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Scurvy

Consequence of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency. The vitamin plays a part in supportive tissue formation, such as dental tissue, cartilage and connective tissue. It is found in all green vegetables, citrus fruits, tomatoes, paprika and red pepper. Vitamin C content is rapidly lowered by cooking, baking and contact with the air. Deficiencies sometimes occur in children on a liquid diet and among older people who neglect their eating. Generally speaking such deficiencies are not severe, with symptoms such as swelling and bleeding of the gums, pain in the joints, porosity of the teeth and possibly subcutaneous bleeding. In young children growth is arrested by disturbances in skeleton formation. The more severe form produces symptoms such as thin bones, swelling of the joints, a strong inclination to haemorrhage , poor healing of wounds and loose teeth. If the diet contains sufficient vitamin C the above problems should not occur, and extra vitamin C is not usually necessary. If a deficiency clearly exists, however, vitamin C should be taken in the form of tablets or by injection.

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