Vitamin C and scurvy

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in many fruits and vegetables which plays a vital role in the formation of collagen. 

A deficiency of vitamin C causes scurvy, features of which include: 
  • Bruising
  • Fatigue 
  • Gingival hyperplasia
  • Bleeding 
  • Anaemia 
  • Bone pain 
  • Myalgia
  • Corkscrew hairs

Reasons for deficiency include 
  • Poor diet
    • Alcoholism
    • Food faddism 
    • Psychiatric illness
  • Haemodialysis (as vitamin C is not reabsorbed by the kidneys) 

Treatment is to increase vitamin C intake.

Small print gem: clinical manifestations of scurvy can be seen within 8 to 12 weeks of inadequate intake. 

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