Vitamin C is already well-known for its health benefits since the beginning of the 20th century, when sailors started taking citrus fruits and vegetables to avoid scurvy. Today, Vitamin C is one of the most popular vitamins around the world that is taken to prevent colds, keep the immune system strong and build a strong foundation for body cells.
As the body does not produce or store this water-soluble vitamin, it is necessary to ensure we get sufficient amounts though the diet.
The good news is that Vitamin C is easily available through fruits and vegetables such as dark green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts, grain products, fruits with bright colours for example citrus fruits, mangoes, tomatoes, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit, guava, and blueberries.
The bad news, however, is that Vitamin C is easily destroyed and lost through oxidization and cooking. Poor lifestyle habits such as smoking and exposure to sun and carbon monoxide also destroys Vitamin C.
When your body runs out of Vitamin C, it begins to display symptoms of poor health. Here are some of the warning signs:
FATIGUE – You may find yourself getting tired easily or falling asleep after dinner. Your energy levels will dip, making you lose interest in normal activities such as exercise, social gatherings and work.
DELAYED HEALING – Wounds take longer to heal or do not heal properly because new scar tissue does not get formed.
EASY BRUISING – Just a slight knock or bump against something will result in bruises that take a long time to clear.
DRY, SALLOW SKIN AND HAIR – The skin and hair becomes dull and dry because Vitamin C is responsible for the formation of collagen, a protein that holds body cells together.
MOOD CHANGES – Severe Vitamin C deficiency often leads to depression, mood swings, inability to focus and irritability.
BLEEDING GUMS AND LOOSE TEETH – Frequent dental problems result with the weakening of the bone, cartilage, connective tissues and teeth.
SUDDEN AND DRASTIC WEIGHT LOSS – The body wastes away with the degeneration of the muscles as Vitamin C is a crucial element in muscle development.
JOINT AND MUSCLE ACHES – Unexplained and chronic pain in the limbs and joints as connective tissue lose elasticity.
FREQUENT INFECTIONS – Vitamin C is a strong antioxidant that keeps the immune system working well to prevent infections. A deficiency will allow bacteria and viruses to attack the body system leading to increased small but disturbing conditions such as coughs, colds, ear infections, skin problems and others.
As these symptoms can be a sign of other conditions too, it helps to check with your doctor on whether you could be facing a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. Supplementation could be one easy way to overcome the deficiency.
Vitamin C is available in various forms such as tablets, chewable tablets, effervescent and liquid form encapsulated in soft gelatin capsules (‘softgel’). The liquid form is believed to be the most effective due to several factors:
1) FASTER ABSORBILITY: In liquid form, Vitamin C can be immediately absorbed without having to go through the breakdown process required by the other forms.
2) EASY CONSUMPTION: Children and the elderly who have trouble swallowing tablets or softgels will benefit most from the liquid form because of the convenience of liquid consumption.
3) CONCENTRATED FORM: Liquid Vitamin C is more concentrated because it does not have the fillers and binders that are needed to hold them together in a tablet form.
4) NO STOMACH DISCOMFORT: Rapid absorption prevents stomach acidity and protects the teeth from acidic erosion.