Vitamin C plays a vital role in keeping the body healthy. It acts as an antioxidant and protects the immune system, reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, keeps the eyes healthy, keeps your skin looking youth as well as provides a number of other important health benefits. Vitamin C, however, is not something your body can produce on its own, so you have to rely on getting the proper amount from other sources. For this reason, many suffer from vitamin C deficiency. 

Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency



Bruising is expected when you fall or hit any part of your body. These injuries cause the blood vessels to break near the skin's surface. While this is typical when you have an injury, however, if you have excessive bruising or unexplained bruises, this can be a good indication that you are not getting enough vitamin C.


Wounds heal slowly

If it takes a long time for your cuts or scrapes to heal, this can be a result of a lack of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps collagen form which allows new connective tissues to bind wounds. It also gives your immune system a boost, allowing your body to be able to heal and recover from injuries much faster.


Poor oral health

Not getting enough vitamin C puts you at a greater risk for various gum diseases. If you notice your gums are irritated, swollen or bleeding, this could be due to not consuming enough vitamin C. On a daily basis, the gums will turn over at least 20 percent of its collagen. Since vitamin C helps create this collagen, it is necessary to consume the proper amount of vitamin C to maintain a healthy mouth. 


Dry skin

Rough and dry skin is often due to a lack of collagen. You may also notice bumps on the skins around the upper arms, thighs, face and butt. Getting enough vitamin C will help improve your skin health and can even help counter the negative effects of the sun's rays, acting as an anti-aging agent. People who consume enough vitamin C tend to have healthier younger looking skin.


Damaged hair and nails

Your hair should look shiny with little splitting and nails should be strong without feeling brittle or breaking easily. Dry, damaged hair and weak nails can be a sign of vitamin C deficiency, because when you do not consume enough vitamin C, the body is usually sending it to more vital organs and tissues first.


Pain or swelling in the joints

Vitamin C is necessary to keep the joints in the body healthy and functioning properly. Individuals who lack enough vitamin C are often more prone to developing arthritis. If you notice your joints are aching more or notice swelling in the joints, this can be a clear sign that you need to include more vitamin C in the diet.



Fatigue, which can be a sign of a more serious health issues, is also one of the first signs of needing to take more vitamin C. Individuals who do not consume enough vitamin C will find themselves easily exhausted and a drop in their energy levels. 



There are a number of reasons why not getting enough vitamin C can have negative effects on your mood. Whether it is because of your lack of energy or because you are getting sick more often, you will notice you become more irritable and impatient when you do not get the proper amount of vitamin C.


Increase in infections

Vitamin C is necessary to keep the immune system healthy and function properly. When you do not have enough vitamin C in your body, your immune system will suffer greatly. You will become sick more often and your risk of various infections will increase.



Vitamin C helps keep the blood vessels in the nose strong. When you do not get enough vitamin C, these vessels are more prone to damage and can be easily broken. Regular nosebleeds can be a common sign that you have vitamin C deficiency


Long Term Effects

Not getting enough vitamin C for long periods of time can result in more serious health problems and issues. Some of these conditions include:

  • Disease of the gallbladder

  • High blood pressure

  • Stroke

  • Cancers

  • Atherosclerosis

How to Diagnose the Problem

If a lack of vitamin C in your diet is suspected, your doctor will want to know more details about your regular diet. Blood tests may be done to help measure how much vitamin C you have in the body.

Additional blood work may be necessary to help rule out or discover other deficiencies in your body. Since vitamin C is needed to help the body absorb iron, it is possible you might have an iron deficiency as well.

Lack of vitamin C can also cause thinning of the bones so you may need to have x-rays done to take a closer look at the bones in your body.

Treatment for Vitamin C Deficiency

To help increase your vitamin C intake, you want to eat more fruits and vegetable. Citrus fruits tend to contain the highest amounts of vitamin C, but almost all fruits and vegetables will contain some vitamin C. Top foods to consider include:

Foods High in Vitamin C

Vitamin C in 100 g



Yellow Bell Peppers


Black Currant
















Aside from eating foods rich in vitamin C, you can find multivitamins, supplements, and tablets that contain vitamin C at many of your local convenient stores. Most of these contain more than the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, which might sound good but can shave negative effects.

What's more, while you can increase the amount of vitamin C, it can be hard to increase the rate at which your body absorbs the vitamin C. It can be best to consult your doctor to better determine how you can increase both your intake and absorption of vitamin C.


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