Most of us believe that Vitamin C deficiencies are a thing of the past. However, while less common in modern times, Vitamin C deficiencies can indeed still occur and when they do, we may experience scurvy and other signs and symptoms. Vitamin C deficiency affects roughly 7% of adults in the US. Most common risk factors for vitamin C deficiency are poor diet, alcoholism, anorexia, severe mental illness, smoking, and dialysis.
Vitamin C has many functions within the body but most importantly it can prevent the development of some cancers and illnesses. It has roles in bolstering the immune system as well as in ridding the body of harmful free radicals, making it a protective micronutrient above all other duties.
Vitamin C helps:
- Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
- Heal wounds and form scar tissue
- Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth
- Aid in the absorption of iron
Recommended Daily Intake
Because vitamin C is water soluble, our bodies will not store extra from day to day. In order to compensate for this, we need to consume adequate vitamin C on a daily basis. Some sources suggest there is an upper limit to vitamin C, while others say that higher doses can be therapeutic. Ask your doctor or healthcare professional before consuming the recommended upper limit.
|Birth to 6 months||40 mg||40 mg||-||-|
|Infants 7-12 months||50 mg||50 mg||-||-|
|Children 1-3 years||15 mg||15 mg||-||-|
|Children 4-8 years||25 mg||25 mg||-||-|
|Children 9-13 years||45 mg||45 mg||-||-|
|Teens 14-18 years||65 mg||75 mg||80 mg||115 mg|
|Adults||75 mg||90 mg||85 mg||120 mg|
Smokers should increase their intake of vitamin C because tobacco reduces the absorbancy of vitamin C.
Signs and Symptoms of Deficiency
Having sufficient vitamin C is a marker of overall health, so general unwellness can be indicative of a vitamin C deficiency. Below are some of the symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
- Rough, bumpy skin
- Corkscrew shaped body hair (may not be obvious because these hairs are more likely to be damaged and break off)
- Bright red hair follicles
- Spoon-shaped fingernails with red spots or lines
- Dry, damaged skin
- Easy bruising
- Slowly healing wounds
- Painful, swollen joints
- Weak bones
- Bleeding gums and tooth loss
- Poor immunity
- Persistent iron deficiency anemia
- Fatigue and poor mood
- Unexplained weight gain
- Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress
Citrus fruit is a commonly known source of vitamin C but there are other sources that contain even more vitamin C than oranges and other citrus fruits. The manner in which you prepare the fruits and vegetables also affects how much vitamin C you can absorb via digestion in the gut. Raw fruits and raw/lightly cooked vegetables provide the most bioavailability.
- Organic acerola cherries
- Organic sweet red pepper
- Organic strawberries
- Organic papaya
*Choose organic for highest concentration of nutrients, antioxidants, and lowest pesticide exposure.
Healthy Beings' Strategies to Address Deficiency
Healthy Beings offers supplements and services that can mitigate and address deficiencies you might be struggling with. We also offer recommendations beyond our current available inventory. You will find suggestions below that can help prevent a deficiency. If you are not sure if you have a deficiency, contact us HERE and we will answer questions you might have.
Maintain Optimal Vitamin C Levels!
- Vitamin C Supplements:
- Health Coach Appointment
- Physician Appointment