VIII126 Scurvy

Scurvy is a deficiency disease, arising from a lack of vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in the diet. It occurs most characteristically in the absence of fresh fruit and vegetables, but can still be avoided when these are not consumed if the diet is rich in uncooked meat as in the case of Eskimos (heat destroys the vitamin). Scurvy does not appear in a regularly recognizable way in the ancient medical literature, and its name is not classical but, rather, derived from the north European vernaculars of the Renaissance. It was, for example, schverbaujck in Dutch and scorbuck in Danish, and Latinized in 1541 by Johannes Echthius, a Dutch physician living in Cologne, as scorbutus. In the slave trade it was often called the mal de Luanda.

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