Medically Reviewed By Elizabeth A. Swick, MS, RDN
Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin C is crucial for every aspect of your health. Because the human body cannot make or store it, a regular intake of vitamin C is vital for well-being. While most of us get enough vitamin C from our diets, it’s possible to become deficient in vitamin C due to lifestyle or health issues. Here are some of the benefits of vitamin C, as well as symptoms that can indicate a deficiency in this vital nutrient.
What is vitamin C?
Vitamin C is an acidic compound found in many foods, especially fruits and vegetables. It’s also known as ascorbic acid or ascorbate, names which refer to the role of vitamin C in preventing the disease known as scurvy.
What does vitamin C do?
The question ‘what is vitamin C good for?’ has no single answer. It would be easier to list the things it isn’t helpful for. While claims made by supplement manufacturers may be somewhat overstated, it’s undoubtedly true that most systems use vitamin C in the body. It helps produce collagen and is essential for wound healing. You need vitamin C to absorb iron properly and help ‘mop up’ free radicals in the bloodstream. Vitamin C benefits include better immune function, improved wound healing, clearer complexion, and higher energy levels.
Vitamin C deficiency symptoms
Virtually every organ is affected by a deficiency in vitamin C, from blood vessels and internal organs to skin and hair. If it’s not corrected through supplementation or a change of diet, a lack of vitamin C can eventually produce a serious medical condition called scurvy.
Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins for immune system function. Without it, people can’t fend off certain infections.
A lack of vitamin C can quickly make sufferers sluggish and fatigued. This is partly due to the critical role vitamin C plays in metabolizing iron. Without it, people can quickly become anemic. If the deficiency is allowed to progress, malaise and sluggishness can become a severe problem.
Vitamin C deficiency may first manifest in dull and dry skin, as the cells no longer regenerate a swiftly as they usually would. Those with a long-standing vitamin C deficiency can develop a condition known as keratosis pilaris (KP), which manifests as rough, bumpy ‘chicken’ skin. Vitamin C is crucial for young- and healthy-looking skin, as it is one of the main factors in retaining moisture within skin cells.
Hair can become dull, brittle, and lifeless without proper nutrition. A lack of vitamin C can also cause the cells in the hair follicles to start to die off. In the case of body hair, a lack of vitamin C can cause the hairs to grow in a corkscrew-like shape. Severe, long-term deficiencies can cause bright red spots around the hair follicles.
A lack of vitamin C makes nails weaker and more brittle. If the deficiency isn’t treated, the nails can become significantly deformed. They may become concave and develop a spoon-like shape, with pronounced lines and red discoloration.
Choosing a Vitamin C supplement:
As we become more educated in which supplements, we should take to improve our health, we learn that there is a quality difference in supplements. Some Vitamin C tablets use synthetic forms of the vitamin meaning that it creates very minimal impact in our bodies. That’s why Body Kitchen products are scientifically formulated when it comes to choosing the right sources. We’ve developed a potent and transparent Vitamin C formula to help your body get the right amount of Vitamin C and also the right sourcing.
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