Scurvy, Jamestown, Kenneth Carpenters discussed on This Podcast Will Kill You


Cook. For instance, constantly restocked his ships with fresh fruit and vegetables, where wherever they stopped, and I think he had just like one case of scurvy. Wow. Screw wow. Yeah. And just because you were on land during this time. Didn't mean you were safe from scurvy, in fact, around the same time that people started sailing these long distances they started to settle in unfamiliar far off lands where they didn't really know how to survive, for instance, in the first year of the English settlement of Jamestown in Virginia. Many people died of scurvy along with many other illnesses and just straight up starvation of the five hundred that arrived in August of sixteen o nine only sixty were left alive in may sixteen ten oh less later. Holy cow. Jamestown was almost like almost failed completely allow several French expeditions to the great white north of Canada. Also debilitated by scurvy when they stayed too long and head to over winter in Quebec and around there is that where our first hand account came from. No, our first hand account came from California goldrush. If you're interested in this. You can read all about these expeditions. And so so so many more that we just don't have time for in Kenneth carpenters. The history of scurvy in vitamin c. Clearly scurvy had become a pretty big problem in a short amount of time. And it's impact was only continuing to grow, especially as commercial shipping increase throughout the sixteen seventeen hundreds with so many lives, aka wealth at stake. Finding a cure preventative for scurvy was a pretty pressing matter. Yeah. And you would think based on the fact that valid remedies had been written about thousands of years before. Yeah. And that many people on these voyages reported getting instantly better after landing somewhere and eating fruits and vegetables for the first time in ten weeks that the issue of prevention or treatment would be more about the logistics of keeping these fresh fruits on board rather than actually densify ING what it was that would stop scurvy outbreak. Yeah. But I'm I'm guessing it's not from your tone. No. There was still no consensus amongst physicians and ship captains on what was the best anti score Buick. But before we dismiss them as being stupid, or initative, whatever let's consider how these scurvy patterns would have appeared. Okay. I 'cause. If your ship captain, you notice that after weeks and weeks at sea, your crew has bleeding and swollen gums and their legs are full of source. Yeah. You think well, it's probably because they're lazy. They're not moving around. And plus there's that stagnant damp dank air in the ship's belly. Okay. Probably not helping things probably true. Plus, if you're diet is extremely limited for a long period of time, you're probably suffering from a number of different nutritional deficiencies in addition to scurvy, which makes these disease symptoms inconsistent. Okay. From case to case and from ship to ship and journey journey by that, okay? Now treatment you get to land begin to chat down on the food. That's newly available because you're really tired of the same salted meat and porridge or whatever. Suddenly everyone starts to rapidly. Improve scurvy gone might be the air on land is different. You think back to what you're captain pal has said about the. Restorative powers of citrus. And you're like, oh, okay. That could be it. But are take some back with us before we set off again. And you do you tell your crew to you one limited day until you run out, but you do run out and scurvy doesn't immediately reappear. In fact, it takes weeks before it starts to creep back. Okay. So maybe it's not the citrus necessarily that prevents scurvy, but you're not completely willing to give it up. So the next time you set off on an expedition, you try to find a way to bring citrus fruit with you.

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