Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin that boosts immunity, builds resistance against common infections, promotes tissue growth and repair and supports collagen production. It is also one of many antioxidants that neutralises free radicals and protects the body against oxidative stress.
Being water-soluble, vitamin C cannot be stored in the body, as it dissolves in water and can easily leave the body via urine. As a result, it is important to have a constant supply of vitamin C from the diet.
Common food sources include citrus fruits (e.g. lemons, oranges, grapefuits and kiwi) and vegetables (e.g. brussels sprouts, kale, spinach and asparagus).
Symptoms of a vitamin C deficiency include muscle weakness, fatigue, poor wound healing, and scurvy (gum bleeding).