Vitamin Atlas

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Probably the best-known vitamin, Vitamin C (a.k.a. ascorbic acid), is also widely misunderstood. Its main roles are to strengthen your skin and bones, and to neutralize harmful chemicals like free radicals. It is commonly added to food as a preservative. Though it's unlikely that excessive amounts will boost your immunity, Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that should be included as part of your daily diet. And luckily, as a water-soluble vitamin, too much won't hurt you.

What Types of Food Have Vitamin C?

Vitamin C in the World: English Exploration

Map

Click on the buttons to see how Vitamin C plays a role in your:

  • Musculoskeletal
  • General Cellular Function

Musculoskeletal System

Collagen is the most abundant protein in your body. It is used to make and strengthen skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, bones, and teeth.

Musculoskeletal System

The cells in your body that make collagen are called fibroblasts. First, a tiny precursor protein is made in the nucleus of the fibroblast. Next, these precursors are taken to another part of the fibroblast to be modified.

Musculoskeletal System

Vitamin C helps modify theprecursor proteins so that they can eventually combine to form strong, thick strands of collagen.

General Cellular Function

Everybody loves antioxidants, but what do they actually do? Normal functions like making energy and fighting disease can generate potentially damaging by-products (called “free radicals” and “reactive oxygen species”).

General Cellular Function

Don’t worry—this is where Vitamin C saves the day! As one of the main antioxidants in your body, Vitamin C turns those nasties into harmless substances, protecting your cells from damage.