Old Pirate’s Disease Comes Soaring Back

An old-fashioned disease once associated with seafaring explorers is making a huge comeback in the U.S. and other developed nations around the world.

This condition — which we barely touched on when I was in medical school because it was so uncommon — has shot up nearly 30% in recent years.1

It comes with a long list of unusual symptoms that include overwhelming fatigue, depression, confusion, shortness of breath, rashes, headaches and joint pain.

In severe cases, you can end up developing anemia, bleeding gums, swelling, bruises, blood blisters and eventually, full-scale ulcers or even death.

I’m talking about scurvy… a disease that was believed to have disappeared with the pirates of the early 18th century. Sailors often came down with the illness since they often went without fruits and vegetables for long stretches of time in between ports of call.

You develop scurvy when your diet is severely deficient in vitamin C.

A recent study found that nearly half of Americans are vitamin C deficient. And as many as 8% of the population — or 26 million people — show signs of scurvy.2 I find that number incredible.

You have to wonder how that’s possible in some of the richest countries in the world… places where we eat too much rather than too little.

The answer lies in the nutrition-less food of today. Let me tell you how we got here:

In ancient times, we used to get thousands and thousands of milligrams of vitamin C from our environment. Every day.

In fact, it was so abundant, we actually lost the ability to make vitamin C in our own bodies.

You see, unlike most mammals that can produce their own vitamin C, humans are totally dependent on their diet to get enough of this life-saving nutrient. This wasn’t a problem for your ancient ancestors. They got enough vitamin C from fresh fruits, vegetables… even from the wild game and seafood they caught.

But our diet has been stripped of vital vitamins, including C. And that makes it almost impossible to get what we need to stay healthy. Think about this…

If humans made their own vitamin C in the same ratio that most mammals do, scientists say we’d produce about 10,000 mg per day. Enough to keep scurvy and a whole list of other diseases at bay.

After all, vitamin C can:

  • Boost your immunity
  • Help you avoid heart disease
  • Dramatically lower stroke risk
  • Protect your eyes from macular degeneration
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Speed wound healing
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Protect against certain kinds of cancer

But even if you eat bowls of vitamin-C rich foods daily, your body might not be absorbing as much as you need. Not only are foods today less nutritious than they were just a few generations ago, your body doesn’t absorb the nutrients in them as well as you get older.

That’s why I recommend a Myers’ cocktail. This IV therapy boosts the antioxidant vitamin and mineral levels in your body much more effectively than what you can get from food.

A Myers’ cocktail typically contains a potent mix of vitamin C. In fact, each treatment has at least 5,000 mg. But we increase the dosage up to 15,000 mg or even more for certain patients.

The cocktail also contains magnesium, calcium, glutathione and a B-vitamin complex. It’s specially designed to boost your immune system and restore your energy levels.

The treatment takes about an hour. It’s one of the most popular treatments I offer at the Sears Institute for Anti-Aging Medicine. If you’d like to learn more about Myer’s cocktail, please call 561-784-7852. My staff will be happy to answer all your questions.

If you can’t make it to South Florida, there are ways you can increase your vitamin C at home. One of the easiest ways is to supplement. I recommend taking 1,500 mg twice a day. In times of stress or sickness, you can take up to 20,000 mg. A powdered form may be more convenient for larger doses.

Enjoy 3 Foods with More Vitamin C than an Orange

You don’t have to eat citrus fruits every day to get enough vitamin C intake from your diet. In fact, there are a lot of foods that have more of this life-saving vitamin than the orange.

  1. Eat this Amazon superfruit — Camu Camu: I first came across these tart cherry-like berries when I was traveling with the Ashaninka Indians in Peru. Camu Camu is a rich source of vitamin C at 2,700 mg per half cup serving. And it has 60 times more vitamin C than an orange!
  1. Go for goji berries. When you compare goji berries and oranges weight for weight, goji berries provide up to 500 times more vitamin C! Remember to eat goji berries raw, in their natural state for the most nutrition.
  1. Tropical fruit provides a powerful punch. The guava — which originated in Central Mexico but quickly spread around the world — has a 165 mg of vitamin C per serving. But be sure to also eat the peel. Just like the apple, the highest concentration of the vitamin is in its skin.

To Your Good Health,

Al Sears, MD

Al Sears, MD, CNS

1. BBC News. “Is scurvy making a comeback?” January 22, 2016.

2. Sardi B. “Vitamin C deficiency still prevalent in US population.” Knowledge of Health. August 15, 2009.