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Scurvy Makes a Comeback in Australia

Several new cases of the pirate disease break out in Australia due to low fruit and vegetable consumption.


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Several new cases of scurvy have been reported in Sydney, Australia. The disease—brought on by a vitamin C deficiency—was discovered in several patients by the head of the Centre for Diabetes, Obesity, and Endocrinology at Westmead Institute, Jenny Gunton. “When I asked them about their diets,” Gunton explained, “one person was eating little or no fresh fruit and vegetables.” While occasional cases of scurvy do arise in the modern world, the disease—the symptoms of which are bleeding gums, bruising, joint pain, and inefficient wound healing—was mainly a concern on sailing vessels in the Middle Ages. Gunton says that poor dietary choices have led to new cases of scurvy. “It highlights a danger that you can consume plenty of calories, yet not receive enough nutrients.” Foods highest in vitamin C include oranges, red peppers, kale, and Brussels sprouts.

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