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From Santa Rosa, California, USA:

I am wondering if blood oxygen levels are normal in children who are developing diabetes, and I am also wondering if a mother's low blood oxygen level would have an impact on the developing child and be diabetogenic in the child's later development. You have mentioned free radicals being the final damaging factor in Type 1 diabetes. Should diabetic children be given antioxidants and how about superantioxidants? I think quercetin and grapeseed extract fall in that category, but I'm not sure.


In so far as it is known blood oxygen levels are normal in children with Type 1 Diabetes, unless of course they have some unrelated condition such as a congenital heart disease which might affect this. Also hypoxia in the mother has not been recognised as causing any increase likelihood of diabetes in her children. There is likewise no evidence that children living at high altitudes are especially vulnerable to diabetes.

There have been a number of studies on children with new onset diabetes to see if free radical scavengers (antioxidants) will prolong the honeymoon period. These have for the most part depended on Vitamin C and Vitamin E or nicotinamide in large doses; but they have been uniformly disappointing. Antioxidant trials are also underway to see if they are of value in preventing long term vascular complications in man.

Until the issue of preventing vascular disease is resolved, I don't personally feel that the routine giving of antioxidants to children would be of any value. At the same time they are usually inexpensive and not harmful so that if a family believes in them, that in itself can have value.


Original posting 12 Aug 97


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Last Updated: Tuesday April 06, 2010 15:08:54
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