Vitamin C is a key nutrient involved in the growth and development of body cells and for repairing damaged body tissues. Furthermore, vitamin C acts as an antioxidant. It protects the genetic materials of the body cells from the scavenging activities of free radicals. It is also needed to aid absorption of nature’s most powerful antioxidant, vitamin E. Furthermore, your body needs vitamin C to absorb iron from plant foods. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining healthy cardiovascular system, strengthening the immune system and improving the overall quality of your health.
Hence, deficiency of vitamin C can cause severe health problems. As vitamin C is a water soluble nutrient, it cannot be stored in the body. Your body flushes out the excess vitamin C through urine. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency can occur if you don’t consume sufficient vitamin C rich foods.
List Of 8 Top Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency Its Causes And Treatment
Causes Of Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C Deficient Diet
Not consuming enough fruits and vegetables is a leading cause of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C deficiency does not occur if you are getting your daily dosage of this essential nutrient from your recommended three servings of fruits and five servings of vegetables.
Smoking drains vitamin C from your body tissues. Furthermore, smoking reduces the ability of the body to absorb vitamin C from food. Studies have shown that smokers are susceptible to vitamin C deficiency. Your body needs vitamin C to protect the body tissues from the free radicals produced by inhaling tobacco smoke.
People suffering from Crohn’s disease are susceptible to vitamin C deficiency. Inflammation of the digestive tract lining inhibits absorption of nutrients including vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency slows down healing of the intestinal tissues damaged by the inflammatory bowel disease, which further worsens the symptoms of the disease.
Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
The following symptoms indicate that you are suffering from vitamin C deficiency.
Slow Recovery From Infections
Vitamin C is essential for the healthy functioning of the immune system. Your body’s demand for vitamin C increases during infections. Worsening of the symptoms of infections and slow recovery are common symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
Slow Wound Healing
Vitamin C is involved in collagen synthesis. Collagen is the main building block of the connective tissues. Deficiency of vitamin C, by slowing down collagen synthesis, reduces the wound healing rate. Slow healing of wounds is a symptom of vitamin C deficiency.
Even mild deficiency of vitamin C causes frequent bruising. Vitamin C is essential for maintaining the blood vessels. Deficiency of vitamin C weakens the blood vessels. As a result they break easily under slight pressure.
Dry And Brittle Hair
Vitamin C is essential for healthy growth of your hair. It is involved in the production of the amino acid tyrosine that nourishes the hair follicles and strengthens the hair. Moreover, vitamin C deficiency inhibits iron absorption, which leads to iron deficiency anemia. Anemia decreases supply of oxygen and nutrients to the hair follicles. Hence, deficiency of vitamin C weakens the hair, making it dry and brittle.
Rough And Dry Skin
By inhibiting production of collagen, vitamin C deficiency makes the skin, rough, dry and scaly. It also makes the skin vulnerable to free-radical induced damage. Low level of vitamin C increases loss of moisture and speeds up skin aging.
Vitamin C deficiency causes mental fatigue and depression. Your body needs vitamin C for manufacturing the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine. Low levels of these brain chemicals cause depression.
Vitamin C helps in maintaining healthy gums. Unexpected gum bleeding is a classic symptom of severe vitamin C deficiency. Moreover, deficiency of vitamin C worsens gum infections. Therefore, consider checking your vitamin C level if you are experiencing sudden bleeding of gums.
Joint And Muscle Pain
Unexpected joint and muscle pain could occur because of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is essential for the development of the joint and muscle tissues and for maintaining healthy functioning of the joints and muscles.
Treatment For Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency can be easily treated by increasing consumption of vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables and by taking vitamin C supplements.
Vitamin C Rich Food
Vitamin C occurs naturally in a wide range of fruits and vegetables. The best dietary sources of vitamin C are citrus fruits, berries, bell peppers, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, potatoes, leafy greens, papaya, kiwi, mango, watermelon and pineapples.
Vitamin C Supplements
Vitamin C supplements come in various forms. They are available in the form of capsules, chewable tablets, liquid and crystalline powder. To treat vitamin C deficiency, you can take 250 to 500 mg of vitamin C in the form of supplement twice or thrice a day.