several aspects of diabetes care, providing a variety of possible benefits:

Antioxidant Protection

Vitamin C functions as an antioxidant, eliminating damaging free radicals that can damage cells and lead to diabetic problems. Diabetes’ characteristic, chronic hyperglycemia, causes increased oxidative stress, rendering diabetics more vulnerable to free radical damage.

The antioxidant capacity of vitamin C aids in the fight against oxidative stress, protecting cells from damage and perhaps lowering the risk of problems.

Immune System Support

A healthy immune system is vital for general health, and diabetics are more vulnerable to infections owing to poor glucose management. Vitamin C helps to improve the immune system by promoting the creation and activity of white blood cells, which are the body’s defense against illnesses. 

Vitamin C, by boosting the immune system, can help diabetics fight infections more effectively and minimize the risk of complications.

Collagen Production

Collagen production is required for wound healing and blood vessel integrity. Collagen is a protein that offers structure and support to numerous tissues. 

Diabetes patients frequently have poor wound healing and an increased risk of cardiovascular problems due to collagen degradation induced by hyperglycemia. Vitamin C is essential for collagen formation, wound healing, and maintaining healthy blood vessels, all of which are important for diabetes treatment.

Blood Sugar Control

Vitamin C may help to improve insulin sensitivity, or the body’s ability to use insulin efficiently. Insulin is the hormone that regulates blood sugar levels, and insulin sensitivity is a significant cause of diabetes. Vitamin C may help diabetics maintain better blood sugar control by increasing insulin sensitivity.

Factors Influencing Vitamin C Needs

The recommended vitamin C consumption for diabetics may differ based on factors such as:

Diabetes severity

People with uncontrolled diabetes may require more vitamin C owing to increased oxidative stress and weakened antioxidant defense systems.

Smoking Status

Smokers with diabetes have higher vitamin C requirements due to the antioxidant’s involvement in neutralizing free radicals created by smoking. Because smoking increases oxidative stress and depletes vitamin C levels, these people must take supplements.

Kidney Function

People who have renal disease should visit their doctor to evaluate their vitamin C consumption. Vitamin C metabolism can be affected by impaired renal function, and large dosages can deteriorate kidney function in some situations.

Foods Rich in Vitamin C for Diabetics


A healthy diet high in fruits and vegetables is a great approach for diabetics to acquire the vitamin C they need. Consider the following vitamin C-rich foods:

  • Citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, lemons, and limes, are high in vitamin C. A medium orange has around 70 milligrams of vitamin C, whereas a half grapefruit contains approximately 50 mg.
  • Red bell peppers are very high in vitamin C, with one medium pepper delivering roughly 150 mg. Yellow and green bell peppers also have high levels of vitamin C.
  • A cup of cooked broccoli contains around 80 milligrams of vitamin C, making it an excellent source of this nutrient.
  • Strawberries are not only sweet, but they are also high in vitamin C. One cup of strawberries contains around 85 milligrams of vitamin C.
  • Cantaloupe is a delicious and healthy fruit that is also high in vitamin C. One cup of cantaloupe has roughly 60 milligrams of vitamin C.
  • Kiwis are high in vitamin C, with one kiwi containing roughly 64 mg. They’re also high in fiber and potassium.
  • Papaya is a tropical fruit high in vitamin C. One cup of papaya contains roughly 88 milligrams of vitamin C.
  • Tomatoes are a multipurpose vegetable that is high in vitamin C. One medium tomato has roughly 17 milligrams of vitamin C.

Tips for Incorporating Vitamin C

Diverse Diet

A diversity of fruits and vegetables in the diet promotes a balance of nutrients, including vitamin C.

Supplements with Limitations:

While supplements are an option, getting vitamin C from whole foods is typically advised to provide a balanced nutritional intake.

Monitoring Blood Sugar Level

Diabetics should constantly evaluate their blood sugar levels and consult with their healthcare professionals to optimize their vitamin C dosage as needed.


The appropriate dose of vitamin C for diabetics requires a complex method that takes into account individual variables, dietary choices, and possible health advantages. While the RDA is a good starting point, individualized recommendations based on health conditions and lifestyle are essential.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also want to read this article on When Should Vitamin B12 Be Used in Diabetes Treatment?.

*This information is not intended to serve as a substitute for professional medical or dietary advice tailored to individual needs.

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Dr. Kimberly Langdon

Kimberly Langdon

Dr. Kimberly Langdon has been an MD for 31 years, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine, earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place accolades for her Senior Research Project and Score of 98th percentile on a National Proficiency Test.

During her clinical career, she delivered over 2000 babies and specialized in minimally invasive procedures, menopause, endometriosis, menstrual disorders, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. After retiring from clinical practice, she founded a medical device company to commercialize her two patented and four patent-pending medical devices for both life-threatening and non-life-threatening infections.

Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Coologics, 2010-present
The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Doctor of Medicine 1987-1991
The Ohio State University Hospital Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology Residency Program 1991-1995
Private practice 1995-2010

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu

Po-Chang Hsu, M.D., received his medical doctorate from Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. During his medical school training, Dr. Hsu worked with various patients, including adult and pediatric patients with acute and chronic conditions. Dr. Hsu’s interests include neurology, psychiatry, pediatrics, and sleep medicine.

Before medical school, Dr. Hsu finished a master’s degree at Harvard University and wrote a thesis on neuroimaging in schizophrenia patients at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School-affiliated hospital. Dr. Hsu was also a part of the 2008 NASA Phoenix Lander Mission team, which sent a robotic spacecraft to the North polar region of Mars. Dr. Hsu also had research experience on neuroimaging in neonates at Boston Children’s Hospital, another Harvard Medical School-affiliated Hospital.

Since graduating from medical school, Dr. Hsu has worked as a full-time medical writer and consultant. In addition, he has experience writing and ghostwriting books and articles for physicians and health technology start-up companies. Dr. Hsu believes good communication between healthcare providers and patients creates the best results.


-Peer Reviewed Journal Article:
Kounaves, S.P., Hecht, M.H., West, S.J., Morookian, J.-M., Young, S.M.M., Quinn, R., Grunthaner, P., Wen, X., Weilert, M., Cable, C.A., Fisher, A., Gospodinova, K., Kapit, J., Stroble, S., Hsu, P.-C., Clark, B.C., Ming, D.W. and Smith, P.H. The MECA wet chemistry laboratory on the 2007 phoenix mars scout Lander. Journal of Geophysical Research. 2009, Mar; 114(E3): 10.1029/2008je003084.

-Poster Presentation:
2011 Harvard Psychiatry Mysell Poster Session; Boston, MA
Hsu, P.C., Rathi, Y., Eckbo, R., Nestor, P., Niznikiewicz, M., Thompson, E., Kubicki, M., Shenton, M.E. (March, 2011). Two-Tensor Diffusion Tensor Imaging of Acoustic Radiations in Schizophrenia

Dr. Nicolette Natale

Nicolette Natale

Dr. Nicolette Natale is a physician, with a background in Psychology, General Medicine, and English Literature, combining her expertise to provide readers with the most accurate, easy-to-understand, and comprehensive information regarding healthcare. She received her Doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from Nova Southeastern University, and her bachelor’s in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Miami. Dr. Natale seeks to empower individuals with knowledge, fostering a greater understanding of holistic health and encouraging a proactive approach to well-being