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Tube of Redoxon ascorbic acid (vitamin C) tablets, Welwyn Garden City, England, 1970-1985

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Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) is naturally found in fresh fruit and vegetables. It is essential for good health. The body does not store vitamin C, meaning it must be regularly absorbed from external sources such as particulars foods – or from supplements like this. Made by the pharmaceutical company Roche, this tube contains ten effervescent tablets of vitamin C. Adults were to take one to three tablets dissolved in water daily. Children take half a tablet twice a day. Taking vitamin C supplements became something of a health fad and numerous such products were available in a lucrative market. From the late 1970s, some claimed it protected against cancer. This resulted in some people taking huge daily ‘megadoses’ of vitamin C.

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Glossary: tablet

Also known as a pill, it is made by compressing a powdered form of one or more drugs. It is usually taken by mouth, but may be inserted into a different body cavity.

Glossary: vitamin supplement

trial term S&H