- noun a vitamin which is soluble in water and is found in fresh fruit, especially oranges and lemons, raw vegetables and liver.
- A water-soluble vitamin (ascorbic acid) which is synthesized in the bodies of most animals except humans, primates and guinea pigs who have to obtain it from vegetables and fruit. It is essential for good health, wound repair, the effectiveness of the immune system and is thought by some to play a role in the prevention of cancer. Vitamin C deficiency results in scurvy, a disease still found in the poor and the old. Large amounts (up to 8 g daily) are recommended by some doctors and more famously by Linus Pauling, the chemistry Nobel prize winner. It has no known toxicity.