Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

Tags: scurvy | vitamin C | ascorbic acid

Scurvy: A Medical History

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Tuesday, 10 April 2018 04:41 PM Current | Bio | Archive

The earliest documented cases of scurvy came from the ancient Egyptians, as far back as 1550 BC. Sailors, in particular, suffered from severe vitamin C deficiency during long sea journeys.

The first Western physician to describe scurvy was a Dutchman known as Echthius, in 1541. But while Echthius correctly described the symptoms of scurvy, he incorrectly thought that it was an infectious disease.

In 1540, French explorer Jacques Cartier had learned from the Native Americans in Canada that scurvy could be cured using pine needles.

In 1617, Dr. John Woodall and Dr. James Lind of England wrote a book which described scurvy and suggested lemon juice as the cure for sailors.

Later it was determined that, in fact, oranges and lemons could effectively treat scurvy.

When the British switched to lime juice to prevent the disease, their sailors became known as Limeys.

In 1907, two Norwegian physicians who were studying beriberi (thiamine deficiency) in sailors began to feed guinea pigs a diet of processed grains and flour.

The guinea pigs, to their surprise, developed scurvy-like symptoms. Until that time, scurvy was thought to only occur in humans.

The Norwegian physicians cured the guinea pigs’ scurvy with fresh fruit. It was later learned that guinea pigs are one of the few animals (humans included) who do not manufacture their own vitamin C.

Finally, in 1927 Hungarian physiologist Dr. Albert Szent-Gyorgyi isolated an extract from adrenal glands that he thought was the anti-scurvy agent.

This extract was named ascorbic acid, later called vitamin C.

In 1937, Dr. Szent-Gyorgyi won the Nobel Prize in Physiology for his discoveries.

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The earliest documented cases of scurvy came from the ancient Egyptians, as far back as 1550 BC. Sailors, in particular, suffered from severe vitamin C deficiency during long sea journeys.
scurvy, vitamin C, ascorbic acid
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2018-41-10
Tuesday, 10 April 2018 04:41 PM
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