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Vitamins Used to Treat Edema

author image Shamala Pulugurtha
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.
Vitamins Used to Treat Edema
Certain vitamins help manage and treat edema. Photo Credit Iryna Kondrashova/iStock/Getty Images


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

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.

Vitamin C

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 D

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.

Vitamin E

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. 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.

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