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Cause known to folk medicine[edit]

What did this mean?

...its cause was known to folk medicine for generations.

Obviously they didn't know that it was caused by lack of vitamin C. What folk medicine are we talking about? Western folk medicine? Chinese folk medicine? And "for generations" doesn't make sense -- generations beginning when and ending when? I'm going to take this out.-- 03:41, 17 August 2006 (UTC)

Junk food diets[edit]

This is far from encyclopedic, but I'll throw it in the discussion as its amusing. The claim of junk food diets causing modern scurvy has been borne out at least once. My former boss' college roommate was living on essentially a diet of bourbon and Doritos for a semester. He became symptomatic and went to the ER. The only reason it was caught was because the student assistant on duty that day happened to be doing his thesis paper on obsolete diseases of the Renaissance. Vitamin C was prescribed, resulting in the patient both improving and feeling like an idiot. Laughter was apparently had by the medical staff. Murple 18:42, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

With a bit of digging I found some documentary evidence of scurvy from junk food diets in a few journal sources. I'll list them here for reference in case somebody decides it's a myth (Collabi 03:49, 21 March 2007 (UTC)):
Davies IJ, Temperley JM. A case of scurvy in a student. Postgrad Med J. 1967 Aug;43(502):549-50.
Sthoeger ZM, Sthoeger D. Scurvy from self-imposed diet. Harefuah. 1991 Mar 15;120(6):332-3.
Ellis CN, Vanderveen EE, Rasmussen JE. Scurvy. A case caused by peculiar dietary habits. Arch Dermatol. 1984 Sep;120(9):1212-4.
McKenna KE, Dawson JF. Scurvy occurring in a teenager. Clin Exp Dermatol. 1993 Jan;18(1):75-7.
Some junk food diets can do it, but saying only that leaves a wrong impression, since we call a lot of fast-food, junk food. We mean TOTALLY empty calories. You can't get scurvy eating only at MacDonalds or Burger King. It really takes eating nothing but food treated in a very severe way (like canned goods only, bread, and/or foods treated with very severe drying ala crackers or Doritos or Top Ramen noodles) and nothing else, to get too little vitamin C. Occasionally eating any non-canned plant matter ("produce"), and even cooked meat (so long as it's not jerky), will keep you from scurvy. So, a scorbutic diet must be VERY bizarre and continue for many months. The classic is the little old lady eating nothing but tea and toast. Alcoholics are famous for scurvy since they get a large fraction of calories from alcohol, so their intake of even foods with a tad of vitamin C, is minimal. SBHarris 17:51, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

my recent revision[edit]

Yesterday, I removed from the article a section on humorous "scurvy awareness" events at Johns Hopkins and Carnegie Mellon University, including the antics of the Johns Hopkins Science Fiction Association. I went searching through the history looking for evidence of recent vandalism, but apparently that passage had been part of the article for some time. I deleted it because it was not remotely encyclopedic and only tangentially relevant to the topic of the article. If anyone should want to revert my edit, please explain why that material needs to be part of an article on this disease. Thanks. Marco polo 15:25, 3 November 2006 (UTC)

Consistency problem?[edit]

The prognosis section states that untreated scurvy is NEVER fatal.

Yet two sections later in the History section scurvy often killed "large numbers of the passengers...".

So, is it fatal or isn't it? Tenorcnj 17:26, 10 November 2006 (UTC)

its fatal.- Junkbot44 17:07, 21 November 2006 (UTC)

Scurvy in nonhuman animals[edit]

I added a brief section on scurvy in animals. Primates and guinea pigs are susceptible. It may be useful to expand this section a little. --B.d.mills 11:21, 1 April 2007 (UTC)


This section is not very freindly to anyone other than scientists and should be rephrased. This is Wikipedia- a resource for everyone- not a Scientific Encyclopedia.

"partially immobilized"[edit]

What in heaven's name does that mean, in paragraph one? It's not explained or elaborated upon, and because of that, sounds silly or specious. Softlavender (talk) 15:34, 11 December 2007 (UTC)

Just a suggestion, but i feel that Pulmonary Fibrosis is an entity of Scurvy(lack of vitamin C) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:49, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Minor corrections[edit]

The Stefansson section incorrectly stated that the experiment was done with 2 companions (it was just Stefansson himself and another explorer called Karsten CIOFSineBMHTJDKL/TD.<fADMNJKMLSKMJNGLVF;FGHNMKGL,SDVJNCDCDGHJDHJFDHFJDHFJDFHDJFHDJot-->

I've also done some minor tidying in the same section - around the Antarctic explorers. I have access to a lot of material on these expeditions at the moment so thought I'd add them in. I have more details of what they were actually eating when they got scurvy as compared to when they didn't, but don't know if that is necessary. Solanum dulcamara (talk) 09:57, 21 March 2009 (UTC)

Here's another minor, (or major), correction from a layperson. Scurvy is not solely a Vit C deficiency; so to open and say it is completly irresponsible. Sure the scientific community has to "isolate" to understand and explain, and keeping the whole picture as the context is imperative to be truthful, Vit C is a co-factor as all nutrients, meaning it is used in tandem of many nutrients and systems in the human body and of course water, sunshine exercise, etc come into equation also. Scurvy is a disease caused by the deficiency of nutrition from food. What are there, 194 identified? Vitamin C just happens to be one of the major ones. The reductionism thinking needed to identify one main source of an issue has to be kept in context. When we can explain how life works to be able to exist by scientific means, then we have the right to identify one element responsible for an JTKGRDUFKGRKJFKJGFKLGKLFD;SKGL;'JGKF.XGKFLXJGKFLYIGKFDLKGJDKFJTIYUO4YN46GGBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBaffliction, in the meantime, it’s important to keep our explanations humble and accurate, because it is about life and quality of life. All ages of even middle class society are getting diagnosed with scurvy. Treatment prescribed is Vit C and this is wrong. Just treating Scurvy with Vitamin C is a result of stating that Scurvy is a Vit C deficiency. This causes undo pain and suffering. Treating Scurvy with whole foods and whole food nutrition and all that encompasses that is the responsible route, leading to the best-case scenario for alleviating the condition. This should be commonsense and resonate as truthful. I don’t need an “expert” to figure that out. Wikipedia gives the opportunity to finally get it right.


I'm pretty sure that capsicums are the richest source of vitamin C going around. And if the arnt, why arent they on the list? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:11, 5 November 2008 (UTC)

Request for Semi-protection[edit]

I've looked through some history, and as far as I can see, due to this being a heavily-used topic for school projects there is a high level of vandalism dating back to the creation of this page (at least to 2007 from my quick perusal). To avoid all the unnecessary minor edits, can we perhaps have a permanent semi-protection on this page? Or will that simply cause all the idle hands to vandalize other pages, leading to a decentralization of problems?--Cpt ricard (talk) 05:47, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Looking at this history of this page, it seems to be a genuine cause for concern. How can we request this in a more formal manner? I second this motion. --DaveyE (talk) 00:27, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Vitamin C and "ascorbic acid" are not the same[edit]

Someone should point this out or at least clarify it. Vitamin C is a complex found in whole foods containing other essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Ascorbic acid, on the other hand, is simply one manmade chemical fragment of the C complex. mary sparrowdancer Sparrowdancer (talk) 18:27, 6 May 2009 (UTC)

I'm not sure that is correct. I suspect that by definition Vitamin C is a specific chemical, which is also called ascorbic acid, but when people take vitamin C from natural sources they are getting a ton of other things other than vitamin C along with it due to the source - but that those ingredients are not necessarily relevant to scurvy. It is certainly a fact that if the body is deprived of ascorbic acid they will get scurvy. (talk) 02:05, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Nevertheless, this should be discussed elsewhere —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:20, 15 July 2009 (UTC)
It's relevant to discuss here I think. And to settle the matter: Vitamin C is the L-enantiomer of ascorbic acid - an appropriate analogy in this case would be like your left hand in a discussion of wedding rings.--Cpt ricard (talk) 18:43, 20 October 2009 (UTC)
Since pure synthetic L-ascorbic acid can cure scurvy, it's the vitamin. Other elements of the "complex", if such a thing can even be said to exist, may be beneficial to health but can't properly be said to be part of vitamin C. (talk) 16:57, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


This page needs to be edited to reflect that the reason humans (and a handful of other animals) do not make ascorbic acid is NOT because we lack the gene, but because ONE of the FOUR enzyme genes required(gulonolactone oxidase) has a loss-of-function mutation.

This may seem like a subtle difference, but greater accuracy may lead interested readers to more aggressively investigate the implications: e.g. How much WOULD we make if the gene were working, and how much should we take to compensate? How much do animals with a functional GLO gene make? Is it constitutive or inducible? (it is both, btw). A small number of biochemists and veterinarians are well aware of this issue, but a Wikipedia entry should be information for everyone ELSE with enough interest to reach the page in the first place.

Rccapps (talk) 01:32, 13 September 2009 (UTC) Rob Capps, MD

Great call - can you drop some references here to begin the changes?--Cpt ricard (talk) 18:44, 20 October 2009 (UTC)


In the "Scurvy" article it lists certain fruits and vegetables one can eat to get Vitamin C. It says eating such "vegetables" as "bell peppers" . "Bell Peppers" are not vegetables. A pepper is a fruit !

Maybe try looking it up on wikipedia !!! ahahahahaahahahahahahahaahaa (talk) 02:59, 13 October 2009 (UTC)

'Vegetable' is a cullinary term. If it's served along with the main dish, it's called a vegetable. This is why a tomato is a fruit as well as a vegetable. (talk) 21:53, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

There is always a lot of discussion about whether some organisms, such as tomatoes or cucumbers, are fruits or vegetables. ACEOREVIVED (talk) 20:35, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

True. And the discussion only has any validity or substance when people first consider the context. It is a poor dictionary that offers as few as half a dozen definitions for fruit. And there are a few different definitions for vegetable as well. In each case the various definitions have little to do with each other. As a result any discussion without appropriate attention to semantics really progress is much further than flat statement followed by flat contradiction followed by personal abuse. JonRichfield (talk) 06:41, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Maybe a vegetable can be "anything served with the main dish" according to those in the "cullinary" profession (although even that sounds a bit far fetched - would a glass of wine also qualify then?), however any BIOLOGIST, or scientifically minded person will tell you that a tomato is in fact a fruit and NOT a vegetable, or even worse: both fruit and vegetable! If Wikipedia goes as deep as the genus and species of plants, etc, then surely we cannot simply refer to these foods as they do at your local restaurant-- (talk) 12:22, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

A biologist doesn't call anything a vegetable, as that is purely a culinary term, not a biology term. In biology, a fruit is anything a plant produces that contains the seed. A walnut is a fruit, as are rose hips, winged maple seeds, and a host of inedible things. But for culinary purposes, a vegetable is traditionally something that is not sweet, and is often (but not always) a root, leaf, or stalk. In the case of peas, tomatoes and peppers, it is also (biologically) a fruit.Nerfer (talk) 15:41, 29 April 2014 (UTC)

history of science / scurvy[edit] has some great explainations about scurvy and how we lost the ability to cure it in the 19th century. It has lots of references. Would be a nice addition. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:52, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

This blog is an extremely dubious source, see its treatment of a nonexistent tunnel between San Francisco and New York for burritos: . Its discussion of the history of scurvy and vitamin C should be backed up by citations from a better source.Iainuki (talk) 04:19, 22 April 2010 (UTC)

"Stored as fat"[edit]

The page seems to be semi-protected, so I can't make this edit myself, but: at present the "The history" section (which should probably be called just "History", but that's another story) contains the claim "Refined carbohydrates seem to accelerate the process of depleting vitamin C. Insulin in the bloodstream causes all amino acids, except for tryptophan, to be stored as fat." That, and the subsequent description, are uncited and not very plausible. Amino acids by definition contain nitrogen. Fat doesn't, hence the nitrogen test for protein content and the Chinese melamine scandal. So where does the nitrogen go when the amino acids are "stored as fat"? The use of the redlinked term "refined carbohydrates" is suspect as well. From a biochemical point of view there's no such thing as a "refined carbohydrate"; the meaningful distinction is between simple and complex carbohydrates. People who talk about "refined" substances being biologically distinct from others are pretty often pushing scientifically unsupported views of nutrition. All in all, I think these sentences should get at least an uncited tag, and possibly they should be investigated further and either cited or deleted depending on the result of the investigation. In a paragraph that meticulously cites many other biochemical details, these sentences stand out. (talk) 16:49, 9 March 2010 (UTC)


Why isn't there a section within the article specifically listing the symptoms?16:02, 3 June 2010 (UTC) (talk) 16:02, 3 June 2010 (UTC)

Sentences to Fix[edit]

This sentence needs repair: "In 1927, Hungarian biochemist Szent-Györgyi (who won the 1937 Nobel Prize for Medicine) for his studies in the biological functions of the compound "hexuronic acid" while working with antioxidant compounds in the adrenal cortex." I'd fix it myself, but the article is inexplicably locked (thus defeating the entire point of wikipedia). Based on the linked reference material (as well as, I propose something like: "In 1927, Hungarian biochemist Szent-Györgyi isolated and named hexuronic acid from animal adrenal tissue. This compound later became known as ascorbic acid -- a form of vitamin C. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:57, 28 April 2011 (UTC)

Perhaps I should explain why I think the sentence above needs to be fixed: it makes no sense. It appears as if something important was entirely left out of the sentence. If you excise the parenthesized chunk, you are left with this garbled text: "In 1927, Hungarian biochemist Szent-Györgyi for his studies in the biological functions of the compound "hexuronic acid" while working with antioxidant compounds in the adrenal cortex." I'm not sure what the technical term is for this particular sentence misconstruction. All I know is, it needs to be repaired in order to make any sense at all. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:04, 1 May 2011 (UTC)

Pending changes[edit]

This article is one of a number selected for the early stage of the trial of the Wikipedia:Pending Changes system on the English language Wikipedia. All the articles listed at Wikipedia:Pending changes/Queue are being considered for level 1 pending changes protection.

The following request appears on that page:

Comments on the suitability of theis page for "Penfding changes" would be appreciated.

Please update the Queue page as appropriate.

Note that I am not involved in this project any much more than any other editor, just posting these notes since it is quite a big change, potentially

Regards, Rich Farmbrough, 23:58, 16 June 2010 (UTC).


In three places, this article mentions that scurvy has been prevented by meat

The surgeon-in-chief of Napoleon's army at the Siege of Alexandria (1801), Baron Dominique-Jean Larrey, wrote in his memoirs that the consumption of horse meat helped the French to curb an epidemic of scurvy. This started the 19th-century tradition of horse meat consumption in France.

The belief that scurvy was fundamentally a nutritional deficiency, best treated by consumption of fresh food, particularly fresh citrus or fresh meat, was not universal in Britain in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and thus British sailors and explorers continued to suffer from scurvy into the 20th century.

Vilhjalmur Stefansson, an arctic explorer who lived among the Eskimos, proved that the all meat diet they consumed did not lead to vitamin deficiencies. He participated in a study in New York's Bellevue Hospital in 1935, where he and a companion ate nothing but meat for a year while under close medical observation, yet remained in good health.

This information seems to undermine the thesis of the article, which is that scurvy is inevitably caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. Or, pardon my ignorance, is there vitamin C in meat? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:20, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

There is enough vitamin C in meat (so long as it is of animals that make their own vitamin C) to prevent scurvy, especially if the meat is eaten raw, as it nearly always is in the arctic, and sometimes ala meat tartar, in France. Sometimes enough remains if meat is cooked only lightly. If, in addition, adrenals and/or brain and spinal cord are eaten raw, it takes very little to prevent scurvy (it's about like oranges). Or course in these days of mad cow disease brain-eating is probably best left to zombies (Incidentally, cooking brains destroys the the vitamin C, depending on how you cook, but does not destroy the prions!)

It's quite difficult to get a vitamin C-free diet, and only a long period of eating extremely long-preserved, non-fresh, or long-boiled food for many months (as sailors eating only bread or rice), or explorers eating only from cans, will do it. SBHarris 23:21, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

Superb explanation, thanks--I suspected something of the sort. It's not made clear in the article that there may be vitamin C in meat, though it can be deduced.

Meat is not a good source of vitamin C and should not be mentioned, since meat should not be consumed in quantities nearly high enough to get your daily vitamin C. Citrus, along with other fruits and vegetables are ideal sources and only those should be mentioned in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:21, 30 June 2012 (UTC)

That is a matter of opinion. This article is about facts, not dietary advice. Furthermore, the amount of vitamin C needed to prevent scurvy is substantially less than the minimum daily requirement and the prevention section is about the prevention of scurvy, not other health benefits of vitamin C, so meat definitely should be mentioned. John Elson3DhamWF6I A.P.O.I. 21:44, 26 January 2013 (UTC)

Agreed. There are plenty of examples of high-meat, or even all-meat, diets that sustain people for years or practically all their lives without scurvy. I do not suggest that these are particularly healthy or necessarily sensible diets when there are alternatives, but it does not mean that fresh meat cannot be used as a sufficient source of ascorbate. Back in the days that people had observed that fresh food, especially greens, was good against scurvy, ships that had scurvy problems in the Arctic and could get no greens were reported to have combatted the condition with fresh raw meat eaten in strips on the advice of local Eskimos. Liver was mentioned as especially effective, though I hesitate to take that seriously until someone can cite evidence for liver being richer in ascorbate than muscle is. Sorry, this last bit I read long ago and I cannot give reliable citations; in fact, given the anecdotal nature of the accounts I do not represent them as fit for the article, just to point out that arbitrary claims of a negative are not sustainable. Bear in mind that most pre-20th century sources evidence in this field are necessarily anecdotal, much as evidence on the battle of Agincourt is. Sorry 'bout that! Another point is that ascorbate deficiency sometimes may be complicated by riboflavin deficiency, which also leads to great weakness (beriberi), and which is rapidly curable by fresh meat, especially liver, so laymen might easily be confused by dietary effects; and why not? many a doctor is too. JonRichfield (talk) 04:52, 27 January 2013 (UTC)

History - Early Modern Era[edit]

"Between 1500 and 1800, it has been estimated that scurvy killed at least two million sailors.[18] According to Jonathan Lamb, "In 1499, Vasco da Gama lost 116 of his crew of 170; In 1520, Magellan lost 208 out of 230;...all mainly to scurvy"

"all mainly to scurvy" makes no sense, superfluous "all" - either it is all or it is mainly Auto98uk (talk) 22:48, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

The meaning is clear to me. "Mainly" means that most but not all of the deaths were due to scurvy. "All" refers to all of the captains; i.e. in every single one of the captains' voyages mentioned, the deaths were mainly caused by scurvy. Would "each mainly to scurvy" or "in each case, mainly to scurvy" be clearer?" Pirate Dan (talk) 21:42, 3 December 2011 (UTC)
PD is right of course, and that was how I read it too, but the mere fact that there was confusion suggests that someone should be thinking of a spot of re-wording for clarity. JonRichfield (talk) 19:48, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Under 'Causes'[edit]

In the first paragraph of Causes, the text reads "heat and storage destroy vitamin C". It's not as if the act of putting Vitamin C in a container changes its properties... I suggest the emendation "Vitamin C chemically decomposes over time, more quickly at higher temperatures".

Also wish to to second the suggestion above ("Sentences to Fix"), which is seven months old.Thundragon (talk) 16:58, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

Hmmm... Yeeesss... Mind you, the whole thing needs slightly more careful editing than that. You see, it depends on what you store it in, quite apart from what else is in the mix. Specifically, containers that permit the solution of iron3+ or copper2+ salts will break down Vit C. If there is any source of oxidation, they do so pretty darned quickly. JonRichfield (talk) 19:29, 14 December 2011 (UTC)

I regret to say that I have been neglecting this article for a year or so. There seem to be some rather mystical views on transition element salts (Cu, Fe in particular). I am in doubt whether it would do any good to discuss the chemistry in any detail, but I am uncomfortable with that aspect of the article as it stands. Any feelings, anyone? JonRichfield (talk) 07:27, 18 December 2012 (UTC)

Proposed Edit[edit]

There is also a sufficient amount of vitamin C to be acquired from pine needles. I find this as useful information to someone reading this article, please edit if you have authority — Preceding unsigned comment added by Tradix (talkcontribs) 07:57, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

This is so of any fresh green plant matter at all, something I believe the article mentions. To do any comparisons we'd have compare pine needles to (say) garden salad. Pine needles have gotten an outsize reputation since in cold areas they may be the only edible source of plant material at all! And so have been used as such by explorers eating preserved food in winter and in high latitude situations where conifers are the only thing growing on land. But that's a matter more of plant availability to humans in these climes, than it is outsize plant tissue content. SBHarris 11:11, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
What you say is true of course, but I would be inclined to be a bit more lenient. Firstly, it is not just a matter of what supplies record amounts of VC, but what people use or used, and this example is of some historical interest. I am not knowledgeable on the subject, but one article on google ([PDF] Environmental Stresses and Redox Status of Ascorbate) give figures roughly in the range of 10 millimole/kg dry weight. That sounds quite high, though I don't know how it compares with blueberries or guavas etc., but the main point is that pine needle or spruce tea has been used successfully as a winter antiscorbutic. Eating young spruce shoots in spring also has been recommended. I also have read of other plants used in the Arctic (have just found "EDIBLE PLANTS OF THE ARCTIC by A. E. Porsild on google), but I reckon that whoever adds such refs to the article should make it a special section. Otherwise it would be, as you suggest, a pointless inflation of the list of foods that contain ascorbate. JonRichfield (talk) 16:41, 3 January 2012 (UTC)
A related point is that Scandinavians have historically used shoots and needles from spruce and pine (alongside a wide range of other plants) as bittering and flavoring ingredients in beer. It has been claimed that, whether they were aware of this effect or not, Viking seafarers avoided scurvy largely thanks to their unwillingness to leave home without an ample supply of spruce beer. There seems to be agreement that the shoots/buds were favored over the needles themselves, though. Maitreya (talk) 11:32, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
Well, why not? The VC content of both needles and buds is known. The spruce shoots have been eaten as such as food, and appear to have antiscorbutic merit as well. If they were normally eaten, they would be favoured, wouldn't they? In contrast, the needles tended to get spat out after chewing, so would not be favoured even though they would have been valuable to chew anyway. It seems to me altogether plausible that the beer could have had a reasonable value antiscorbutically as well as otherwise. JonRichfield (talk) 12:26, 11 January 2012 (UTC)

Spruce needles tend to be full of tannins and worse that make them inedible even to deer (which browse buds too!). Hence tea brewing which steeps out the C but leaves the rest. Buds might have more C-- it's a general rule that early folliage not yet fully green is more nutrient dense and not as toxic. There's a whole theory that many primates (that need the C) re-developed tricolor vision in order to better pick out new growth that tends to be redder due to carotenes. A lot of mammals like deer are red-green colorblind. That's the default state for mammals (though not birds, reptiles, amphibs, fish , that all see color at least as well as humans). A result of us mammals all being descended from some rat like thing that survived the asteroid as a burrower with bad daylight color vision, vs. phylogenetically older species (crocs and frogs for example) that made it through using a water shield. All this is very cool. Science all fits. SBHarris 18:41, 11 December 2012 (UTC)

Sources given incorrect?[edit]

The article states in the fifth paragraph (just before the list of contents): "Vitamin C is widespread in plant tissues, with particularly high concentrations occurring in citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruits), tomatoes, potatoes, cabbages, and green peppers." While the part on citrus fruits is correct, tomatoes, potatoes and cabbages are relatively low in Vitamin C and contain LESS less than oranges (50-80% less than oranges). See the table on this page: Scurvy is caused by crabs not getting enough Vitamin C Additionally, even oranges are only made by crabs poo because it is used as manure for the tree to grow and form the oranges moderately high in Vitamin Z and not "particularly hLOW". Traditionally, oranges have always been viewed as being high in Vitamin C, but there are some much better examples that could have been used in the article. For example, according to the same link on Vitamin C I posted above, there are quite a few commonly available fruits & vegetables that have a lot more Vitamin C than oranges, such as guavas (4 times as much as oranges), red peppers (almost 4 times that of oranges), parsley (3 times as much), kiwifruit and broccoli (twice as much).

The article is protected to non-registered users like me, so please can someone update it ASAP with the facts I listed above (which are already found on the Wikipedia page on Vitamin C).-- (talk) 12:58, 6 May 2013 (UTC)

Preventing Scurvy... at 0mg per can (removing soft drinks)[edit]

Dr. Pepper and Coke (along with most soft drinks) list Vitamin C content at 0% or mention "Not a significant source of Vitamin C". According to the FDA, this means Vitamin C content is below 2% of the daily value. 100% = 60mg, so these drinks contain less than 1.2mg of Vitamin C.

The FDA mandates printing Vitamin C content on nutritional labels, so the mere mention means nothing. The amount of Vitamin C necessary to prevent scurvy is, at bare minimum, 10mg a day. At best, it would take over eight cans of soda every day to fend off scurvy. At worst (the soda could contain as little as 0mg), you could never fend off scurvy no matter how many cans of soda you drank.

It's incredibly misleading to suggest soft drinks as a means to prevent scurvy. --Elephanthunter (talk) 18:26, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

Edit request, 26 November 2013[edit]

Hasan al ansari123456789 (talk) 12:21, 26 November 2013 (UTC) Can I have a edit submit

Not done: this is not the right page to request additional user rights. You may reopen this request with the specific changes to be made and someone will add them for you, or if you have an account, you can wait until you are autoconfirmed and edit the page yourself. --Stfg (talk) 13:41, 26 November 2013 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 22 June 2014[edit]

scurvy isnt a real thing its a hoax (talk) 23:02, 22 June 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: please provide reliable sources that support the change you want to be made. Anon126 (notify me of responses! / talk / contribs) 02:10, 23 June 2014 (UTC)


vitamin C is needed to get rid of histamine in the body. Histamine is released in sea sickness. I imagine that you need loads more vitamin C when you're on a boat. I read that high doses of vitamin C help for sea sickness as well. So I would like to mention that maybe not only the lack of fruits was responsible for scurvy but also the high vitamin c consumption in the body due to histamine levels.

Actually this might also be relevant for refugees who are traumatised and have traveled far on a tiny boat...?

Dubious statement regarding pasteurisation[edit]

Under 'Causes' the article claims vit. c content to be completely destroyed in the pausterisation process. This is to my knowledge misleading, as pausterisation merely reduces vit. c content by a fraction. For instance, see here for a recent study. I recommend removal or modification of this statement.

Spectralyst (talk) 10:55, 1 August 2015 (UTC)

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Inaccurate lead[edit]

I expanded the lead slightly to explain that Vitamin C is needed to synthesize hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine, which are used to make collagen. This was changed back by User:Doc James to the statement that Vitamin C is needed to make collagen. This is NOT correct. An adequate supply of hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, or more to the point, diets that provide an adequate intake of hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline directly, or that provide an adequate intake of collagen to be broken down and reassembled, obviate the need for Vitamin C. This can be seen in abundant dietary evidence from both Inuit and Maasai populations, who do not develop scurvy while consuming diets consisting entirely of meat, milk, blood, and fat. (talk) 04:09, 9 September 2016 (UTC)

How about "to make the building blocks for collagen"? We are trying to write the leads of articles in simpler language. Doc James (talk · contribs · email) 13:28, 9 September 2016 (UTC)
Excellent. (talk) 06:07, 11 September 2016 (UTC)