New vitamin C diabetes research announced 24 November 2023 Research is the key to changing the lives of the 1.5 million Australians living with diabetes, according to Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain. “Research is critical in our fight to drive change to prevent, treat and, ultimately, cure diabetes,“ Ms Cain said. “Research could help us understand whether something as simple as vitamin C could hold the key to addressing a challenge as significant as foot ulcers and amputations, which are often preventable, for people with diabetes.” Deakin University’s Professor Glenn Wadley is a recipient of one of this year’s Diabetes Australia Research Program (DARP) grants to study the efficacy of vitamin C in the treatment of foot ulcers in people living with diabetes, which can lead to amputations. “Diabetic foot ulceration is one of the most devastating complications for people living with diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. It leads to 12 Australians every day undergoing diabetes-related amputations,” Prof Wadley said. “Vitamin C plays a crucial role in wound healing, and we now know that half of the patients with DFUs are deficient in vitamin C. There’s also a strong association between low vitamin C levels and high levels of amputation. “It’s now critical to examine whether vitamin C supplementation translates to improved wound healing,” Prof Wadley said. Lindsay Paice, 43, wishes he knew more about foot ulcers before the amputation of two toes within months of being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes in March this year. “My grandfather had type 2 diabetes and so does my father. But I didn’t know I had it until I went to the doctor with a foot ulcer. “He took one look at my foot and said he thought I had type 2 diabetes.” In August, Lindsay was working away from home and couldn’t get seen by a doctor quickly after he noticed two red marks on his toes. He started antibiotics after seeing a GP but within a short time, his big toe was infected and ulcerated. He was taken to the Royal Melbourne Hospital where two toes were amputated within days of his first symptoms. Professor Wadley’s research could have a huge impact on people like Lindsay in the near future. Members of the community can support Diabetes Australia research through making a donation. Find out more about how to support us.