|Chemical Formula||C6H8O6 or HC6H7O6|
|Molecular weight||176.12 g/mol|
|Names and Identifiers|
|Traditional Name||Vitamin C, Ascorbic acid, L-ascorbic acid|
|CAS Registry Number||50-81-7|
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid and L-ascorbic acid, is a vitamin found in food and used as a dietary supplement. The disease scurvy is prevented and treated with vitamin C-containing foods or dietary supplements. Evidence does not support use in the general population for the prevention of the common cold. There is, however, some evidence that regular use may shorten the length of colds. It is unclear if supplementation affects the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, or dementia. It may be taken by mouth or by injection.
Vitamin C is generally well tolerated. Large doses may cause gastrointestinal discomfort, headache, trouble sleeping, and flushing of the skin. Normal doses are safe during pregnancy. The United States Institute of Medicine recommends against taking large doses.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient involved in the repair of tissue and the enzymatic production of certain neurotransmitters. It is required for the functioning of several enzymes and is important for immune system function. It also functions as an antioxidant. Foods containing vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwifruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, raw bell peppers, and strawberries. Prolonged storage or cooking may reduce vitamin C content in foods.