Vitamin C: Deficiency, Benefits and Sources - NUTRIWELL INDIA

Also known as ascorbic acid, our body needs it for many functions. It is an antioxidant that helps protect our cells from free radicals and the damage caused by them. it is also required to form collagen. Collagen is a protein that is required to help wounds heal.


The amount of vitamin C that a person needs every day depends on his/ her age. Adult women need about 75 mg daily while adult men need about 90 mg daily. Whereas, children between the age of 9-13 need 45 mg of vitamin C daily. Pregnant women need about 85 mg daily while breastfeeding women need about 120 mg daily. The vitamin C requirement of teenage boys and girls is 75 mg and 65 mg respectively. Infants of up to 12 months need up to 50 mg daily. Kids up to the age of 8 years need not more than 25 mg of this vitamin daily.


This vitamin must be consumed regularly to prevent deficiency.

Here are some signs and symptoms of vitamin C deficiency:

  • You are easily bruised.
  • Dry and damaged skin.
  • Your wounds heal very slowly.
  • Weak bones
  • Painful and swollen joints
  • Iron deficiency and anaemia
  • Gum diseases- bleeding and swollen gums
  • Frequent nosebleeds
  • Low immunity and frequent infections
  • Fatigue

The above are 10 signs and symptoms that you are running low on vit C. Although it is rare, the deficiency of vit C cannot completely be denied. The deficiency is most prevalent in alcoholics, children with autism or fad dieters.

Severe deficiency can lead to scurvy.


Now, let’s take a look at the benefits of this vitamin. This vitamin has many benefits. Experts say that it is one of the safest and most effective nutrients.

  • It is a strong antioxidant and hence, may reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • This vitamin is great for your overall heart health and for fight heart related diseases.
  • Since vitamin C is required for iron absorption, its proper intake will prevent iron deficiencies and the diseases related to it eg. Anaemia.
  • The intake of vitamin C also boosts your immunity and helps you to stay away from infections.

Now that we have discussed all points about this vitamin, let us now take a look at the sources of vitamin C.

Here are some rich sources of this vitamin and you can have these to up your intake:

  • Amla: Amla is a rich source of this vitamin and 100 grams of amla contains about 600 to 1800 mg C vitamin.
  • Orange: 100 grams of oranges contain about 53 mg of C vitamin.
  • Lemon: Lemons have the same  vitamin content as oranges.
  • Papaya: One cup of papaya has 87 mg of this vitamin.
  • Guava: 100 grams of guava contain about 228 mg of C vitamin.

The other sources of this vitamin include- all citrus fruits, green chillies, bell peppers, broccoli etc.

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