Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin. Unlike most mammals, humans do not have the ability to make their own vitamin C. Therefore, we must obtain vitamin C through our diet.
Vitamin C is also a highly effective antioxidant. Even in small amounts vitamin C can protect indispensable molecules in the body, such as proteins, lipids (fats), carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from damage by free radicals and reactive oxygen species that can be generated during normal metabolism as well as through exposure to toxins and pollutants (e.g. smoking). Vitamin C may also be able to regenerate other antioxidants such as vitamin E.
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