A recent study indicates that Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback -- including one disease more commonly associated with pirates.
As we recently reported, an alarming new study indicates that Victorian-era diseases are making a comeback, including cholera, scarlet fever, measles, tuberculosis and … scurvy.
Yes, scurvy, the disease we most often associate with pirates is something that is still possible to get in modern times. And considering the way diets have changed for the worse with people eschewing the healthy for the fast, cheap, and tasty, it’s perhaps not too surprising that it is starting to pop up more and more.
The study found that scurvy in England has increased by 38 percent in recent years, and scientists believe it’s tied to poverty and malnutrition.
The reason why we associate scurvy pirates or generally sailors on ships in the 17th century is because it is essentially a deficiency in vitamin C. Because these ships would go on long voyages lasting months, and there was no way to preserve fruits and vegetables, the sailors would run out of fresh produce not long into the voyage and would begin to contract the disease as their journey dragged on. It’s why scurvy is a real concern for NASA as it considers sending astronauts on a long mission to Mars.
Vitamin C has a lot of uses in our body. It helps strengthen our skin and blood vessels, acts as an antioxidant, helps with the absorption of iron, fights infections — and that’s just a few of its benefits.
That’s why scurvy is such an unpleasant disease to get. It results in a general feeling of unwellness, fatigue, nausea, dairrhea, fever, and pain in the joints and muscles.
So make sure you eat your fruits and vegetables.