Vitamin C or L-ascorbic acid is one of thirteen essential vitamins our bodies require to function and perform everyday tasks. It is mainly found in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons etc. While most animals produce Vitamin C in their bodies, our bodies are not equipped to produce vitamin C so, we need to regularly take in vitamin C for our bodies to perform bodily functions.
The Importance of Vitamin C
Vitamin C helps in the biosynthesis of collagen, L-carnitine, and various neurotransmitters. Collagen plays a prominent role in wounding healing. It is also a vital physiological antioxidant that regenerates more antioxidants such as alpha-tocopherol or Vitamin-E. Vitamin C negates the harmful effects of free radicals, which can cause cancer, heart ailments and Arthritis. Vitamin C improves the human body’s immune function and helps absorb the iron found in plant-based foods, such as nonheme iron. It helps the human body to fight viruses and infections, like pneumonia and lung infections. Vitamin C also helps in reducing wrinkles and helps your skin look younger which is a reason why dermatologists always recommend you to incorporate vitamin C in your regular diet.
Harmful Effects of Vitamin C Deficiency
As our bodies do not produce vitamin C on their own, we need to include it in our daily diet and failing to do so may result in various health complications like-
- Skin ageing
- Rough skin
- Abnormalities in the growth of body hair
- Easy bruising and excessive bleeding
- Swollen joints, which can lead to Arthritis
- Weak bones
- Gum and teeth problems
Vitamin C Deficiency – Treatment and Diet
The best treatment for vitamin C deficiency is dietary supplements and a vitamin C rich diet.
If you want to increase the Vitamin C level in your body through food, you should consume fruits and vegetables like orange, kiwi, broccoli, tomato, cantaloupe, cabbage, cauliflower, potato, spinach and green peas.
You can also increase the Vitamin C level in your body through dietary supplements. Most dietary supplements contain ascorbic acid, which is considered the equivalent of fruits like oranges and vegetables like broccoli. Sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate are other types of Vitamin C.
There are different recommendations for different age groups. Your dietician or your kid’s paediatrician can recommend optimal dosage for you and your child.
Vitamin C – Effects on Skin
Almost all of the skincare products we use contain vitamin c in some form or the other. As mentioned earlier, dermatologists often recommend following a diet rich in vitamin C because it is hugely beneficial to our skin. It is an antioxidant that helps in neutralising free radicals. Vitamin C also protects the skin from ultraviolet rays emitted from the sun. Vitamin C also decreases melanin production, which is responsible for skin discolouration and causes hyperpigmentation and dark spots.
While it is true that Vitamin C is one of the most important vitamins a human being needs, over intake of Vitamin C may reduce its importance.
Since Vitamin C is known to have low toxicity, overuse of this vitamin can result in diseases like diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, nausea, gastrointestinal problems. It may also increase the risks of cardiovascular diseases in postmenopausal women. Moreover, since Vitamin C increases nonheme iron absorption, it can cause tissue damage.
Hence, before deciding what amount of Vitamin C is appropriate for you, you should conduct a few tests and consult a dermatologist.
Read about more deficiencies and their solutions
Regency Health is an all-in-one healthcare facility that contains state-of-the-art laboratories and dermatologists who can chart out the best diet for improving your health. The specialists can guide you on the right dosage of Vitamin C. Contact Regency now for a healthier lifestyle.