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.
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.
Vitamin C, as an antioxidant, helps reduce the activity of free radicals. Free radicals are by-products of normal metabolism which can damage cells and set the stage for aging, degeneration, and cancer. It shouldn’t come as any surprise that vitamin C is being used for cancer treatment. In large doses, Vitamin C is sometimes administered intravenously as part of cancer treatment.
As an antioxidant, vitamin C's primary role is to neutralize free radicals. Since ascorbic acid is water soluble, it can work both inside and outside the cells to combat free radical damage. Vitamin C is an excellent source of electrons; therefore, it “can donate electrons to free radicals such as hydroxyl and superoxide radicals and quench their reactivity.”