When Life Gives You Lemons: The Truth About Vitamin C June 25 2014, 0 Comments

        Between the years 1500-1800 over two million sailors died of a disease called Scurvy that could have been cured by the juice of a lemon. Scurvy is caused by a severe and chronic Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) deficiency. According to Professor Kenneth J. Carpenter, “If we exclude straight forward famine, scurvy is probably the nutritional deficiency disease that caused the most suffering in recorded history.”


        It is important to note that none of the different vitamins, including Vitamin C can work alone. It takes the support of other vitamins and minerals, working together for them to be effective.  Most people think of taking Vitamin C when they’ve got a cold or the flu. But it is actually highly debated as a treatment for the common cold. Here’s the low down. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is required for at least 300 metabolic functions in the body including but certainly not limited to tissue growth, proper bone maintenance, wound healing, healthy skin, vascular health, adrenal gland function, and healthy gums.
        It is vital in the formation of collagen, which is a protein that is necessary for laying down the initial new bone matrix, and then requires Vitamin D, Phosphorus, and Calcium to solidify the process. It is also vital for the strengthening of blood vessels and for giving skin its elasticity and strength.
        As an antioxidant, it acts as a weapon against a whole host of free radicals in the body, making it a prime cancer-fighting ingredient. It is also imperative for proper iron absorption in red blood cells.
Also, Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine. Whereas things like Benedryl and it’s cousins may inhibit histamines after their formation, Vitamin C actually prevents the formation of histamines.


        James Lind, a Scottish physician in the mid 1700s finally connected citrus fruits with Scurvy by conducting what is considered the first really scientific medical experiment in history, and then successfully used it as a treatment and prevention.
        In 1799, British Royal Navy began to require a daily ration of Citrus juices to each of its sailors. And when the sailors in the British navy stopped dying of Scurvy, it put them at a distinct military advantage over their adversaries, making them a serious military naval power. In 1928 Vitamin C itself was discovered and isolated by Albert Szent-Gyoergyi as the sub stance in citrus fruits that cured Scurvy.

                                                                           Final Thoughts

        Despite the proof that there was something in the juice of a lemon that was keeping people from getting sick, they still managed many different times to ignore this, and then wondered why it kept happening. This is something that we still do today. For some reason we continue to ignore and deny the importance of the things that we put in our body.
        They’ll tell you that Scurvy has pretty much become obsolete, but has it really? Perhaps full on Scurvy has, but the symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency are still rampant in our society. Heart disease, bone and skin disorders, cancer… The list goes on. It is not just a good idea for us to get sufficient amounts of Vitamin C, it is absolutely critical.
By: Katherine Wallace

1. James Lind. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 27, 2014, from
2. Appleton Associates Ltd.(2007-2012). The Vitamin C Story. Retrieved 
from www.vitaminc.co.nz/vitamin-c-story.htm
3. Carpenter, Kenneth. J. (1986). The History of Scurvy and Vitamin C. 
Retrieved from jn.nutrition.org
4. Vitamin C. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved May 20, 2014, from http:/