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Vitamin C Deficiency: Signs, Causes & How to Increase Intake

Spotting vitamin C deficiency is important to maintaining a healthy lifestyle and avoiding the symptoms that come with deficiency. Your body needs vitamins and minerals to function normally, and one of these is vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency can cause dry skin that easily bruises and more if left unresolved. That's why it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough of this essential vitamin so health problems from not getting enough vitamin C don’t occur. Look to remedy the unwanted signs of vitamin C deficiency with supplements and eating sources of vitamin C.

Table of Contents:

What is Vitamin C Deficiency?

Vitamin C deficiency is a condition which occurs when the levels of vitamin C in your body are lower than they should be. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vital vitamin which supports healing, as well as tissue and immune health. The vitamin is vital to your bone and teeth health, and to the absorption of essential iron. You can see why making sure you are intaking the right levels is essential to support a healthy lifestyle and avoid medical issues. If someone has low levels of vitamin C, they may be in danger of developing vitamin C deficiency and the health concerns which accompany it. Taking vitamins and minerals in addition to your diet, such as vitamin C supplements, may be recommended to someone with vitamin C deficiency.

Vitamin C has a number of benefits and roles within the body. It keeps your cells and bones healthy and helps to heal your skin when you get cuts and wounds. It also has a role in supporting the cartilage and blood vessels to stay healthy. Vitamin C can help to maintain the normal function of the immune system. In addition, vitamin C is vital to keeping you energised. Not intaking enough vitamin C may cause a lack of energy and leave you feeling weak and fatigued. The good news is that there are signs to look out for to identify vitamin C deficiency.

8 Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency

Spotting the signs of vitamin C deficiency could help you avoid being deficient in vital nutrients. Looking out for these signs is essential to avoid having continued low vitamin C intake. Some of the common symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include:

  1. Weak bones - Vitamin C plays a vital role in bone formation so a low intake can be linked to increased risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Children’s bones can be more seriously affected because their skeletons are still developing. Children’s vitamins can help to promote the right intake of vital nutrients in growing children.
  2. Dry skin - Healthy skin contains large amounts of vitamin C in its upper layers. Vitamin C also plays a role in collagen production - which keeps skin plump. Not having enough vitamin C could contribute to dry, damaged skin. Taking skin supplements can support your skin in getting the right nutrients it needs.
  3. Spoon shaped fingernails - Concave nails that are thin and brittle can be a sign of vitamin C deficiency. Red spots and lines on the nails can also be a sign you need more vitamin C. Taking a skin, hair and nail supplement could be a way to improve the stability and health of your nails.
  4. Bumpy skin - Vitamin C plays a role in collagen production. If your levels are too low, keratosis pilaris can develop, which causes small acne-like bumps to form on the skin.
  5. Corkscrew shaped body hair - In vitamin C deficiency, due to development of protein, body hair can be affected. Though these hairs are difficult to detect because they are more fragile and likely to fall out.
  6. Red hair follicles - Vitamin C plays a role in the health of blood vessels. When you are deficient these vessels can become damaged. This can cause red spots to form around hair follicles.
  7. Easy bruising - Bruising is caused by minor damage to blood vessels in the skin. Poor collagen and weak blood vessels is a symptom of vitamin C deficiency that can cause bruising in small dots or over large areas of the body.
  8. Slow healing wounds - Due to vitamin C’s role in collagen, not getting enough of the nutrient can cause wounds to heal more slowly. This is a less common symptom that doesn’t usually appear unless someone has been deficient for many months.

You should seek medical advice from your GP or other health professional if you think you have these signs of vitamin C deficiency. A medical professional may arrange a test to identify whether you have low nutrient levels or vitamin deficiency. Always consult medical advice before taking supplements.

How To Identify Deficiencies

Identifying deficiencies is essential to avoid health risks and medical issues. Making sure you are providing your body with the vital nutrients it needs to keep you healthy. Ensuring your nutrients levels are at their optimal levels is easy with at home Health Test Kits.

With BetterYou, you can easily check whether you are at risk of deficiencies with:

Using these tests can identify your risk of deficiency and in turn decrease your risk of health conditions relating to lack of vital vitamins and minerals. Checking your likelihood of developing a deficiency is important to prevent unwanted health issues and help you increase your nutrient intake if necessary.

What Causes Low Vitamin Levels?

Vitamin C deficiency, also known as scurvy, is caused by low levels of this vital nutrient in your body. Low vitamin and mineral levels are caused by low nutrient levels in your diet. In addition, not taking supplements to boost levels can cause vitamin C deficiency. Not eating enough vital nutrients can cause a lack of energy, so it’s important to eat well to stay healthy and avoid the cause of deficiency.

Sources of Vitamin C

To help increase your intake of vitamin C, you can eat more food and drink rich in this vital nutrient. Some food and drink that contains high amounts of vitamin C include:

  • Citrus fruit, such as oranges and orange juice
  • Peppers
  • Strawberries
  • Blackcurrants
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Potatoes

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Not eating enough vegetables like these can cause vitamin C deficiency, or scurvy, to develop. To remedy scurvy, you can make sure these foods are included in your diet. You should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. According to the NHS, adults aged 19 to 64 need 40mg of vitamin C a day.

Are You at Risk of Vitamin C Deficiency?

Although anyone can have low levels of vitamin C, there are some people who may be more at risk of vitamin C deficiency. The people more at risk of vitamin C deficiency include those who:

  • Pregnant - Your body needs more of the vital nutrients in order for healthy growth and development of your little one. Not intaking enough vitamins and minerals during this time could cause vitamin C deficiency. For some, taking pregnancy supplements can help nutrient intake while pregnant.
  • Do not eat enough fruits and vegetables - Because vitamin C is found in fruits and vegetables, those that don’t eat enough of these foods are more at risk of vitamin C deficiency.
  • Eat very little food - Treatments or medications which can cause a loss of appetite, as well as eating disorders, may lead to a lack of vitamin C.
  • Smokers - This can reduce the ability of your body to absorb vitamin C because of the vitamin’s role in blood vessels. Smokers use up vitamin C more quickly than non-smokers.

The people on this list could be more at risk of developing vitamin C deficiency. Always seek medical advice from your GP if you think you may be at risk of vitamin C deficiency and before taking supplements.

How To Increase Vitamin C Intake with BetterYou

You should be able to get enough vitamin C through your diet by eating more of these foods. Should you need to increase your intake of vitamin C, you may consider taking a vitamin C supplement such as a Vitamin C Oral Spray. Vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, so you need it in your diet every day. This daily spray uses intraoral spray technology to support your immune system with vitamin C.

With this easy-to-use, pill-free supplementation method, encouraging your vitamin C intake has never been easier. When sprayed into the mouth, this oral spray is an effective alternative to tablets and capsules. With a great tasting cherry and blueberry flavour, you can increase your nutrient uptake and help reduce your risk of vitamin C deficiency.

Pill-free supplements from BetterYou

Our range of vitamin oral sprays and topical magnesium supplements provide a fast, effective alternative to traditional tables and capsules. Scientifically formulated to deliver maximum nutrient absorption, with minimum fuss, to help you feel and live better.

Take control of your health today with our magnesium supplements to aid natural sleep, vitamin D supplements to boost your immunity and our at-home health checks to get a clear picture of your nutrient levels.

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