Photo of a plate of lemons

The importance of lemons in clinical trials!

Here at Covance Leeds we love to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day on the 20th May every year. Did you know that there is a surprising link between the humble lemon and the history of clinical trials?

Lemons are such a versatile citrus fruit and most of us love a refreshing glass of lemonade or a rich slice of lemon drizzle cake now and again, but in fact lemons were also central to the discovery of how to treat the condition Scurvy, an illness which is the result of a lack of Vitamin C.

Doctor James Lind, a Royal Navy doctor performed the first clinical trial aboard The HMS Salisbury on 20th of May 1747. By testing various treatments on sailors who were suffering from Scurvy, he was able to discover that oranges and lemons were effective in treating the condition.

Clinical Trials Day is a chance to highlight the importance of the work involved in clinical trials by scientists and volunteers alike, in order to advance the development of medicines.

This year we decided to celebrate International Clinical Trials Day with a bake-off competition here at our Covance Leeds facility, with delicious lemon and orange baked goods competing to be judged the best. It certainly must be a hard job to judge which cake is the tastiest! In honour of the bake-off, here is a link to some of the loveliest lemon recipes we could find from BBC Good Food!  We are always looking for volunteers to participate in our paid clinical trials and we have a range of studies currently available. You can see the list of our upcoming clinical trials here: