Vitamin C Deficiency
June 08, 2021 | Farah Jassawalla

Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C,  also called ascorbic acid, is one of the vitamins that the body cannot produce on its own. Vitamin C is ingested throughseveral edibles. The diet of the human body contains vitamin C, which is essential for the healthy functioning of the body.

Natural Sources of Vitamin C

It is present in citrus fruit, like lemon, oranges, grapefruits, berries like blueberries and blackberries, melon and watermelon, and green vegetables like spinach, cabbage, broccoli, peppers, cauliflowers, and potatoes. Other than that, breakfast cereals contain artificial vitamin C. Also, milk and dairy products also contain vitamin C.

Uses of Vitamin C

This vitamin is needed for the healthy repair of the body tissues like skin, cartilage, bone and muscles, tendons, walls of blood vessels and various organs, etc. These foods contain vitamin C naturally in healthy amounts. So the intake of this food is very necessary for the healthy growth of the body.

The intake of this vitamin is different for different ages and sex. For example, pregnant or breastfeeding women need a higher amount of vitamin C in their diet.

Deficiency of Vitamin C

If the person’s diet does not contain enough vitamin C, their body shows multiple signs of its deficiency. The body is unable to repair itself and the person appears dull and unhealthy. As vitamin C is responsible for the formation of collagen in the body, the persistent lack of intake of this vitamin leads to a condition called scurvy. 

Signs and Symptoms

The most common risk factors for vitamin C deficiency are poor diet, alcoholism, anorexia, severe mental illness, smoking and dialysis.

The early symptoms of scurvy include fatigue, weakness, sore limbs and dull ache in them, while long term symptoms of scurvy may include changes in hair color, skin pigmentation, wrinkles on the face and hands, rough and bumpy skin, decreased red blood cells, easy bleeding from the skin, nose, and easy bruising, etc.

Another symptom of vitamin C deficiency includes a skin condition known as keratosis pilaris. In this condition, bumpy “chicken skin” forms on the back of the upper arms, thighs or buttocks due to a buildup of keratin protein inside the pores. Keratosis pilaris caused by vitamin C deficiency typically appears after three to five months of inadequate intake of vitamin C-rich foods or supplementation.

Other symptoms of vitamin deficiency include dry skin, hair fall and splitting hair, bones cracking when moving, joint ache, slow healing of wounds, pale or yellow skin coloration, weight loss, and tooth loss. Vitamin C deficiency can cause hair to grow in bent or coiled shapes due to defects that develop in the protein structure of hair as it grows.

If left untreated or misdiagnosed, its deficiency can also lead to shortness of breath, nerve problems, seizures or fever. It is a rare condition, however,  and happens only in extreme conditions such as poverty where the intake of food is scarce.


There is no heavy treatment for vitamin C deficiency. Doctors mostly recommend vitamin C pills and ingestion of food that contains vitamin C. You can acquire high-quality Vitamin C pills from Shifa4U online.

Vitamin C deficiency can be prevented easily by ingesting vitamin C-rich products. A balanced diet can do wonders in preventing vitamin C deficiency.



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Farah Jassawalla

Farah Jassawalla is a graduate of the Lahore School of Economics. She is also a writer, and healthcare enthusiast, having closely observed case studies while working with Lahore's thriving general physicians at their clinics.