TONIGHT - we\'ll talk with Dr. Carolyn Dean about Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient, widely recognized for its antioxidant properties. These properties arise from its potent redox potential due to its capacity to donate electrons to oxidized molecules. Even in small quantities vitamin C can protect critical molecules in the body such as proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) from damage by reactive oxygen species, which are generated during normal metabolism, by active immune cells, and through exposure to toxins and pollutants (e.g., certain chemotherapy drugs and cigarette smoke). The vitamin also plays a critical role as a cofactor – a molecule that assists enzymes in chemical reactions. This dual nature of vitamin C means that it is instrumental in multiple physiological processes, including those involved in the biosynthesis of collagen, carnitine, and catecholamines. As such, vitamin C participates in immune function, wound healing, fatty acid metabolism, neurotransmitter production, and blood vessel formation, as well as other key processes and pathways.