Your body doesn’t make or store vitamin C, so you have to eat it every day. If you eat a balanced diet you should cover the 75mg recommended for women or 90mg recommended for men, as that is not even one full cup of orange juice.
If you are not getting enough vitamin C, however, you will notice some rather serious symptoms that can point to the shortfall. Here is what to look out for.
Wounds that don’t heal
When you get hurt, levels of vitamin C in your blood and tissue go down. Your body needs it to make collagen, a protein that plays a role in each stage of repairing the skin. If your wounds take a long time to heal you may be lacking in vitamin C.
Bleeding gums, nosebleeds or bruises
Vitamin C keeps your blood vessels healthy, and it helps your blood clot. Collagen is also essential for healthy teeth and gums. One study found that people with gum disease, who ate grapefruit for two weeks, noticed their gums didn’t bleed as much.
Early research has found a link between low levels of vitamin C and higher amounts of body fat, especially belly fat. This vitamin may also play a role in how well your body burns fat for energy.
Dry, wrinkled skin
Vitamin C helps you have smoother, softer skin and protects your body from free radicals, which break down oils, proteins and even DNA. Without it, you may notice your skin becoming much drier.
Getting sick more often
Not having enough vitamin C weakens your immune system, leaving you more vulnerable and making it harder to recover from various illnesses. There’s some evidence that vitamin C can help protect you from illnesses such as pneumonia and bladder infections. It may even lower your odds of heart disease and some types of cancer.
If you have age-related macular degeneration (AMD), it may get worse faster without vitamin C and other antioxidants and certain minerals.
For more information visit WebMD.
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Health disclaimer: This article contains general information about health issues and is not advice. For health advice, consult your medical practitioner.