Scurvy is a disease resulting from a lack of Vitamin C (ascorbic acid). Early symptoms include weakness, feeling tired, and sore arms and legs. Without treatment, decreased red blood cells, gum disease, changes to hair, and bleeding from the skin may occur. As scurvy worsens there can be poor wound healing, personality changes, and finally death from infection or bleeding https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy
Scurvy is the manifestation of a lack of collagen in the body. Collagen is the building block for our skin and other connective tissues. Basically if you don’t get enough Vitamin C, you’re going to die.
Or will you?
What this reference doesn’t tell you, nor do most of the references to scurvy, is that we only need extra vitamin C if we are eating plant based foods.
Vitamin C is required to convert the amino acids proline and lysine into hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine so that collagen can be formed in the body. In plant based foods proline and lysine are available but in their pre-hydroxylated form. Vitamin C is what brings them together.
Meat and animal products have hydroxyproline and hydroxylysine in them already. There is no need for Vitamin C because it wouldn’t have anything to do in your system.
Vitamin C is required to form collagen in the body, and it does this – despite being described everywhere as an antioxidant – by oxidation. Vitamin C’s role in collagen formation is to transfer a hydroxyl group to the amino acids lysine and proline.
Meat, however, already contains appreciable quantities of hydroxylysine and hydroxyproline, bypassing some of the requirement for vitamin C. In other words, your vitamin C requirement is dependent upon how much meat you do not eat.
Also, Glucose (carbs) take a higher processing priority in our body than Vitamin C. They use the same mechanism to get broken down for use. This is one of the reasons you need more vitamin C in your body if you are eating carbs. Your body doesn’t process a majority of the vitamin C in what you eat because the carbs are taking all the seats on the train.
- We don’t need vitamin C if we don’t eat carbs and
- If we eat carbs we need more Vitamin C because the carbs are pushy and won’t let the vitamin C get where it needs to go.