When you think about Vitamin C, it’s likely that your mind goes straight to chugging a glass of orange juice at the first sign of the sniffles. We’ve always been told that Vitamin C can keep our immune systems healthy, but nobody ever talks about what happens if we aren’t getting enough of it?
It turns out that this powerful antioxidant goes far beyond a cure for the common cold.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, can be found in certain foods as well as dietary supplements and helps to keep your skin, bones, cartilage, and blood vessels in peak condition. It plays a huge role in helping your body grow, heal, and repair itself by boosting the immune system and aiding the synthesis of collagen. It’s commonly used to treat and prevent Scurvy, which is a severe Vitamin C deficiency.
But in order to understand our body’s relationship with Vitamin C, we must first understand Vitamin C’s relationship with collagen.
Vitamin C and Collagen
Collagen (you know, the stuff your dermatologist is always talking about?) is the main structural protein in the body’s connective tissues that make up your muscles, tendons, ligaments, skin, and bones, basically keeping you all in one piece. It’s responsible for the maintenance and repair of most of your tissues, meaning it’s essential in ensuring your body can heal itself after physical trauma. Pretty important stuff we’re talking about here!
Collagen is produced naturally in the body with the help of, you guessed it- Vitamin C.
Basically, Vitamin C and collagen work together to keep your body in tip-top shape.
Lack of Vitamin C means a lack of collagen, and a lack of collagen can lead to a number of issues that affect the way we look, the way we feel, and our overall health and wellness. But unfortunately, the body can’t produce Vitamin C on its own, and as a result, many people are unaware that their bodies are deprived of this essential nutrient.
But, how do we know if we’re in need of a little more C?
Luckily, our bodies are well-equipped with glaring signs to show us when things aren’t functioning correctly. Here are some things to look out for:
Signs of Vitamin C Deficiency
1) Dry, rough or bumpy skin
Oftentimes an early indicator of Vitamin C deficiency can be found by simply observing your skin.
As we said, when your body is low on Vitamin C, it hinders your ability to produce collagen, which keeps your skin tight and firm. Therefore, low collagen can result in dry, rough skin or bumpy “chicken skin” on the upper arms, thighs, or buttocks.
If you’ve been lacking motivation or feeling extra tired and moody lately, you might just need some Vitamin C.
Also an early warning sign, fatigue can present itself quite quickly. The good news is, that it’s also one of the first symptoms relieved when Vitamin C is reintroduced into the body.
3) Muscle and Joint Pain
Your muscles and joints are made up of collagen-rich connective tissues. Therefore, a lack of Vitamin C and a subsequent decrease in collagen can lead to the deterioration of these tissues, which can become quite painful.
This pain and discomfort can eventually become intense enough to cause difficulty in movement, depending on the severity and duration of Vitamin C deficiency.
4) Easy bruising and slow healing
When our bodies lack collagen, it can result in the weakening of blood vessels near the surface of the skin, making them more likely to rupture and cause bruising. That’s right- you might not be as clumsy as you thought!
Remember that collagen keeps your blood vessels strong and resistant to trauma, and without Vitamin C to assist in collagen synthesis, the body cannot keep up with its most basic physical defences.
As mentioned, Vitamin C regulates the production of collagen, and collagen is essential in your body’s ability to heal itself. So when you’re running low on these, you might notice cuts, bruises, and wounds sticking around longer than usual.
Note that bruising easily is an early symptom of Vitamin C deficiency, while slow healing is a more advanced sign which usually does not occur for many months into a deficient condition.
5) Poor immunity
This one might sound familiar – have you ever wondered why we associate Vitamin C with treatment for the common cold?
While this is still one piece of a much larger immunity puzzle, your immune cells need a reserve of Vitamin C to destroy invading pathogens and keep the body free of disease. As such, Vitamin C is a vital component of a well-functioning innate and adaptive immune response.
6) Bright red hair follicles
Now we’re getting into Scurvy territory (not just for pirates, after all). A warning sign of severe Vitamin C deficiency can show itself in the form of “perifollicular haemorrhages.” This is when the blood vessels are weakened from a lack of collagen, causing them to rupture beneath your hair follicles, leaving a collection of bright red spots across the skin, and sometimes the growth of corkscrew hairs.
Luckily, this can be cleared up in just a couple of weeks with proper Vitamin C consumption.
7) Discoloured, bleeding gums
Without the proper dose of Vitamin C, the tissue of your gums can begin to weaken, causing inflammation and bleeding. And in advanced cases, the gums may even appear discoloured or rotten.
Without strong gums to keep your teeth protected, tooth decay is also a high-risk complication of severe Vitamin C deficiency-Yikes!
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms above, don’t panic! Depending on the severity of your deficiency, symptoms can begin to improve as quickly as 24 hours to a few months of reintroducing a healthy amount of Vitamin C into your system.
Sources of Vitamin C
You can find Vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables. If you are concerned about whether you’re getting all the nutrients you need to function at your highest, addressing your diet is a great place to start.
But if you find trouble meeting these needs through diet alone, implementing a Vitamin C supplement into your regimen is a great solution. That said, it’s important to note that your body can actually have too much Vitamin C as well, so make sure your chosen supplement is at an appropriate dose (no more than 2,000mg a day).
At The Clean Living Company, we offer the highest quality, naturally sourced Vitamin C supplements available. Manufactured in the UK and certified under Good Manufacturing Processes (GMP), getting the proper dose of Vitamin C can be as easy as taking one tablet a day! Just one of our gelatin-free and vegan-friendly tablets provides the optimal dose of Vitamin C.
For maximum results, pair it with our collagen-based products!
We pride ourselves in operating with integrity and prioritizing value and transparency. All of our products are backed by science and are presented with crystal clear information. After all, what you put into your body has a direct relationship with how you feel!