What Are The Different Forms Of Vitamin A
There are two forms of vitamin A.
Preformed vitamin A
Preformed vitamin A, or retinol, is found naturally in animal products, including beef, poultry, fish, liver and eggs. Some cereals and dairy products are fortified with vitamin A as well.
Provitamin A carotenoids
Carotenoids are from plant sources and are the pigments in vegetables and fruits that give them their yellow, orange and red colors. After you eat these fruits and vegetables, your body slowly converts the carotenoids into vitamin A. The most common type of carotenoid is beta-carotene.
Symptom: Tingling Sensation And Numbness
Iron, B6, B12 and Folate
A lot of young people experience tinkling and prickly sensations in their hands and feet. These are neurological symptoms that can be caused by deficiency of one of the following vitamins:
If you constantly move your leg while sitting and standing, you might as well get your iron levels checked. Iron deficiency often causes Restless Leg Syndrome.
Eating red meats, eggs, and dark leafy green vegetables is the best way to fuel your body properly. On the other hand, a combination of iron and b-complex vitamins will do the trick.
Your Cuts And Scratches Are Slow To Heal
Minor wounds should heal up on their own within three to seven days, according to Cigna. If you notice that your cuts and scratches aren’t healing on their own or are taking weeks to close up, you may have a vitamin C deficiency.
“Very low vitamin C levels in the body can reduce the body’s ability to produce collagen,” said Michels. “During scurvy, vitamin C levels are so low that wounds do not close properly. But, even people who don’t have scurvy might have trouble with wound healing if they aren’t getting adequate amounts of vitamin C.”
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How Is Vitamin A Deficiency Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider can diagnose vitamin A deficiency based on your symptoms and a blood test.
If you have night blindness, your healthcare provider may order an eye test called electroretinography. Your healthcare provider will examine the light-sensing cells in your retinas. The test measures the response of your retinas to flashes of light.
A serum retinol blood test can measure the amount of vitamin A in your blood. However, your body stores large amounts of vitamin A, so the level of vitamin A in your blood wont decrease until your deficiency is severe .
Vitamin A deficiency can be confirmed if your symptoms start to improve after taking a vitamin A supplement.
What Causes Vitamin A Deficiency
Vitamin A deficiency occurs when you dont get enough vitamin A in your diet. While rare in the United States, vitamin A deficiency happens frequently in developing countries around the world. People in impoverished nations dont get enough food with vitamin A.
Vitamin A deficiency also occurs because of liver disorders. Your liver stores most of your bodys vitamin A, and liver disorders can interfere with vitamin storage.
Diseases and conditions that impair your intestines ability to absorb fat can also cause vitamin A deficiency. These conditions can reduce your bodys ability to absorb vitamins such as vitamin A. These conditions include:
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Warning Signs Of Vitamin C Deficiency
- Easy bruising: Blood vessels at the skins surface break, causing bruising. Its a natural reaction following a knock or tumble. Unexpected bruises may indicate a vitamin C deficiency. Deficiencies might enhance bruising. Vitamin C may help if you bruise easily. Easy bruising is an indication of more dangerous ailments if it doesnt go away.
- Inflamed, bleeding, or swollen gums: Low vitamin C levels are often associated with problems with oral health. This involves recurrent mouth ulcers as well as inflamed, bleeding, or swollen gums. Because your gums are supported by collagen, which they lose days at a rate of around 20%, regular vitamin C consumption is essential for the health of both your gums and your teeth.
- Slow wound healing: Take a closer look at what youre eating if youve observed that the scratches and scrapes on your body are taking an eternity to heal. Collagen, a connective tissue that can enhance healing, can only be produced with vitamin C. It was surgeons from Harvard Medical School who first noticed the connection in 1937. Both the immune-stimulating properties of vitamin C and its potent antioxidant properties promote quicker recovery.
- Frequent Nosebleeds: The capillaries at the front of the nose are responsible for around 90% of nosebleeds. Regular nosebleeds are caused by these blood vessels becoming brittle from a lack of vitamin C in the body. It may be due to vitamin C if you commonly have nosebleeds or if they have begun happening more frequently.
What Is Vitamin A
Vitamin A plays a key role in many systems of your body. Vitamin A is essential for healthy vision, metabolism and cell development. Its an important factor in keeping your immune system and reproductive system healthy. Your body cant make vitamin A on its own, so you must get it through the foods you eat.
Vitamin A is vital for your vision. Your eyes need to make specific pigments for your retinas to work correctly. A lack of vitamin A hinders your eyes ability to make these pigments, which can lead to night blindness. In other words, you need vitamin A to be able to see at night.
Your eyes also need vitamin A to produce moisture to keep your corneas properly lubricated. If your corneas get too dry, they can become damaged, which can lead to blindness.
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What Can I Expect If I Have Vitamin A Deficiency
If you increase your vitamin A intake, some of the effects of vitamin A deficiency should start to reverse. Night blindness and dry eyes should improve. However, corneal ulcers cant be corrected.
Its important to eat enough foods that contain vitamin A.
In addition, take a dietary supplement that contains vitamin A. If you dont get enough vitamin A, complications such as vision loss will be long-term.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Vitamin A is a vitamin that plays an important role in your vision. While vitamin A deficiency is rare in the United States, it can cause severe complications such as vision loss, skin issues and immune system problems. Its important to eat a diet that includes foods that have vitamin A, such as meat, dairy, dark leafy greens, and yellow or orange fruits and vegetables. In addition, you can get vitamin A from a dietary supplement if needed.
This Could Be Why You Have Vitamin C Deficiency Symptoms
On their own, none of these symptoms should be taken as a diagnosis of Vitamin C deficiency, but the presence of multiple symptoms is enough to warrant an evaluation. Do you eat fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the day on a daily basis? The recommended daily allowance for Vitamin C for adult non-smoking men is 90 mg, which you can get in a cup of strawberries. For non-pregnant, non-smoking adult women, its a mere 75 mg.
While that single cup of strawberries may fulfill the RDA, which on the surface is just enough to avoid Vitamin C deficiency symptoms, you still may not be getting enough Vitamin C due to the complicated way your body absorbs this vitamin.
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The Scary Truth About Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a wide variety of symptoms. Despite the fact that many US individuals dont receive enough vitamin C, deficits are uncommon. Scurvy causes anemia, bleeding, weakness, and loose teeth. Many early explorers died of scurvy. Scottish doctor James Lind showed that citrus fruit might cure or prevent the condition. Vitamin C was discovered in the 1930s.
Premature Aging Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, is an important antioxidant which helps fight harmful free radicals. Free radicals are naturally formed in the body when we convert food into energy. Air pollution, sunlight, and smoking also expose us to free radicals. So vitamin E plays an important part in protecting the skin from sun damage which can cause accelerated aging and wrinkling of your skin.
However, do keep in mind that experts feel that vitamin E alone may not provide sufficient protection to your skin. You may also need vitamin C to effectively increase the photoprotection of skin through the diet.21
RDA: 15 mg/d for adults22
- You can get vitamin E from sunflower oil, safflower oil, and wheat germ oil as well as nuts like almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
- Green vegetable like broccoli and spinach can also give you some vitamin E.
Apart from ensuring that you get the recommended amount of all of the above vitamins, do consult a professional if you experience any out of the ordinary changes in your skin.
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Symptoms And Signs Of Vitamin C Deficiency
In adults, symptoms of vitamin C deficiency develop after weeks to months of vitamin C depletion. Lassitude, weakness, irritability, weight loss, and vague myalgias and arthralgias may develop early.
Symptoms of scurvy develop after a few months of deficiency. Follicular hyperkeratosis, coiled hair, and perifollicular hemorrhages may develop. Gums may become swollen, purple, spongy, and friable they bleed easily in severe deficiency. Eventually, teeth become loose and avulsed. Secondary infections may develop. Wounds heal poorly and tear easily, and spontaneous hemorrhages may occur, especially as ecchymoses in the skin of the lower limbs or as bulbar conjunctival hemorrhage.
Other symptoms and signs include femoral neuropathy due to hemorrhage into femoral sheaths , lower extremity edema, and painful bleeding or effusions within joints.
In infants, symptoms include irritability, pain during movement, anorexia, and slowed growth. In infants and children, bone growth is impaired, and bleeding and anemia may occur.
Risk Factors For Vitamin C Deficiency
Scurvy is rarely found but you can be deficient in vitamin C with many habits. The people who are more at risk of developing a deficiency of this nutrient are included as:
1. Drunken/ alcoholics/ dependent on drugs
2. People preferring restrictive diets
3. People who develop inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases like Crohns disease and ulcerative colitis.
4. Smokers .
5. The side effect of Chemotherapy drugs can make you deficient with this nutrient
6. Pregnant women diet needs a higher amount of vitamin C.
7. If you are on dialysis
8. By using antidepressants or a long time
9. If you are suffering from other chronic diseases like heart strokes, Alzheimers disease, anxiety, and arthritis.
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The Role Of Vitamin C In Skin
Vitamin C is involved in the formation of the skin barrier and collagen in the dermis and plays a physiological role in the skin against skin oxidation, in antiaging of wrinkles, and in cell signal pathways of cell growth and differentiation, which are related to the occurrence and development of various skin diseases . Vitamin C has a dual role of antioxidation and pro-oxidation, and this role maintains the balance of the two reactions in the body . Ascorbic acid and transition metals, such as Fe2+, produce reactive oxygen species outside of the cell, and high levels of ROS can destroy the antioxidant defense system of cancer cells because the antioxidation system of tumor cells is incomplete and its balance is destroyed . High levels of Vitamin C in the cells lead to oxygen-promoting reactions, which cause DNA damage, the depletion of ATP reserves, and failure of cellular metabolism . Vitamin C is also involved in resistance to UV-induced oxidative stress, inhibition of melanogenesis, and promotion of the differentiation of keratinocytes and has been used for a long time as a clinical treatment reagent. Vitamin C deficiency leads to many systemic diseases in humans and causes scurvy in the worlds navies .
Psoriasis Vitamin D Deficiency
While its not necessarily a skin condition, easy bruising may indicate a vitamin K deficiency.
You might already know that low levels of vitamin D can affect your bone health and cause osteoporosis. But did you know that vitamin D deficiency could be a contributory factor in psoriasis? In fact, it has been found that the topical application of vitamin D preparations on the patches of flaky, irritated skin that characterize this skin disorder can improve the condition.19 Taking dietary vitamin D also helps.
RDA: 15 mcg/d for adults20
- Your skin can make vitamin D when its exposed to sunlight. However, overexposure to the suns ray can also cause your skin to age and lead to skin cancer.
- Egg yolks, liver, and saltwater fish provide this vitamin. Foods like milk and cereals are often fortified with it.
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Slow Healing Of Wounds
Vitamin C deficiency can lead to a slow rate of collagen formation which results in slow healing of wounds. Lack of vitamin C will also increase the spread of infections. This sign is usually visible when there is severe vitamin C deficiency.
How To Prevent And Overcome Vitamin C Deficiency
At this point, you may be wondering: How can I increase my vitamin C level? The easiest and most effective vitamin C deficiency treatment is to simply start switching up your dietary choices.
In fact, including a variety of healthy, nutrient-rich whole foods in your diet can help ensure you get enough sources of this vital vitamin.
Fruits and vegetables are especially high in ascorbic acid and can usually supply enough to meet your daily needs with just a few servings. Some of the top vitamin C foods include:
In some cases, supplementation may also be recommended to treat a deficiency. Adult men and women are recommended to get at least 90 milligrams and 75 milligrams of ascorbic acid per day, respectively. However, these needs are increased in smokers as well as women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
If you suspect that you may have a vitamin C deficiency, its best to consult with a trusted health care practitioner in a clinical setting to determine the best course of treatment for you.
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Bleeding And Swollen Gums
Your gums are made up partially of collagen, which is why they tend to be more sensitive when your vitamin C levels dip. They can bleed more, as well, and since vitamin C helps with wound healing, a deficiency means that bleeding gums wont heal as quickly. Swollen gums are a result of inflammation, a process that vitamin C helps prevent as an antioxidant. Adequate vitamin C intake has been shown to be beneficial in improving gum health and reducing gum inflammation.
Persistent Iron Deficiency Anemia
Vitamin C and iron deficiency anemia often occur together.
Signs of iron deficiency anemia include paleness, fatigue, trouble breathing during exercise, dry skin and hair, headache and spoon-shaped fingernails .
Low levels of vitamin C may contribute to iron deficiency anemia by reducing the absorption of iron from plant-based foods and negatively affecting iron metabolism (
If iron deficiency anemia persists for a long time with no obvious causes, it may be wise to check your vitamin C levels.
Summary Vitamin C deficiency may increase the risk of iron deficiency anemia by reducing iron absorption and increasing the likelihood of bleeding.
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Your Nails Are Brittle
If your nails are fragile and break easily, you might have a vitamin C deficiency. Vitamin C is very important for the absorption of iron within the body. For this reason, your nails can become brittle and break off without difficulty.
“There is generally no need to see a doctor unless you have some signs of abnormal bleeding or problems with wounds healing,” said Michels. “Instead, the first thing you could do is add more fresh fruit and vegetables to your diet, like citrus or peppers. However, to get 400 mg of vitamin C a day, you likely will need to take a supplement.”
How To Take It
The best way to take vitamin C supplements is 2 – 3 times per day, with meals, depending on the dosage. Some studies suggest that adults should take 250 – 500 mg twice a day for any benefit. Talk to your doctor before taking more than 1,000 mg of vitamin C on a daily basis and before giving vitamin C to a child.
Daily intake of dietary vitamin C is listed below.
- Men over 18 years: 90 mg
- Women over 18 years: 75 mg
- Pregnant women 14 – 18 years: 80 mg
- Pregnant women over 18 years: 85 mg
- Breastfeeding women 14 – 18 years: 115 mg
- Breastfeeding women over 18 years: 120 mg
Because smoking depletes vitamin C, people who smoke may need an additional 35 mg per day.
The dose recommended to prevent or treat many of the conditions mentioned in the Uses section is often 500 – 1,000 mg per day.
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Can Lack Of Vitamin D Cause Skin Pigmentation Or White Spots On Skin
Vitamin D primarily promotes the production of melanin in your skin, which gives your skin a darker pigment. The deficiency may result in hypopigmentation disorders wherein our skin develops white spots and patches.
Studies suggest that lower vitamin D levels are associated with vitiligo and other autoimmune skin disorders.