Posted: 29 November, 2016 by Newsroom

A Historical Disease Is Making A Return In Australia

Tags: scurvy, health

It sounds like something out of the history books – but scurvy is making a return in Australia as a result of poor nutrition.


Professor Jenny Gunton from the Centre for Diabetes, Obesity and Endocrinology told News Corp that scurvy has been identified in multiple patients at Sydney’s Westmead Hospital.

Better Health defines scurvy as “a disease caused by severe and chronic vitamin C (ascorbic acid) deficiency”.

Symptoms include gums that are prone to bleeding, loose teeth, bulging eyes, severe and easy bruising, scaly dry and brownish skin, slow healing wounds, opening of previously healed scars, very dry hair and curls and breaks off close to the skin and bleeding into the joints and muscles which cause swelling over the bones of the arms and legs.

The patients that were diagnosed with scurvy were either eating little or no fresh fruit and vegetables, or were over-cooking vegetables which kills the vitamin C.   Patients that displayed long-running unhealed wounds found their issues cured by a course of vitamin C. 

“Human bodies cannot synthesise vitamin C, so we must eat foods containing it,” Porfessor Gunton said.

To prevent scurvy, we should eat fresh foods which are high in vitamin C such as oranges, strawberries, capsicum, broccoli, brussels sprouts, kiwi fruit and grapefruit. 

Tags: scurvy, health

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