Effects Of Scurvy During The Middle Ages And The Age Of Sail

1598 Words7 Pages
Imagine having swollen gums, tooth loss, fatigue, bruising, and exposure to new disease, only to die a few weeks after. With education, medicinal practices and accessibility to resources, the risk of scurvy proves less viable in our modern society. However, scurvy dominated the outbreaks and contributed to the onset of other pathogens during the Middle Ages and the Age of Sail. With over two million died during voyages, the disease impacted the ability to explore the world, the economy and ended up wiping out new colonies established from the Old World (Harthorne, 1). Caused by a lack of education, mundane conditions and diet, Scurvy became an epidemic between 1500 and 1800. Thus, scurvy ended up impacting the Columbian exchange and the role of history. Scurvy occurs as a result of a lack of Vitamin C for prolonged periods of time. Humans regularly use Vitamin C to perform vital function in the body. In the Age of Exploration, sailors went without any Vitamin C for upwards of a month due to a lack of education, inhumane conditions, and the spoilage time for fruits and vegetables. To get enough sailors to voyage across the world, captains and current workers would capture people to join their crew, never to see their families again. The captured faced deplorable conditions, including working vigorously for hours on end, limited sleep, rats crawling around and fecal matter around them. Stress levels increase due to the barbaric conditions they faced. Studies show that workers

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