ascorbic acid is the active ingredient that is essential for many bodily functions, this has been proven time and time again. The fact YOU dont regard it as vitamin C is irrelevant because your body knows what it is and how to use it.
With the above being said due to its lack of toxicity and its ability to act as a electron donor to the immune system its a very effective way of bolstering the immune system AND making sure your body has the needed nutrient buidling blocks for such things as collagen.
When the body is assaulted by disease/toxins/pathogens it can EASILY deplete the amount of vit C intake from food alone. Countless personal testimonials have shown clogged arteries cleared by use of >6grams of ascorbic acid daily couples with lysine. Good luck eating enough food to get that much vit C daily.