Vitamin C is composed of 6 carbon atoms, 8 hydrogen atoms and 6 oxygen atoms. The compound can also be referred to as ascorbic acid, and it is found naturally occurring in several foods, including citrus fruits and other vegetables. Ascorbic acid helps to maintain connective tissues and bones in the body, and it is considered to be an antioxidant, according to the National Institutes of Health.
Vitamin C carries numerous therapeutic qualities that are useful in treating certain health issues, as stated by the National Institutes of Health. For example, the antioxidant factor means that vitamin C scavenges for free radicals in the body, which are known to have multiple negative effects on the body. Vitamin C has also been noted to have positive effects in the treatment of scurvy and a condition called thalassemia, resulting in the increased excretion of iron from the body. Ascorbic acid can also increase the absorption of iron in the gastrointestinal tract for patients dealing with iron deficiencies.
There are numerous other applications of ascorbic acid, including combining the compound with calcium and sodium ascorbates to produce antioxidants for use in pharmaceutical manufacturing and the food industry. Ascorbic acid can be combined with other elements to produce eye drops with potassium ascorbate that specifically treat chemical eye burns.