La Isabela, modern day Dominican Republic ─ An entire village wiped out from disease!
Archeologists recently dug up and studied the bones of the early settlers of La Isabela and discovered severe Vitamin C deficiency, otherwise known as scurvy. Influenza, malaria and smallpox were blamed for the demise of this village. However, due to the recent study on the remains found near the village’s church graveyard, it’s been discovered that the 1500 people of Christopher Columbus’s first settlement had a severe deficiency in Vitamin C.
Archeologists, Tiesler and colleagues (2014), investigated the evidence of the settlers and the lost colony with histological (blood) and macroscopic testing. Of the 48 remains that they tested, men, women and children, no one was older than fifty at the time of their death. Twenty-eight of the better-preserved skeletons had legions common with scurvy. Scurvy was common among seafarers at the time, and upon reaching Hispaniola, the settlers didn’t know enough about the local environment to pursue a proper diet. Instead, they relied on delayed shipments from Spain which often did not include a lot of fruit. Unfortunately, the severe lack of Vitamin C is what eventually led to their deaths.
Health Problems Due to a Severe Vitamin C Deficiency:
- Painful joints
- Swollen joints
- Bleeding gums
- High blood pressure
- Increased risk of cancer
- Risk of illness and disease
Early Signs of a Vitamin C Deficiency:
- Chronic Fatigue
- Reopening of past wounds
- Wounds not healing properly
It is known that the earliest European colonists were surrounded by fruits rich in Vitamin C. However since they didn’t take advantage of their environment, they never recovered from being severely deficient in Vitamin C from the long boat ride over to the new land.
Even today, being severely deficient in Vitamin C can lead to scurvy. Of course, fevers, diseases and epidemics lead to the final demise of the settlers in this area but having scurvy leads to a seriously weakened immune system which then makes it hard for the body to fight off any illness or disease.
The Importance of A Strong Immune System!
It is important to keep your immune system strong and healthy! One way to do this is to make sure you are getting enough of Vitamin C in your diet. If you don’t eat enough of foods containing high levels of vitamin C, either start to immediately, or look into vitamin supplements.
In conclusion, make sure to take care of your immune system and get the proper amount of Vitamin C in your diet! Stay tuned for a post about which foods contain the highest amounts of Vitamin C ─ foods you should be eating every day!
Robin and The Zen Team!
*Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photos Source: Pixabay.com