Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin—meaning that our bodies do not store it so we need to obtain it from food or supplements. It is an antioxidant, which blocks damage caused by free radicals. Too many free radicals may contribute to the aging process as well as the development of cancer, heart disease and arthritis. We need Vitamin C for the growth and repair of tissue, and it helps the body produce collagen—an important protein that is used to make skin, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, vertebral discs, joint linings and capillary walls. It is also needed for healing wounds and repairing and maintaining bones and teeth.