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Monday, 6 January 2003

Tiffany answers my reader's mail:

I've gotten a lot of emails from people asking me about scurvy, so here's what I've found:

When capillaries lose the "glue" that holds them together, symptoms of scurvy appear.

An affected person becomes weak and has joint pain. Internal hemorrhages cause black-and-blue marks to appear on the skin. At the first visible signs of scurvy, raised red spots appear on the skin around the hair follicles of the legs, buttocks, arms and back. When the tiny capillaries of the hair follicles hemorrhage, the hair-producing cells do not receive the nourishment needed for the hairs to grow normally. Consequently, the skin becomes flecked with small lesions that begin to appear on the body after about five months on a diet deficient in vitamin C. These lesions were the "spots" that James Lind observed on the skin of his sick men. Gums hemorrhage and their tissue becomes weak and spongy. Dentin, which lies below the enamel and is part of the root of teeth, breaks down. Teeth loosen and eating becomes difficult and painful.

http://www.people.virginia.edu/~rjh9u/vitac.html

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