Vitamin C deficiency

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 11.04.2020

All iLive content is medically reviewed or fact checked to ensure as much factual accuracy as possible.

We have strict sourcing guidelines and only link to reputable media sites, academic research institutions and, whenever possible, medically peer reviewed studies. Note that the numbers in parentheses ([1], [2], etc.) are clickable links to these studies.

If you feel that any of our content is inaccurate, out-of-date, or otherwise questionable, please select it and press Ctrl + Enter.

Hypovitaminosis C, a deficiency of vitamin C in a biological organism, can significantly affect a person's quality of life, since a large enough vitamin C deficiency can trigger the development of such a disease as scurvy.

Causes of the vitamin C deficiency

For the adult population, vitamin C deficiency is the most common type of vitamin deficiency. It is the low content of ascorbic acid (so called this vitamin) that brings the patient's body most discomfort and destruction.

The main causes of vitamin C deficiency, which most often provoke its lack:

  • Disturbance in the dosage or timing of acetylsalicylic acid.
  • The same applies to medicines, which are based on estrogens (female sex hormones), as well as long-term use of oral contraceptives.
  • Low amount in the diet of human plant products, rich in a given vitamin. This includes: strawberries, citrus, dog rose, beetroot, tomatoes, black currant, cabbage, potatoes, sea buckthorn, bell pepper, carrots, green onions and many other products.
  • Ignoring in their nutrition of meat products such as liver, brain substance and meat proper. But in this case, these bioproducts should not be treated thermally, for a long time and under a slightly ajar lid.
  • If the patient has a need for hemodialysis because of a certain pathology.
  • To provoke a vitamin deficiency with is capable of excessive craze for alcoholic beverages.
  • Hyperthyroidism is an endocrinological syndrome caused by hyperfunction of the thyroid gland.
  • The cause of vitamin C deficiency can be a violation of the absorption function of the mucous membrane of the gastrointestinal tract, which can cause intestinal upset (diarrhea) or if there is no hydrochloric acid (achlorhydria) in the gastric juice.
  • Disorders in the process of excretion of vitamin C from the body, due to the high speed of this process.
  • A number of chronic inflammatory diseases.
  • High demand for this vitamin in the period when a woman is waiting for a child, as well as during the feeding of a newborn.
  • Chronic stress condition.
  • Thyrotoxicosis is a condition in which there are too many thyroid hormones (thyroid) in the body for any reason.
  • Malignant neoplasm.
  • The resulting injury.
  • Burn injury of skin.
  • Consequences of surgical intervention.
  • Prolonged, debilitating body, diet.

trusted-source[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6], [7], [8], [9]

Symptoms of the vitamin C deficiency

If there is a deficiency in the body of a patient with ascorbic acid, he may have a number of negative factors that should not be ignored. After all, vitamin C deficiency can affect the formation of connective tissues, in the process of which he takes the most active part. The presence of the necessary amount of ascorbic acid in the human body contributes to an adequate process of iron absorption, as well as active healing of wounds and burns of different genesis. As well as vitamin E, ascorbic is characterized by high antioxidant characteristics.

There are following signs of vitamin deficiency:

  • When there is a shortage of this necessary vitamin in the human body, its protective forces are significantly reduced, which leads to the fact that this person is characterized by increased morbidity. I have not managed to cure one disease yet, as I have already "picked up" another.
  • The diseases themselves are more difficult and more prolonged than those with normal levels of vitamin C.
  • If this diagnosis concerns small children, they may lag behind in development from their peers, both in terms of growth and mental performance.
  • Decrease in the general tone of the patient.
  • The painfulness of "bone tissue", there are pains during movement.
  • Irritability or, conversely, a decrease in emotional activity, apathy.
  • Memory impairment.
  • The fragility of the vessels increases, which is fraught with the formation of hematomas in the subcutaneous, cutaneous and muscular tissues.
  • The gum begins to bleed.
  • Frequent bleeding from the nasal cavity.
  • The probability of developing caries increases.
  • Anemia or anemia is a blood pathology characterized by a deficiency of erythrocytes (red blood cells) and hemoglobin in the blood.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • The skin becomes dry.
  • Weight loss.
  • There is a change in heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Swelling of the joints can be observed.
  • With a high vitamin deficiency, scurvy is diagnosed, which, among other things, is characterized by a high degree of bleeding from the gums or vessels located in other tissues.
  • With such characteristics, the patient's body temperature may increase.
  • At a serious stage of scurvy on the patient's body, long ulcers that do not last for a long time begin to appear.
  • In the future, there is a complication of an infectious nature, which, in case of failure to provide proper care, can result in odontogenic sepsis and death.

Diagnostics of the vitamin C deficiency

In order to determine the disease, the diagnosis of vitamin C deficiency includes:

  • Analysis of patient complaints.
  • Visual examination of the patient by a specialist.
  • Biochemical blood test, which reveals vitamin C deficiency.

trusted-source[10], [11], [12], [13], [14], [15]

Who to contact?

Treatment of the vitamin C deficiency

First of all, a patient with this diagnosis needs to normalize his diet by introducing a sufficient number of foods rich in this vitamin. And as treatment of vitamin deficiency with includes ascorbic acid preparations.

For this purpose, the attending physician may assign ascorbic acid in the form of dragees or tablets. The drug is prescribed to the patient in a daily amount of 50 to 100 mg. A decoction of rose hips or tea with lemon will do the same.

Replenishing vitamin C deficiency, the cervicap preparation is administered to the patient orally along with the meal. The drug is released in the form of drops. In one drop of the drug is about 5 mg of ascorbic acid. For newborns and small patients, the drug is recommended before use, dilute with a small amount of water, juice, tea or enter into food. It is recommended that the recommended daily amount of the drug be divided into two to three doses.

If the drug is prescribed for the prevention of vitamin C deficiency, then to the newborns and toddlers up to one year the recommended dose is 25-40 mg of the drug, which corresponds to five to eight drops per day. Babies, whose age falls within the limits of two to eleven years, appoint 50 mg, which corresponds to ten drops per day. Adolescents, whose age falls within the limits of 12 to 17 years, appoint 75-100 mg, which corresponds to 15 to 20 drops per day.

But if the drug is used for medicinal purposes, the previously recommended figures increase two to five times, depending on the degree of shortage in the patient's body of vitamin C.

Do not prescribe this drug in case of hypersensitivity of the patient to ascorbic acid and / or other components of the drug.

All sorts of multivitamins are also used - a complex drug, which includes vitamin C for sure. To date, the modern pharmacological market is ready to provide a fairly long list of medicines for this therapeutic group. For example, such include ginvit, vitrum, gervital, biovital, vidayline-M, aerovit, beroka, hexavite, quadevite, genequit, supralin, undevit and many other vitamin complexes.

Vitrum is recommended for adults and teenagers who have already turned 12 one tablet after a main meal once a day.

Contraindication to the prescription of this medicine is an increased intolerance of the patient's body to the component components of the drug, as well as in the case of a tendency to allergic reactions or if there is hypervitaminosis A in the patient's history

Depending on the severity of the pathology, doctors divide this disease into three stages:

  • Stage I - insignificant deficiency of ascorbic acid. Therapy is performed on an outpatient basis. Ascorbic acid is prescribed either in the form of tablets, with a dosage as specified above, or, if the situation worsens, in the form of a 5% solution, is injected into the patient's intramuscular injection in a dosage of 1 or 2 ml. Together with this drug, a drug is also prescribed, of which vitamin P is a basic ingredient. For example, it may be quercetin, antistax, corvitin, venza, endothelon, calcium dobezilate, rutin and others.

Quercetin is assigned to such a patient in a daily dosage of 0.1 to 0.15 g. Contraindicated drug under consideration with hypersensitivity to quercetin and drugs with P-vitamin activity.

  • II stage - the average degree of vitamin deficiency in the patient's body. Treatment of vitamin C deficiency is carried out in a hospital. The patient is attributed a corrective diet, which must be present from 120 to 150 grams of protein per day. Preparations with the active substance in the form of ascorbic acid are prescribed at a rate of 0.5 g or more per day.
  • III stage - a severe stage of the disease (scurvy grade III). The nutrition is being adjusted, and the medicines with the active substance in the form of ascorbic acid are administered to the patient at a rate of 1.0 g or more per day. At the same time, at least a third of this amount should be administered to the patient parenterally.

In the case of severe disease, a high therapeutic effect shows a combination of 5% sodium ascorbate solution, which is taken in a volume of 1 to 2 ml, and a solution of glucose. This tandem enters the patient through the vein, which increases its effectiveness and reduces the time through which the expected therapeutic effect occurs.

To improve the patient's condition as soon as possible, 0.15 to 0.3 grams of medicines are added to the protocol of therapy, the main constituent of which is vitamin P, as well as 0.02 g of vitamin B1 preparations and 0.01 g of riboflavin (substances, actively involved in the processes of protein, carbohydrate and fat metabolism, in the visual function of the eyes and in the synthesis of hemoglobin).

The duration of treatment of vitamin C deficiency is, as a rule, about a month, but to maintain the level of ascorbic acid in your body, at the proper functional level, a person owes his entire life.

If the therapy is given to small children, it usually takes about a week for the child to receive a higher dosage allowed for his level, then the amount of medication injected is reduced, and the therapy also lasts about a month.


In the course of long-term clinical studies, it was established the average amount of ascorbic acid that a person needs to take a day to avoid this pathology:

  • If a person does not have health problems, his daily dosage of the vitamin in question is 0.1 g.
  • For women who are "in position" and bear their baby, the daily dosage of the vitamin is 0.4 g.
  • For women who are already feeding a newborn baby with breast milk, the daily dosage of the vitamin is 0.6 g.

The main prevention of vitamin deficiency with regards mainly nutrition. In the diet of any person should contain enough food that is rich in this vitamin. This is primarily fruits, berries and vegetables, as well as meat products, such as liver, brain substance and meat.

A person should lead an active and correct way of life, eliminating bad habits from it. It will not be superfluous in the spring, when the body has squandered its vitamin reserve over the winter, regularly practicing a monthly preventive reception of the vitamin complex.

trusted-source[16], [17], [18], [19], [20], [21]


The answer to this question largely depends on the severity of the pathology, and its duration at the time of diagnosis. If the first symptoms of vitamin C deficiency appeared more than a year ago, the prognosis of vitamin deficiency is favorable, but not completely satisfactory, since it will not be possible to completely restore the patient's body in this case. During this time, there have been such changes that do not lend themselves to regress.

If the case is severe and during the treatment for three months to get a therapeutic effect was not possible, then in the future it is unlikely it is possible. The patient will have to settle for the rest of his life with constant supportive therapy.

If the pathology was insignificant and the medical help came on time, the forecast of vitamin C deficiency will be unequivocally successful.

Constant diets, stressful conditions and other negative factors can lead the human body to reduce its protective forces, when it remains unprotected to numerous infections and diseases of another kind. And the fault is that vitamin C deficiency in the human body. Its lack reduces the resistance of the body, makes a person sluggish and apathetic. Therefore, in order to ensure that the quality of your life is not affected, you should pay more attention to your body's signals and, at the first signs of vitamin deficiency, take a preventive course of therapy. But still the main defense of your body is a full-fledged, rich in vitamins and minerals, nutrition.


You are reporting a typo in the following text:
Simply click the "Send typo report" button to complete the report. You can also include a comment.