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Signs & Symptoms of Vitamin C Deficiency:
- Dry and splitting hair
- Inflammation of the gums (gingivitis)
- Rough, dry, scaly skin (hyperkeratosis)
- Easy bruising and slow healing
- Histamine elevations
- Easy bruising
- Spontaneous nosebleeds
- Weakened enamel of the teeth
- Swollen and painful joints
- Gallstone formation
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Weight gain (due to metabolic slowing)
- Weight loss
Vitamin C has been shown to be beneficial in the following conditions:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis
- Arthritis, especially osteoarthritis
- Recovery from surgery
- Multiple Myeloma
- Certain immuno suppressed states, supports immune system function and
- killing function of certain white blood cells called phagocytes
- Bone health (osteoporosis, osteopenia, etc.)
- May help reduce cholesterol and blood pressure
- Prevention of cataracts and macular degeneration in combination with other
- Dementias and depression
- Gum disease (gingivitis)
- Slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease
- Allergy related conditions
- Reducing the adverse effects of sun exposure
- Alleviating dry mouth, especially related to medications that cause dry mouth
- Healing of burns and wounds
Drugs/Medications that deplete or interfere with Vitamin C:
- Aspirin and other NSAIDS
- Birth control pills (oral contraceptives and hormone replacement)
- Corticosteroids and glucocorticoids
- Furosemide (Lasix), and other diuretics such as caffeine
- Heparin and coumadin (blood thinners)
Laboratory testing to detect Vitamin C deficiency:
- Lymphocyte functional tests and plasma tests commonly used for Vitamin C status, but the reliability is in question. No definitive test exists that consistently and reliably detects vitamin C deficiency.
- High: Acercola cherries, broccoli, brussel sprouts, collards, guava, rose hips, black currant
- Moderate: Cabbage, spinach, citrus fruits, strawberries, cauliflower, chives, green peppers (jalapenos), red peppers, watermelon, tomatoes, kiwi, mango, cranberries, potatoes, winter squash, raspberries, blueberries, pineapple
- Shils ME, et al, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease 9th Edition. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 1999.
- Garrison R Jr, Somer E. The Nutritional Desk Reference 3rd Edition. Keats, 1995.
- Kirschmann GJ, Kirschmann JD. Nutrition Almanac 4th Edition. McGraw Hill,1996.
- Wardlaw GW, Insel PM, Seyler MF. Contemporary Nutrition Issues & Insights. Mosby, 1992.