Ascorbic Acid (vitamin C)

Photomicrograph of Ascorbic Acid under the microscope

Vitamin C is perhaps the most popular vitamin among the common nutrients and biochemicals. Because the vitamin is water-soluble, it must be regularly replenished and is commonly found in fresh fruits, especially in the citrus family that is dominated by oranges, lemons, limes, and tangerines. Vitamin C (commonly referred to as ascorbic acid) is also abundant in green leafy vegetables. One of the prime responsibilities of ascorbic acid is to assist in the production of collagen, the principal protein used to synthesize connective tissue that is essential to skin, bone, and cartilage formation. Vitamin C accomplishes this task by helping the body utilize such nutrients as carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. More Important, ascorbic acid is recognized as a potent anti-oxidant, helping to protect cells from damage by free radicals. The biochemical is also essential for wound healing and in strengthening blood vessel walls. Among the many sources of vitamin C are grapefruits, melons, papaya, cabbage, strawberries, broccoli, winter squash and raspberries.

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