Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin, which is essential for various functions and it is not produced or stored by the body, so it is important that the food contains adequate amount of it. It plays a vital role in heart, eyes, skin, and prenatal health and immunity. Long-term non-availability of vitamin C can lead to various symptoms, which though are not immediately threatening, can turn dangerous in the long run.
- Bruised skin: Easy bruising is one of the early symptoms of vitamin C deficiency. There could be capillaries which appear superficial and have an increased tendency to bruise and bleed. There could also be unexplained reddish purple marks on the skin in people who have low levels of vitamin C.
- Bleeding gums: Another major indicator of vitamin C deficiency is swollen gums that tend to bleed easily. This again is related to their role in collagen formation and if not identified and treated in the early phases, it can lead to severe gum inflammation, periodontal disease, and even loss of teeth.
- Slow wound healing: Vitamin C has an important role to play in connective tissue formation, and if there is less of vitamin C in the body, collagen formation is delayed. This can lead to prolonged and delayed healing of wounds, even simple ones like cuts and bruises. The added role of vitamin C as an immune booster also leads to reduced healing when there is vitamin C deficiency.
- Nosebleeds: Frequent unexplained nosebleeds is another sign of vitamin C deficiency. Reduced amounts of vitamin C make the capillaries fragile causing them to bleed easily.
- Dry skin: While weather does determine if the skin is dry or normal, vitamin C also does. The decreased levels of collagen can lead to an unhealthy skin which can turn red and can be dry and can also lead to keratosis pilaris, which is an accumulation of melanin pigments in the skin. Good amounts of vitamin D helps as a good anti-ageing agent and reduces wrinkles and retains moisture. It also has sun protective effects and antioxidant properties.
- Unexplained weight gain: Vitamin C plays a vital role in fat metabolism and therefore deficiency leads to weight accumulation, especially around the waist. It helps oxidise fat and so helps in weight regulation.
- Lowered immunity: Vitamin C deficiency affects the body’s susceptibility to infections, making it prone to more severe and frequent infections. People catching a common cold very frequently could be suffering from vitamin C deficiency.
- Emotional health: Vitamin C is also a mood regulator, so inadequate amount can lead to depression. Try eating a juicy orange and see yourself feeling better! If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a doctor and ask a free question.