How does vitamin C work?

Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin, which means that it will dissolve in water. It works as an antioxidant, which means that it helps to prevent the growth of free radicals, problematic molecules that damage cells. Vitamin C also helps to boost the immune system in many ways, and helps the body absorb iron from food that is digested. Vitamin C also helps in the development of tissues and bone growth.

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is probably one of the most highly publicized, yet least understood of all of the vitamins. Vitamin C is important to all animals, including humans, because it is vital to the production of collagen. Collagen is the most ubiquitous (ever-present) substance in the body because it is the most abundant of the fibers contained in connective tissue. Connective tissue gives our body form and support to our organs.

Vitamin C is also important because it helps protect the fat-soluble vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids from oxidation. Vitamin C prevents and cures the disease scurvy, and can be beneficial in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia.

It is interesting to note that most animals produce their own vitamin C. Man, primates (apes, chimps, etc.) and guinea pigs have lost this ability. Due to this similarity with man, guinea pigs have been subjected to experimentation over the years. See also:

Vitamin C has plays many roles in your body such as a coenzyme, antioxidant, and immune system booster.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, acts as a coenzyme that is needed to synthesize and use certain amino acids. In particular, vitamin C is needed to make collagen, the most abundant protein in your body. Collagen is plentiful in your connective tissue, which supports and connects all your body parts, so this protein is needed for healthy bones, teeth, skin, and blood vessels. Thus, a vitamin C deficient diet would affect your entire body.

Like beta-carotene and vitamin E, vitamin C acts an antioxidant that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer. It also helps you absorb the iron in plant foods such as grains and cereals and break down histamine, the component behind the inflammation seen in many allergic reactions

Vitamin C helps keep your immune system healthy by enabling your body to make white blood cells. These blood cells fight infections.

Both citrus fruit and broccoli are great sources of vitamin C.
Picture of citrus & broccoli

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.