Vitamin C deficiency: symptoms, causes and remedies

Vitamin C deficiency: symptoms, causes and remedies

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There C vitamin it is an essential component for our well-being. Necessary for the health and repair of various body tissues, including skin, bones, teeth and cartilage, the persistent lack of vitamin C in one's diet can lead to a clinical condition called scurvy, heralded by several symptoms that soon we will review.

Fortunately, there are several treatments that can be adopted to reverse this situation, such as vitamin C supplements, or the adoption of a diet that is rich in this vitamin, not produced by our body.

What is Vitamin C?

The vitamins they are a group of substances that the body needs to maintain health. Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid and, as already mentioned, it cannot be produced by the human body, thus being an essential component of one's diet.

Among other things, the C vitamin it is needed to generate a substance called collagen, which is necessary for the health and repair of various tissues of the body, including skin, bones, ligaments, tendons, blood vessels, teeth.

Among the foods that are richest in vitamin C we briefly mention:

  • oranges, grapefruits, lemons;
  • berries such as black currants, strawberries, raspberries, raspberries, blueberries;
  • melon and watermelon;
  • Kiwi;
  • vegetables such as spinach, green and red peppers, tomatoes, cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and potatoes.

Some foods such as cereals are enriched with vitamin C. In other words, vitamin C is added to them which, however, is also found in good quantities in fresh milk, fish and offal such as liver and kidneys.

But be careful: the way in which food is treated also influences the amount of vitamin C in the diet: cooking fruit and vegetables reduces the vitamin C content by about a third.

How Much Vitamin C Should We Take?

L'recommended daily intake of vitamin C in the diet depends on age and sex. The recommendations may also vary from one country to another but, as a rule, the following table can be used as a reference:

  • children between the ages of 1 and 10 need 30 mg of vitamin C per day;
  • 11-14 year olds need 35 mg of vitamin C per day;
  • children over 15 years of age and adults need 40 mg per day.

What is vitamin C deficiency?

There vitamin C deficiency in one's body is determined by the lack of sufficient amounts of vitamin C in one's diet.

Over time, a lack of vitamin C means that new collagen can no longer be formed, and this causes various tissues in your body to begin to break down and the health and repair of the organism to be affected.

A persistent - chronic deficiency of vitamin C, usually over a period of about three months or more, can lead to a disease known as scurvy.

What are the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency

The first symptoms of vitamin C deficiency I'm:

  • fatigue and weakness;
  • muscle and joint pain;
  • tendency to bruising.

Other symptoms may include:

  • dry skin;
  • discoloration of the gums;
  • unexpected bleeding of the gums;
  • nosebleeds;
  • slow wound healing;
  • infection problems;
  • accumulations of blood in the joints, causing pain in this area;
  • weight loss.

Left undiagnosed and treated, vitamin C deficiency can also lead to wheezing, nerve problems, fever and seizures. Hemorrhage within the brain and around the heart can cause death in some people with untreated vitamin C deficiency. However, this event is extremely rare.

How to diagnose vitamin C deficiency

Your doctor may suspect a vitamin C deficiency after sharing some information with your patient and especially after listening to the symptoms you have. A blood test can be done to measure vitamin C levels and can help confirm the first diagnosis.

The doctor may also suggest that the patient have other blood tests to check for other deficiencies in their diet. For example, vitamin C is also necessary for the absorption of iron from food. Therefore, iron deficiency often occurs in people who are deficient in vitamin C.
X-rays or scans may also be suggested to examine the health of the bones.

Read also: Vitamin D deficiency, causes and consequences

What is the treatment for vitamin C deficiency?

The treatment for vitamin C deficiency is to replace the vitamin C that is missing in one's diet with specific supplements and with a diet rich in this vitamin.

It is therefore possible that the doctor directs his patient to a dietician. It should also be noted that generally, after a certain amount of time shared with your doctor, vitamin C supplements can usually be stopped. However, it is important to continue to follow a diet rich in vitamin C even after stopping the supplements in order to avoid becoming deficient in this vitamin again.


Finally, remember that generally people with vitamin C deficiency recover completely in a short time. Once treatment to replace vitamin C is started, symptoms usually improve rapidly within days or weeks.

We also share with our readers that vitamin C deficiency can be prevented by making sure you have a healthy, balanced diet that contains plenty of fruits and vegetables, including those that are high in vitamin C.

Video: What Happens If Your Vitamin C Is Low? (June 2022).