Vitamin C is a factor in the normal development and maintenance of bones, cartilage, teeth, and gums. Ascorbic acid is also an excellent antioxidant. Unlike other water-soluble vitamins, vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, doesn't appear to act either as a catalyst or as a coenzyme. Most people think of it primarily as an antioxidant - which it is, and a crucial one at that. It can scavenge both reactive oxygen species and reactive nitrogen species.