Sailors, most famously on arctic journeys found that a lack of fresh food led to them getting scurvy, a condition caused by lack of vitamin C,(ascorbic acid). A Scottish surgeon in the Royal Navy, James Lind, is accredited for solving this by taking on board limes or other Citrus fruits.
Lesser known is what Arctic Explorer, Vilhjalmur Stefansson learned from living with the native Inuit. Afflicted sailors who were able to abstain from other food and eat fresh meat (hunted on the ice-pack), were able to quickly recover from the condition. This is because, unlike humans, many mammals retain the ability to make their own ascorbic acid internally, and we can access this by eating them.
It would take them from 3 days to about 3 weeks to adapt to this high fat diet, then they thrived on it, despite the harsh working conditions.
Why Vitamin C is critical for the healthy function our immune systems
A Macrophage is a soldier of the immune system, that like Pac-Man gobbles up anything that is either a threat or no longer functional.
Much of what it eats is oxidative (thieves electrons from healthy tissues), so it must be packed with ascorbic acid (Vit C) which has an extra electron available to neutralize the cargo.
Glucose molecules have a similar chemical structure to ascorbic acid,(glucose has 4 extra hydrogen atoms) and so block or pre-saturate our brave macrophages.
These unarmed soldiers quickly become part of the oxidized goop that runs out your nose, or worse gets locked up in inflammation or arterial plaques
This is why attaining Vit. C will not help in a high glucose (carbohydrates) environment or in a situation where oxidative stress is overwhelming (such as from ingesting the oils from seeds high in omega 6).
Fresh fatty meat does contain enough vitamin C for our needs,(without the glucose hit) so long as we avoid excessive oxidative stress and glucose, (carbohydrates).
I avoid oxidative stress, so that the Vit C i am getting from precious fat animals is not wasted. Ascorbic acid will not even make it into my macrophages if they are pre-saturated in glucose. It’s a systemic perspective, that I find beautiful and simple, I try not to fight nature.
** “If an observer were watching for the onset of scurvy and had in mind, among other things, the psychiatric aspect, the first symptom noticed would probably be an emotional or temperamental change—the victim becomes more argumentative, more irritable, likelier to take affront, more inclined to pessimistic interpretations.** quote from the book The Fat of the Land
For the research from Hungary into Glucose competing with Ascorbic Acid in our immune system please see this work I look forward to sharing more of their amazing work
Also for a more accurate, (medical grade) explanation than this post and deeper look into the fascinating history, I totally recommend Amber L Hearn's work
The carnivore way of eating has proved to be of enourmous benefit to people who have tried every thing else to heal disease and relieve chronic pain. Now it is being adopted by performance athletes, bio hackers and anybody looking to enjoy greater physical and mental health.