Vitamin C Deficiency

Vitamin C Deficiency
Vitamin C Deficiency

What is Vitamin C deficiency?

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid and is found in citrus fruits like lemon, orange, etc. Depletion of vitamin c in the body causes a life-threatening disease called scurvy. Vitamin C is regarded as 1st line antioxidant i.e. it removes harmful oxides residues from the body. The population at risk of vitamin C deficiency are men who live alone, individuals at an advanced age, patients with psychiatric diseases, the homeless, and food faddists.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

What are the main causes?

How is it diagnosed and treated?

  • The physician will perform tests to look for skin intactness and bleeding in gums after taking a detailed medical history and family history.
  • The physician might perform vitamin C level test to confirm scurvy along with complete blood count.
  • Complete blood check-up to assess time taken to stop bleeding and to identify the status of haemoglobin in body.
  • X-ray of large bones like thigh bone to diagnose childhood scurvy.
  • Physician might also perform bone marrow biopsy to rule out other diseases.
  • MRI is done only if X-ray provides insufficient data.


  • Vitamin C replacement is the treatment of choice. Within 2 weeks of treatment, symptoms start resolving.
  • Ascorbic acid containing juices: fresh juices of oranges and lemon helps in replacement of vitamin C in body. Foods rich in vitamin C like broccoli, green peppers, spinach, tomato, potato, cauliflower and cabbage helps in retaining lost vitamin C levels.
  • Vitamin C chewable tablets are easily available in the markets and help in the effective treatment of scurvy (vitamin C deficiency).


  1. Joris R. Delanghe et al. Vitamin C deficiency: more than just a nutritional disorder. Genes Nutr. 2011 Nov; 6(4): 341–346. PMID: 21614623
  2. Fain O. Vitamin C deficiency. Rev Med Interne. 2004 Dec;25(12):872-80. PMID: 15582167
  3. Valerio E. Scurvy: just think about it.. J Pediatr. 2013 Dec;163(6):1786-7. doi: 10.1016/j.jpeds.2013.06.085. Epub 2013 Sep 5. PMID: 24011760
  4. MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia: US National Library of Medicine; Vitamin C.
  5. Linus Pauling Institute [Internet]. Corvallis: Oregon State University; Vitamin C.
  6. Healthdirect Australia. Vitamin C. Australian government: Department of Health

Doctors for Vitamin C Deficiency

Dr. Narayanan N K Dr. Narayanan N K Endocrinology
16 Years of Experience
Dr. Tanmay Bharani Dr. Tanmay Bharani Endocrinology
15 Years of Experience
Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Dr. Sunil Kumar Mishra Endocrinology
23 Years of Experience
Dr. Parjeet Kaur Dr. Parjeet Kaur Endocrinology
19 Years of Experience
Consult a Doctor

Medicines for Vitamin C Deficiency

Medicines listed below are available for Vitamin C Deficiency. Please note that you should not take any medicines without doctor consultation. Taking any medicine without doctor's consultation can cause serious problems.