The Versatile Antioxidant Vitamin
Vitamin C as an antioxidant, helps reduce the activity of free radicals, by products of normal metabolism which nonetheless can damage cells and set the stage for aging, degeneration, and cancer. This article provides information on the many benefits of Vitamin C as an antioxidant.
Slice an apple into half, and it turns brown. A copper penny suddenly becomes green, or an iron nail when left outside, will rust. What do all these events have in common? These are examples of a process called oxidation. If the sliced apple is dipped in a lemon juice, however, the rate at which the apple turns brown is slowed. It is because the Vitamin C in the lemon juice slows the rate of oxidative damage.
Since its discovery 65 years ago, vitamin C has come to be known as a “wonder worker.” Because of its role in collagen formation and other life-sustaining functions, Vitamin C serves as a key immune system nutrient and a potent free-radical fighter. This double-duty nutrient has been shown to prevent many illnesses, from everyday ailments such as the common cold to devastating diseases such as cancer.
The water-soluble vitamin C is known in the scientific world as ascorbic acid, a term that actually means “without scurvy.” We depend on ascorbic acid for many aspects of our biochemical functioning; yet human beings are among only a handful of animal species that cannot produce their own supply of vitamin C. Like these other animals, including primates and guinea pigs, we have no choice but to obtain this nutrient through food or our daily diet.