Severe vitamin C deficiency is rare in developed countries because it can be prevented by as little as 10 mg vitamin C daily (3). However, cases have occurred in children and the elderly on very restricted diets (42,43, 85).
Severe vitamin C deficiency is also known as the potentially fatal disease ‘scurvy’. Symptoms include bleeding and bruising easily, hair and tooth loss, poor wouldn healing and joint pain and swelling. Such symptoms appear to be related to the weakening of blood vessels, connective tissue, and bone, which contain collagen. Early symptoms of scurvy such as fatigue may result from diminished levels of carnitine, needed to derive energy from fat or decreased synthesis of the neurotransmitter ‘norepinephrine’ (82).
Authored by Dr Peter Engel in 2010, reviewed and revised by Dr. Volker Elste on 22.05.2017