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How To Absorb Vitamin C

What Stops Them From Being Absorbed Properly

Diet & Nutrition : How to Best Absorb Vitamin C Supplements

For pills to be absorbed properly, they must be able to disintegrate. Many commercially available vitamins, especially those in pill form, might not disintegrate in time. That means that many people are taking vitamins and spending money on them for little or no reason.

In order for vitamin absorption to work, they must be able to break down within the first 20 minutes of entering the body. Binders and fillers that are added by manufacturers to produce these vitamins more easily make it harder for those vitamins to break down inside the body.

Have you ever noticed that your vitamins are shiny? Some manufacturers add a wax coating in order to keep out moisture and give the vitamins a longer shelf life. But what this does is prolong the disintegration effect even longer, which might make it impossible for any vitamins to be absorbed.

Sugar and corn syrup may make vitamins taste better, but they only add to weight gain and further inhibit the body from absorbing nutrients.

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Kirkpatrick said that when she talks to patients about it, she explains that vitamin C can help enhance immunity, but that it may not necessarily lead to a boost.

Glassman emphasized that vitamin C plays a significant role in supporting the immune system thanks to the high level of antioxidants it contains.

“Vitamin C plays a really big role in our immune function we need for our immune function to work at its best,” she said. “There’s so much at the cellular level that goes into immunity, but you can definitely enhance it … We have seen in studies that does impact white blood cells, the cells that are generally used when you have an infection.”

How To Absorb Fat Soluble Vitamins

Include healthy fats with each meal Vitamins such as A, D, E, and K need healthy fats to efficiently absorb as they are all fat soluble, Szpitalak said. As such, you can use oil-based salad dressings such as flaxseed or olive oil to enhance the absorption of fat soluble vitamins from your vegetables.

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/7the Recommended Daily Intake Of Zinc

The recommended dietary allowance for zinc in men above 19 years is 11 mg a day and for women, it is 8 mg. During pregnancy and lactation, the requirement of zinc slightly increases. Pregnancy and breastfeeding women must take slightly more at 11 mg and 12 mg of zinc respectively. Taking high amounts of zinc might cause fever, coughing, stomach pain, fatigue, and many other problems. Consuming more than 100 mg of supplemental zinc daily for 10 or more years increases the risk of prostate cancer. Up to 40 mg of zinc is considered safe for consumption.

On The Level: Vitamin C Absorption Through The Epidermis

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The primary method for Vitamin C absorption is through dietary intake. Vitamin C is readily absorbed through the intestine wall and transported throughout the body. The foods you eat determine your plasma Vitamin C levels, which play an important role in many metabolic functions. However, the skin health benefits Vitamin C provides are not always fully realized just because you have sufficient plasma Vitamin C levels. To get maximum benefits, you need to deliver Vitamin C directly to your skin, which is possible through topical applicationsskin creams, lotions, serums, etc.

One major challenge to topical delivery is getting Vitamin C to live cells beneath the stratum corneum. The key to effective topical delivery of Vitamin C is exfoliationremoving the uppermost layer of dead cells allows Vitamin C formulas to be applied directly to live cells. Chemical peels, microderm abrasion and other gentle mechanical exfoliants will all work.

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Vitamins And The Digestive System

When you look into how to absorb vitamins better into your system, so they reach the systemic circulation stage, it is vital to understand how vitamins are broken down and absorbed by the body. The first step in vitamin digestion begins with chewing and the introduction of saliva. After swallowing, the food moves to the stomach where stomach acids and gut bacteria break the food into easily digested particles. Finally, these particles move to the small intestine where the vitamins and other nutrients are absorbed, with some nutrients metabolizing in the liver.. After the nutrients are absorbed, the remaining particles pass on to the large intestine. Individuals with digestive and malabsorption syndrome disorders and individuals with low stomach acid, or have had bariatric surgery can have a difficult time absorbing vitamins and minerals from food and supplements. No two digestive systems are alike, and each system has its idiosyncrasies and challenges. If you have digestive problems and take a digestive enzyme regularly to speed vitamin digestion, learning how to absorb vitamins better is essential to your gut health. You may need to switch to a vitamin supplement formulated with small particles for best results.

So What Is The Solution

Step One: Toss the tablets and pick a powder

Taking a multivitamin delivered in a liquid form all but ensures micronutrient absorption. According to the American Pharmaceutical Association textbook, A drug dissolved in an aqueous solution is in the most bioavailable form. Since the drug is already in solution, no dissolution step is necessary before systemic absorption occurs. However, some micronutrients can degrade others when kept in a liquid state, therefor a powdered formula is preferable.

Step Two: Investigate the Ingredients

Make sure to avoid products that contain sugar, corn syrup, binders, fillers, excipients, artificial colors and preservatives .

Step Three: Delve in Deeper.

We believe that taking a multivitamin is the best insurance policy to fill the gap from where your highquality diet leaves off and micronutrient sufficiency is met. But, as you saw there are numerous absorption problems with the majority on the marketand the absorption is only the tip of the iceberg.

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Dont Use Vitamin C With Certain Other Ingredients

Vitamin C is generally pretty safe and well tolerated, but if you have sensitive skin, it might sting a little bitespecially if you use it in the same part of your routine as exfoliating scrubs or acids.

The one ingredient you should steer clear of when using vitamin C is benzoyl peroxide, which can oxidize the vitamin C and, therefore, make it less potent, Dr. Hogan says. You can still use your benzoyl peroxide products, just not in the same part of your routine as the vitamin C. Try using vitamin C in the morning and benzoyl peroxide in the evenings, or use them on different days.

Chemical Structure Of Ascorbic Acid

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Although vitamin C is the generic name of l-ascorbic acid, it has many other chemical names as ascorbate and antiscorbutic vitamin. l-Ascorbic acid molecule is formed of asymmetrical six-carbon atoms which is structurally related to glucose . Its molecular weight is 176 with a melting point of 190192°C and shows a density of approximately 1.65 g/cm3. l-Ascorbic acid is freely soluble in water , difficult in alcohol and insoluble in chloroform, ether and benzene. It forms a clear colorless to slightly yellow solution. It has two p K a values: 4.2 and 11.6. The pH of a 5% solution in water is 2.22.5 .

Figure 1.

Chemical structure of vitamin C .

The chemical structure of ascorbic acid determines its physical and chemical properties. It is a weak, water soluble, unstable organic acid which can be easily oxidized or destroyed in light, aerobic condition , high temperature, alkali, humidity, copper and heavy metals. Ascorbic acid is usually found in the form of white or slightly yellowish crystalline powder. Its crystalline form is chemically stable in dryness. However L-ascorbic acid is highly soluble in water, it shows great difficulty to be soluble in alcohol, chloroform, ether and benzene. In water, it forms clear colorless slightly yellow solution which is rapidly oxidized .

There are many derivatives of ascorbic acid as sodium l-ascorbate , zinc-ascorbate, 6-palmityl-l-ascorbic acid and ascorbyl monophosphate calcium sodium salt .

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Where Are Vitamins Absorbed

There are two kinds of vitamins fat-soluble and water-soluble. Once you take your vitamin and its broken down in your stomach, and then sent to the small intestine, it is absorbed. The small intestine is where all your vitamins are absorbed.

Water-soluble vitamins, like vitamin C, are picked up in a section of the small intestine called jejunum. They are picked up by active transports that carry the molecules through the cell walls of the intestine and then deposit them into the body so they can enter the bloodstream.

Because they can dissolve in water, they leave the body every day in an individuals urine, so you need to make sure you take them daily for continual absorption.

Fat-soluble vitamins like A, K, D, and E have to dissolve into fat before they make their way to the body. They stick around for longer, so they dont require daily consumption. Its essential to be careful that you dont consume too much of these since they do build up.

/7health Benefits Of Having Zinc

Zinc is a trace mineral, required by our body in a small amount. It is an essential nutrient required to activate more than 300 enzymes in the body that helps to carry out different functions in the body. Zinc majorly helps in DNA creation, cell growth, protein building, healing damaged tissue, and strengthening the immune system. Taking a sufficient amount of this mineral is particularly important during times of rapid growth, such as childhood, adolescence, and pregnancy.

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Dose And Delivery: Vitamin C Derivatives And Chemical Stability

Once you have cleared the way for effective topical Vitamin C delivery, you want to make sure that the Vitamin C you apply to your skin will be effective. Effectiveness depends on two factors: the potency of the Vitamin C derivative used in your skin care formula and its chemical stability.

The purest form of Vitamin C, the one that is naturally bio-available, ready to fight oxidative stress on the cellular level is L-Ascorbic Acid. There are a number of other derivatives of Vitamin C, which can do all the things pure Vitamin C can doafter they are converted to L-Ascorbic Acid in the body. However, the chemical conversion of these other derivatives ultimately means that measure for measure, these derivatives deliver less bio-available Vitamin C to your cells.

The chart below summarizes the Vitamin C derivatives commonly found in skin care products and their potency:

Vitamin C Derivative

13%

The potency refers to the amount of Vitamin C that is actually delivered to your cells. In one gram of L-Ascorbic Acid, one gram of Vitamin C is delivered to your cells, but for one gram of Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, for instance, just over ½ a gram of Vitamin C is delivered to your cells. That means that when skin care products use derivatives of L-Ascorbic Acid, they must use a lot of the compound to deliver a sufficient amount of Vitamin C that can actually help combat the signs of oxidative stress.

/7the Right Way To Take Vitamin C

Calcium helps our cells absorb Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps ...

Studies suggest that our body’s capacity to absorb Vitamin C decreases by 50 per cent when we take more than 1000 mg of this vitamin in a day. All the extra amount of the vitamin is moved out of the body through urine.

It is best to take Vitamin C in the raw form as heat and light can destroy the amount of vitamin in the particular food. Cooking Vitamin C rich food for a long time at a high temperature can break down the vitamin. Apart from that, cooking in water can also make the vitamin seep into the liquid and when the liquid is not consumed you may not get the vitamin. Stir-frying or blanching are the best ways to preserve the vitamin. Also, try to eat fruits that are ripe as they contain the maximum amount of Vitamin C.

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Learn About Your Vitamins And Minerals: Vitamin C And Zinc

Inspired by the Sight and Life publication Vitamins and Minerals: A Brief Guide, we continue with our Learn About Your Vitamins and Minerals series by discussing vitamin C and zinc.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in many physiological processes. As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects cells of the body from damaging effects of free radicals and helps build healthy immune systems. Vitamin C stimulates the activity of white blood cells which support our defenses against infections, such as a common cold. Vitamin C also plays a role in improving the absorption of non-heme iron in the gut, and regulating cellular iron uptake and metabolism.

Many animals synthesize their own vitamin C, however, humans cannot do that because we lack the enzyme gluconolactone oxidase which is involved in vitamin C synthesis. Therefore we need vitamin C in our diets. The primary natural plant sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits , tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables . Other sources include dairy products, kidney and the liver of those animals who are able to produce their own vitamin C.

Deficiency can be prevented by adequate consumption of foods rich in vitamin C, or through supplements.

Zinc

Zinc deficiency can be prevented by adequate consumption of foods rich in zinc. Fortifying staple foods and processed foods with zinc, as well as taking supplements also helps to prevent deficiency.

Topical Formulations Of Vitamin C

Vit. C is available in the market as a variety of creams, serum and transdermal patches. Of these, only the serum contains active Vit. C in an almost colorless form. It is unstable and, on exposure to light, gets oxidized to Dehydro Ascorbic Acid , which imparts a yellow color. The stability of Vit. C is controlled by maintaining a pH of less than 3.5. At this pH, the ionic charge on the molecule is removed and it is transported well across the stratum corneum.

From a clinical point of view, it is important to note that the efficacy of the Vit. C serum is proportional to the concentration, but only up to 20%. The half-life in the skin after achieving maximum concentration is 4 days. A persistent reservoir of Vit. C is important for adequate photoprotection, and can be achieved by regular 8-hourly applications. As UV light lowers tissue Vit. C levels, topical Vit. C is best used after exposure to UV light and not prior. A combination of tyrosine, zinc and Vit. C has been shown to increase the bioavailability of Vit. C 20-times vis-à-vis using just Vit. C.

A variety of creams with Vit. C derivatives are available in the market. As a dermatologist, it is important to know that not all preparations are physiologically effective. Some are not delivered into the dermis in an adequate quantity, while others do not chemically convert to the biologically active form of Vit. C in the skin.

  • Ascorbic acid sulfate.

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    Vit C And Collagen Synthesis

    Vit. C is essential for collagen biosynthesis. It has been proposed that Vit. C influences quantitative collagen synthesis in addition to stimulating qualitative changes in the collagen molecule. Vit. C serves as a co-factor for the enzymes prolysyl and lysyl hydroxylase, the enzymes that are responsible for stabilizing and cross-linking the collagen molecules. Another mechanism by which Vit. C influences the collagen synthesis is by stimulation of lipid peroxidation, and the product of this process, malondialdehyde, in turn stimulates collagen gene expression.

    Vit. C also directly activates the transcription of collagen synthesis and stabilizes procollagen mRNA, thereby regulating collagen synthesis. Signs and symptoms of Scurvy, a deficiency disease of Vit. C, are due to impaired collagen synthesis. Clinical studies have shown that the topical use of Vit. C increases collagen production in young as well as aged human skin.

    Use Your Vitamin C Products At The Right Point In Your Skin

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    The right moment to use your product depends on what kind of product it is, Dr. Hogan explains. For serums, you want to apply your vitamin C product to freshly cleansed skin, but before you moisturize. But antioxidant-containing moisturizers are also becoming more common, Dr. Lamb says, and youd want to use those at the end of your routine.

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    Things You Need To Know Before Using Vitamin C For Your Skin

    Between brightening dark spots and helping to protect against UV damage, theres a lot vitamin C can do for your skin. But the type of vitamin C serum you select, as well as how you use and store it, can significantly affect how much you actually get out of it.

    Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that brightens dark spots, smooths fine lines, and, importantly, scavenges free radicals from the environment, pollution, and UV radiation, Sara Hogan, M.D., dermatologist at UCLA Medical Center, Santa Monica, tells SELF. Over time, those free radicals can damage the skin, leading to premature signs of aging, and increase your risk for skin cancer. So protecting against UV damage with an antioxidantand, of course, daily SPFis important.

    However, not all vitamin C products are created equaland they can be irritating and finicky to use in some cases, Angela Lamb, M.D., director of Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology Faculty Practice, tells SELF. Its important to read the label on the product and know what youre really getting , especially if you have sensitive skin.

    So, before you start going down the path of finding a vitamin C product for your face, peep these expert tips to get the most out of your vitamin C serum.

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