Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)

Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, plays a vital role in the maintenance of connective tissue. Connective tissue is one of the most abundant tissues in the body, making up everything from gums, to hair, to cartilage. Ancient sailors that went on long voyages without fruits and vegetables developed signs of scurvy including: formation of spots on the skin, spongy gums, bleeding from the mucous membranes, and paleness. Symptoms of Vitamin C deficiency include depression, malaise, and lethargy. As scurvy advances, there can be open, suppurating wounds, loss of teeth, jaundice, fever, neuropathy and death. Vitamin-C rich citrus fruits noticed their gum. Vitamin C functions as a cofactor to enzymes involved in the hydroxylation of collagen.

http://www.vitamincfoundation.org/collagen.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scurvy
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vitamin_C#Collagen.2C_carnitine.2C_and_tyrosine_synthesis.2C_and_microsomal_metabolism

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