Common Signs Of Vitamin C Deficiency That You Should Know

22.02.23 194

Vitamin C plays an important role in the formation of collagen, a hormone, necessary for the skeletal system and blood vessels to heal wounds and facilitate burn recovery. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant, supports immune function and helps with iron absorption. In the article below, Solife provides readers with common causes and signs of vitamin C deficiency today.

1. Why is the body deficient in vitamin C?

Ascorbic acid or vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin. For humans vitamin C is an essential vitamin, but humans cannot synthesize vitamin C on their own. So the only way to supplement vitamin C into the body is through diet or vitamin C supplements.


Up to 90% of vitamin C is consumed in the form of vegetables and fruits, for example, grapefruit, oranges, lemons, limes, potatoes, spinach, broccoli, red peppers and tomatoes. The lack of absorption of these foods through the diet is the most common cause of vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is also very sensitive to heat, boiling or overcooking has reduced the nutritional value of foods containing vitamin C..

In addition, because it is a water-soluble vitamin, there is very little vitamin C stored in the body. The source of vitamin C in the body is usually depleted after 4 to 12 weeks if one stops taking the vitamin.

2. What are the body’s symptoms of vitamin C deficiency?

In adults, symptoms of vitamin C deficiency develop weeks to months after being depleted of vitamin C. Here are some common vitamin C deficiency symptoms that you should be aware of.

2.1 Fatigue and poor mood

Fatigue and poor mood are the two earliest signs to recognize a lack of vitamin C in the body. This deficiency also affects their emotional state, making them hot-tempered and easily excitable. However, these signs also often disappear quickly, after only a few days of taking adequate amounts or within 24 hours of taking high doses of vitamin C.

2.2 Poor immune system


Vitamin C builds up inside different types of immune cells to help them fight infections and destroy disease-causing pathogens. Therefore, vitamin C deficiency can impair poor immunity. This is why when the body lacks vitamin C, you are more susceptible to diseases, especially common diseases such as flu, fever, cough, sore throat …

2.3 Easy bruising and slow wound healing

Easy bruising is a common sign of vitamin C deficiency. . When vitamin C is deficient, the body’s ability to produce collagen is reduced, making blood vessels weak and prone to rupture, causing blood to flow to the surrounding areas.


The slow production of collagen also makes it harder for wounds to form new skin cells. In cases of severe vitamin C deficiency, old wounds can ulcerate again, increasing the risk of infection.

2.4 Unusual weight gain

Vitamin C can help you fight obesity by regulating the release of fat from fat cells, reducing stress hormones, and reducing inflammation.


While weight gain is not necessarily due to vitamin C deficiency, it can be noticed after other factors have been ruled out.

2.5 Gums are often swollen and bleed


Red, swollen, and bleeding gums are other common signs of vitamin C deficiency. Without enough vitamin C, gum tissue becomes weakened, inflamed, and blood vessels bleed more easily. In severe stages of vitamin C deficiency, the gums may even appear purple and rotten. Eventually, teeth can fall out due to unhealthy gums.

2.6 Dry and damaged skin

Vitamin C keeps skin healthy by protecting it from the harmful effects of exposure to pollutants such as cigarette smoke and sun-induced oxidation. Low vitamin C consumption is associated with a 10% increased risk of developing dry, rough, and wrinkled skin.


When vitamin C levels are low, a skin condition called keratosis pilaris can develop. In this condition, rough “goosebump skin” forms on the back of the biceps, thighs or buttocks due to the accumulation of keratin inside the pores. Keratosis due to vitamin C deficiency usually appears after three to five months of not eating enough. This condition will be relieved after adequate vitamin C supplementation.

3. What to do when the body shows signs of vitamin C deficiency?

As soon as you notice signs of vitamin C deficiency in your body, you need to adjust your living habits so that your body can fully absorb this vitamin.

The first thing to do is to change your daily diet by adding foods rich in vitamin C to your meals to improve vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C-rich vegetables include asparagus, broccoli, tomatoes, celery, … fruits such as pineapple, apple, citrus fruits, grapefruit, tangerine, … are especially rich in vitamin C and effectively reduce stress.

In addition to changing foods, it is possible to use functional foods that provide vitamin C in the form of tablets, effervescent tablets, capsules, …

However, too much vitamin C will also cause many bad effects on your body. Excessive intake of vitamin C for the body can cause you to have stomach pain, diarrhea, this condition can lead to kidney stones. So, balance your daily mineral intake, and avoid overusing vitamin C supplements


Every abnormal sign of the body represents health instability, carefully observe to have the right methods to improve. Hopefully through the above article you have been able to recognize the common signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency today. Don’t forget to read other Solife articles to get more information and knowledge about health!


Trần Hoàng Uyên (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) là chuyên gia cấp cao với nhiều năm kinh nghiệm trong lĩnh vực dược phẩm. Tốt nghiệp cử nhân chuyên ngành Quản lý dược I tại Trường Đại học Y dược TP. Hồ Chí Minh và hiện đang công tác tại công ty dược phẩm. Với hơn 10 năm kinh nghiệm làm việc trong ngành dược, chị Hoàng Uyên là chuyên gia cộng tác tham vấn y khoa cho danh mục blog cũng như các nội dung liên quan trên Solife. (Tran Hoang Uyen (Senior Manager Pharmaceutical company) is a senior specialist with many years of experience in the Pharmaceutical field. She graduated Bachelor of Pharmacy Management I at the University of Medicine and Pharmacy at Ho Chi Minh City and is currently working for a pharmaceutical company. With more than 10 years of experience working in the pharmaceutical industry, Ms. Hoang Uyen is a medical consultant collaborator for content on Solife's website.)