Vitamin C deficiency
Vitamin C deficiency causes scurvy, which was first described by Lind in the eighteenth century.
Occurs in the poor, pregnant or those on a peculiar diet. Young children have a high requirement. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is found in citrus fruits, potatoes, green vegetables and fortified fruit drinks. Vitamin C is involved in the hydroxylation of proline to hydroxyproline necessary for collagen synthesis.
Patients develop listlessness, anorexia, cachexia, gingivitis, loose teeth, petechial haemorrhages and bleeding.
Ascorbic acid supplementation is rapidly effective.