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Nutritional disorder caused by deficiency of vitamin C. Deficiency interferes with tissue synthesis, causing swollen, bleeding gums; loose teeth; sore, stiff joints and legs; bleeding under the skin and in deep tissues; slow wound healing; and anemia. The scourge of sailors on long sea voyages, scurvy was recognized as diet-related in 1753, when James Lind showed that drinking citrus juice could cure and prevent it, leading to the concept of deficiency diseases. Full-blown scurvy is now rare, and adequate vitamin C usually cures even severe cases in days.
Variants of SCURVY
scurvy or vitamin C deficiency
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on scurvy, visit Britannica.com.