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Vitamin C is an essential nutrient required for growth and repair of tissues in our bodies. It is also needed to form collagen, an important protein and component of blood vessels, tendons, ligaments and bone. In addition, vitamin C is an antioxidant, a disease-fighting molecule that helps prevent disease by fighting free radicals, substances that can attack and damage the body's cells and tissues. Free radicals are formed by normal bodily processes as well as by environmental contaminants like cigarette smoke. Because our bodies can't make and store vitamin C, we must obtain this nutrient through our diet.
Vitamin C deficiency can cause dry hair and skin, bleeding gums, decreased wound healing and bruising. A more serious, severe deficiency can lead to scurvy, but this is uncommon; however it can occur in malnourished individuals, and those with increased vitamin C requirements, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women and infants receiving unsupplemented milk d...
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