Shouldn’t You Know the 14 Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency?
The Mega Benefits of Vitamin C
The benefits of Vitamin C are numerous. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is an important nutrient that helps the body function at its best. Found in a variety of foods and dietary supplements, Vitamin C supports several biological functions. This includes the maintenance and repair of bones, teeth and cartilage, and the ability to heal wounds.
Special Note – since Vitamin C is an antioxidant, it can also neutralize the free radicals that damage cells at a genetic level.
by Greg Montoya
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
Interestingly, while it’s uncommon to experience a Vitamin C deficiency in developed countries, it can also be caused by a poor diet – one that lacks healthy ingredients like a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit. So overly restrictive diets and disorders like anorexia may also contribute to Vitamin C deficiency. Additionally, other possible Vitamin C deficiency factors include underlying medical conditions that have an effect on nutrient absorption, like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency
Scurvy is a well-known disease caused by Vitamin C deficiency. Other indications of this deficiency include:
- Chronic pain
- Weak bones
- Prolonged wound healing
- Poor immune system
- Shortness of breath
- Bleeding gums
- Mental health issues
- Weight gain
- Dry/rough skin
- Bruising easily
- Spoon-shaped fingernails
Reduces the Risk of Common Colds
Multiple controlled studies have shown that consistently taking vitamin C tablets, and not just when you get sick, shortens the length of the cold. Vitamin C might not keep you from catching a cold, it can reduce its duration and severity.
Studies suggest that Vitamin C plays a role in relieving mental health problems. Researchers at Japan’s Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, and Ochanomizu University, theorized that vitamin C levels can affect a person’s risk of depression, anxiety and anorexia.
Helps Fight Cancer
Studies have shown that Vitamin C administered intravenously in high doses, can be selectively toxic to cancer cells. Therefore, when Vitamin C breaks down it produces hydrogen peroxide, a reactive oxygen variety. As a result, cancer cells are far more prone to damage and destruction when confronted with high amounts of hydrogen peroxide.
The right amount of Vitamin C may have the same effect as walking on an important protein referred to as endothelin-1. This protein promotes the constriction of the small blood vessels. A study introduced at the 14th International Conference on Endothelin involved 35 overweight, obese or sedentary adult participants. The study noted that those who took a daily dose of time-released vitamin C (500 milligrams) lowered endothelin-1 related blood vessel constriction as much as those who took daily walks.
Helps Prevent Age-Related Macular Degeneration
The University of Mississippi Medical Center reported that 500 milligrams of Vitamin C, consumed together with other antioxidants including vitamin E (400 IU), beta carotene (15 milligrams) and zinc (80 milligrams), may help protect against age-related macular degeneration. Because this nutrient combination includes high levels of zinc, you’ll want to consult with a medical professional before taking these supplements together.
Vitamin C regulates the synthesis of collagen, structural protein. Collagen helps protect the skin by filtering out toxins in the environment and other pathogens. Note too, that collagen is also a structural component of tendons, ligaments, cartilage and blood vessels.
Additional Benefits of Vitamin C
Vitamin C has been shown to boost immune system function, improve gum health and may help prevent Pre-Eclampsia (the leading cause of pre-mature births). Moreover, Vitamin C may treat allergy-related conditions like asthma, hay fever, and eczema. Plus, it may help improve vision for those suffering from uveitis (a type of eye inflammation).
Vitamin C Rich Foods
Here’s a quick list of foods that are rich in Vitamin C to keep handy:
- Chili peppers
- Grapefruit juice
- Orange juice
- Red, green or yellow peppers
- Sweet potato
So basically it’s pretty easy to enjoy the benefits of Vitamin C just by simply eating a variety of “Vitamin C” rich foods, along with following a healthy, balanced diet.
Taking vitamin C supplements is also safe for most people in recommended amounts. Just remember, high doses of vitamin C (more than 2000 mg a day for adults) could potentially cause some other problems, like diarrhea, nausea or kidney stones.
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