Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that is necessary for normal growth and development.
Leftover amounts of the vitamin leave the body through the urine. That means you need a continuous supply of such vitamins in your diet.
Vitamin C is needed for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of your body. It is used to:
- Form an important protein used to make skin, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels
- Heal wounds and form scar tissue
- Repair and maintain cartilage, bones, and teeth
Vitamin C is one of many antioxidants and it blocks some of the damage caused by free radicals. This can reduce your risk for cancer and possibly even slow the aging process.
- Free radicals are made when your body breaks down food or when you are exposed to tobacco smoke or radiation.
- The buildup of free radicals over time is largely responsible for the aging process.
- Free radicals may play a role in cancer, heart disease, and conditions like arthritis.
The body is not able to make vitamin C on its own, and it does not store vitamin C. It is therefore important to include plenty of vitamin C-containing foods in your daily diet.
- Vitamin C does shorten the duration of illnesses and may result in milder symptoms. To get this benefit, you have to be taking vitamin C before you contract the cold virus.