Latent scurvy with fatigue and leg pain in alcoholics: an underestimated disease. Three case reports

Little is known about the condition of latent scurvy, whose symptoms are nonspecific and can mimic more common conditions such as weakness, leg pain, and muscle soreness, these researchers note. They report in detail three alcoholics with scurvy.

Vitamin C supplementation allowed symptoms to regress, greatly improved quality of life, and gave the ability to return to work, they note, suggesting the following mechanism behind it: The amino acid carnitine, which vitamin C requires for its hydroxylation, is an essential cofactor for the transport of long-chain fatty acids into the mitochondrial matrix. Impairment of carnitine metabolism is thought to be responsible for weakness or muscle soreness.

Researchers recommend being aware of the possibility of latent scurvy in chronic alcohol abusers. Vitamin C intake and dietary recommendations to eat fresh fruits and vegetables may help cure fatigue and return to socializing and work more easily, they say.

Latent Scurvy With Tiredness and Leg Pain in Alcoholics: An Underestimated Disease Three Case Reports.

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