Vitamin C

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) :

vitamin C is one of the Water soluble vitamins which is available in our daily diets along with other vitamins and minerals. It is a good anti-oxidant and boosts up our immune system and is used in treating certain types of cancers. It also helps in maintaining the strength of connective tissue by increasing collagen formation. Its is a best vitamin facilitating in wound healing.

Foods rich in Vitamin C:

1)Citrus fruits like lemon, oranges, amla (Indian gooseberry).

2)Non-citrus fruits like papaya, kiwi, pineapple, and strawberries are wonderful sources of this water-soluble vitamin.

3)Vegetables like Broccoli, brussels sprouts and cauliflower.

What causes Vitamin C deficiency?

1)Decreased intake of citrus fruits

2)In conditions like iron deficiency, smoking, irritable gut syndrome, diseases inflicting fever, thyrotoxicosis, surgery, and burns.

3)In chronic alcoholism cases and elderly or advanced age groups absorptive capacity decreases

Daily limit of vitamin C intake:

As per the NIH (National Institute of Health) guidelines, the daily allowance is

  1. For male- 90mg per day
  2. For Female- 75mg/day
  3. For Pregnant women- 85mg/day
  4. For Breastfeeding women- 120mg/day

Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency:

1)Symptoms include  weakness, irritability, fatigue, weight loss, joint pain, and muscle pain.

2)Decreased vitamin will lead to scurvy which is characterized by swollen, purple and spongy gums, cuts and hurt at the corners of the mouth, bruises, dry and scaly skin, dry and brittle hair and damaged hair follicles.

3)Scurvy in infants results in loss of appetite, body pain, impaired weight gain, impaired bone growth, anemia, and irritability.

4)Other manifestations are anemia, delayed wound healing, and frequent infections.

Treatment with Ascorbic Acid:

Supplements:

For adults, a dose of 100-500 mg 3 times on a daily basis is prescribed for two weeks or till the signs disappear. Treatment is followed by diet modification.

For infants, treatment is determined by the specialist based on the condition which includes improved diet, which includes breastfeeding and fortified formulas.

Smokers should take 100-120 mg supplement per day on an everyday basis to stop deficiency.

Pregnancy and lactating women should take the supplements as per the doctor’s advice

-Dr.Bhavani Sagar Surampally

 

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