Edema is the swelling caused by retention of fluids in body tissues and usually affects the feet, ankles and legs. Widespread, long-term edema may indicate a serious underlying problem and should not be ignored. Excess salt intake; sunburn; heart, liver and kidney diseases; pregnancy; and certain medications increase the risk of edema. Some vitamins and natural supplements may help manage the condition.
B vitamins are essential for proper functioning of several metabolic processes in the body and for red blood cell formation. According to The Internet Journal of Nutrition and Wellness, deficiency of B vitamins, especially vitamins B-1 and B-2, can lead to edema and swelling. B vitamins deficiency can be avoided by eating foods such as meat, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy products that are rich in B vitamins. Vitamin B complex supplements can also be purchased from most pharmacies without prescription and can be well tolerated by most individuals with minimal side effects.
- B vitamins are essential for proper functioning of several metabolic processes in the body and for red blood cell formation.
- B vitamins deficiency can be avoided by eating foods such as meat, fish, eggs, poultry and dairy products that are rich in B vitamins.
Vitamin B-6 & Tendonitis
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, berries, cantaloupes, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables. The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day to treat edema due to its ability to neutralize harmful free radicals formed in the body as a result of various metabolic processes. Apart from diet, vitamin C can also be obtained from synthetic supplements. However, it is important to follow dosage instructions carefully as an overdose can lead to upset stomach and diarrhea.
- Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin found in citrus fruits, berries, cantaloupes, tomatoes and green leafy vegetables.
- The University of Maryland Medical Center recommends 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C per day to treat edema due to its ability to neutralize harmful free radicals formed in the body as a result of various metabolic processes.
Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the human body can produce significant amounts of the vitamin when exposed to sunlight. Vitamin D can also be obtained from dairy products, fish and oysters. Individuals with vitamin D deficiency can take synthetic supplements, but it is best to talk to doctor before taking them as chronic use of high doses of vitamin D can lead to kidney stones, vomiting and muscle pain. Apart from maintaining healthy bones, a study published in “The Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology” in April 2009 states that vitamin D can be used in combination with progesterone therapy to treat edema associated with brain injury 2.
- Vitamin D is also known as the “sunshine vitamin” because the human body can produce significant amounts of the vitamin when exposed to sunlight.
Vitamins for Glandular Fever
Vitamin E is another fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties and is found in wheat germ, olives, nuts and corn, along with synthetic supplements. Several animal studies, such as the one published in the November-December 2002 edition of the “European Journal of Ophthalmology” states that vitamin E can have a protective effect on retinal edema that may occur during eye injury 1. However, it is important to consult a physician before taking high doses of vitamin E supplements as their chronic use may increase the risk of death.
Vitamin B-6 & Tendonitis
Vitamins for Glandular Fever
Could Numbness in Feet Be Caused by a Vitamin Deficiency?
Vitamins for Tendinitis
Are There Vitamins That Aid Muscle Flexibility?
What Are the Benefits of Vitamin B-1 or Thiamine?
Vitamins for the Liver & Kidneys
Can Certain Vitamins Help Tight Muscles?
Too Much Vitamin B12 Side Effects
- "European Journal of Ophthalmology"; The protective effects of melatonin, vitamin E and octreotide on retinal edema during ischemia-reperfusion in the guinea pig retina.; Yilmaz T et al; November-December 2002
- "The Journal of Federation of American Society for Experimental Biology"; Vitamin D improves progesterone-mediated reductions in edema following traumatic brain injury; Silvia M Figueiroaet al; April 2009
- Holick MF, Gordon CM. Patient Guide to Vitamin D Deficiency. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism. 2011;96(7):1-2. doi:10.1210/jcem.96.7.zeg33a
- Sunyecz JA. The use of calcium and vitamin D in the management of osteoporosis. Ther Clin Risk Manag. 2008;4(4):827-836. doi:10.2147/tcrm.s3552
- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and risk of myocardial infarction in men: a prospective study. Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(11):1174-1180. doi:10.1001/archinte.168.11.1174
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, et al. Optimal vitamin D status for colorectal cancer prevention: a quantitative meta analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007;32(3):210-216. doi:10.1016/j.amepre.2006.11.004
- Lappe JM, Travers-Gustafson D, Davies KM, Recker RR, Heaney RP. Vitamin D and calcium supplementation reduces cancer risk: results of a randomized trial. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2007;85(6):1586-1591. doi:10.1093/ajcn/85.6.1586
- Prentice RL, Pettinger MB, Jackson RD, et al. Health risks and benefits from calcium and vitamin D supplementation: Women’s Health Initiative clinical trial and cohort study. Osteoporos Int. 2013;24(2):567-580. doi:10.1007/s00198-012-2224-2
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized trial of vitamin D supplementation to prevent seasonal influenza A in schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010;91(5):1255-1260. doi:10.3945/ajcn.2009.29094
- Salehpour A, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, et al. A 12-week double-blind randomized clinical trial of vitamin D₃ supplementation on body fat mass in healthy overweight and obese women. Nutr J. 2012;11:78. doi:10.1186/1475-2891-11-78
- Carrillo AE, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, et al. Impact of vitamin D supplementation during a resistance training intervention on body composition, muscle function, and glucose tolerance in overweight and obese adults. Clin Nutr. 2013;32(3):375-381. doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014
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- Bouillon R, Van Schoor NM, Gielen E, et al. Optimal vitamin D status: a critical analysis on the basis of evidence-based medicine. J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2013;98(8):E1283-E1304. doi:10.1210/jc.2013-1195
- American Academy of Dermatology. Position Statement of Vitamin D. 2010.
- Taksler GB, Cutler DM, Giovannucci E, Keating NL. Vitamin D deficiency in minority populations. Public Health Nutr. 2015;18(3):379-391. doi:10.1017/S1368980014000457
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- Carrillo AE1, Flynn MG, Pinkston C, Markofski MM, Jiang Y, Donkin SS, Teegarden D. Impact of Vitamin D Supplementation During a Resistance Training Intervention on Body Composition, Muscle Function, and Glucose Tolerance in Overweight and Obese Adults. Clin Nutr. 2013 Jun;32(3):375-81. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2012.08.014. Epub 2012 Aug 31.
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- Giovannucci E, Liu Y, Hollis BW, Rimm EB. 25-hydroxyvitamin D and Risk of Myocardial Infarction in Men: a Prospective Study. Arch Intern Med. 2008; 168:1174-80.
- Gorham ED, Garland CF, Garland FC, Grant WB, Mohr SB, Lipkin M, Newmark HL, Giovannucci E, Wei M, Holick MF. Optimal Vitamin D Status for Colorectal Cancer Prevention: a Quantitative Meta-analysis. Am J Prev Med. 2007 Mar;32(3):210-6.
- Heaney, Robert P. “The Vitamin D Requirement in Health and Disease.” The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 97 (2005):13-9.
- Holick MF. Vitamin D. In: Shils M, Olson J, Shike M, Ross AC, ed. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease, 9th ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
- National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements. Vitamin D: Dietary Supplement Fact Sheet. University of Ottawa Evidence-based Practice Center. Effectiveness and Safety of Vitamin D in Relation to Bone Health. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Aug 2007: 07-E013.
- Salehpour A1, Hosseinpanah F, Shidfar F, Vafa M, Razaghi M, Dehghani S, Hoshiarrad A, Gohari M. A 12-week Double-blind Randomized Clinical Trial of Vitamin D₃ Supplementation on Body Fat Mass in Healthy Overweight and Obese Women. Nutr J. 2012 Sep 22;11:78. doi: 10.1186/1475-2891-11-78.
- Urashima M, Segawa T, Okazaki M, Kurihara M, Wada Y, Ida H. Randomized Trial of Vitamin D Supplementation to Prevent Seasonal Influenza A in Schoolchildren. Am J Clin Nutr. 2010 91:1255-60. Epub 2010 Mar 10.
- Wilkins, Consuelo H. and Yvette I. Sheline, et al. “Vitamin D Deficiency Is Associated with Low Mood and Worse Cognitive Performance in Older Adults.” American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry 14 (2006): 1032-40.
A freelance writer and blogger since 2007, Shamala Pulugurtha's work has appeared in magazines such as the "Guide to Health and Healing" and prominent websites like Brain Blogger and NAMI California. Pulugurtha has a postgraduate degree in medical microbiology from Manipal Academy of Higher Education, India and has completed course work in psychology and health education.