Vitamin C Deficiency and Poisoning

Vitamin C deficiency and scurvy are rare in developed countries like Singapore. Moreover, overt deficiency symptoms occur only if vitamin C intake falls below approximately 10mg/day for many weeks. Although through a varied diet, most people should be able to meet the Vitamin C Required Dietary Amount (RDA) or at least obtain enough to prevent scurvy, elderly, alcohol and drug abusers, food faddists, and people with malabsorption and certain chronic diseases might not obtain sufficient vitamins

Some of the signs and symptoms of deficiency includes: fruits, vitamin C, vitamin C fruits

  • Anemia
  • Gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) & Bleeding gums
  • Decreased ability to fight infection and wound-healing rate
  • Dry and splitting hair
  • Easy bruising
  • Nosebleeds
  • Possible weight gain because of slowed metabolism
  • Rough, dry, scaly skin
  • Swollen and painful joints
  • Weakened tooth enamel
  • Scurvy

Studies consistently show that smokers and passive smokers have lower plasma and leukocyte vitamin C levels than non-smokers, due in part to increased oxidative stress. For this reason, smokers and passive smokers would need 35mg more vitamin C per day than non-smokers.

Health Risks from Excessive Vitamin C

Though it is rare to to get too much Vitamin C, amounts greater than 2,000mg/day are not recommended because high doses can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea. Eating multiple servings of fresh fruits and vegetables every day will likely be sufficient for the daily recommended dietary requirement. The RDA for Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) for Singaporean men aged between 19 – 65 is 105mg/ day and 85mg/day for women.

A theoretical concern is that high Vitamin C intakes might cause excess iron absorption since non-heme iron absorption is enhanced by Vitamin C. In individuals with hereditary hemochromatosis, chronic consumption of high doses of vitamin C could exacerbate iron overload and result in tissue damage.

You might want to consider increasing these Top 10 foods that are highest in Vitamin C to your diet:

top 10 foods rich in vitamin C, vitamin C

Find out more about What is Vitamin C, and its benefits and effects on our body and Why didn’t Eskimos get scurvy despite their traditional meat-and-fish diet?

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