Vitamin C (Active)
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Vitamin C plays an important role in the growth and repair of body tissues including repairing maintaining cartilage, bones and teeth, healing wounds and forming scar tissue, and aids in making skin, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Individuals with malnutrition or malabsorption issues caused by gastrointestinal conditions, Crohn's disease, celiac disease, may be deficient in vitamin C. Those with alcoholism, kidney disease or failure, may also have vitamin C levels that are too low.
This test measure amount of active form of Vitamin C in the blood sample.
Prolonged deficiency of vitamin C leads to the development of scurvy, a disease characterized by an inability to form adequate intercellular substance in connective tissues. This results in the formation of swollen, ulcerative lesions in the gums, mouth, and other tissues that are structurally weakened. Early symptoms may include weakness, easy fatigue and listlessness, as well as shortness of breath, and aching joints, bones, and muscles.
The need for vitamin C can be increased by the use of aspirin, oral contraceptives, tetracycline, and a variety of other medications. Psychological stress and advancing age also tend to increase the need for vitamin C. Among the elderly, lack of fresh fruit and vegetables often adds vitamin C depletion to the inherently increased need, with development of near-scurvy status.
- Gingivitis, bleeding gums and weakened tooth enamel
- Decreased ability to fight infection and heal wounds
- Nosebleeds and easy bruising
- Dry, splitting hair and dry, rough skin
- Inflamed joints
- Weight gain caused by a slowed metabolism
Values greater than or equal to 0.2 mg/dL and less than 0.4 mg/dL are consistent with a moderate risk of deficiency due to inadequate tissue stores.
Values of 0.4 to 2.0 mg/dL indicate adequate supply.
The actual level at which vitamin C is excessive has not been defined. Values above 3.0 mg/dL are suggestive of excess intake. Whether vitamin C in excess is indeed toxic continues to be uncertain. However, limited observations suggest that this condition may induce uricosuria and, in individuals with glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase deficiency, may induce increased red blood cell fragility.
After consuming vitamin C, plasma values rapidly rise within 1 to 2 hours and reach peak concentration within 3 to 6 hours after ingestion.
The laboratory test results are NOT to be interpreted as results of a "stand-alone" test. The test results have to be interpreted after correlating with suitable clinical findings and additional supplemental tests/information. Your healthcare providers will explain the meaning of your tests results, based on the overall clinical scenario. Certain medications that you may be currently taking may influence the outcome of the test. Hence, it is important to inform your healthcare provider of the complete list of medications (including any herbal supplements) you are currently taking. This will help the healthcare provider interpret your test results more accurately and avoid unnecessary chances of a misdiagnosis.
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