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Scurvy makes a comeback - and lack of vitamin C is to blame

Scurvy While scurvy used to be commonplace among sailors, it seemed as if this disease had been firmly consigned to the past. Not so, according to Australian scientists, whose study on the subject was published recently in the journal Diabetic Medicine1. Here we examine what’s behind the resurgence.

Cases of scurvy seen in diabetics

The researchers observed symptoms characteristic of scurvy among diabetic patients. These individuals presented with several unexplained traumas such as bruising, bleeding gums, petechiae (spots caused by bleeding into the skin), arthralgia characterised by joint pain, as well as poor wound-healing. Many studies have associated such symptoms with vitamin C deficiency, leading to defective production of collagen and connective tissue.

Vitamin C deficiency is the culprit

In the course of their study, the researchers noted that several of the diabetic patients had an inadequate intake of vitamin C due to poor eating habits: they either ate very little fresh fruit and vegetables, or they were overcooking what they did eat. Vitamin C is, of course, highly sensitive to heat and will not survive certain temperatures.

Adequate vitamin C intake essential to prevent scurvy

Scurvy was discovered in sailors who were at sea for long periods, and quickly became associated with inadequate consumption of fruit and vegetables. Poor intake results in deficiency in many nutrients including vitamin C, a substance known for its essential role in maintaining tissues. Unlike mammals such as the large primates, guinea pigs and bats, humans cannot produce vitamin C. Since the body needs vitamin C to function properly, it is therefore essential to obtain it from the diet. To back-up dietary intake and so prevent vitamin C deficiency, dietary supplements are also available, such as the formulation Triple C from the Supersmart catalogue: an optimal formulation based on three forms of vitamin C.

> Source :

1. D. J. Christie-David, J. E. Gunton, Vitamin C deficiency and diabetes mellitus – easily missed?, Diabetic Medicine, 2016.
Order the nutrient mentioned in this article
Triple C

Ascorbic acid + calcium ascorbate + ascorbic palmitate

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