Here is a report making the news today in Australia. These are not people living in some remote location where fruit and vegetables are prohibitively expensive. They live in the largest city of a very wealthy country which produces an abundance of fruit and vegetables year round and where public health campaigns promoting inclusion of fruit and vegetables in the diet are very common. Apart from having diabetes, there doesn't seem to be anything unusual about the group. They came to the attention of their treating doctors because of wounds which didn't heal - wounds which the doctors expected should heal. Eventually lack of vitamin C was considered as a possible explanation, blood tests confirmed this and sure enough, supplementation soon fixed the problem. The patients tended to avoid fruit because of the diabetes but most of them did eat reasonable amounts of vegetables. The doctors concluded that their poor vit C status was due to their overcooking the vegetables. They also canvassed the possibility that vitamin C deficiency could be widespread in the population. How did these people end up with such a compromised vit C status that overcooking of vegetables could send them into scurvy? I thought this was an interesting question, particularly in light of the widespread and complacent assertion by many in the health professions that we get plenty of vitamins/minerals from our food and supplements are unnecessary. I am interested in the notion that different health conditions and circumstances can change demands for nutrients. The recent metabolomics studies in CFS/ME confirm widespread metabolic derangement which could dramatically alter nutrient status and indeed one studied concluded that it is akin to a starvation state. This report on the diabetics made me think there must be some derangement of vit C metabolism going on. A quick google suggests that there is at least some evidence for increased demand for vit C. Maybe it is time for more questioning of the notion that diet alone is sufficient to supply nutrients.