Vitamin C deficiency could affect the repair of tissues in the body. The powerful vitamin forms an important protein used to make skin, ligaments and blood vessels. It aids in the absorption of iron, repairs and maintains bones, teeth and cartilage, help with constipation and helps the body heal by forming scar tissue to heal wounds. While a vitamin C deficiency may be rare in developed countries it still affects some. A major sign that you are lacking in C is how your skin heals after a wound and you might need to take a supplement. Having a bruise for a long period after an injury and bruising easily are signs you might have vitamin C deficiency.
The skin also takes a long time to heal a wound and is a strong indicator that you need to up your vitamin C.
The most common risk factors for vitamin C deficiency are poor diet, alcoholism, anorexia, severe mental illness, smoking and dialysis.
The NHS describes the functions of vitamin C saying it helps to protect cells and keep them healthy, helps maintain healthy skin and helps with bodies ability to heal.
The NHS said: “Lack of vitamin C can lead to scurvy. Mild deficiencies may occur in infants given unsupplemented cows’ milk and in people with poor or very restricted diets.”
Signs you may have vitamin C deficiency:
- Bright red hair follicles
- Rough and bumpy skin
- Dry skin
- Skin that bruises easily
- Wounds that take a long time to heal
- Weak bones
- Bleeding gums
- Unexplained weight gain
- Poor immunity
Vitamin C is important for your immune function and research has also shown that if you have good levels of vitamin C when you exercise you will burn off 30 percent more fat than if you had low levels of vitamin C.
Leading nutritionist, Doctor Marilyn Glenville
Unabsorbed vitamin C has an osmotic effect on the digestive system which means it pulls water into your intestines making your stools softer and easier to pass.
Vitamin C is used to help soften stools and aid in constipation.
Leading nutritionist, Doctor Marilyn Glenville, said: “Try adding a supplement of 500mg twice a day and increase by 500mg at a time until your stools are manageable,soft and comfortable.”
Doctor Glenville continued: “Vitamin C is important for your immune function and research has also shown that if you have good levels of vitamin C when you exercise you will burn off 30 percent more fat than if you had low levels of vitamin C.
“When you are under stress, your body uses more vitamin C so it is important to have good levels.”
Good sources of vitamin C:
- Oranges and orange juice
- Red and green peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Experts recommend adults should be taking around 40mg of vitamin C a day but you should be able to get all the vitamin C you need from your daily diet, provided you are following a well-balanced diet with the right amount of fruits and vegetables.
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