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I have recently read a bit about anti-oxidants and a potential role they may play in preventing diabetic complications. One of the vitamins, I believe it might have been E, supposedly helps keep the sugar in the blood from becoming a type of "super-glue" and adhering to the walls of blood vessels. As the parent of two teenagers with diabetes, whose diabetic control is very good but who certainly do not have a perfectly balanced diet, should I be giving them these anti-oxidants to help prevent future problems?

There are some theoretical reasons why antioxidants may help in diabetes. Several relate to prevention of the disease in the first place rather than prevention of complications. However, there has been some animal work suggesting that there may be some benefit. Nonetheless, it is still far too early to make any recommendation and I would not suggest dietary supplementation with any vitamin -- better to eat a healthy, balanced diet until we know more.


Original posting 18 Apr 96


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