8 Health Effects if You don’t have Enough Vitamin C

Vitamin C Health Importance, Importance Roles and Benefits, Deficiency Related Diseases, Causes of Prohibition, Toxicity, Food Sources and FAQ

What is Vitamin?

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is a water-soluble vitamin derived from glucose metabolism. It acts as the reductant agent required for collagen fiber synthesis through hydroxylation of proline and lysine. It protects the body from damage caused by free radicals. 

health vitamin C

People cannot synthesize ascorbic acid due to lack of enzymes called gulonolactone oxidase. Therefore we need to take it through our diet. The concentration of plasma and leukocytes reflects the gradual diet and body accumulation levels of this vitamin. 

Health Importance of Vitamin C

Foods with high levels of vitamin C include tomatoes, potatoes, amla and lemon fruits such as lime, orange, etc. 

The current recommendation for daily intake of vitamin C is 90 mg/d for men and 75 mg/d for women. Patients with chronic diseases such as cancer or diabetes or smokers need more doses of vitamin C in their normal diet. Lack of ascorbic acid increases the risk of Scurvy.

The following article discusses the importance of Vitamin C in the human body and other related but important things you must know.

Also Read: 6 Vital Roles and Importance of Vitamin A in the Human Body

What Vitamin C do for you?

Vitamin C, also known as Ascorbic acid, is essential for the formation, development and repair of all the tissues in the body. It is involved in many functions of the body, including- 

  • Collagen formation, 
  • Iron absorption,
  • Proper functioning of immune system, 
  • Wound healing, 
  • Cartilage, bone and dental maintenance.

Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants that protect the body from damage caused by harmful molecules called ‘free radicals’, as well as toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke. Free radicals can contribute to the development of health conditions such as cancer, heart disease and arthritis.

Vitamin C is not stored in the body (excess is drained), so excessive consumption of vitamin C is not a concern. But it is important not to cross the safe upper limit of 2,000 mg a day to avoid stomach problems and diarrhea.

Water soluble vitamins should be included in diet regularly to maintain healthy levels. Eat vitamin C rich fruits and vegetables raw, or cook them with minimal water so that the nutrients of this vitamin are not destroyed in the water.

Vitamin C in both form- food and pills is easily absorbed, and can increase the absorption of iron when both are consumed together.

Vitamin C deficiency is relatively rare, and is primarily seen in malnourished adults. In extreme cases, this can lead to Scurvy – characterized by weakness, anemia, injury, bleeding, and loosening of teeth.

Health Benefits of Vitamin C intake

  1. Stress

Vitamin C deficiency is associated with many stress related diseases. It is the first nutrient to be reduced in drinkers, smokers and obese. And since vitamin C is one of the nutrients sensitive to stress, keeping a balanced level of vitamin C in the body can be an ideal sign for overall health.

Also Read: 10 Effective Ways to Fight Anxiety Disorder Problem

  1. Cold

When it comes to common colds, vitamin C is not a cure, but some studies show that it can help prevent more serious complications. Taking vitamin C in cold fever shows good effects, which can reduce the risk of developing more complications such as pneumonia and lung infections.

  1. Stroke

Although the research was contradictory, a study by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people with the highest concentration of vitamin C in the blood had a 42% lower risk of stroke than those with the lowest concentration. The reasons for this are not clear. But one thing became clear that people who eat a lot of fruits and vegetables have high levels of vitamin C in their blood.

  1. Skin Aging

Vitamin C affects cells inside and outside the body and its antioxidant properties can benefit in terms of aging. People who take vitamin C have fewer skin problems like wrinkles, dryness and aging of skin. In addition, some studies have shown temporary treatment with vitamin C to reduce skin wrinkles.

Moreover, vitamin C can also act as an act of improving macular degeneration, reducing inflammation, reducing the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease.

Effects of Vitamin C toxicity

For adults, the recommended daily amount of vitamin C intake is 65 to 90 mg, and the upper limit is 2,000 mg. While too much vitamin C intake through diet is unlikely to be harmful, excessive doses of vitamin C supplements can lead to-

Remember, for most people, a healthy diet provides enough of vitamin C.

Effects of Vitamin C Deficiency

  1. Scurvy

Before the 1700s, this potentially deadly disease was a major problem for the sailors. Today, it is relatively rare but possible if you only consume 10 mg/day or less of vitamin C. People with scurvy have problems like loose teeth, cracked toenails, joint pain, brittle bones, and corkscrew body hair. When you increase vitamin C intake, symptoms begin to heal in a day, and usually it heals within 3 months.

  1. Reduced Eyesight

If you have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it can rapidly deteriorate due to lack of vitamin C and other antioxidants and certain minerals. Getting enough vitamin C from food can be helpful in preventing cataracts, but more research is still needed to better understand that link between this vitamin and the disease.

  1. Poor Immune System

Since vitamin C has several functions related to your immune system, its deficiency can make you sick and make it difficult to recover. There is some evidence that vitamin C can protect you from diseases such as pneumonia and bladder infections. It can even reduce your risk of heart disease and some types of cancer.

Also Read:Immune System of Human Body

  1. Tired Feeling

In a very small study, 6 out of 7 men with low vitamin C levels said they felt tired and irritable. This indicates a link, although other factors may play a role. Another study by 141 office workers found that giving them vitamin C makes them feel less tired within 2 hours. The impact then continued throughout the day.

  1. Weight gain

Initial research has found a link between low levels of vitamin C and high amounts of body fat, especially abdominal fat. This vitamin can also play a role in how well your body burns fat for energy. In general, vitamin C deficiency can make you gain weight.

Also Read: 12+ Effective Ways to Fight Obesity and Related Problem

  1. Dry Wrinkled skin

People who eat a healthy diet with plenty of vitamin C have smooth, soft skin. Perhaps because vitamin C is an antioxidant, it can protect the skin from free radicals. These free radicals break down the natural oils, proteins and even DNA of the skin.

  1. Slowed Wound Healing

When you get injured, your blood and tissues are reduced in vitamin C levels. This vitamin is required to make collagen in the body. Collagen is a protein needed by the body in every stage of skin repair. Also, vitamin C helps neutrophils (a type of white blood cell that fights infection) work well. 

  1. Gum and Nose bleeding, Bruises

Vitamin C keeps your blood vessels healthy, and it helps in blood clotting. Collagen is essential for healthy teeth and gums.  Vitamin C helps in collagen formation in the body.

Who can have Vitamin C deficiency?

Vitamin C deficiency can usually occur if you have low vitamin intake through food or its needs increase in the body or the body cannot absorb it properly. People at risk of inadequate vitamin intake include people from the following groups:

  • Elderly person
  • People with alcohol use disorders, anorexia, or cancer
  • Practicing food fads
  • Those with presumed food allergies
  • Receiving unsupplemented parental nutrition
  • Those on a limited diet are secondary to inflammatory bowel diseases, gastrointestinal reflux, or whipple disease
  • Those who smoke tobacco products
  • People taking drugs such as aspirin, indomethacin, oral contraceptives, tetracycline, and corticosteroids.
  • People with kidney failure due to water soluble vitamin C discharge during dialysis
  • People with interleukin-2 treatment complications of metastatic renal cell carcinoma
  • People receiving liver transplants

Also Read:9 Effective Ways to Reduce Health Impacts of Gastritis

Foods that are Rich in Vitamin C

Fruits and vegetables are good sources of vitamin C, and 90% of daily intake in the general population comes from these sources. Fruits may have a distinct range of ingredients between species, but citrus fruits, kiwi, mangoes, and vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, and chillies are all rich sources of vitamin C. As the qualities of vitamin C degrades or gets destroyed during cooking and other preservative processing, thus preparation procedures should be taken into consideration when estimating the diet of vitamin C.

A total of 5-9 fresh, least processed, or frozen fruits and vegetables are estimated to be equivalent to 200 mg of vitamin C per day. The presence of vitamin C in food items other than fruits and vegetables is usually meant to be added as a preservative in processed foods to protect them from the secretion.

Areas where vegetation is rare, such as arctic regions, people traditionally rely on alternative sources of vitamin C, such as medicinal herbs (pine needles, and herbal teas and tinctures from rose hips and tree barks) and animal organs, such as raw liver and whale skin.

Who should not take Vitamin C?

Vitamin C supplementation is prevented in blood disorders such as Thalassemia, G6PD deficiency, sickle cell disease, and hemochromatosis. 

Avoid supplementing this vitamin immediately before or after angioplasty. 

Diabetics should take vitamin C supplements with care as it increases blood sugar levels.

Vitamin C should be used carefully in oxalate nephropathy or nephrolithiasis as acidification by ascorbic acid increases the chances of precipitation of cysteine, urate and oxalate stones.

Also Read: Vital Importance of Vitamin B for Human Body

Conclusion

The above article discusses the information related to vitamin C and its health importance. These data are reliable source based. Approach the doctor for more information and any problems related to vitamin deficiency or toxicity.

Also Read: Vitamin C Health importance (Assamese)

Sources: NCBI Book, NCBI Article

FAQ

1) Why is vitamin C beneficial for our body?

A- Regular inclusion of vitamin C in the diet can help you avoid various diseases. Vitamin C protects you against the following problems:

  • Poor immune system 
  • Cardio-vascular disease
  • Prenatal health problems
  • Tooth decay and gum disease
  • Eye disease
  • skin wrinkling.

2) What is ferulic acid and is it important for my vitamin C?

A- Ferulic acid is another antioxidant that helps in boosting vitamin C strength and stabilizes both vitamin C and E. The combination of vitamin C, E, and ferulic acid provides 8 times more protection against environmental damage.

3) Is vitamin C a naturally occurring diuretic?

A- Vitamin C has a diuretic effect. It is much less noticeable when taking naturally occurring vitamin C. But when vitamin C supplements are taken, it is known to act as a diuretic. It is recommended to increase the intake of water to stay hydrated due to this extra fluid loss.

4) What is the prediction of vitamin C deficiency?

A- People suffering from vitamin C deficiency usually get full recovery. Once the treatment begins, the symptoms will decrease within days or weeks.

5) What is vitamin C toxicity?

A- Vitamin C can give false negative stool guaiac results and is rarely associated with deadly cardiac arrhythmia in patients with iron overload.

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