Ahhh, C, you marvelous vitamin. You’re in nearly every type of fruit and many vegetables. You’ve been poked, prodded, researched, analyzed and advertised for decades. Everyone knows you. Yes, vitamin C, you’re so ubiquitous, sometimes we take you for granted. Until flu season hits. Then you become popular all over again. The kicker is … we humans don’t make our own C. So we really, really need you every single day. And not just during flu season. We need you, C, in order to avoid common signs of vitamin C deficiency.
You See, You DO Need C
You may know vitamin C for its powerful antioxidant and immune-boosting properties. But it’s so much more. For example, it helps you:
- Produce collagen, an important protein that’s a major component of your connective tissue, including your skin and joints.
- Metabolize protein, needed for growth and repair of tissues.
- Synthesize L-carnitine, an amino acid that plays a role in the production of energy.
- Synthesize certain neurotransmitters, which help to mobilize the brain and body for action.
- Digest nonheme iron, found in plant-based foods, dairy and eggs.
If you’re not eating the recommended five vitamin C-packed fruits and vegetables a day (for example, citrus fruits, broccoli and strawberries), you may develop symptoms of vitamin C deficiency.
Signs You Need More Vitamin C
However, vitamin C deficiency is not limited to the development of scurvy, a nutritional disease. In fact, signs of C deficiency can begin to appear within a month of little or no C intake. Other signs of deficiency are much more prevalent.
Common Signs of C Deficiency
- Fatigue and Poor Mood: These are two of the earliest symptom of C deficiency. If you’re feeling unusually tired and cranky, step up your intake of C.
- Swollen, Bleeding Gums: Sore gums are also among the early signs of C deficiency. In time, your teeth may start to become loose.
- Painful, Swollen Joints: Vitamin C plays an important role in collagen production. As C deficiency progresses, your body produces less collagen, causing your joints to become painful.
- Rough, Bumpy Skin: When C levels are deficient, keratosis pilaris, the development of harmless small bumps on the upper arms, thighs or buttocks, can occur.
- Poor Immunity: Vitamin C accumulates inside certain immune cells to support a healthy immune response. Severe deficiencies can compromise your immune system.
Who Needs C More?
Don’t be fooled. We all need vitamin C. However, the following groups are prone to C deficiency and should increase their intake:
Smokers and Passive Smokers: Have less vitamin C in their plasma and leukocytes due to oxidative stress.
People with Limited Food Variety: The elderly, homeless and people on limited budgets or limited access to fresh produce are often deficient.
Infants Fed Evaporated or Boiled Milk: May develop a deficiency because milk has little vitamin C and heat destroys it. Breast milk and infant formula contain adequate amounts.
People with Malabsorption Problems and Chronic Illnesses: May include people undergoing medical treatments or those with digestive disorders that do not properly absorb nutrients from foods.
This C Has Staying Power
Most vitamin C supplements are derived from ascorbic acid, a highly acidic form that can be difficult to digest and absorb. American Health’s award-winning Ester-C, on the other hand, contains calcium ascorbate, a buffering agent, and added citrus bioflavonoids*, which have two major advantages over regular C:
- Ester-C is easier to digest
- Ester-C stays in your system longer, for up to 24 hours
In fact, a study to determine the bioavailability of Ester-C versus regular vitamin C demonstrated that Ester-C produced significantly higher amounts of vitamin C in leukocytes than regular C 24 hours after it was ingested.
Ester-C’s unique, chemical-free, buffering process neutralizes pH, making it non-acidic and gentle on the stomach.
American Health Ester C comes in a variety of strengths including 500 and 1,000 mg capsules. It is also available in 250 mg chewable, orange-flavored wafers and 1500 mg crystal powder.
If you’re looking for convenience, try Ester-C Effervescent powdered drink mix in handy single-serve packs. These tasty fizzy drinks are packed with 1,000 mg of Vitamin C and electrolytes plus B vitamins to support energy metabolism. And best of all, you have your choice of two flavors: Natural Orange and Natural Lemon-Lime.
* Chewable wafers do not contain bioflavonoids.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease.