Vitamin C is essential to health. It is required for the growth and repair of tissues in all parts of the body. Vitamin C is essential for the healing of wounds. It is necessary to form collagen, an important protein used to make skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments, and blood vessels, and for the repair and maintenance of cartilage, bones and teeth. Often doctors would include vitamin c as one of the maintenance medicines to give after a minor operation so that patients heal quickly.
Vitamin C is hailed as being a highly effective antioxidant. Antioxidants are nutrients that block some of the damage caused by free radicals. Free Radicals are by-products that result when our bodies transform food into energy. Free radicals cause aging.
Vitamin C is found in high concentrations in immune cells, and is consumed quickly during infections.
In studies, routine vitamin C supplementation does not instantly reduce the incidence of the common cold in the general population, but it is known to effectively prevent cold when consumed regularly. It is said that regular vitamin C supplementation (oral doses of 200 mg per day or more) reduces the duration of viral colds both in adults and children by 8% and 13%, respectively.
Vitamin C such as ascorbic acid is the most widely taken dietary supplement. It is readily available in tablets, capsules, drink mix packets, in multi-vitamin formulations, in multiple antioxidant formulations, and crystalline powder.
Relatively large doses of ascorbic acid may cause indigestion or hyper acidity, particularly when taken on an empty stomach, so it is important to consume it after a meal. However, taking vitamin C in the form of sodium ascorbate and calcium ascorbate may minimize this effect. Vitamin C is water soluble, with dietary excesses not absorbed and rapidly excreted in the urine. It exhibits remarkably low toxicity.