Vitamin C crystals, polarised light micrograph. Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is a chemical essential for good health. It is required for the production of collagen, the main constituent in connective tissue, acts as a reducing agent to maintain cellular health, and as an antioxidant to help mop up destructive free radicals. Vitamin C deficiency leads to scurvy, causing bleeding and bruising, loose teeth, a weakened immune system and anaemia. It is fatal if left untreated.
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