Twelve nondiabetic subjects consumed 1 g/day vitamin C for 3 mo. A fasting blood sample was taken at the start of the study and at the end of each month for the measurement of plasma and intraerythrocyte glucose, vitamin C, glycosylated hemoglobin (affinity chromatography and electrophoresis), and glycosylated albumin (affinity chromatography). Although there were no significant changes in fasting glycemia, glycosylated hemoglobin (affinity chromatography) decreased 18%, from 6.18 ± 0.48% (mean ± SD) at the start to 5.05 ± 0.50% (P < 0.0001) after 3 mo, whereas, HbA1 measured by electrophoresis increased 16%, from 6.17 ± 0.61 to 7.16 ± 0.59% (P < 0.0001) in this period. Glycosylated albumin decreased 33%, from 1.56 ± 0.24 to 1.04 ± 1.01% (P < 0.0001) after 3 mo. This discrepancy between glycosylated hemoglobin measured by electrophoresis and affinity chromatography was due to methodological differences between the two techniques, with affinity chromatography measuring “true” glycosylated hemoglobin. The greater decrease found with glycosylated albumin was probably due to the different distribution of vitamin C between plasma and within the erythrocyte, levels after 1 mo of supplementation being 109 ± 19 and 59 ± 9 μM, respectively (P < 0.001). This indicates that administration of oral vitamin C may inhibit the glycosylation of proteins in vivo by a competitive mechanism.

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