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Water-soluble organic compound important in animal metabolism. Most animals produce it in their bodies, but humans, other primates, and guinea pigs need it in the diet to prevent scurvy. It is essential in collagen synthesis, wound healing, blood-vessel maintenance, and immunity. Some studies have found a moderate benefit of vitamin C in reducing the duration and severity of the common cold. It works as an antioxidant in the body and is used as a preservative. It is easily destroyed by oxygen. Excellent sources are citrus fruits and fresh vegetables.
Variants of VITAMIN C
vitamin C or ascorbic acid
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on vitamin C, visit Britannica.com.