Vitamin C, or L-ascorbic acid, needs no particular introduction. This essential nutrient must be supplied through food because the human body is unable to synthesise it (unlike the bodies of most mammals, excluding primates). Severe vitamin C deficiency was well known to sailors as causing the notorious scurvy.
Vitamin C is what is called a biological cofactor: it is essential for many biochemical reactions in the body where it “assists” proteins and enzymes. For example, it is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and production of red blood cells as well as for optimum immune system function. It is therefore involved in a number of immune mechanisms and contributes to the skin’s barrier function.
When the body defends itself from an external aggression (virus, bacterium, pollution, etc.), it uses vitamin C, which acts as a barrier thanks to its antioxidant properties and its ability to protect against free radicals.
Vitamin C contributes to normal immune system function and helps reduce fatigue. Vitamin C is involved in the synthesis of collagen, which is essential for maintaining the normal structure of multiple tissues such as the bones, cartilage, blood vessels and skin.