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Vitamin C

Legendary for its ability to ward off the common cold, vitamin C is important for everyone.

What Vitamin C Does For The Body

Vitamin C defends against harmful free radicals known to contribute to cancer, heart disease, inflammatory conditions like arthritis, and premature skin wrinkling.

It is also a building block of collagen—essential proteins required for the formation of skin cells, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels. Vitamin C encourages the growth of strong cartilage, bones, and teeth, and reduces the risk of diabetes.

What happens if you don't have enough vitamin C: A lack of vitamin C can lead to dry hair and skin, bleeding or inflamed gums (gingivitis), nosebleeds, weakened tooth enamel, painful joints, anemia and increased bruising. It can also result in a slow metabolism - and weight gain.

Long-term vitamin C deficiency is known as scurvy. Though rare in the U.S., scurvy affects extremely malnourished individuals and is marked by general weakness and small patches of discolored skin.

What happens if you have too much: A water soluble nutrient, excess amounts of vitamin C tend to be naturally flushed from the body (usually through urine). Too much vitamin C can cause stomach cramping and indigestion.

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