Vitamins for Scleroderma PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 December 2010 09:59
Scleroderma is a class of diseases in which your skin and organs tighten and harden. This autoimmune condition occurs when your body produces an excess of collagen, a protein that comprises your connective tissues. Scleroderma may affect the skin on your hands and face only. However, it can also affect the internal organs of your body and become a serious health problem. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, if you have scleroderma you may not receive sufficient vitamins and minerals in your diet, particularly if your gastrointestinal system is damaged. Certain vitamins may help relieve and manage symptoms of this condition.

Vitamin C
Your doctor may recommend a vitamin C supplement if you have scleroderma, according to the UMMC. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help your body fight damage from free radicals, molecules that cause damage to your cells and tissues. Consuming vitamin C, therefore, may protect you from further damage due to inflammation or infection in the body. Vitamin C-rich foods include oranges, strawberries, broccoli, melons and dark leafy greens.

Beta-Carotene And Vitamin A
Beta-carotene is a precursor for vitamin A in your body. Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining a healthy immune system and skin condition. People with scleroderma have low levels of beta-carotene in their body, according to the UMMC . This suggests that supplements of beta-carotene may be useful for those with scleroderma. Studies, however, are inconclusive. The UMMC recommends that you consume your beta-carotene from food sources such as carrots, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, squash, sweet potatoes and pumpkin.

Vitamin E
Your doctor may recommend a vitamin E supplement if you have scleroderma, according to the UMMC. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can protect your body from free radical damage. This prevents and reduces further risk of inflammation, tissue damage and infection in your body. Good dietary sources of vitamin E include vegetable oils, almonds, nut butters, spinach and avocado.

Source: Andrews, J. (2010), "Vitamins for Scleroderma", Livestrong.com. Original article can be viewed here.

 
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Comments  

 
+1 #3 jalie 2012-08-19 10:15
Karen, Here is my theory (as a non- professional). It is misleading to conclude that since Vit C contributes to collagen production, and Scleroderma is associated with overproduction of collagen, that therefore Vit C 'causes' over production of collagen, or in some way worsens Scleroderma. I have not seen any evidence to substantiate this reasoning or theory.Rather, the overproduction is stimulated internally, by signals from the body itself IN RESPONSE TO damaged tissue- inflammation of the tissue itself. If that inflammation is ongoing in susceptible individuals then the call for increased collagen will be made. No amount of avoiding Vit C will change that call for more Collagen. On the other hand Vit C's other function as a free radical scavenger directly plays a role in clearing and reducing inflammation. It is the liver that controls both of these functions in the body and Vit C must be ingested daily since Vit C is water soluble and the body uses as needed and as available, and it quickly leaves the body without being stored.The antioxidant effect of Vit C is well established, and for any autoimmune condition where inflammation presents Vit C has known anti-free radical activity. There are better supplements than the Vit C, but antioxidants are not addressing the "cause" of the inflamed tissue. Inflammation seems to be a result of improper diet, causing dietary toxins and life style stresses incl. exposure to environmental toxins and insufficient sleep.
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0 #2 adelwyn 2012-01-15 21:26
Karen, "Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can help your body fight damage from free radicals, molecules that cause damage to your cells and tissues. Consuming vitamin C, therefore, may protect you from further damage due to inflammation or infection in the body"
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0 #1 Karen 2012-01-14 11:23
Im a lil confused on the Vitamin C....does it or does it not assist in building of collagen? Ive been to several sites on Vitamins...researched it on ALOT and each one states this is one of the "jobs" of Vit.C. On another site...a Scleroderma site...ALOT of people state to avoid vit. c also! why does this site state to take it?
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