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Vitamin C

A condition known as scurvy is caused by a deficiency of Vitamin C. Though the origin of this condition was unknown for many years, a description of the symptoms with which it is associated appears in one of the oldest known medical texts, the Ebers Papyrus of ancient Egypt. These symptoms include slow healing from wounds, a loosening of the teeth, swollen gums, and bruises or open sores on the skin. In 1747, James Lind, a naval surgeon, discovered that citrus fruit and their juices provided relief from the disease. Subsequently, British military seaman, who often spent extended periods of time away from land consuming nonperishable foods with little vitamin content, were provided with a daily ration of lime juice to stave off outbreaks of scurvy.

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