The direct cause of scurvy, a fatal disease that (fortunately) occurs rarely in this day and age, is a lack of Vitamin C. The disease was fairly common as recently as a century ago, especially among sailors who spent long months at sea without access to fresh fruit or vegetables.
Although scurvy is a rare disease, Vitamin C deficiencies still frequently occur, notably: 290
– among poorer classes of people, who often suffer from other nutritional deficiencies;
– among bottle-fed infants who are not given juice;
– under certain physiological conditions (during pregnancy or while breast-feeding;
– associated with various pathologies (thyrotoxicosis or hyperactivity of the thyroid gland) when the body needs more Vitamin C.
Incredibly, even a small amount of Vitamin C, for example the amount contained in a single slice of raw potato, will trigger the healing process.
In general, the daily recommended dosage of Vitamin C for both adults and children is about 70 milligrams, although much more – 1 to 3 grams, can be taken safely.
Good sources of Vitamin C in its natural state include:
– fresh fruit like gooseberries and kiwis; citrus fruit (lemons, oranges, grapefruit)
– fresh vegetables, especially parsley, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green peppers and potatoes.