Ascorbic acid Vitamin C is an essential nutrient. The body requires it to form and maintain bones, blood vessels, and skin. Like other vitamins, ascorbic acid is an organic compound. Ascorbic acid is a water-soluble vitamin, one that cannot be stored by the body except in insignificant amounts. It must be replenished daily. Ascorbic acid helps produce collagen, a protein needed to develop and maintain healthy teeth, bones, gums, cartilage, vertebrae discs, joint linings, skin and blood vessels. Ascorbic acid also does the following: 1. Promotes the healing of cuts, abrasions and wounds. 2. Helps fight infections. 3. Appears to dilate (widen, enlarge) blood vessels and thereby lessen the risk of developing high blood pressure and heart disease. 4. Helps regulate cholesterol levels. 5. Appears to lower the risk of developing cataracts, clouding of the lens of the eye that impairs vision. 6. Aids iron absorption.