Deficiency of vitamin C was known to ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Romans since ancient times. Scurvy is the oldest disease that is known to mankind. It is caused by vitamin C deficiency. British sailors used to cure scurvy by drinking lemon juice.
Aside from this, vitamin C is best known in day to day life for its action in preventing and treating cold. In fact vitamin C is considered as most important antioxidant water soluble vitamin. The good source of vitamin C is citrus fruits and vegetables.
There are innumerable healing properties of vitamin C; it is needed for repair and maintenance of various tissues in the body which includes skin, cartilage, bone, teeth, blood vessels, etc.
But before that it is necessary to know the diseases and its symptoms produced by vitamin C deficiency.
Symptoms Of Vitamin C Deficiency
Deficiency of vitamin C occurs when there is lack of vitamin C in diet. Since vitamin C is water soluble, faulty cooking habits and inadequate intake of vegetables and fruits are the major reasons of dietary deficiency of vitamin C. Certain group of people are more vulnerable to vitamin C deficiency, they are, alcoholic and drug addicts, people who are dieting, low socio-economic group.
People suffering from Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis where the food is not absorbed properly may suffer from vitamin C deficiency.
Smokers are at a greater risk of vitamin C deficiency as in them, vitamin C is quickly utilized.
Prominent deficiency symptoms of vitamin C include:
- Tiny hemorrhagic spots on skin.
- Bruises on skin after mild trauma.
- Weakness and lethargy. There is marked limitation to perform strenuous work.
- Pain in muscles and collection of fluid in joints.
- Postural hypo-tension (low blood pressure on sudden rising from sitting position).
- Tenderness of bones particularly in children in lower leg.
- Recurrent cough and cold
- Bleeding from gums
- Bleeding from nose
- Depression and hysteria
- Wounds heal poorly
- Splitting of hair
- Weight loss
If vitamin C deficiency remains for prolonged period, it may result in a condition called scurvy.
Healing Properties Of Vitamin C Or Ascorbic Acid
- Bed sores: Vitamin C has been strongly implicated in wound healing due to its role in synthesis of collagen. People confined to bed have greater risk of bed sores, especially when vitamin C is deficient. Intake of vitamin C will help the healing of bedsores.
- Infertility in males is caused when the sperms clump together. Low intake of vitamin C increases genetic damage to sperm cells. This could lead to birth defects.
- People suffering from recurrent colds benefit from vitamin C intake as it increase the immune level of the body.
- Vitamin C is water soluble and has abundant amount of antioxidant value. Antioxidants engulf the free radicals and thus it reduces the risk of suffering from various diseases.
- Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant in the lungs and it protects it from the damage caused due to cigarette smoke and air pollution to some extent.
- Vitamin C levels are found to be low in patients infected with H. pylori infection.
- Since it is a potent antioxidant, it is advocated in the prevention of cancer and cardiovascular diseases. It helps to lower the concentration of cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood.
- One of the important healing properties of vitamin C is it augments the absorption of iron. Thus it is useful in patients suffering from iron deficiency anemia. It should be given with iron supplements.