I fully believed that I wouldn’t need vitamin C on the carnivore diet… and oops, wrong again!  Today we’re going to cover the truths and myths and gray areas of vitamin C on the carnivore diet.

I buy 3 lemons a week to keep supplement vitamin C on the carnivore diet.

My sign for needing vitamin C?

Easy bruising.

And the good news?!

Within 3 days of consuming fresh lemon juice, the bruising went away!

No, vitamin C isn’t usually needed on the carnivore diet, but in my case it was. Read on to see if you might benefit from vitamin C too.

Not everyone needs vitamin C on Carnivore

Contrary to popular nutrition advice, most people DO thrive with just the tiny amount of vitamin C in meat.  Yes, on all the nutrition labels it shows 0 vitamin C in meat, but when you really look into it, as Shawn Baker showed us, there is a little bit of vitamin C in meat, especially liver and rare muscle meat.

However, there are some people who will need to supplement vitamin C on the carnivore diet until their hormones balance out.

The extreme form of vitamin C deficiency is Scurvy

Vitamin C deficiency more likely in the presence of carbs since carbohydrate metabolism requires more vitamin c than ketosis

Alarming symptoms of scurvy such as:

  • Your teeth falling out
  • Bleeding gums (most people find just the opposite on carnivore- that gums stop bleeding)
  • Dry brittle hair that easily breaks off at the scalp and
  • Bulging eyes

are all signs of scurvy. But of course, this doesn’t happen over night!

If you’re letting fear of scurvy keep you from trying the carnivore diet, please know that it is reversible

Most people treated for survey feel better within 48 hours and are cured within 2 weeks.

Less-than-scurvy signs that you may need vitamin C

  • Easy bruising
  • Dry skin
  • Slow healing wounds
  • Low energy – B vitamins need vitamin C to absorb, and those are our ‘energy’ vitamins
  • Keratosis pilaris – collagen production is an essential part of preventing keratosis pilaris, or the super common skin issue of having really bumpy skin especially on the backs of the arms.

Vitamin C is essential in both red blood cell production and collagen production.  That’s why these collection of symptoms that affect the skin and blood are the first signs of vitamin C deficiency.

Populations who may need more vitamin C on the carnivore diet:

Some people are more likely than others to require vitamin C on the carnivore diet.

Those who consume alcohol on the carnivore diet.

This is actually an easy fix if you choose to consume, just squeeze a lemon wedge into your vodka soda. Tequila and lime is another classic combo, and the salt will also help prevent dehydration that you are more susceptible to both on carnivore and while drinking. 

Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to go more into alcohol and the carnivore diet- I absolutely do not recommend alcohol on the carnivore diet as it is not good for you at all- still it is a part of our culture and many of you will imbibe, and I’m happy to tell you what to choose and what to do to have it impact your health goals the least.

Menstruating women, especially those who are growing or have heavy flow. 

Blood cell production requires vitamin C, and if your hormones are still balancing or you’re still correcting heavy metal issues, you might have heavy flow.  In that case, you might need to support your body’s needs by adding in some vitamin C.

Those who consume carbs and are not in ketosis.

Carbs on carnivore usually come in the form of fluid milk or honey.

Those who are not strict and go in and out of ketosis will have a higher vitamin C need.

How do you increase vitamin C?

Lemon is the easiest way. Fresh lemon juice can be added to water or squeezed over steak or even scrambled eggs. It sounds weird, but lemon juice on eggs is really good!  Lemon juice can even be made into gummi treats with gelatin!

For best results, keep your lemon juice raw (do not heat above 115° F).

If you’re experiencing low energy, easy bruising, or dry skin and you know you’re eating enough calories, enough fat, and you’re taking your extra salt as you adapt to carnivore, try adding in the juice of 1 lemon 3 days in a row and see how you feel!

See, this is not complicated at all. There’s no reason to throw out the whole carnivore diet just because you have to temporarily, or long-term, add in vitamin C!

Other articles about the benefits of animal foods: