Scurvy is a historically documented disease and was encountered in earlier days by sailors on long voyages foregoing fresh fruits and vegetables.
Though many animals can synthesize it in their body and are free from scurvy, unfortunately man has to depend on his food sources for vitamin C.
Health care and nutrition guidelines recommend a daily intake of 75 to 100mg of ascorbic acid (vitamin C).
Inadequate or irregular intake of ascorbic acid can lead to clinical manifestations of this disease in two to three months.Initial symptoms of scurvy disease include lethargy, tiredness and malaise.
With chronic deficiency scurvy progresses and is characterised by spongy gums, bleeding gums, loosened teeth, bleeding beneath the skin, bleeding from the mucous membranes, extreme weakness, myalgia, anemia, pain in the bones, easy bruising and retarded wound healing, oedema, perifolicular hemorrhage and corkscrew hairs and depression.
A relationship appears to be present between alcoholism and vitamin C.
When blood levels of alcohol are high, vitamin C appears to be excreted in urine in greater quantities causing deficiency.
This can be treated by supplementation of ascorbic acid in high doses till recovery.