C6H8O6 or vitamin C; A relatively simple organic acid found in citrus fruits and vegetables. It is soluble in water and destroyed by prolonged boiling, so soaking or overcooking of vegetables reduces their vitamin C content. Lack of ascorbic acid results in scurvy.
In the human body, ascorbic acid is necessary for the correct synthesis of collagen. Lack of vitamin C causes skin sores or ulcers, tooth and gum problems, and burst capillaries (scurvy symptoms) owing to an abnormal type of collagen replacing the normal type in these tissues.
The Australian billygoat plum, Terminalia ferdiandiana, is the richest natural source of vitamin C, containing 100 times the concentration found in oranges.