14 September 2008

Man can't live by bread and water alone

Imagine you have been on a "bread and water" diet for three weeks and have noticed that a cut on your shin won't heal and bleeds easily. Why?

The inability to heal would largely be due to lack of vitamin C. Proper maintenance and repair of tissue depends on this essential nutrient (Tortora & Derrikson, 2006).

Once confirming a deficiency of vitamin C, assume signs of scurvy. According to Medline, along with skin hemmorrhages, general weakness, anemia, and gum disease.

Just an orange a day is sufficient for preventing scurvy, according to researchers from University of Toronto (Weinstein, Babyn & Zlotkin, 2001). The vitamin C in the citrus fruit serve as the right treatment.

My body would also need protein to produce healing. Nutrition consultant James Collier says the amino acids, along with vitamin C and zinc, are essential for the production of collagen and even a short duration of lack of protein can significantly slow healing (n.d.). Collier also suggests B vitamins, vitamin K, carbohydrates and fats are important. A few of these nutrients may have been supplied by the bread. Lack of protein would also significantly slow healing because your body would hold onto it for other vital functions (Tortora & Derrikson, 2006).


Collier, J. (n.d.). "Nutrition and wound healing." Retrieved on Sept. 14, 2008 from http://www.dietetics.co.uk/article-nutrition-wound-healing.asp.

Medline Plus. (2008). "Medical Encyclopedia: Scurvy." Retrieved on Sept. 14, 2008 from http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000355.htm.

Tortora, G.J. & Derrikson, B. (2006). Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Weinstein, M., Babyn, P. & Zlotkin, S. (2001). An orange a day keeps the doctor away: Scurvy in the year 2000. Pediatrics, 108:3, p. e55. Retrieved on Sept. 14, 2008 from http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/abstract/108/3/e55.

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