The Analyst™

Comprehensive diagnosis of your symptoms

Healthy

  Vitamin C Deficiency  
 
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Signs, symptoms and indicators | Conditions that suggest it | Contributing risk factors | Recommendations

 


 

 
 

Signs, symptoms & indicators of Vitamin C Deficiency:
 
 
Symptoms - Head - Mouth/Oral  Gums that bleed easily
 Bleeding gums are sometimes due to scurvy (vitamin C deficiency), but this is a rare condition nowadays.
 
 

Conditions that suggest Vitamin C Deficiency:
 
 
Circulation  Bruising Susceptibility

Musculo-Skeletal

  Muscle Pains (Myalgia)
 To test the effects of vitamin C in preventing muscle soreness, researchers at Western States Chiropractic College gave 3gm of vitamin C to students beginning 3 days before exposing them to the stress of exercise. The vitamin C group developed significantly less muscle soreness than did the control group. [Pain 1992;50: pp.317-21]

  Torn, Weak, or Relaxed Ligaments or Tendons
 Ligament, tendon, cartilage, muscle, bone, and teeth all require vitamin C for proper healing and maintenance. Many pathological conditions are attributable to abnormal or insufficient collagen synthesis, such as scurvy and vitamin C deficiency.

Uro-Genital

  Eclampsia / Preeclampsia
 It was found that a dietary intake of vitamin C of less than 85mg per day was associated with an increased risk of preeclampsia in a study of 109 women with preeclampsia. [Epidemiology 2002;13(4): pp.409-416]
 
 

Risk factors for Vitamin C Deficiency:
 
 
Environment / Toxicity  Manganese toxicity

Lab Values - Chemistries

  (Highly) elevated CRP level
 April 2004. Researchers from the UC Berkeley, reported on a study that examined the effect of antioxidant supplements on CRP levels. Researchers divided the subjects into three groups; one group received 515 mg of vitamin C each day, one
group received an antioxidant "cocktail" combining vitamin C, alpha-lipoic acid, and vitamin E (a mix of alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol and mixed tocotrienols), and a third group received a placebo.

Researchers took blood samples from each subject before the two-month supplementation period, and again when the test
period was finished. Analysis of the samples showed that CRP levels rose slightly for those in the placebo group. Subjects who took the antioxidant mix experienced a small decrease in CRP (just under 5 percent). But in the vitamin C group, CRP dropped an average of nearly 25%.

Medications

  Birth Control Pill / Contraceptive Issues
 Vitamin C levels are lowered by OC use which interferes with the metabolism of ascorbic acid.

Supplements and Medications

Counter-indicators:
  Multiple vitamin supplement use
  Vitamin C supplementation

Symptoms - Food - Beverages

  (High) coffee consumption
 Research has shown that drinking coffee causes a significant loss of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, and zinc.
 
 

Recommendations for Vitamin C Deficiency:
 
 
Diet  Caffeine/Coffee Avoidance
 Research has shown that drinking coffee causes a significant loss of several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B and C, calcium, iron, and zinc.

Vitamins

  Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
 
 


KEY
Weak or unproven link
Strong or generally accepted link
Proven definite or direct link
Strongly counter-indicative
Very strongly or absolutely counter-indicative
May do some good
Likely to help







GLOSSARY

Antioxidant:  A chemical compound that slows or prevents oxygen from reacting with other compounds. Some antioxidants have been shown to have cancer-protecting potential because they neutralize free radicals. Examples include vitamins C and E, alpha lipoic acid, beta carotene, the minerals selenium, zinc, and germanium, superoxide dismutase (SOD), coenzyme Q10, catalase, and some amino acids, like cystiene. Other nutrient sources include grape seed extract, curcumin, gingko, green tea, olive leaf, policosanol and pycnogenol.

Calcium:  The body's most abundant mineral. Its primary function is to help build and maintain bones and teeth. Calcium is also important to heart health, nerves, muscles and skin. Calcium helps control blood acid-alkaline balance, plays a role in cell division, muscle growth and iron utilization, activates certain enzymes, and helps transport nutrients through cell membranes. Calcium also forms a cellular cement called ground substance that helps hold cells and tissues together.

Cartilage:  Specialized fibrous connective tissue that forms the skeleton of an embryo and much of the skeleton in an infant. As the child grows, the cartilage becomes bone. In adults, cartilage is present in and around joints and makes up the primary skeletal structure in some parts of the body, such as the ears and the tip of the nose.

Collagen:  The primary protein within white fibers of connective tissue and the organic substance found in tendons, ligaments, cartilage, skin, teeth and bone.

CRP:  C-reactive protein. A sensitive measure of inflammation in the body.

Epidemiology:  The study of the causes and distribution of disease in human populations.

Gram:  (gm): A metric unit of weight, there being approximately 28 grams in one ounce.

Iron:  An essential mineral. Prevents anemia: as a constituent of hemoglobin, transports oxygen throughout the body. Virtually all of the oxygen used by cells in the life process are brought to the cells by the hemoglobin of red blood cells. Iron is a small but most vital, component of the hemoglobin in 20,000 billion red blood cells, of which 115 million are formed every minute. Heme iron (from meat) is absorbed 10 times more readily than the ferrous or ferric form.

Metabolism:  The chemical processes of living cells in which energy is produced in order to replace and repair tissues and maintain a healthy body. Responsible for the production of energy, biosynthesis of important substances, and degradation of various compounds.

Milligram:  (mg): 1/1,000 of a gram by weight.

Mineral:  Plays a vital role in regulating many body functions. They act as catalysts in nerve response, muscle contraction and the metabolism of nutrients in foods. They regulate electrolyte balance and hormonal production, and they strengthen skeletal structures.

Placebo:  A pharmacologically inactive substance. Often used to compare clinical responses against the effects of pharmacologically active substances in experiments.

Preeclampsia:  A toxic condition developing in the last 4 or 5 months of pregnancy that is characterized by a sudden rise in blood pressure, excessive weight gain, generalized edema (especially hands, ankles, feet and face), albuminuria, severe headache, and visual disturbances. It used to be called toxemia of pregnancy. Some rise in blood pressure is normal during pregnancy, but in preeclampsia the rise is dramatic and is accompanied by other changes. The most notable of these are high concentrations of protein in the urine and a tendency to swell up, especially in the face and hands. This can cause women with preeclampsia to put on several pounds in a few days.

Scurvy:  A disease that is caused by a lack of vitamin C in the diet. It is marked by weakness, anemia, edema, spongy gums, often with open sores in the mouth and loosening of the teeth, bleeding in the mucous membranes, and hard bumps of the muscles of the legs.

Vitamin C:  Also known as ascorbic acid, Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant vitamin essential to the body's health. When bound to other nutrients, for example calcium, it would be referred to as "calcium ascorbate". As an antioxidant, it inhibits the formation of nitrosamines (a suspected carcinogen). Vitamin C is important for maintenance of bones, teeth, collagen and blood vessels (capillaries), enhances iron absorption and red blood cell formation, helps in the utilization of carbohydrates and synthesis of fats and proteins, aids in fighting bacterial infections, and interacts with other nutrients. It is present in citrus fruits, tomatoes, berries, potatoes and fresh, green leafy vegetables.

Vitamin E:  An essential fat-soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant, helps protect cell membranes, lipoproteins, fats and vitamin A from destructive oxidation. It helps protect red blood cells and is important for the proper function of nerves and muscles. For Vitamin E only, 1mg translates to 1 IU.

Zinc:  An essential trace mineral. The functions of zinc are enzymatic. There are over 70 metalloenzymes known to require zinc for their functions. The main biochemicals in which zinc has been found to be necessary include: enzymes and enzymatic function, protein synthesis and carbohydrate metabolism. Zinc is a constituent of insulin and male reproductive fluid. Zinc is necessary for the proper metabolism of alcohol, to get rid of the lactic acid that builds up in working muscles and to transfer it to the lungs. Zinc is involved in the health of the immune system, assists vitamin A utilization and is involved in the formation of bone and teeth.